Pet Businesses: Ditch Pen & Paper for Maximum Efficiency and Success

pet businesses

Since the dawn of pet care businesses, there have been blotter calendars at the front desk (with plenty of pencils!) but as with most other areas of life, tech is taking over. Pet businesses managing their clients and appointments by using paper calendars & files makes it tedious, time-consuming, and more than occasionally, frustrating. Imagine spending more time searching for information than actually using that information – does this sound like an efficient use of your time?

There are things that technology will never replace. For example, even if a robot could be trained to look after dogs many clients would still prefer the personal touch and security that comes from leaving their dog with a real person.

This does not mean that technology doesn’t have a place within all pet businesses, in fact, modern clients are starting to demand apps, 24/7 schedule access, text reminders, and other tech perks. In an automated app-happy world, pet businesses need to keep up with the times or get taken out by their competition. Here are a few real reasons why it might be time to take tech seriously:

Old School Appointment Books Just Aren’t Cutting it Anymore

There’s one truth when it comes to providing pet services – time is money. This means that every minute spent on anything other than your pet services is actually costing you in the long run. But ignoring “administration” (from payroll to client tracking to appointment reminders) can spell disaster for your business. So….

Either allocate part of your day to managing the business (hopefully not at the expense of servicing your clients!) or hire someone to manage the business, track your appointments, and file your taxes.

Regardless of how well you execute either approach, you’re pretty much-losing money either way. If your new assistant makes a mistake (doesn’t everyone?) or late hours and constant multitasking lets someone fall through the cracks, now in addition to losing money, you’re losing clientele as well!

Look, there are only 24 hours in a day, and even you can’t work all of them. Years ago, there simply weren’t other options, but times have changed and technology has infiltrated every aspect of modern life – including pet business operations. Simple, affordable software can grow your business, save you money, and attract new clientele.

pet businesses

The Benefits of Software For Pet Businesses

Freeing yourself from blotter calendars (which are really hard to read when you’re anywhere but at your business location) is not the only advantage of digital business management solutions. Incorporating pet software into your operation can reduce scheduling mistakes, save you money, automate your client communications, re-engage dormant clients, speed your payroll processing or tax reporting, simplify your inventory controls, even earn you more money!

The fact is people feel busier than ever (spoiler alert: we’re not), and taking the time to stop and schedule a dog grooming appointment or doggie daycare visit simply may not make it onto the daily to-do list, especially if that requires a phone call.

Now, you may have a handful of clients that have their standing appointments on the same day and time every month. Those clients are great to have, and we all wish we had more of them. But what about new clients that are just visiting for their first or second time?

Are they really going to remember that follow-up appointment they booked? And if you say that you’re going to remind them, isn’t this more time that you have to spend outside of providing your services? Are they then going to take the time to call and rebook?

Fortunately, the right pet software program will handle this for you. It will send out an email or text message directly to your client, reminding them of their upcoming appointment and even update your online appointment book when they confirm from that message. This simple reminder can dramatically reduce “no shows”, which in turn, means more revenue.

appointment reminders

Data Don’t Lie

Staying ahead of the competition means offering new services to your clientele. But how do you go about this? Well, to start, you’ll need to know what your clients already love. This means knowing what your high-value services are – the ones that sell every month without fail.

There also may be services on your menu that simply aren’t priced correctly, and are costing you more than they are earning you. 

The ability to analyze your margins and give you the visibility to pivot and create new and better offers is dependent upon you having all the data in front of you. Which traditionally is something small businesses just didn’t have.

Pet software means you can now tap into that business management capability. Now you can know in minutes which services are the best ones to run a sale on (and how much of a sale you can afford)  which are the best sellers, and even the time of year when they’re most likely to sell.

A database of client activity (like you get with pet software) also means you can target your marketing. You can send a promotional offer to everyone who bought a certain product and offer a limited-time discount on their purchase of it with their next visit. You can create new offers and send them to your best customers. You can even create these “campaigns” and they will run automatically!  Create a campaign that goes out to every client you haven’t seen in 9 weeks (we haven’t seen you in a while”), or send a campaign to everyone who received a dog grooming service with a polite reminder that, in order to keep your pet looking great, they should return every 8 weeks.  

It’s also worth mentioning that pet software is a great place to store your client contact data – every phone number and email address, accessible from any internet-enabled device, anytime you want. 

Moving client data into a database makes it searchable, accessible and actionable. Data becomes mobile-friendly, which means faster response times. Your business data is also more easily “backed up” when digital, easily safeguarding your business records. 

pet buisnesses

Pet Businesses Finding the Right Software

So are you ready to say goodbye to your old appointment books and index cards? Congrats! Now it’s time to find the right pet software to fit your business needs.

We know all of the ways the right software can help you build your business which is why we’ve incorporated them into one platform.

Set up appointment reminders, manage payroll (including tiered commissions), offer online booking, and manage your online reputation (get better reviews by asking for them) from within one seamless experience, whether you’re on your phone at home, on a tablet at your chair or at the front desk computer.

Connecting your business to your phone (through Apple or Android) means you can manage your business from the palm of your hand.  It also means your staff can check their schedules (without calling in) and get automatically notified of cancellations. 

