About Heather Thomas MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour

About Heather

Heather has worked professionally with dogs since 2003. She started her first pet business when she was just 19. She built this business from the ground up and had 20 staff and 18 vans before she started this new venture using her newly acquired qualifications.

Heather went back to university in 2016 to pursue her dream of becoming a CCAB registered behaviourist, studying at Hartpury university initially and then at Lincoln completing her Masters in Clinical Animal Behaviour in 2019. Heather has been working with behaviour client and training dogs for almost 2 decades and that experience shines through her work.

Having grown up with animals from a young age, following in her late grandmother’s footsteps She developed a passion to care for animals.

Upon leaving school heather completed an animal care diploma and attended various work experience placements at veterinary surgeries, rescue centres and wildlife centres.

Heather started out dreaming of becoming a vet, but soon realised that it wasn’t for her and that she had a keen interest and passion in animal welfare and behaviour. In 2004 Heather worked in a kennels and cattery in Bristol and she wanted to improve the welfare of cats and dogs in this setting. This started her dream to run her own business looking after animals. Between kennel shifts she started up her first dog walking and pet care business. Alongside this she helped out a number of rescues by being a foster carer too.

Heather launched her very own dog walking service in 2005 and set out to change the way in which dogs were cared for catering for all breeds and sizes across Bristol. This fledgling business quickly turned into a popular service and a well-known name in the locality and Heather soon had to leave the kennels and applied for and achieved the first-ever home boarding license in Bristol and Bath.

Alfie the Great Dane

It was at this point that heather had her first dog Alfie a Great Dane and knew more than ever how precious it was to have a great trustworthy pet sitter. Alfie was Heathers soul mate and ambassador for the initial business adventure, Alfie was with Heather every step of the way during all the good and bad times of the start start-up business journey.

Heather was fully committed to the business and passionate about providing the best mental and physical stimulation for dogs whilst their owners were away or at work and a personalised drop-in cat feeding service too. Despite the challenges (there were many) Heather was determined and so passionate about her work that she could no longer cope alone.

The business grew into a Limited company across a few years and built up a team of walkers and sitters across Bristol and Bath. Taking on a team of pet sitters was the hardest part of growing the business initially, finding the right people, training them and creating a team that worked, were all learning curves and many of these challenges were difficult to overcome and were very lonely times, which is why Heather decided to help others on their business journey too. Heather went on to win and be nominated for multiple awards, women in business, small business of the year and employer of the year.

Heather is now the proud owner and director of 2 animal-related businesses that share the same ethos – to try and improve the welfare of animals. These businesses are run by Heather personally upholding the highest standards and creating new higher standards within the industry. Heather is a constant source of help and guidance for other pet care companies that ask for advice regularly not only in terms of behaviour and welfare but with all things business too.

I have spent the last few years working remotely and in person in the Bath, Bristol and Wiltshire areas. Success isn’t based on whether you work online or in person with a professional, it’s based upon the time and how the learner (your pet) responds to treatment! Online consults can be beneficial in some cases, I know that owners almost always want to show me the behaviour, this isn’t always necessary and let’s face it each time your pet reacts negatively to a situation it makes the problem worse. As a qualified behaviourist I want to make it better right from the start!

Since 2019 I have worked with multiple online vets such as Vet AI and Pawsquad.

During my time working for Vet AI I developed many online tools to help with diagnosis and treatment. I also offered online consultations allowing anybody anywhere to get quality behaviour advice from an app on their device.

Since 2021 I have been working with Pawsquad another online vet service offering a triage service to owners in need of quality behaviour and training advice, advising the vets with certain clients that need possible behaviour help and offering consults and training sessions to help owners with behavioural issues.

Whether it’s in person or online; I help owners and animals to reconnect through management strategies and design fun tasks to help overcome and stop unwanted and problem behaviours.

Working in person I am able to coach owners through specific training exercises in their home and local surrounding areas. This can boost behaviour plans and exercises ensuring that the learner (your pet) is getting the most out of each exercise.

I cover Bath and Wiltshire areas and travel costs are included in my prices.

Heather's Qualifications

IMy recent qualifications to date are listed below:

  • Degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at Hartpury University 2018
  • MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour Lincoln University 2019
  • APBC full member 2019
  • ABTC registered 2018
  • FABC full member and director 2020

Heather's Influencers

I have had the pleasure to learn from amazing people in the industry such as:

Steve Mann IMDT, Sarah Fisher ACE, Nando Brown and Jo-Rosie Haffenden SOCS, Nick Thompson Holistic vet, Trevor Cooper Dog law, Daniel Mills of Lincoln university,  Chirag Patel,

Conferences Attended by Heather

have attended multiple conferences enhancing and affirming my knowledge to include:

IMDT- Victoria Stillwell- Woof- Natural dog conference – Clicker EXPO- Lemonade conference- ISFM cat conference

Articles Written by Heather

I have had the pleasure of writing multiple articles in magazines and newspapers and also co-writer for an article on separation here are a few….