Guest Interviews - Catherine Phillips - Dog First Aid

Updated: May 1

In my series of blog guest interviews, I would like to introduce, Catherine Phillips of Dog First Aid - Scotland North.


Before we went into lockdown, Catherine very successfully delivered Dog First Aid training courses in Aberdeen and across big parts of Scotland, training dog owners and dog professionals (i.e. dog walkers, groomers, trainers, etc) in Dog First Aid. Giving them the necessary tools to take care of their dogs in case of an emergency. Since lockdown started, she very quickly adapted and is now delivering her Dog First Aid Training courses online.


This is one of many lovely reviews on Catherine's Facebook page:

'This course has to be one of the best things I have ever done, I have learned so much and now have a better understanding of what and what not to do. Catherine is a wonderful lady who explains everything that is easy to understand.'


Keep reading if you would like to know more.


Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself

A. I am a single mum to a couple of teens and a couple of Weimaraners and live just outside Kemnay. After spending more years than I care to admit in business systems management in the oil sector, I discovered that I had transferrable skills to run my own business, so I made the jump and now have the flexibility for a great work-life balance and a job I love.

Q. Tell us about your two lovely Weimaraners

I’ve had Roxy (10 years old) since she was 7 months and Riley (2 years old) since he was 15 months. Riley was rehomed to me. They are the same breed but very different. Roxy is the great protector and very brave. Riley had done some training with Bravehounds with his previous owner, he is very empathetic and is learning to be a bit braver when Roxy allows. He is a great emotional support to my son who has ASD.

They are coping well with lockdown, as long as they get one decent walk a day. They enjoy snuffle mats, lickit mats, balls & toys and both love playing with their balls, Riley is faster, but has no brakes. Roxy is still very active and always gets the ball.


Q. Tell us a surprising fact about yourself.

A. I am a Padi Divemaster (scuba diving trainer) and I wanted to be a vet when I was younger.

Q. How did you come to be a dog first aider?

A. I lost my mum suddenly, then lost my job 5 weeks later - it took some time for me to process, but I realised I wanted to do something for me, something that fitted around my family.

After looking after someone’s dog they tried to give me money (I was doing it to help them out and never discussed a charge). So I looked at home boarding, but quickly realised the rules in my area meant I could not make enough to support my family. As part of my research, I stumbled across Dog First Aid qualifications. The nearest course was Stirling area and trainers were running courses from other areas of the UK.

I went with Dog First Aid, as they are the only company that has vets & vet nurses as part of the team, there is always fantastic support on hand, as well as ongoing learning.

Q. What do you like most about your job?

A. I love meeting people and empowering them to go out with the confidence and the knowledge how to act if their dog got into trouble. One lady went home after a course and realised her dog had been having partial seizures, she took him to the vet the next day for diagnosis and treatment - he made a full recovery.

Early diagnosis and learning to spot the signs that things isn't right, can really change an outcome.

Q. What top tips can you the readers?

A. Always do a visual risk assessment - make sure you are not the next casualty.


Know what's normal for your dog - that way you can recognise even the smallest changes in your dog and react in time. If in doubt always phone your vet!


Be prepared - even if you are only going for a short walk, carry a small first aid pouch with you. We never know when accidents will happen.

All my life course attendees receive a free pouch, but these can also be purchased for £10 from me. Every pouch contains a fora foil blanket, they are very handy. Keep an eye on my Facebook page, I will posting a blog on 20 uses for foil blankets soon.

Q. Would you like to add anything else?

A. I often have non-dog owners on my course - people who mind a dog for a friend or family member, but wouldn’t know what to do if something happened. The course is also ideal for dog professionals like trainers, groomers, dog walkers and photographers. It can also be useful to cat owners, I had one lady come up to me at the end of a course and whispered she only has a cat, then ran away laughing.

This year I was nominated for the Aberdeen Business Awards and I am delighted to be a finalist in the Best Pet Care category. Unfortunately, the awards ceremony has been postponed due to COVID19. I’m not sure who nominated me but a huge thank you.

Q. How can people get in touch with you?

Email | Catherine.phillips@dog-first-aid.com

Facebook | Dogfirstaidscotlandnorth

Instagram | DFAscotnorth

Twitter | DFAscotlandnor1

Phone | 07393 589651

Website | www.dog-first-aid.com


A big thank you to Catherine for coming onto my blog for a little insight into her business and her personal life. I've unfortunately not had the opportunity to photograph Roxy and Riley yet, but hopefully one day I will. I'm sure you will all agree with me, they are both gorgeous!


Also a big thank you to my lovely readers for visiting the blog. I hope you enjoyed it!

Please feel free to like, comment, share and find me on Facebook and Instagram.


Thanks a lot and lots of love,

Iska


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Iska Birnie

Multitasking Ninja and Award-Winning Photographer

Tel 07807 776016

hello@iskabirniephotography.co.uk

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