Want to learn more about how 123Pet can help your business? Download a 14-day free trial today and see for yourself. Once you appreciate the impact of software on your small business, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.

How to Sell More Gift Cards in Your Grooming Salon This Holiday Season

123PET gift card

We can already hear the sound of jingling bells in the distance, and the shelves are stocked full of pumpkin spice-flavored everything. That means the holidays are on their way, and more and more people will be coming into your groomers to make sure their pets are looking and smelling their best! As a pet groomer, you will want to make the most of the increase of clients by selling them gift cards – use these tips to sell gift cards faster than you’ve ever sold them before.

Follow These Steps To Sell More Gift Cards:

Offer Special Incentives

The best way to convince anyone to do anything is to bribe them. That includes your soon-to-be gift-card-buying customers.

Start a special promotion for gift cards. For example, offer clients a $5 credit toward their next service for every $50 in gift cards they purchase.

Of course, you’ll want to run the numbers on the promo you choose to make sure it’s something you can afford.

Make Gift Cards a Priority

Take a moment to put yourself in your clients’ shoes during the holiday season. Their minds are constant whirlwinds thinking about all the preparations for the holiday. They’re thinking about travel plans and buying gifts, and maybe not thinking in advance about getting their pets groomed.

That’s why you should focus your marketing budget on advertising your gift card this year instead of your grooming services. We’re not saying to stop marketing your services entirely. Putting 70% of your budget into advertising gift cards and 30% into advertising services may be a healthy split.

sell gift cards

Step Up Your Internal Marketing

Most people think of marketing as a way to bring in new customers, and it can be. It can also be a way to get more sales from the clients you already have. That’s called internal marketing.

Your current clients may love the idea of buying your gift cards for their loved one’s pets. They may even buy gift cards for their own pets to use so they can take advantage of the discount.

One choice for internal marketing is to send out e-blasts to your mailing list of current clients, highlighting your gift cards. You should also put up signage inside the salon.

On top of this, tell your staff to mention your gift cards when clients check out after their visit.

Take Advantage of Your Foot Traffic

If you’ve scored a great location for your salon, why not milk it for all it’s worth?

Put up an eye-catching sign in your windows advertising that you sell gift cards. Make them prominent enough that people will see them while walking down the sidewalk or driving down the street.

Many people wouldn’t think of a pet groomers as a place to get a gift card, but when they see your sign they’ll say, “Oh I know someone who would love that for their pet!”

Start a Competition to Sell Gift Cards

Unless you’re at your groomers 24/7, a lot of the responsibility for selling gift cards will fall on your staff. Why not give them a reason to get excited about it?

Since your reception staff will play a large role, create competition for them. The reception employee who sells the highest total value in gift cards before a certain date will earn a prize.

You can create extra awards too. Have one for the employee who sells the gift card with the highest value. Give another prize to the employee who sells the largest number of gift cards.

This encourages your employees to mention your gift cards every time a client checks out at the end of their grooming visit. Make sure your team doesn’t get pushy, though.

Loyalty, sell gift cards

Run a Full Social Media Blitz

When you’re trying to reach a large number of people in a short period of time, you can’t do better than social media.

Now is the time to invest in a bombshell of a social media advertising campaign. You can even do multiple campaigns for different groups of people.

For instance, have one campaign that’s geared toward your current followers. Run a different campaign you can steer toward other people in the area. Don’t forget to use targeting options so your ads are reaching the people most likely to turn into buyers.

One clever idea is to create an eye-catching graphic that says something like, “Hint hint: I’d love a gift card for my dog from [grooming name] this year!” Your post caption can be, “Share this if you want a gift card for your messy pup this year.”

Clients will see it and share it. Their families will buy them gift cards.

Make Your Gift Cards Easy to Buy

It’s time for a wake-up call: we live in the technological era. Last year around 55% of all holiday shopping happened online.

If you want to sell more gift cards, you need to make it easy for people to do that by selling your gift cards online. You can set up a way to do it on your website or use an existing platform like Etsy or other online marketplaces.

This makes your gift cards easy and convenient gifts for people to buy. It also allows the family members or friends of your clients to buy them. You’re opening the door to a whole new customer base.

Making Gift Cards Your Golden Goose

It’s easy for groomers to feel the lull of the holiday season as clients are spending their money on gifts instead of thinking about their dogs. You can still be there to meet their needs in the form of gift cards.

The tips above can help you sell gift cards like a pro this year, but make sure you’re prepared by ensuring you have ordered your gifts card early. Visit this page to get started!

Bring in More Clientele to Your Kennel by Offering These Dog Activities

dogs

People love their furry friends and will usually invest lots of time and money into their care. If you’re looking to attract more clientele to your kennel then getting a little creative with the types of dog activities you offer can help a lot.

Check out these ideas for fun dog activities that will have four-legged friends barking at your door.

Dog Activities:

Doggy Spa Day

Even animals like to feel their best and offering a spa day as one of the dog activities can help owners do that for the pets. Give out shampoos, nail clippings, hair trimmings and even massages (which mostly equates to belly rubs in this case).  

