Archive for November, 2017

Now that you’ve decided to start your own dog washing business it’s time to take the necessary steps to ensure your success. That means starting things off right in as many areas as possible, including the time of year to launch your operation to the public. Whether you decide on a “hard launch” or a “soft launch” you’re entering an industry that has already become a multi-billion dollar business.

The Pet Grooming Industry Overall

Currently, the estimated number of dog owners in the United States has reached nearly 80 million, meaning that approximately 44 percent of all households in the U.S. have a dog. That’s a lot of potential clients for your new pet grooming company to reach. Whether you already have an inside to the industry as a veterinarian, kennel worker or professional dog walker — or you’re brand new to the pet industry overall — your first step will be business prep and education.

Making Business Preparations

As a professional pet pamperer, you need to have a certain amount of experience necessary to ensure your personal safety and the safety of your canine clientele. As a pet groomer, you may find yourself in stressful or even dangerous situations, so it’s important that you find a program to help prepare you and your new business for various challenges. Bottom line, make sure you learn proper grooming and pet handling, especially if you’re new.

If you’re an old hand at this then it wouldn’t hurt to take a refresher course. You may already know about shampooing and blow drying, but it wouldn’t hurt to refresh your knowledge of dog behavior and chemical safety. Also, you may want to make sure you know, or at least begin to know about breed identification, various dog skin disorders and proper management practices for your shop and tools.

Optimal Opening Time

While your business prep will play a factor in when you open for business, it’s not a deciding factor. You schedule your business launch for the optimal time or season and work to meet that deadline. Simplistically the start of a new year serves as a wonderful benchmark for a business calendar, but dogs are most active after the winter months are over. If you schedule your business launch for the spring or summer you can ensure six to eight months of steady business growth and operations.

Dogs run and play during the spring, and they get wet during the summer. When the kids are out of school dogs roll, fetch, seek and romp for as long as the sun remains in the sky. They get dirty and stinky and get their fur tangled up and matted with activity. Launching your dog grooming business in March or at the start of April will give you the chance to drum up business, test out your services and increase your brand’s recognition.

Establishing Your Services

You’ll want to know the services you’re able and prepared to offer. Remember, you’re in the animal handling business now and these services can make a lot of demands on you, your facility and your equipment. While a wide variety of services can help establish a large customer base, you want to ensure you can deliver 100 percent on every item on the menu. The various types of services you can offer in addition to washing and drying include tooth brushing, pedicures, ear cleaning and deodorizing.

The size of your business will help determine what you’re able to offer, at least in the beginning. Mobile dog groomers usually only carry large or specialized items and supplies, often times going to their clients and utilizing their products and utilities. Commercial groomers, on the other hand, can take on more than one customer at a time and mostly utilize industrial-sized machinery and utilities. More often than not, dogs are more comfortable in their familiar environment or “territory” which can be easier on the work.

Advertising & Marketing

After reviewing your working knowledge, learning new techniques and information, choosing a business size and deciding what your business will offer — it’s time to move on to marketing and operations. You’ll want to reach the maximum amount of customers without wasting too much time before getting to work. If you’re able, the best thing for your new business to have will be a handful of clients already in rotation. This way as you gather new customers you’ll have steady income coming in.

In Conclusion; Why Dog Grooming?

One of the best things about dogs as pets would be their natural appeal. You’ll never lack marketing material and with proper execution pet owners will willingly shop your services often. You’ll have everything you need to create a successful business for yourself, your employees and your four-legged clients.

 

Bio:

Emily is an avid animal lover and pet and wildlife conservation blogger. She has also written for Continental Kennel Club and is a contributor to PetsBlogs. To read more of her articles, check out her blog, Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter.

Excess food, cold temperatures outside, and central heating inside call all lead to problems with our health, and it’s no different for our canine friends either. That is why you need to know how to keep your pooch as a healthy as possible during the colder months. Luckily, below you will find some winter wonder tips to help you do just that, so read on to find out more.

 

No outside living

 

Keeping your dogs outside can be something of a controversial topic as dogster.com states, but in the winter it can be a real issue of contention. After all, dogs will feel the cold, even if they have thick coats and keeping them outside where the temperature can drop below zero really is not on.

 

That means it’s vital that you bring your pooches inside for the winter season. To do this, it can be useful to create a bedding area for them in a section of the house that is a little quieter. A place like the utility room can work well, as then they will be at relaxed and home even if they aren’t used to being around people all the time.

Image here

 

You will also need to provide some warm and conformable winter bedding to keep them at the right temperature, as well as freshwater too. If you don’t want them roaming the rest of the house all the time you can use a baby gate in the doorway so they can still see what everyone is doing and yet be limited to their special space.

