A day in the life of ... Kate Finley, Owner of Kate's Doggy Boutique
At what age did you decide you wanted to work with animals?
I’ve always loved animals and I’ve always been obsessed with dogs but I used to have a completely different career which was in PR and Events. I lived in London and I came back and I gave everything up and went down to London to the Institute of Modern Dog Training and did my dog training and then came back and that was when I was 34 and I’m 38 now.
When I came back I started off with dog training and then I started dog walking as well. I then decided I’m do the dog hotel so I got my mums summer house, spent my only £250 left doing it up with CCTV, put it into two bedrooms and two front rooms, put fans and heating in and then advertised that I was doing home boarding and then I was full within 3 hours for 6 months so I thought - well this will work!
From there on I have been building the doggy boutique business and have evolved in to dog day care as well as boarding. I’ve been working seven days a week to grow the business and it’s gone strength to strength.
Tell us about what your day usually consists of…
An average day for me is to get up at 6am and if I’ve got home boarders then I’ll let them out, give them their breakfast and then bring them here for day care. We open at 7am so owners drop them off before they go to work. I’ll either leave and do dog walks - for morning walks we have 121 walks and we have group walks so they are usually from 9am - 1pm and I have a team of staff that help with that.
The day care is open until 7pm so dogs will either get dropped off for a full day which is 12 hours or there is half a day which is 5 hours. They will just play here all day - we have a sand pit which they can play in and in the summer we have a paddling pool which they enjoy. They have an absolute ball all day. We do lunch time if they need it and we do nap time and put relaxing dog music on when we want them to chill out. I’ll go home and take the dogs that are boarding home with me. I’ll take them to the shore or to the park as I live nearby and then we all go to bed at 9pm and start again the following day.
What is the favourite part of your job?
Probably seeing the dogs have fun! When they’re running around and having the best time it gives me a feeling like I can’t describe. It’s amazing to watch them - they are just having a ball and it’s nice and I just love working with animals. It’s the little things in life that bring you happiness and it’s just how I like to live.
What top tips do you have for new dog owners?
The main tip is when you first take them out for their very first walk to let them off the lead. If you don’t want to do lead training & recall training which is the hardest thing to do then let them off the lead straight away.
I do puppy training and I think the puppy training is so important because once you know how then your dogs life is made easy. Day care is a very different socialisation to being out in the park. Some dogs may be fine being with other dogs but coming to day care they may be a nervous wreck being with other dogs in a closed environment - so I do think that day care is a very good thing for socialising with other dogs.
Getting dogs spayed and neutered for me is also a must. All dog day care places aren’t licensed if the dogs are spayed or neutered over one years of age.
Are there any local dog services or products you can recommend to Woof Guide readers?
Places to go - Three Piggies on Allerton Road is brilliant! They make a fuss of your dog every time and will instantly bring a bowl of water over and make you feel welcome. It’s the little things like that that make a difference.
The Brunch Club in Liverpool City Centre as well is also really good - I think they’re fab.
There’s a pet store on Allerton Road opposite the library called Pets Corner - that’s a lovely pet store that’s just been done up and it’s a lovely pet store. I think it’s nice to go to places like that than the big chains.
As for day care and hotel - I think that Kate’s Doggy Boutique is the best :)
We offer a lot of things that other places don’t offer. We do meet and greets - so I don’t just accept any dog, the dog has to be right for here and the regulars have to be comfortable when a new dog comes in. I’ll always offer alternatives that I recommend if needed.
Weaver Cottage, 110 Blackburne Street, L19 8JA
Kate’s Doggy Boutique, located in South Liverpool, is a fully licensed Doggy Hotel / Daycare where your dogs can relax and play in a friendly and engaging environment. The Doggy Hotel is more like a holiday resort for your fury babies, with fun, care and cuddles provided all day. The Daycare Centre provides the highest standards of care to their doggy guests under the watchful eye of their dedicated team of caring staff.