You can also take this time to educate owners on certain care tricks for their dogs. For instance, share some great tips on taking care of the bottom of their paws that might get rough and chaffed. Also, offer some samples of any of the professional grooming products that you used for owners to take home.

pet grooming services

Splash Pool Party

Some dogs really love the water and appreciate a good pool day or fun at the lake. So here’s another great idea for dog activities to attract clientele to your kennel. Although it might get a little messy, the canines will definitely enjoy splashing around in miniature doggy pools and slides. 

The best thing is that it’ll be fairly easy to set up. All you really will need are some pools or tarp mats and water- then let the games begin. Dogs will have a blast being free to get as wet as they want and of course shaking themselves completely dry.

dog activities

Obedience Training Course

The dogs might not think this one sounds very fun but owners will definitely appreciate a good obedience training course for their pups. Offering quality training courses is something that most dog parents would love because they might not have the knowledge or patience to start it themselves.

But the course doesn’t have to be dreadful to the dogs. Consider setting up interactive games that are actually fun, such as tunnels, obstacle courses, and hoops. And don’t forget to give out treats at the end for jobs well done. 

animal groomer

Fetch & Frisbiees Day

There aren’t many dogs in the world that don’t enjoy a good game of fetch with their owners. That’s why having a fetch and frisbees day is one of the most perfect ideas for dog activities. This event is very cost-effective and low maintenance in setup. 

The only supplies that you really need are tennis balls and frisbees. Make sure there is enough space or multiple sections for everybody to enjoy their fetch games. You can even host some tournaments to appease the more competitive attendees.

dog activities

Dog Activities Dress-Up Day

You don’t have to wait until Halloween to see some cute canines dressed up in costumes to be even cuter. Consider hosting a doggy dress-up day for owners who love giving their pups some personality something to look forward to.

This is another one of the dog activities that you can add a dog competition element to. Give away prizes and treats to different categories of the best costumes, such as “most creative” or “best small dog costume.” Participants will have a ball finding the perfect outfits to show off their dogs.

dog in costume, dog activities

Tasty Treat Fest

Pet owners are always looking for new healthy foods to nourish their dogs. Most would prefer natural and organic ingredients but don’t always know the right things to buy. Some owners will even go as far as making dog food and treats from scratch to make sure their furry companions have the best quality.

This is your chance to offer an entire event dedicated to giving dogs delicious food and treats that are also good for them. Ask some chefs or veterinarians with knowledge in nutrition to help out with educating pet owners on making the most beneficial choices on food. Also, invite vendors that sell healthy dog food to be a part of the day.

pet business ideas, dog activities

Vet Check Day

Keeping up with your pet’s medical treatments can be just as expensive as managing your own. And, unfortunately, everyone doesn’t always have the means to get the quality care they would like for their beloved animals so they do what they can. But you can help out with this issue by offering a free or discounted vet day for dogs to come and get basic checkups.

Hire some local veterinarians to volunteer with doing examinations on the dogs and providing the owners with expert health feedback. This is one of the most helpful dog activities for any pet lover.

dog activities

Ready to Host Some Fun Dog Activities at Your Kennel?

In order to get more clients to your kennel, you have to engage them and their animals. That’s why hosting unique and fun dog activities will help with catching their eye and getting them interested in what you have to offer.

Try out some of these ideas to bring in new clientele at your dog kennel. Remember that their pets come first so offer the best event days that you can and show how much you care. 

If you enjoyed this article and would like to read about more ways to attract people to your business, check out more tips and advice in our blog section today.

7 Ways To Prepare Your Groomers For Small Business Saturday

small business saturday

When American Express started Small Business Saturday, or at least when they got involved, small business owners rejoiced.

Not only was it part of Amex’s plan to lower their rates for businesses, but it brought some love back to Main street. To this day, businesses all over the US look forward to Small Business Saturday.

It’s like Black Friday, but you don’t have to come up with any insane deals. Want some idea on what to do to celebrate SBS in your groomers? Read below.

Small Business Saturday Ideas:

1. Double Check Your Website

When you’re going into Small-Business Saturday, you want to make yourself as accessible to clients as possible. That means having the most up-to-date website available.

Take a look at your site. Are your headers still pushing promotions from two months ago? If so, get your content team to create some more, stat.

You can even create specific content for Small Business Saturday. American Express will help can with that, which we’ll discuss later.

Make sure your Google maps plugin is working and that your hours are correct. Will you be open extra hours for that weekend?

Let your clients know.

groomer

2. Write a Blog Post About Small Business Saturday

Why not let your clients know everything you’re doing to prepare for Small Business Saturday? Write a blog post and publish it on your social media channels.

Tell clients, in the blog post, what hours you’re open that day. Are you having any specials? What’s the sale or deal you’re offering?

You can even put a call to action at the end of the post asking them to share. People who engage with SBS are local-business minded, so they’re likely to encourage others to be as well.

3. Create a Text Reminder

As you prepare for small business Saturday, why not open up a clever sales funnel?

Ask clients who engage with your SBS pages to give you their phone number. Let them know you’ll text them to remind them about the upcoming events and what your business has planned.

Even if they don’t visit you on that Saturday, now you have their information for future marketing ventures.

