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VOL 8 • ED 2

MARCH / APRIL 2018

and daycare magazine Profile of Success

ADOGO

and daycare

EXPO WEST

program guide

5 IDEAS

TO CONSIDER WHEN

UPGRADING BOARDING

WWW.PETBOARDINGANDDAYCARE.COM

Inside:

PHOTO BY SHOR–LINE

PET HOTELS


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The Program is sponsored by Merck Animal Health and Clorox Healthcare in coordination with Barkleigh Productions, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), International Boarding and Pet Services Association (IBPSA), Pet Sitters International (PSI), and VetGirl. Copyright © 2018 Intervet Inc., d/b/a Merck Animal Health, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. US/NOV/1017/0059


STAFF PUBLISHER Barkleigh Productions, Inc.

and daycare magazine MAR C H / APR I L 20 1 8

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Rebecca Shipman

CONTENTS

ART DIRECTOR Laura Pennington SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jenn Barraclough JUNIOR DESIGNER Jenny Thomas WEB MASTER Luke Dumberth

22

PROFILE OF SUCCESS: ADOGO PET HOTELS FACILITY

Inside: and daycare

EXPO WEST

UPGRADING

30

Behavior

BOARDING

P

Animal Health

Managing a flexible boarding facility

that can expand and

Why You Should Kick Dogs Out of Your Daycare

lanning ahead can help you

runs can either have a slope or no slope.

maximize each of your run

The preferred situation is a slope be-

openings. These five ideas

cause it makes cleaning so much easier. • Runs manufactured to follow the

can help you avoid costly mistakes and

44 Understanding Flea Products needs presents 48 Influenza Vaccine: To Require challenges. Whether you are to to Require? expanding or Not

contract with customer

take advantage of opportunities. 1. Always Keep Drainage in Mind

Your largest ongoing expenditure will

be on staff. Most often, animal contact

slope of your floor typically slope down about ¼” per foot. Typically, these systems have a trench or hole drain. The panels seal to the floor to prevent cross-contamination.

will be their favorite part of the job and

Business 12 The Importance of a Strong Telephone Strategy 16 Handling Bad Reviews with a Winning Attitude

5IDEAS

TO CONSIDER WHEN

preview and program guide

20

6

PRESIDENT Todd Shelly

add to your footprint or

and/or drain system can still have run

drainage or fixing the problems that have

systems. They will need to be individu-

arisen will make everyone happier.

ally mopped out, which is time consum-

Most facilities use some form of spray

ing and not as effective as sanitizing.

building a new facility,

washing for cleaning. This is effective

These units are then sealed to the floor

there are ways to build

when there is a clear, predictable drainage

to prevent cross-contamination.

system. If you are adding to an existing

Industry News

in flexibility.

Raised Floor Kennel Runs: These

facility, it is ideal to work with the existing

are used when you want to keep the pet

drain pattern whenever possible.

off the concrete or when you want to

Kennel runs are built to sit either on

bring in your own drain system. There

your concrete floor or raised off the floor.

are two styles that keep the animal off

Each choice has a couple of basic options:

the concrete but both of these systems

52 New Products 52 Classifieds

Kennel Runs on Concrete: These

30

• A facility that has no sloped floor

cleaning the least favorite. Planning

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER Adam Lohr DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & CLIENT RELATIONS James Severs MARKETING COORDINATOR Alyx Robertson SOCIAL MEDIA / PR COORDINATOR Chelsey Hall CONTACT General: (717) 691-3388 info@barkleigh.com Editorial: rebecca@barkleigh.com (717) 691-3388 (ext. 225) Advertising: james@barkleigh.com (717) 691-3388 (ext. 224)

still need a place to drain:

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

Facility 38 Preparing Your Pet Care Center for an Emergency Evacuation: Are You Ready to Go?