 

Use vitamins and supplements to keep them healthy

 

Next, it’s a good idea to up your dog’s vitamins and supplements to keep them healthy during the colder weather, just like you do with the rest of the family. Luckily, you can go to sites like topdogvitamins.com now and get the lowdown on which types of supplements are best for you dog. There you can find advice about what more senior dogs need, as well as some info on the advantage of probiotics and fish oil supplements. The latter being something that can really help with itchy skin that is often the result of going from the warm indoors to the cold outdoors and back again, during the winter months.

 

Avoid Christmas tidbits

 

Anyone that has seen their dogs long, sad face when their owner is eating a delicious Christmas treat will know how hard it is to resists giving them just a bite. However, it can actually be in their interest to not give them a tidbit, even if they are desperately begging for it.

Even if they make this face, don’t feed them Christmas human treats. Picture source

 

This is because many items of human food are delicious to dogs but can cause them serious health problems. Unfortunately, these types of food seem to be around in abundance over the Christmas period, making it harder to keep them away from Fido.

 

To help you stand firm in this, it can help to know what awful reaction common Holiday foods can cause in your pet. Chocolate, for example, is toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting and diarrhea. While cheese, another Christmas favorite is known to contain high levels of lactose, something that many canines cannot stomach. Nuts also popular during the holidays can also be dangerous, with some dogs having allergies similar to humans, so are best avoided. Find out more about this at mom.me. Although there are some items such as cooked and deboned turkey with a little gravy that they can eat in small amounts.

 

It can also be helpful to remember to get your pup some specially made dog treats for the Christmas period. Then when they are after what you are snacking on you can give them one of those instead of caving in and feeding them something you know they shouldn’t have.

 

Extra precautions when walking

Taking extra precautions while walking your dog in the winter. Picture source

 

Even though it’s cold outside Fido still needs to be walked twice a day, and that means taking some extra precautions when you do take them outside. In particular, be careful about the weather when you take them out. Try and walk them when it’s sunny so the ice and frost is melted from the paths and it doesn’t hurt their pads. Although dog shoes can also help create a protective barrier for this issue.

 

Also, watch out for deep snow, although your dog will probably love it, it can be dangerous as it covers things over and you have no idea what hazards lay underneath. Be very careful of exposing your dog to long walks in very low temperatures as well, as they are just as susceptible to frostbite as us humans are. That means keep outings short and sweet if the thermometer reads low and educate yourself in the subtle sign of frostbite, just in case the worse does happen.

 

Increase meals

 

Something that can help your pup cope with the colder temperature in the winter is as petmd.com suggests to increase their food allowance. This is because dogs gain their energy to move about and stay warm from their food, and by giving them more you make it easier for them to keep their body at a constant temperature, no matter what the weather outside.

Picture link

 

Of course, it is a delicate balance between increasing what they have on a normal day and overfeeding. That means it is a good idea to check the packets of dog food for advice on portions or even ask your vet if you have a dog with a medical issue that could be affected by increasing their meals.

 

It’s also a good idea to offer your dog more meals through the day rather than just making their two normal feeding times bigger. This is because it can help them to digest their food better and ensure their energy levels stay constantly topped up. Something that will make it easier for them to keep warm no matter what time of day it is.

 

Doggy clothes

 

Lastly, whatever your feelings on doggy fashions, providing a jumper or jacket for your pooch, as barkpost.com suggests can make a massive difference in keeping them warm. Something especially relevant if they are a short-haired breed.

 

There are even dog goggles on the market now that you can buy too, that act as sunglasses. Something that can be very useful if you are taking them out in the snow to prevent the glare getting in their eyes.

 

Whether you already have a dog or you’re thinking of getting one, it’s important to think about how owning a dog affects both you and the animal. Having a dog in your family should mean there’s a mutually-beneficial relationship where you help each other. You take care of your dog and your dog, although he might not know it, helps to improve your quality of life too. You and your dog can be there for each other in a variety of ways, even though it mostly involves you putting in the effort and your dog just being, well, a dog. If you’re not convinced that you both get as much from your relationship as each other, here’s how you and your dog can enjoy each other’s company. Your Dog Gives You Something to Get Up For It’s not always easy to get up in the morning, even for people who are generally happy and motivated. Sometimes you just want to laze around in bed, or you don’t feel like facing the day. But having a dog to care for means you can’t waste your day lying around. Your dog needs feeding, walking, and playing with. That’s part of the reason dogs are sometimes recommended for people with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. They give people something to care for and care about outside of themselves. Not only is your dog a reason to get out of bed, but they’ll be sure to get you up if you’re late giving them breakfast.