If you don’t have or don’t want to pay for a texting service, you can always use email. There are even Facebook Bots that you can set up now for customers to opt-in to.

Don’t overload them though, no matter the platform you choose. You don’t want to annoy them before they have a chance to support your small business.

small business saturday

4. Use American Express’ Marketing

American Express started Small Business Saturday, at least the way it exists now. They used to charge different fees than other credit cards did for processing. That meant it was too expensive for small business owners to accept American Express cards.

Amex figured out that they were losing business this way and changed their tune. To broadcast their new small-business friendly vibe, they threw a bunch of money into SBS.

It took off and has been great for local economies ever since. Part of the money they threw went into creating marketing templates specifically for SBS.

They have things you can download and semi-customize like social posts, signs, email templates — the whole nine yards. If you’re participating, you should have gotten an email.

If not, log onto their site and download away.

Request a marketing package and make sure you put the graphics to good use. People do know about SBS, but they forget and their lives get busy.

Every time they see your SBS marketing copy, it’s one more reminder that flags that date in their brain.

5. Give Back On Small Business Saturday

Yes, we know, you don’t run specials to lose money. But if you can afford to donate even 5% of the profits from your SBS promotion, that’s even more reason for people to shop with you.

Is there a relevant charity in your area? Maybe as a groomer you could make an in-kind donation to the Human Society. Or maybe you’ll donate an extra pound of food for every SBS special you sell.

It doesn’t have to be particularly related to your business. You’re allowed to have personal favorite charities and to use your profits to donate them.

But if those organizations are heavily political or religious, maybe skip this tip.

small business saturday

6. Collaborate with Other Small Businesses

Is your location in a crowded area with other shops? In a strip mall? Display a map of other businesses that are participating.

You can even team up with one and offer 10% off their purchase at the other business once they buy from you — and vice versa.

If you want to go even further than that, bring another businesses products into your store. Is there a nearby bakery or coffee shop?

Put out a plate of samples of their famous cookies/scones/whatever with a sign about where they’re from.

While yes, SBS is about driving profits, it’s also about creating and nurturing community. When one part of a community succeeds, so do the others. How can you help someone else this SBS?

7. Create Exclusivity

There’s something selfish about the way humans love to be in on a secret. You know how some stores do early-shopping events for cardholders or VIP?

Why not reveal your winter line or your new menu on a special night? Anyone who presents a receipt from a purchase on Small Business Saturday can get in.

This not only rewards them and delivers value, but it gives them a sense of urgency about visiting you on that specific day.

Your Small Business Saturday

Are you looking forward to the upcoming business holiday? Do you have something special planned?

Or maybe you had no ideas and now you have a well-thought-out plan. One can hope our article was that helpful, right?

Whatever you end up doing for Small Business Saturday, remember it’s about community and be kind. That’s the best business practice there is.

If you want to update your software before the big day, click here to see our options.

Your Small Business Saturday Checklist Is Here!

Small Business Saturday is the perfect opportunity to place your business in the spotlight. Start preparing and promoting now to make the most of November 30th — the day dedicated to spreading awareness (and driving sales!) for small business.

With Small Business Saturday just weeks away, you’ll need our simple marketing checklist to make this your most successful Small Business Saturday yet!

Small Business Saturday

Customer Spotlight: National Women’s Small Business Month

women small business owners

October marks National Women’s Small Business month—a time to recognize the accomplishments of women small business owners and their contributions to the economy.

DaySmart Software, makers of 123Pet, has always been invested in the growth of women in business. In fact, 85% of our customers are female-owned businesses. With that, we wanted to highlight some of our most inspiring female customers.

Women Small Business Owners:

Rachel Ann’s Country Clips

Rachel Ann Stalcoskie is the owner of Rachel Ann’s Country Clips in Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania. Rachel knew she was born to work with animals—getting certified as a vet technician, working at zoos and kennels, and finally training to become a groomer. Her biggest advice to women who want to pursue careers in the grooming profession is to take a business course. Groomers are artistic and it’s important to understand business management, too.

Due to her background as a vet tech, Rachel Ann always documents important information on the animals that come into her shop. She uses 123Pet to keep track of any ailments and what treatments were applied on what date for every single client.


Calling All Paws

Calling All Paws is a mobile pet grooming business run by Abbey Trobe in Lake County, Illinois. Abbey wanted to provide a lower-stress environment for animals, where they can get the one-on-one attention they deserve. In her early days as a business owner, Abbey said it was hard to get more experienced entrepreneurs, especially men, to take her seriously. Her best advice for women who want to be groomers is to ask other women in business for insight—they want you to succeed. 

As a mobile groomer, Abbey loves the mobile functionality of 123Pet software. Instead of using paper calendars, her staff can focus on grooming and getting to the next client.

women small business owners

Bubble Puppy

Colleen Medere is the owner of Bubble Puppy, a self-serve pet wash and full-service grooming salon in Trenton, Michigan, complete with a pool for dogs. Before becoming a business owner, Colleen was a bookkeeper for more than 20 years. She started grooming as a single mom to save money. Her advice to aspiring groomers is, “If you’re not passionate, don’t bother. It’s not about the money, it’s about the dogs.”