4

VICE PRESIDENT Gwen Shelly

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

Copyright March 2018. Pet Boarding & Daycare is published bimonthly by Barkleigh Productions, Inc, 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. Postmaster: Send change of address to Pet Boarding & Daycare c/o Barkleigh Productions, Inc., 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. Editorial offices: 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. (717) 691–3388 FAX (717) 691–3381 Email: info@barkleigh.com


ANIMAL BEHAVIOR

WHY YOU SHOULD

K ICK DOGS OUT OF YOUR DAYCARE

By Fernando Camacho You need to hear

something and you might not like it.

You have to get rid

of some customers. Sounds harsh and

maybe a little crazy. I know. Why on

Earth would you

turn people away

who want to spend money with you? Nuts, right?

6

W

ell, it's actually necessary if you want your dog daycare to run smoothly and prosper. These could be super nice people, who you genuinely like and who happily pay you on a regular basis. They could even be friends of yours who have been bringing their dog to you for years. The problem here isn't the people (although I would also argue you need to get rid of anyone who is a pain in your business' you–know–what), it's their dogs. Their punk dogs to be exact. You know who they are; the problem dogs. The ones that cause you to get that bad feeling in your gut as soon as you see them walk in the door. The ones that stir up the pack, cause problems, get into trouble and stress out your staff. Yeah, those guys. Every daycare has

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

a few. They are the 5–10% that make your work day a bit of a hassle. You know who they are, and I think it's time you said goodbye to them. I've been consulting with daycares across the U.S. over the past year, and in just about all of my visits, I've had to recommend they let about three dogs go. Many of these dogs have been coming there for a long time and their humans are good customers. Doesn't matter, they gotta go. Why, you ask? Well, it's simple. Those few dogs are ruining your entire environment, causing unnecessary altercations and making good employees consider quitting their once joyful jobs. Those few troublesome dogs are poisoning your business in more ways than you probably realize.


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YOU CAN’T

When I'm on–site working with these problem pooches, business owners are expecting me to pass along some special dog trainer mojo that will enable their staff to stop the offending dog from all his wrong doing and make him a happy member of the pack. Wish as I may that I could do that, what always happens is me recommending the offending dogs not be allowed back. You can't let a few dogs muck up the great place you've created. And you will be amazed at how awesome life can be without their negative presence in the building. Just last month, I was at one daycare working with their staff to try to control the pack of twenty four large dogs that were there that day. As soon as I walked in, I saw it on their faces—both dogs and people—they

LET A FEW

DOGS muck up the great

place you’ve created. And you will be amazed at how awesome life can be without their negative presence in the building.

were stressed and tensions were high. I showed them how to do their best to manage not one, not two, but three problem pooches. All while also keeping a watchful eye on the rest of the pack, making sure they were behaving appropriately and having a good time. In about an hour it was obvious to me what must be done. They had to cut those three dogs loose. Once we removed those three from the pack, the energy immediately lightened. It was like every dog and person in the room took a deep, much needed sigh. The collective mood improved, dogs played happily and the staff didn't have to intercede much at all. It was how daycare is supposed to be. There were two shy dogs there, that when the “punks” were present, showed visible signs of anxiety as they cowered against the wall. Now,

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IF THE DOG IS CAUSING

TROUBLE however, with those punk dogs gone, they started to move around and come out of their shell a bit. With those problem dogs in the mix, daycare was making their anxiety worse—doing the opposite of what dog daycare is supposed to do. These problem dogs are not bad necessarily, they're just not right for a group environment. They might do fine one–on–one or in a home setting, however, the energy of a play group

you need to communicate that to the owner the day it happens. Tell them what’s going on each visit and how it may be a problem if it doesn’t improve.

brings out the worst in them. So it's not personal with these dogs, it's just something that you need to do for the good of your business. You see, when you're dealing with a group of dogs, it's never about what's best for one individual dog but what's good for the pack as a whole. Given the group setting, where your attention is divided greatly and your resources are limited, it's not the place to try to address behavioral