Pic source: Pexels

  Your Dog Sees You As Pack Leader When you bring a dog into your family, you’re their pack leader. They look to you for their commands as the alpha – although they might see one family member as more authoritative than the others. It’s comforting for them to have companions, whether they’re all humans, other dogs, or maybe even other animals. They physically need you to survive too, relying on you for everything from food and exercise to staying clean. You might need your dog, but you know that they need you too.   You Keep Each Other Fit One of the great benefits of owning a dog is that they can help to keep you fit. But it’s also your job to help keep your dog fit and healthy. You can look at it as having a faithful workout partner who’s always there to encourage you to go to the gym. Whatever you choose to do with your dog, from gentle walks to mountain hikes, they encourage you to get outside. You can also do some fun activities that are a bit more active for your dog than you, like agility or flyball.   Affection Is Good For Both of You There’s nothing like a cuddle with your dog. Sometimes they seem to sense when you’re sad and come and give you affection when you need it most. It’s not just good for you, though. It’s also good for them to get affection from their human. Giving your dog affection is a way to reward them for good behavior, especially because they’re naturally very affectionate and love to receive attention from humans and each other. It’s important to give your dog affection at the right time, though. For example, if you fuss over them when they’re really excited, you could teach them that it’s ok to jump up at people when you don’t want them to.

Pic source: Pexels

  You Can Support Each Other Emotionally Sharing affection with your dog is great for lifting your mood. And for some people, it’s even useful to have their dog designated as an emotional support animal (ESA). An ESA isn’t the same as a service dog, which has different legal protections and needs to have specialized training. However, an ESA may have some protections in some situations, such as when you’re applying for housing. If you think it would be beneficial to have your dog designated as an ESA or for you to get an emotional support animal, you can read about how to do it here. You need to have a licensed mental health professional write you a letter that says you will benefit from having an emotional support animal. ESAs can help with a range of health conditions, from PTSD to anxiety and depression.   Some Dogs Help with Physical Conditions Too Dogs can also be trained to provide assistance for a range of physical conditions. These dogs are more likely to be service dogs, which legally are required to have special training. They should be trained to perform certain tasks that help their owners, who might have physical or mental health disabilities. The most recognizable type of service dog is probably seeing-eye dogs for blind and sight-impaired people. There are also hearing dogs, dogs that detect seizures or provide assistance to people with diabetes, mobility assistance dogs, and more. Service dogs don’t need to be certified or registered, but business owners and service providers are allowed to ask what tasks they’re trained to do to determine if they can provide reasonable accommodation for them.

Pic source: Pexels

  Dogs Are Protective Having a loyal companion who will protect you is one of the reasons that some people choose to get a dog. Dogs will protect you in a variety of ways, including standing between you and a perceived threat or barking. A protective dog isn’t necessarily aggressive, though. It could just mean they stand at your side and are there for you. Some people choose dog breeds based on which ones make the best guard dogs. However, you don’t have to pick a particularly large or protective dog to have one who will stand up for you. A dog’s protective instinct isn’t just good for you, either. It makes them feel useful and proud that they’re protecting you. Just be careful not to encourage bad behaviors.   You Can Be Social Together Do you feel like you need to get out of your shell a little? If you want to meet new people, having a dog is a great way to do it. Your dog can take you to new places, and you can find plenty of opportunities for your pooch to socialize too. You might go to your local dog park and talk to other owners while your dog meets some fellow four-legged friends. There are also some fun classes and activities you can do together, where you can meet other people are dogs. Some activities are more focused on dogs, while others are for people but within a dog-friendly atmosphere. For example, you could attend an agility class with your dog, or you could join a walking group and take your dog with you on walks. Not only will you make new friends, but your dog will improve his social skills too.   Take Your Dog to Work Lucky enough to be the boss or work in a dog-friendly environment? Taking your dog to work could be good for both of you. It means your dog doesn’t have to stay home or go to doggy daycare, and you can have your constant companion with you all day. Dogs can be great in a few different work environments but generally are best in offices, as long as they’re happy to sit under your desk for most of the day. You might also be able to take your dog to work if you work outdoors. And if you are able to take your dog to work with you, not only can they help you to relieve stress (and relieve your dog’s stress), but they can be there for your colleagues too. Your dog will probably love the extra attention and might have some other dogs to make friends with too.   Be Charitable with Your Dog If your dog provides great emotional support to you, they could do the same for others too. Your dog might be able to train as a therapy dog so you can visit people who can benefit from the comfort of a furry friend. Therapy dogs visit places like schools, hospitals and care homes to befriend the people there. Petting a dog is excellent therapy and can lift people’s moods. Dogs can even help people to recover from illness faster. If you want to volunteer with your dog, there are other things you can do too. Your dog can donate blood, you could go on charity runs or walks together, or you could foster other dogs for your dog to interact with and care for.   Adopt, Don’t Shop There are lots of terribly cute pedigree puppy litters out there. It’s easy to see what people are prepared to pay money for them. But choosing to adopt a dog instead is good for both you and the dog. You get all the benefits of owning a dog and the knowledge that you saved a dog in need. Without people to adopt them, a lot of dogs end up being put down. Adopting a dog often means you rescue each other.   Owning a dog isn’t just a one-sided relationship. They get just as much out of it as you do, and you can have so much fun together.