Colleen uses 123Pet to make all the different elements of her business—from the daycare to the pool—look cohesive, especially when it comes to one dashboard for booking appointments.


Scrubbers Dog Wash

Nikki Budaj is the owner of Scrubbers Dog Wash, which has three locations in Royal Oak, West Bloomfield and Rochester Hills, Michigan. When Nikki took over, she felt that much of the market hadn’t been tapped into yet, and there was no advertising, no marketing or SEO on the company website. Everything was pen and paper or word of mouth, and she saw that there was still a lot that could be done. Now she uses 123Pet on every computer and phone and says it’s been a lifesaver coming from the shop’s original pen and paper model.

Nikki’s advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs? If you want to open a business, take the following steps: do your research, know the demographics in your area and look at what your competition is charging. Know exactly what you’re getting into before opening up a shop. You’re going to have a lot of questions, so have a lawyer and an accountant on call.

women small business owners

Women Small Business Owners Infographic

Learn more about women small business owners in the pet industry by checking out our infographic below. This infographic was created from a survey for small business owners conducted by DaySmart Software (makers of 123Pet) in March 2019, we then filtered the results for women-owned businesses only.

123Pet

How To Make a Dog First Aid Kit

Forty percent of people would save their pet’s life over that of a stranger. But, are you actually prepared to treat your pet if an emergency should occur? Just as you should have a first aid kit for you and your family, it’s vital to have a dog first aid kit ready to go for those times your canine friends need medical assistance. 

While it’s always best to seek professional veterinary treatment, if you’re away on vacation or facing a natural disaster, that might not be possible. Which is why you need to be ready to care for your dog with all the essential dog medical supplies you could possibly need. 

Read on to find out everything that first aid kits for dogs should include.

Dog First Aid Kit Essentials 

While you may need extra items depending on your dog’s breed and medical history, here are the essential supplies that should be in every dog emergency kit:

Paperwork and Phone Numbers

In an emergency, you’ll want all of your dog’s information to hand. Keep a printed copy of all their medical records, prescriptions, and vaccination records. If your dog needs urgent medical attention while you’re away from home, this will help an emergency vet provide better care. 

It’s also wise to keep a list of emergency phone numbers in your pet first aid kit. This way, if your phone is lost or out of battery, you’ll still have easy access to these numbers, as will anyone who dog sits for you. 

Dog First Aid Kit Manual

A book or manual on dog first aid, like the one by the Red Cross, is another essential resource for your pet emergency kit. No matter how much you think you know, it’s always a good idea to have professional advice to hand if you can’t get in touch with an emergency vet or helpline. 

dog first aid kit

Dog First Aid Kit Tools

First aid kits for dogs should include these must-have tools:

  • Disposable Gloves: Gloves keep your hands clean and also prevent the possibility of you infecting your dog’s wound with bacteria from your hands. 
  • Scissors: These are essential for cutting tape, gauze and other first-aid materials. Scissors are also useful for cutting an old shirt into strips to make a secure bandage for larger wounds. 
  • Tweezers: Use tweezers to remove small items such as thorns and splinters from your dog’s paws.
  • Tick Remover: While you can remove dog ticks with tweezers, a specialized tick remover is better for removing embedded ticks.  
  • Digital Thermometer: Use this to check your dog’s temperature in cases of suspected fever, low body temperature, or heat stroke. 
  • Eyedropper or Syringe: This is ideal for giving oral medications or to flush wounds.
  • Instant Cold Pack: Wrap this in a towel and use it to decrease swelling and inflammation after a sprain or strain, bruising, or a bee or wasp sting.

Make sure to keep these tools clean to avoid the possibility of spreading infection while trying to treat your dog. 

Bandages and Tape

Bandages, gauze, tape, and pads in various sizes are vital for controlling bleeding, cleaning wounds, and wrapping up cuts, burns, and other injuries. The specific items your pet first aid kit should include are:

  • Gauze
  • Non-stick bandage pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Cotton balls or swabs

Remember to always use dog medical supplies and not bandages and pads made for humans. 

Medications for Dog First Aid Kit

If your dog takes any prescription medications, include a backup supply in your pet emergency kit. This will come in handy if you’re traveling or can’t access your regular supply. 

The same goes for any vet-approved OTC medicines your dog sometimes takes. These might include flea and tick medications, sedatives for traveling, allergy tablets, and antacids for stomach issues.  

dog first aid kit

Hydrogen Peroxide

Use fresh 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting if your dog eats something toxic. Check with your vet to ensure you know how to administer this and that you’re familiar with the correct dosage. 

Saline Solution

Use this for cleaning or flushing a wound. Saline solution is also ideal for flushing your dog’s eyes in the event of grass seed, pollen, or another foreign object getting stuck in there. 

Artificial Tears 

Lubricating eye drops will restore moisture to your dog’s eyes and prevent irritation or discomfort after flushing their eyes with saline solution. 

Antibiotic Ointment

Even minor cuts, scrapes and scratches can lead to health problems if they become infected. An antibiotic spray or ointment will help relieve pain and prevent infection. Apply it to these kinds of wounds before placing bandages over them to create a barrier from bacteria and germs.  