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issues—even if you want to. You can't treat the problems, so it becomes a question of can you (and do you want to) manage them long term. Kicking dogs out of daycare is not something you might do without first exploring all your options to try to make it work. Once that's exhausted, it's time to be honest and do what is best for the pack. This includes looking at the effect on your staff. I once watched one large hound dog trying to pull off the clothes of the staff—all day long! Sorry, he's gotta go. Or eventually your awesome staff members are going to have had enough of that treatment and quit. When it's time to let a dog go, you want to make sure you do it in the right way so your customer doesn't take offense and get too upset. The best way to have a client be understanding about their dog not being allowed back is to give them honest feedback from day one. If the dog is causing trouble, you need to communicate that to the owner the day it happens. Tell them what's going on each visit and how it may be a problem if it doesn't improve. They may not want to hear how their furry little baby is causing trouble, but they need to know the truth. If you never told them about the problems their dog has been causing for weeks or months, they will be blindsided the day they're not invited back. That will piss them off and make them go on a social media rampage at your expense. However, if you keep


them in the loop, explain to them why their dog's behavior is a problem and that there is a possibility that he might not be able to stay if it continues, they are more likely to be understanding. When the time comes to have that difficult conversation, start by saying how much you like their dog but that the group environment is just not right for them. Blame the circumstance, not the dog. If you've done a good job of communicating with them along the way and are nice (but firm) at their dismissal, they should accept it without any problems. Then you, your staff and all the dogs in the pack can relax and enjoy the play groups like they were meant to. The cool thing about getting rid of the bad seeds is that it now opens up room for the dogs that are a good fit for daycare. You will fill their spot before you know it and it will be with a dog that you enjoy and that enhances the experience for everyone. Now go assess your packs, be honest with yourself, get your staff 's opinion and do what you have to do. It's for the good of everyone involved and will make your daycare a much better place for everyone. n Fernando Camacho is a dog behavior consultant, author, speaker, educator and all-around dog guy. With The FernDog Trainer Academy (www. FernDogTraining.com), his online program to become a successful dog trainer, he helps people realize their dreams of working with dogs as a career. Fern also created an online dog business coaching program, The DogBiz Rocketship (www. dogbizrocketship.com), where he works with dog daycares, boarding facilities and grooming salons to take their businesses to new levels of success.

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

11


BUSINESS

THE IMPORTANCE OF A STRONG

By Laura Laaman

12

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE


In this digital age, many pet care professionals make the common error of underestimating the power of the telephone. Truth be told, most of your company’s revenue will come through the phone.

H

aving a refined phone call procedure will set you apart from your competitors and greatly increase your company’s power to convert inquiries into bookings. In the pet care industry, you’re dealing with the cherished furry family members of your clients. This can make for an emotionally-charged process that is best handled with personal, human care. Many times, the concerned pet parent wouldn’t dream of simply filling out an online reservation form. They’re looking for a new place to leave their fur baby in the care of strangers - it’s not unlike finding a human daycare for your child. Therefore, interacting with prospective new customers over the phone or in person gives you a much higher chance of securing reservations than even the most sophisticated website can. Each new client can bring in thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in revenue. Developing an effective phone strategy involves organization, consistency, and confidence. Each phone inquiry is your golden opportunity to earn a new client, and you only get one chance!

you the opportunity to highlight your company’s unique strengths and promote your superior services. Successful phone call handling can even double the average revenue per pet per night. You and your team can capitalize on these opportunities by following a clear and reliable strategy for fielding phone calls. It’s essential that your team handles these leads confidently and consistently, delivering concise, compelling, and competitively superior information so that prospective clients feel more comfortable booking with you than with your competitors. Don’t simply give out prices and vacancy information alone - make the most out of every phone call by promoting your wonderful services while providing a compassionate, human interaction. No matter the method you develop, it should be measurable. Most new phone systems allow you to record and listen to

prospective and existing client calls. This helps you ensure your employees are upselling important activities to increase the pet’s enjoyment of their visit and analyze the successful conversion of inquiries into reservations. This is an invaluable tool to track your progress and help your team become as effective as possible at handling phone leads. Before you record calls, check with your business attorney to verify what steps you need to take to ensure legal recordings in your state. Who Should Answer the Phones? Many pet care facilities allow all members of their staff to answer the phone. However, certain individuals are going to be more talented at handling phone calls than others. Not everyone has the same comfort levels and finesse to effectively convert phone calls into tours or bookings.

