Noozhawk’s inaugural Four-Legged Friends and More Guide is officially here! We have sniffed out the local businesses that best cater to the needs, health, comfort, training, exercise, and general welfare of our furry companions!
To provide a closer look at the pet establishments in Santa Barbara County, Noozhawk has conducted a series of interviews with representatives of local businesses for this year’s Four-Legged Friends and More Guide that will be sure to have your tail wagging.
In this interview, Noozhawk spoke with Athena Veatch and Chase Grier, Co-Owners of SB Animal Things, to learn more about the pet services they offer spanning from walks, pet/house sitting, grooming, and much more!
SB Animal Things
Question: What is the name of your business or practice?
Answer: SB Animal Things! As a Santa Barbara local, it was only natural to pick such a fitting name.
Q: What types of animals does your business cater to?
A: We cater to animals of all kinds! Whether it woofs, meows, squeaks, neighs, oinks, tweets, or slithers; we’ve got you covered.
Q: Can you describe the services or products your business offers?
A: We do everything from quick walks and drop-in visits to overnight and 24 hour pet sitting! For those who are looking to get their dog(s) exercised, we offer everything from short walks around your neighborhood, to 2 hour adventures at the park or beach, or even pack walks with other clients’ dogs. If you’re headed out on a trip and need your pet and home looked after, all of our pet sitting services whether it’s a quick drop-in visit or 24 hour care include complimentary mail and plant services so that your home is cared for too . We can even offer private taxi services if ever you need your furry friend taken to or dropped off from the groomers, vet, or anywhere else. If you need your pet transported even further we can help keep your pet comfortable and taken care of on your cross country move or even transport them for you internationally! These are only a handful of the services we offer, so be sure to check out our website so that you can see everything we can do for you and your pets!
Q: How long have you been in this industry?
A: SB Animal Things is a newly established bussiness but our dedicated team is made up of pet care professionals with years of experience.
Myself and one of my dogs, Baloo, at the Douglas Preserve in SB (SB Animal Things photo)
Q: What makes your business or practice unique?
A: My background in canine behavior and rehabilitation allows me to take on many clients that others would not feel comfortable working with. Anxiety, reactivity, resource guarding, and even aggression are all things I’m very accustomed to and have years of experience navigating and managing. My safe, force-free approach will keep me, your dog, and everyone else safe whenever they are with me so you won’t have to worry about leaving your pet in my care. Furthermore, I make sure that anyone under my employ has a similar amount of training and experience in the area so that we can continue to serve you and your pet, no matter what behaviors they may exhibit. Lastly, if an incident should happen, my top of the line bonding and insurance will step up to make sure that everyone is taken care of. Rest assured, we have a clean track record and intend to keep it that way!
Q: What training, education and experience do you and your staff have? Do you hold any professional certifications?
A: I first started my career working with animals on a large-scale ranch caring for goats, cattle, horses, and llamas. I helped feed and milk upwards of 200+ goats a day and was hands-on helping expecting goats during the kidding season. I would also occasionally take the night watch on the ranch, making sure to keep the animals safe from coyotes, mountain lions, and other predators. In more recent years I have shadowed several local trainers to learn about the many different training methods, techniques, and tools so that I can properly assess and handle all kinds of situations. This also helped to hone my skills in reading canine body language, so that I can forese the incidents and interrupt them before they happen. I also make sure that my whole team is similarly experienced with animals. Our team leader, Chase, has well over a decade of experience with horses, years of experience cats, and is also familiar in working with aggressive dogs. All of our team members share a passion for working with animals and many of us have volunteered at various local animal care centers around town, such as the local humane society, wildlife rescue, and even a bird sanctuary! I also have everyone go through a Pet First Aid/CPR certification program through American Red Cross. Myself and our team leader, Chase, also have Pet First Aid/CPR certifications through DogSafe Canine.
Q: How do you manage behavioral problems?
A: With the utmost precision and care! We approach every situation with positive, force-free methods in mind, but my business is a balanced one and I have years of experience with a variety of training tools like gentle leaders, muzzles, pinch collars, and e-collars to name a few . So we’ll be able to utilize any tools or methods your dog is already accustomed to. We’ll bring lots of treats for redirection should we encounter any of your dog’s triggers. For any dogs that may be aggressive, we will be sure to keep both ourselves and your dog safe throughout our time with them by avoiding triggers, maintaining calm energy, and committing to several meet and greets to ensure you dog is comfortable with us. Overall, I can assure you that myself and my team are equipped and capable of handling any of your dog’s behaviors in stride! With our over 20 years of combined experience in training methods, tools, and techniques, I am confident we can handle any situation thrown at us.
Q: Do you work with all breeds/ age groups?
A: Yes! We service all kind of animals no matter their breed, size, age, or training.
A pack walk in the mountains of sunny Santa Barbara (SB Animal Things photo)
Q: What method of training do you use? (ie positive reinforcement, electronic training, clicker training, training equipment etc.)
A: While I believe that a force-free, positive approach is the best to try first, my business is a balanced one. I have been taught the proper use of many tools, such as clickers, target sticks, pinch collars, e-collars, and muzzles to name a few. My personal preference when training my own dogs is positive reinforcement, but my hands-on experience in dog training covers all four quadrants, so no matter what you’re used to I’m sure me and my team will be more than capable! I will say, however, that I will not introduce or use any aversive tools or methods with a dog unless my client already uses them, in which case I will happily continue the training your dog is already familiar with (provided the training is being done properly and productively).
Q: What advice would you give to a new pet owner?
A: Never miss the oppurtunity to slow down and enjoy a moment with your pet.
Q: Are you currently accepting new clients?
A: Yes, we are! We currently have plenty of availability for new dog walking clients and are booking 1-2 weeks in advance for overnight and 24 hour pet sitting. So be sure to reach out today about your pet’s needs!
Q: Do you rehome animals no longer able to live with their owners?
A: We have helped rehome animals in the past when clients are unable to keep them, as we are deeply connected to the animal community here in Santa Barbara! We cannot guarantee that we will find a home for your pet, but will help as much as we can.
Q: How do you help make your client feel at ease leaving their pet in your care?
A: By offering them a free, in-depth meet and greet so that my team and I can become quanted with our clients, their pets, and their pets routine. We also send daily pictures and updates via email or text so that you can see your pet even while away.
Q: How do you keep the public informed about your business or service(s)?
A: We keep our website up to date with any new services or policy updates! We also try to regularly upload pictures and videos of our clients, as well as announce any ongoing promotions on our Instagram, Facebook, and via email.
Q: What is the typical cost of your service(s) or product(s)? Do you offer any payment plans or discounts?
A: Our prices range from $20 for a quick drop-in visit, all the way up to $150 for full 24/7 care. We run regular promotions throughout the year that we will announce on our Instagram and Facebook
Click here to learn more about SB Animal Things!