AnimalKind is raising the bar for pet services
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AnimalKind is raising the bar for pet services

June 1, 2023

Pet guardians share a strong bond with their pets. The happiness and welfare of their cats and dogs are important to every loving guardian. However, essential services like grooming, boarding, daycare or dog walking are not regulated, so what does this mean for pets?

cat at grooming salon

In B.C., daycare, dog walking, and pet boarding and grooming are unlicensed and not obliged to follow any standards or codes of practice to protect the welfare of cats and dogs. This means pet guardians could be leaving their pets in the hands of pet service providers without a clear understanding of their education, skill set, or how they handle animals.

To help fill this gap and ensure the welfare of animals while under the care of pet services, the BC SPCA has developed companion animal services standards (PDF) and resources for pet guardians and pet care businesses.

Setting standards for pet services

The BC SPCA’s journey towards pet services standards began with extensive research, consultations, and collaboration with industry experts, including veterinarians, trainers, and other animal welfare organizations. After four years, the BC SPCA has now published voluntary, evidence-based AnimalKind standards for companion animal services.

BC SPCA’s journey towards pet services standards

Standards and resources for businesses and pet guardians

AnimalKind companion animal services standards

The AnimalKind companion animal services standards (PDF) cover topics such as humane care and handling for cats and dogs, caregiver training, size and composition for dog walking and daycare groups, among many others. They also outline practices that guardians should say no to, including non-professional dental scaling services (aka anesthesia-free dentals) and aversive handling practices used to manage animal behaviour.

The standards are voluntary, and by adhering to them, pet care providers demonstrate their commitment to providing high animal welfare to animals in a safe, compassionate, and enriching environment.

Resources available to pet guardians

As a pet guardian, you have the responsibility of making decisions about your pet’s care. The resources for pet guardians, available on the BC SPCA AnimalKind website, offer guidance to assist you when looking for pet services. That knowledge empowers you so you can make an informed decision that is the most beneficial for your pets.

pet services dog walking four dogs happily sniffing while on a walk

Resources available to pet services businesses

Whether you’re a dog walker, pet groomer, operate a pet boarding facility or work at a dog daycare, you will find a collection of tools and resources to help you achieve and maintain the level of commitment to animal welfare your business strives for.

The BC SPCA recognizes the critical role pet services businesses have in the lives of companion animals and believe that with the help of companies like yours, we can collectively raise the bar for pet services in B.C.

The AnimalKind companion animal services standards and available resources can assist guardians and businesses in an unregulated environment: Pet guardians can navigate the world of pet services with confidence to ensure the safety of their pets, while pet service providers who prioritize welfare can continue to put animals first.

For more information about BC SPCA’s AnimalKind, visit

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