What to Consider in Developing a Phone Strategy The pet care industry is constantly growing, and the competition gets more and more fierce every year. Great business owners know they need to devote time & energy to ensure the human points of contact are as exceptional as the care provided to the pets. Good phone protocol differentiates you from your rivals and opens vital channels of communication a computer screen can’t tap into. Speaking to the pet parents gives

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

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PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

Successful owners keep track of this and determine who among their team is best at answering the phone. It’s vital to put your best foot forward in receiving client inquiries, and you should choose carefully in deciding who to appoint as the verbal representation of your business. Once you’ve identified these well–suited employees, proper training will hone their skills and make them as effective as possible. Develop a plan for new client phone calls and ensure your employees stick to it—consistency is key to keeping your telephone plan organized and measurable. Each of these individuals should present concise, compelling messages to the client in a way that’s confident. Once trained, these members of your team will become a crucial force in your client acquisition process. Taking Your New Plan Forward By implementing an organized and streamlined telephone strategy, you’re giving yourself the advantage of a human interface with your clientele. You can answer their questions, promote your wonderful services, and lend your company a compassionate and reliable personality. Clients handled over the phone are more likely to visit you for a facility tour—another important tool in your client acquisition arsenal. Just as importantly, having a solid strategy in place allows you to see for yourself the value of the phone call and examine your progress in turning these calls into new client relationships. We may be living in a digital era, but human interaction still goes a very long way. n Laura Laaman is president of Outstanding Pet Care. Outstanding Pet Care guarantees to substantially increase the revenues of its clients with its proven services. If you're interested in growing your revenues, schedule an individual consultation with Laura Laaman or one of our team members. Call Outstanding Pet Care at 1-888-735-5667 or go to www.OutstandingPetCare.com. 


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HANDLING WINNING 

  

ATTITUDE By Khris Berry

S

ally S. began working with pets at a young age. She honed her knowledge, saved her money, and found a mentor in the pet services business. After some time, Sally opened her small pet care facility, Sally’s Dizzy Dog. Her business ran great for a while with just a few novice mistakes; a missed tax filing here, a disgruntled customer there, but Sally learned and Sally’s Dizzy Dog prospered. As Sally’s business grew, so did her dependence on additional staff. She found that more and more her services were carried out by employees and she did not have control over every customer interaction. And then the day came that Sally got her first bad review on social media.

16

It went something like this: “I just came from Sally’s Dizzy Dog and oh my gosh, this place sucks. I dropped my dog off and returned 1 week later to a depressed, unhappy pet - in fact, he slept for 3 days. I called to let them know and they said he was happy and active. I know this was not true because he didn’t act like himself. I think he may have been traumatized. Don’t go here - these people are terrible.� –Barbara V. Sally read the review and immediately was flooded with emotions. She was furious, embarrassed, concerned,

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

and bewildered. How did this happen? She valued the connections she created with customers at Sally’s Dizzy Dog and had pride over the quality of care her staff provided for every canine guest. To make matters worse, Sally realized she didn’t have a personal relationship with the client who reviewed her business. Here’s where our story takes a turn. How Sally handles this very public, very deflating opinion could determine the ongoing success and define the reputation of her business. Some Sallies would respond immediately, defending the honor and quality of work at the shop. Some Sallies would google how to write a response to a bad on–line review. Some Sallies may ask friends and family to help draft a response


To handle adversity such as a bad review, it takes a calm, rational approach which highlights the values of your establishment. Authenticity can be visible to readers—even on the Internet.

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which would deflate the original opinion. Which Sally are you? To handle adversity such as a bad review, it takes a calm, rational approach which highlights the values of your establishment. Authenticity can be visible to readers—even on the internet. Think about what makes you and your business unique and special in the first place. Are you known for the quality of care you provide? Perhaps you are known for your personal touches at customer service or your staff ’s ability to remember personal details about every pet. Whatever your truth, this is the time to draw upon it and allow it to shine through in your response. A qualified business owner would look at the review and certainly determine if there was merit to the reviewer’s opinion. If so, then it’s okay to let them know. Sometimes an apology is all that is needed to appease a customer who felt slighted in some way. After reviewing the situation, you should be able to determine if the reviewer has a valid complaint. If it’s frivolous, they will know it, and hopefully you will too and can respond appropriately.


