Taking Care of Your Pets Needs

Pet Services

When you are a pet owner, there are several pet services you may want to avail yourself of. The first step will be finding the right ones and that can be a challenge, but a good one when you consider the happiness of your pet. When you are searching for a great pet service, there are some key things to remember. Anymore there are services willing to do everything from walking to pet sitting while you are on vacation. Nevertheless, there are only a few you may need on a regular basis. Pet services such as day care, groomers and borders are among the most commonly used. Approach your search keeping in mind you are the employer and the pet service is the employee and do reference checks, license verification and ask for an opportunity to see them in action. Keep your eyes open at the facility, is it clean and do the animals look well taken care of?

Profession animal day cares are pet services used by people who work long hours away from home and cannot see to their needs. These pets may be lonely, high maintenance or need special care. Whatever the situation may be you can drop your beloved friend off at daycare to play, eat and have their needs met. Most of the time these pet cares will be open during regular business hours however, some may offer 24-hour service.

A good pet groomer can often times be just as difficult to locate as a sitter. Not just anybody with a pair of clippers can groom your precious. With this type of pet service, you need to be equally cautious and check them as closely as a day care if not closer. First of all a groomer should be licensed and trained in the field. Next talk to them about their experience and if they can do all kinds of animals, including cats. Is your pet hard for a groomer to handle? You will need to inquire about how they will deal with this issue. In most cases, a groomer will be happy to let you watch them groom another animal before entrusting them with yours. You want to know what type of service for your pet you will be paying for.

Pet borders are a service similar to a pet day care in that they are there to take care of your animal when you are not able. This is one of the most used services available today. Borders were created to allow pet owners an option for care when they are going to be away from home for a long period, such as vacation. These pet service providers must be licensed and certified by the state to care for pets, they must also submit to random inspections several times each year to ensure they are up to code. With all these regulations there are few accredited pet borders available, most are owned and controlled by large companies. That being said it is still a good idea to do a check on the company. Get references and check them thoroughly, and once again look around the pet service location to see how things are being done. The main goal is to choose a pet service that will take really good care of your animal.

How To Use Business to Business Networking To Grow Your Pet Business

Pursuing relationships with your local pet business owners can bring you opportunities for cross referrals and allow you to offer your customers extra convenience.

When I interviewed Joseph Giannini from Chicago based Urban Outsitters last week I discovered that his goal is to fulfill the full range of his customers pet care needs. In the last 4 years he has grown his business from a pet sitting and dog walking service to a business that offers grooming, boarding, and day care. At his boarding and day care locations he also has retail outlets that sell pet foods and accessories. In the next year he also plans to add veterinary services. However, in the pet industry Joseph’s business model is fairly unique. Most pet care businesses focus on providing customers one service, or at most two to three complimentary services. These businesses can give customers more value and convenience creating partnerships with other local pet care providers.

Here are a few ideas that you can use to make the most of partnering with non-competitive pet businesses:

Create win-win opportunities for cross-promotion. Organize an exchange of discount coupons for each of your services that can be distributed to your existing customers as appreciation gifts. Make customers feel special by printing “Exclusive offer for clients of XYZ pet services” on the bottom of each of your coupons.

Team up to organize community events. Organizing local events is a great way to get media publicity and give back to local charities. However, they require a large amount of work to organize and run. Why not team up with other local pet business and share the work and publicity.
Co-op Advertising. Advertising in magazines and coupon direct mailings is typically expensive. If you want access to reach these markets but can’t justify the price why not split the ad size and share an ad with another local pet business. You can split the cost of the ad and both reach the market you want to target.

Offer a combined service. Your clients need to take their pets to other local businesses to ensure that their dietary, training, and maintenance needs are met. To offer them more convenience why not combine your services with the services of other businesses to create service packages. A few examples are:

Pet sitting visit with grooming service

Pet sitting visit with food and treat delivery from local dog bakery

Dog day care visit with annual vaccinations

Dog walking service with training session

Dog birthday party at doggy day care with pampering by groomer and treats from local dog bakery

You will be able to charge a premium price for this service because of the time savings you offer your clients.

Emergency Planning. Your pet business should have an action plan that you will follow if a natural or human caused disaster occurs. A pet business with a large facility such as a dog day care may offer a good central shelter to bring your clients pets if you are no longer able to care for them in their home. Work with other pet business owners to make sure that you can pool resources in an emergency to ensure the safety of the pets in your care.

Don’t be afraid to contact local pet business owners and offer to meet for lunch or organize a meeting at their location.

Many business owners shy away from networking with other businesses that provide similar services in the same geographic area. This attitude is often based on scarcity thinking. In reality if you live in a highly populated area there are plenty of pet owners to serve and the advantages of getting to know your competitors can be many.