Blood-Clotting Powder 

Styptic powder will stop bleeding from injuries such as wounds, bites, and torn toenails, and help you avoid the possibility of a blood-soaked car when you go to seek medical attention. And more importantly, this ensures that your dog doesn’t suffer dangerous blood loss in the event of more serious cut.  

Silicone Collapsible Water Bowl

Collapsible bowls are useful to have with you at all times but could prove vital for keeping your dog hydrated in an emergency situation. 

It’s also a good idea to keep a stash of food and dog treats in your dog emergency kit. Treats will make it easier for you to distract your dog while you see to an injury, or can serve as a reward for good behavior. 

Blanket

Wrapping up an injured or panicking dog in a soft blanket can help to calm them down. You should then be able to treat them without getting scratched or bitten. 

A blanket also serves as a soft surface to rest your dog on while you take a closer look if the ground is too hard, hot, or covered in rocks. 

dog first aid kit

How to Make a Dog First Aid Kit

With these essential items in your dog first aid kit, you’ll be prepared for almost any emergency.  But remember, it’s also vital to check your supplies every couple of months to make sure nothing has expired or needs replacing. 

For more information on caring for your dog, feel free to contact us with any questions or queries. 

How To Start a Dog Grooming Business

Are you pet-obsessed? Looking for a more fulfilling career? It’s time to finally open your own business! Here’s how to start a dog grooming business.

A dog grooming business is one of the most satisfying and long-lasting types of businesses anyone could choose to build. An animal-lover (like you) providing a service to other animal-lovers is a win-win.

And anyone who owns a dog knows that it’s a challenge to keep one clean! A dog grooming business is great because it’s impossible to run out of customers.

If you’re wondering how to start a dog grooming business, here are a few ideas and tips to consider.

How To Start a Dog Grooming Business

The real genesis of a new business is the concept. When you’re lying in bed at night wondering how to start a dog grooming business, you’ve got to concentrate first on nailing the concept. Decide if you want the business to be full-service or self-service. Or a little of each? What do you think would work best in your community? If you have a storefront, will you sell other pet-related items like food, treats, and collars?

You know the neighborhoods in your town, so only you can determine what sort of service would be most welcome and successful. Think about the car washing businesses in your area as an indicator. Do you live where people generally pay someone else to detail their car? Or do you live in a place where every Saturday morning people grab a bucket and wash their cars right in their driveways? Or do you see a lot of automated drive-through car washes?

Consider each in terms of how those same people would want to wash their dogs. You might even think about a mobile dog wash that offers house calls. Or maybe you want to buy an existing franchise!

The Name

When you first asked yourself how to start a dog grooming business, you may have simultaneously asked yourself how to name a dog grooming business. Or maybe you’re one of those people who thought of the name first! It happens.

You’ll want the name to be unique, yet easy to remember, right? Of course, you’ll also want a name that no one else is using (at least in your area) and you’ll want it to be web-ready, that is, something that you can easily create a website for that’s also not taken.

When you know for sure that no one else has claimed your name, register it. It’s a smart move to patent or trademark the name as well. Once you’ve firmed up a name and a URL, claim it on all the social media you plan on employing to communicate with customers and market your brand.

Software

I bet this is something you haven’t thought about at all. Yes, software for your dog grooming business. You know why? Because you have to keep track of money. You have to make and keep appointments both over the phone and online. You probably want to create a rewards program. You’ll have to pay your employees! So many things!

new elo with iccp

Training and Certification

Dog grooming businesses don’t have to follow the same rules that human hair salons and barbershops do. That is, you won’t need a license that shows you’re trained to groom a dog. That doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t benefit from taking courses, though. For example, Animal Behavior College has 6000 locations in the United States and teaches people all about handling pets. Official training will make you seem, well, more official. It legitimizes your work even if it’s not technically necessary.

Getting the Word Out

As we mentioned before, social media is the least expensive way to communicate directly with your customers or potential customers. For instance, Facebook ads are targeted at specific users; you can get really specific about whose attention you’re trying to grab.

You can also create videos that you tweet out or post on your website or Facebook page. By creating a video you can speak directly to the people you want to do business with.  You can show them exactly who you are and what you do without leaving your office or spending any money. And once you’ve built a good email list, you can use email as an inexpensive marketing tool.

If you’re lucky–or not so lucky–your customers will give you online reviews. Even if they’re not quite glowing you can still make them work for you. Another great way to get the word out is to visit local pet shops and veterinary clinics and introduce yourself. Hand our information about your services.

how to start a dog grooming business

The Nitty Gritty of How To Start a Dog Grooming Business

You have a lot of specific choices to consider when you’re trying to answer the question that’s been floating around your head for months: How to start a dog grooming business. Where will you set up shop? Just like every other type of business, when you ask yourself how to start a dog grooming business, you’ll also be asking where to start a dog grooming business.

Position your shop where dogs are. Near a dog park. Near a veterinary clinic. Near a pet store (though not a chain with a grooming service). Or, you could nestle it among shops near a cluster of neighborhoods. The type of equipment you purchase will depend, of course, on which kind of grooming service you’ve decided to start. That is, if you’re focusing on self-serve, you’ll need several large tubs with pull-down sprayers. You’ll need plastic aprons for your customers to use so their dogs won’t soak them. You’ll need soap for sensitive skin, and for regular skin, and so on.