Here are some samples of different approaches to Sally’s bad review: “Dear Barbara, I have reviewed the circumstances of your visit and must apologize that we did not meet your expectations for Fluffins. We failed to clearly communicate with you about her visit to our facility. How can we prove ourselves to you? We need another chance to impress you. Let’s discuss how we can plan activities and place more emphasis on relieving her anxiety next time!”

“Dear Barbara, after reviewing the details contained in your review, it appears that Fluffins may have been allowed to party a little too hard in our care! Late nights, barks in the park, and a vibrant social scene may not be her cup of tea. We do have quiet areas for our easily stressed guests - let’s plan to communicate better next time and get it right!”

“Barbara, I reviewed your service yesterday and am regretful that you do not appear on our records. Perhaps you used another establishment and have mistakenly blemished our sterling reputation? No apology needed, but we are happy to help you in the future!”

“Mrs. V., Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to care for Fluffins. We take our services seriously and our clients are important to us. We are sorry that your experience was less than expected. We can assure you that Fluffins was well cared for and enjoyed her stay. In the future, let’s discuss your expectations more thoroughly so we can exceed them.” Each sample response allows Sally to have a public conversation with the unhappy customer. As with any differing opinion, it is always important to acknowledge how the other person feels and then state your viewpoint and offer a solution. After all, tomorrow is another day and an unhappy customer today is an opportunity to open a dialogue which can turn them into your biggest advocate. It’s all in the way you say it! n

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NEW

AND

and daycare

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA

This year’s expo features many brand new, progressive programs that are a must-see for all pet care professionals in the boarding and daycare industry. 20

EXPO WEST

W

ith a focus on daily practices, protocols and disease prevention, the 2018 Pet Boarding & Daycare Expo West has something for everyone—from employees new to the industry to veteran owners/managers. To kick off the expo, a powerful and inspiring keynote address will be given Monday night by two of the most prominent women in the pet care industry, Laura Laaman and Teija Heikkilä. Their presentation, “The State of the Pet Care Industry” is one

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

sure to motivate and get you thinking about where you and your business stand in today’s competitive industry. Following the Keynote Address will be a fun and relaxing meet & greet party, hosted by National Kennel Sales which will feature free drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Seminars will begin Tuesday morning and run through Thursday afternoon, with plenty of time on Wednesday and Thursday to attend the tradeshow. The tradeshow will feature dozens of vendors with products


APRIL 30 – MAY 3, 2018 LOS ANGELES MARRIOTT BURBANK AIRPORT

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA and services for all things boarding and daycare! Also, be sure to sign up for the Round Table Luncheons held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday which will give you a chance to swap stories and ideas with some of your industry peers. One of the new programs being featured is the four hour “Ask The Experts: Everything you Wanted to Know About Opening a Pet Resort” seminar, which includes a ninety minute panel discussion with the presenters. The focus of this program is on opening a new facility but would be well worth it for anyone to attend, as they will address maintenance and upgrades as well. This program will feature nearly ten industry experts sharing their knowledge who will be available to answer your questions—from the top kennel designers to successful multi-facility owners—these are the people that you want answering your facility–related questions! Another brand new program is the “Professional Pet Boarding Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Certification”. This certificate program is the first in a series of Professional Pet Boarding Certifications, which is collaboration of Barkleigh Productions (Pet Boarding & Daycare magazine) and The Outstanding Pet Care Learning Center. This particular program has the most up to date information on Canine Infectious Respiratory Diseases, including Canine

NEW FOR 2018 • Inspiring Keynote Address

• Relaxing Meet & Greet Party Cocktail Party with free drinks • New speakers, seminars, discussions and programs

C E R T I F I C A T I ON

• Debut of “Professional Pet Boarding Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Certification”