Advantages of networking with same service businesses include:

Opportunity to share best practices and learn from the experience of others

Have a backup for emergencies and vacation periods

A new source of referrals

Knowing others gives you the confidence to recommend other businesses if you cannot accommodate customer needs

Look for a networking group in your area by contacting business associations or asking other pet business owners. If you can find an existing network why not start your own. Associations typically can offer best practices and recommendations for forming networking groups.

Choosing the Right Services For Your Pet

Buster was the name of our family dog while I was growing up. It was also the name of my Dad’s dog and his Dad’s dog before him. For those of us who share the love of all things animal, choosing pet services from groomers to walkers to boarders is a huge process. Let’s talk about some things that could break down this process and make it easier to decide what services our animals need to make them, and us, happy.

A pet walker is a good place to start. Guilt eats me up when I have to leave my dog for an eight or nine hour stretch of time while I am at work. There are days I race home on my lunch hour to let him out for a potty break. Then there is the constant concern that some favorite pair of shoes or leg of a table have been chewed up while I’ve left him alone. Why not choose a walker to come to your home and exercise your pet on a daily basis. You can find a walker that can come by once or twice daily. We know we feel better when we are active and exercising. Our pet is no different.

Next, a good grooming service will do much to improve your dog’s attitude. Wait a minute, maybe it’s my attitude that’s improved when I get a haircut and warm shave! Why not give your animal the same pampering. Haircuts, shampoos, and nail trimmings are all things that not only improve an animal’s looks but also their health. The last thing I want to be responsible for is getting my pet’s ears clean or making sure his teeth are being properly cared for. And, what about those fleas and ticks? Forget about it! Grooming services generally range from $25 to $50 and are, in my estimation, worth every penny. By the time I’ve tried to figure out which brushes, combs, clippers and shampoos to use, I would gladly pay a professional for these services.

What about boarders? The experts say to start boarding your animal at a very early age. This takes away the anxiety that is sure to develop if you wait until your dog is five years old and he is experiencing being away from home for the first time. This boarding issue is a toughie for me. There are kennels or daycare facilities that do overnight boarding. The question is, however, do I choose a kennel that has an individual cage for each pet or do I chose a facility that is cage free and allows the pets to roam. I sometimes feel that my dog needs his alone time just like I do at the end of the day and wonder if he wouldn’t appreciate his own space.

I know this will be a personal preference but be aware of the choices. Bottom line is I want people watching my dog who will give him the extra time and attention he needs. The space to run and his little pet pals are just bonuses. I would also check for any certifications the business has. The American Red Cross actually has a Pet First Aid Certification. I’m sure the ASPCA and the NAPPS have certifications as well. By the way, in case any of you were thinking to yourselves, “He has a dog now? I wonder what his name is?” Wonder no more. B-u-s-t-e-r, B-u-s-t-e-r, B-u-s-t-e-r, and Buster is his name. Was there ever a doubt?

Taking Care of Your Pets Needs

Pet Services

When you are a pet owner, there are several pet services you may want to avail yourself of. The first step will be finding the right ones and that can be a challenge, but a good one when you consider the happiness of your pet. When you are searching for a great pet service, there are some key things to remember. Anymore there are services willing to do everything from walking to pet sitting while you are on vacation. Nevertheless, there are only a few you may need on a regular basis. Pet services such as day care, groomers and borders are among the most commonly used. Approach your search keeping in mind you are the employer and the pet service is the employee and do reference checks, license verification and ask for an opportunity to see them in action. Keep your eyes open at the facility, is it clean and do the animals look well taken care of?

Profession animal day cares are pet services used by people who work long hours away from home and cannot see to their needs. These pets may be lonely, high maintenance or need special care. Whatever the situation may be you can drop your beloved friend off at daycare to play, eat and have their needs met. Most of the time these pet cares will be open during regular business hours however, some may offer 24-hour service.

A good pet groomer can often times be just as difficult to locate as a sitter. Not just anybody with a pair of clippers can groom your precious. With this type of pet service, you need to be equally cautious and check them as closely as a day care if not closer. First of all a groomer should be licensed and trained in the field. Next talk to them about their experience and if they can do all kinds of animals, including cats. Is your pet hard for a groomer to handle? You will need to inquire about how they will deal with this issue. In most cases, a groomer will be happy to let you watch them groom another animal before entrusting them with yours. You want to know what type of service for your pet you will be paying for.

Pet borders are a service similar to a pet day care in that they are there to take care of your animal when you are not able. This is one of the most used services available today. Borders were created to allow pet owners an option for care when they are going to be away from home for a long period, such as vacation. These pet service providers must be licensed and certified by the state to care for pets, they must also submit to random inspections several times each year to ensure they are up to code. With all these regulations there are few accredited pet borders available, most are owned and controlled by large companies. That being said it is still a good idea to do a check on the company. Get references and check them thoroughly, and once again look around the pet service location to see how things are being done. The main goal is to choose a pet service that will take really good care of your animal.