You can also go with new or used equipment. Maybe start small and buy more as business picks up. All of this falls under the category of “nitty gritty” and you seem like a great list-maker.

How To Start a Dog Grooming Business

The bottom line is that asking how to start a dog grooming business is definitely the right question. We’ve done some brainstorming here, but you’re onto something fabulous and now it’s just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other.

Becoming a small business owner is not easy, regardless of how awesome your idea is. If you see a way to simplify matters, take it! Now it’s time for you to make some lists and some phone calls and clean up some dogs!

Already took the first steps to start your dog grooming business and want great software to keep everything on track? Try 123Pet Software absolutely free for 14 days!

Bring People into Your Groomers with a Halloween Dog Costume Contest

dog halloween event

What’s better than a cute pup? A cute pup who’s dressed up in an adorable Halloween costume! If you know how to make the most of this spooky season, Halloween is actually a great opportunity to grow your grooming salon business. It gives you a chance to host a fun, pet-friendly dog Halloween events like a dog costume contest.

This is something that many dog owners would love to attend. But if you want to make it really successful, you need to make sure everyone has an amazing time from the moment they walk through your doors.

Here are a few tips to help you host the ultimate grooming salon Halloween event.

Dog Halloween Events

1. Get the Word Out

You can’t decide to have a last-minute Halloween party and expect it to be a success. The best parties happen when they’ve been carefully planned.

You need to consider details like how long you want the party to last and how you’re going transform your grooming salon into the perfect party space. Think about how many of your employees you will need to help you out on the day-of, and consider having a few of them support the planning process, too.

Most importantly, start getting the word out as soon as possible.

The last thing you want is to plan a huge Halloween event only to have a few pets and their families show up. Marketing the event well ahead of time ensures this doesn’t happen. It gives dog owners a chance to work the event into their schedule and to plan their dog’s costume.

Some easy event marketing tactics include putting up flyers in the store and at local businesses, sending email invites to salon clients, and posting the event details on social media. You can also create a public event on Facebook which will boost the amount of exposure and foot traffic for your dog Halloween party.

grooming salon

2. Create a Schedule

Most parties are laid-back settings where people can go with the flow and have a good time. When you host a party for the general public as a business, though, it’s better to have a bit of structure.

Create a schedule for the event before the big day arrives.

Determine how much time you’d like to give people to show up and mingle until the dog contest begins. Consider whether you’d like to have dog-friendly Halloween games at the event to encourage people to talk and make friends before the contest.

Plan for them to hang around after the winners have been announced as well. You may want to have a DJ and a dance area at the party to keep the fun going for a little while.

Also, write a timeline for yourself and your staff to follow before the party begins. This is where you can detail any last-minute preparations you need to have ready like decorations and food.

grooming salon

3. Set Specific Rules for the Dog Costume Contest

Be sure everyone understands the rules of the dog costume contest before they arrive. Guests will appreciate it while preparing for the contest and they’ll be less likely to have questions or complaints during the event.

Ground rules may include things like whether you can enter multiple dogs together as one entry or if each of your dogs have to be individual contestants. Decide if you’d like to have dogs and their owners compete or if the contest judging will be solely focused on the pet costumes.

It’s a good idea to create classes for small, medium-sized, and large dogs. You can give out a “best of show” award for the best costume out of the entire event. But, having classes gives all the dogs (and their owners) a fair chance.

grooming salon

4. Allow Late Entries

Remember to share entry fees with guests if you plan to charge for the dog contest. However, it’s probably better to make the event free and set a late entry charge for owners who want to sign up their dogs at the last minute.

This has two main benefits.

The first is that it makes the contest available to everyone because money isn’t a barrier. Pre-event contest registration also gives you a good idea of how many people you can expect if you make registration open ahead time, which makes the planning process significantly easier.

Charging for late entries does have it’s advantages, too. It allows you to make a bit of money from the event which can help cover the costs of hosting. Or, this could be a good opportunity to raise funds for a charitable, animal-friendly cause!

dog halloween event

5. Consider Hosting Dog Halloween Events for a Cause

You don’t have to gear your grooming salon Halloween event toward fundraising or charitable giving. But, it wouldn’t hurt to do so!

This is a great opportunity to charge a small fee per contest entry or per family and generate a decent amount of money. The funds can go to a local animal shelter or a national pet-friendly organization, which are two initiatives that most dog lovers can get behind.

Or, you can make your event’s charitable purpose more personal and turn it into an adoption event! Why not team up with a local shelter or pet store and have them bring some of their pups in to meet the families? You never know which dog owners are interested in getting another pet or who will invite a friend without a pet to join the fun.

These suggestions are simple things you can do to make a big difference. Plus, as far as foot traffic goes, they make the event more appealing for people to attend!

dog halloween event

Dog Halloween Events

It’s one thing to know how to use a holiday as an opportunity for business growth, and another to ensure your business is succeeding 365 days out of the year. Thankfully, advanced pet software can make management a lot easier for you.

You can use this to track everything from customer payments and employee payroll to online booking and marketing. It’s a great way to get the word out about your dog costume contest, other special events, and more fun things going on at your grooming salon!

To find out more about such an amazing tool, click here.

10 Things Dog Kennels Wish You Knew Before Bringing in Your Dog

boarding a dog

We all know dogs are man’s best friend. And the statistics back up this age-old saying. Dogs are the most popular pets in America with 60.2 million families having at least one dog in their household.  Having a dog is a serious commitment. Especially when you want to go on vacation. Although the majority of dog owners in America choose to travel with a dog instead of boarding them, sometimes boarding a dog is the best option. 

If you’ve got a dog at home and you’re planning a vacation any time soon, you’ll have to make the decision whether you want to bring your furry companion, leave him or her with friends, or board them at a kennel. 

Before you board a dog at a kennel, get your furry friend prepared with these 10 things dog kennels wish you knew before bringing in your dog. 

10 Things Dog Kennels Wish You Knew Before Boarding a Dog

1. Make Reservations Early Before Boarding a Dog

Don’t just show up to a dog kennel on your way to the airport and assume they’ll have space. Considering how many households in America have dogs, it’s safe to assume dogs outnumber kennels. 

Especially during popular holiday times like summer and Christmas, make sure to call the kennel ahead of time to book your dog’s stay. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the kennels in your area, this will also give you time to research the facility and make sure it’s a good fit. 

2. Consider Their Exercise Needs

As anyone who’s ever had one knows, all dogs are different. Younger, bigger breeds need more exercise. While older, smaller dogs might be fine with one walk a day. 

If your dog is a high-energy breed who requires a lot of exercise in a day, consider finding a free-to-roam facility. 

This will give your dog a chance to run around in a gated area and get the exercise they need. 


3. Be Upfront About Behavioral Issues

Not all dogs play well with others. If your dog isn’t particularly social or suffers from an anxiety disorder, those are things you’ll want to disclose to kennel operators before you leave your dog with them. 

Some facilities are more equipped to deal with anti-social or high-anxiety dogs. Others prefer only to board dogs who don’t suffer from any behavioral issues. 

Be honest. Of course, you think the world of your dog. But if you know your pitbull tends to get a bit snappy with smaller dogs, be transparent about it. 

4. Share Vaccination Records

First of all, make sure your dog is vaccinated before leaving them at a kennel.

It’s a requirement that most facilities will have you sign off on before you go, and if you’re not honest about your dog being behind on its shots, you could be in for serious trouble. 

There are many airborne viruses and contagious infections affecting dogs. Imagine if you left your dog at a kennel and they contracted a disease from an unvaccinated dog? Exactly.

5. Dog Kennels Want to Know Your Dog’s Health Issues

In addition to vaccination records and behavioral issues, dog kennel personnel will want to know about any health issues your dog has.

Whether they have arthritis, an ear infection, or simply a benign bump on their back, save yourself and the kennel operators the stress of having to call you on your vacation to ask. 

Also, keep hygiene in mind. It’s always a good idea to take your dog into a pet groomer before leaving them at a kennel to make sure they’re nice and clean for their home away from home. 


6. Make Sure to Use Flea & Tick Preventatives

It’s good practice to use preventative medications against fleas and ticks regardless if you’re leaving your dog in a kennel or not. 

Fleas and ticks are common in dogs, especially when their favorite pastime is running around off-leash in the forest, or even at the dog park.

Before you leave your dog at a boarding kennel, make sure they’re treated thoroughly with anti-tick and anti-flea medication. No one will thank you if their dog contracts fleas from your dog. 

7. Bring Your Own Food

It’s not the kennel’s job to provide food for your dog. Their job is to keep your dog safe, happy and healthy

Unless otherwise stated, the kennel will not provide dog food. Dogs are on such varied diets, there’s no way that they can stock every single type of dog food to suit every breed, size, and age. 

Suddenly starting a dog on new food can cause problems to their health, behavior, and sleep pattern.

Feeding a dog the wrong food can cause diseases like colitis, which causes inflammation to the colon and rectum. 

8. Provide Any Necessary Medication

In addition to flea and tick medication and the standard vaccinations, your dog might need additional medication while you’re gone. 

If your furry friend is prone to ear infections, they might need daily ear drops. Or you might have them on specific vitamins to deal with arthritis or anxiety.

Make sure you communicate this to the kennel personnel and provide any and all medication your dog requires.


9. Leave Emergency Contact Info

This is an important aspect that many dog owners forget. Make sure to leave your contact information, or the contact information of your hotel if you’re not bringing your phone. 

If anything goes wrong or if the dog kennel staff have any questions or concerns about your dog, they must be able to contact you. 

If you’re on vacation and you’ve left your dog at home, make sure to stay on the grid so the kennel can contact you if need be. 

10. Do Your Research Before Boarding a Dog

You wouldn’t leave your kids with a random babysitter. So why would you leave your dog(s) with a random kennel? 

Before deciding on a kennel, make sure to do your research. Read past customer reviews and visit the facilities before making your decision. 

Boarding a Dog

Now that you know what dog kennels need from you, you can take off on your vacation without worrying about your most loyal companion. 

Feel free to visit our blog for more tips, resources, and advice on animal care.