Cough and Canine Flu, and is designed emergencies, marketing, cleaning & sanitafor pet care facility owners, managers and tion, facility equipment and dog behavior. staff to educate them on the causes, preWith all of the new and innovative vention and treatment of these illnesses, seminars being offered at this year’s as well as how to respond to an outbreak. west coast expo, it will be well worth it Wednesday will feature the “Quiet for anyone in the boarding or daycare Dog Daycare Workshop”, which is a three industry to attend. You’re guaranteed part, four hour program designed to help to walk away with new ideas, infordog professionals help & retain more mation and processes to implement at dogs—and make more money! Learn your own facility to create a safer, more ‘how to speak dog’ in order to get your profitable business. playgroups under control for a more To register for the enjoyable, controlled environment. expo and for additional Other topics covered in the semiinformation, go to nars throughout the expo include staff hiring and training, systems, processes www.PetBoardingExpoWest.com & protocols, daycare activities, medical

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

21


PROFILE OF SUCCESS

A TAIL–WAGGIN

By Kathy Hosler Photos provided by ADOGO Pet Hotels

22

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE


SUCCESS Success can be measured in many ways. For more than twenty years, John Sturgess worked in Operations and Development for several of the world’s top hotels, including Carlson Hotels Worldwide, Hyatt Place, and Doubletree. By all accounts, he had a highly successful career in the hotel industry but

something was missing.

H

is job took him all over

area with care for upwards of 400

Canada, South America,

dogs per day."

and the United States.

Success like ADOGO Pet Hotel's

When John and his wife, Stacey, went

doesn't happen by accident. Demand

to these places, they would have to

for the services they provide is ever

put their two Golden Retrievers in a

increasing and plans are in the works to

kennel. That's when John's idea for

open even more locations in the future.

opening a pet hotel began to form.

John and Stacey share some of the

"I did a lot of research," said John,

strategies that they find are critically

the Founder and CEO of ADOGO

important to anyone who wants to

Pet Hotels. "I felt that someone with

succeed in the pet hospitality industry.

my background in the hospitality

"You can't be an expert in every

industry and my love of dogs could

area," John says. "Take your strengths

do really well and be successful with

and capitalize on them. Then, seek

a pet hotel.�

help from other professionals who

"Eight years ago we opened the

have expertise in the areas that you

first ADOGO Pet Hotel. Today

need. Just as with human hotels,

we have four locations in the

location is crucial. The location

Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

you choose needs to be in a safe,

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

23


In every facility the reception area and desk in the front lobby are the same and the

ADOGO LOGO

is on the wall behind it.

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PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

accessible area that is central to the community. Being near an interstate is a plus. The majority of your clients are within five to ten miles of your facility." "You have to get involved in the community, not just in pet related activities, but in marketing and advertising," Stacey says. "For example, sponsoring local dance teams or high school sports teams and having your business name on their jerseys or on the scoreboard keeps your name and logo in the public eye." When people enter the lobby of one of the ADOGO facilities, they get the feeling of walking into an upscale boutique hotel. Not all of the locations look the same on the outside, but there are certain 'touch points' that they all have. In every facility the reception area and desk in the front lobby are the same and the ADOGO logo is on the wall behind it. The main services they offer are boarding, daycare, and grooming. Overnight guests at ADOGO stay in custom designed suites. The Mason


Daycare at ADOGO consists of both

INDOOR AND OUTDOOR areas with lots of play equipment and activities.

Company has designed and installed all the rooms and suites at each location. Every room has its own feeding system and pet locker, complete with the dog's picture and a document holder. And every dog that boards also gets to attend daycare. Daycare at ADOGO consists of both indoor and outdoor areas with lots of play equipment and activities. The outdoor areas have water fountains for the dogs to romp in, lots of shade, and comfy K–9 grass. The dogs are separated into playgroups according to their size and temperament and are closely supervised by dog care specialists at all times. Webcams in many of the daycare play areas allow owners to view their pets and see all the fun they are having. "Successful business owners learn from others. You have to make your clients feel important, and you don't have to be hi–tech to do that," share John and Stacey. "For example, we took our daughter, Ellie, to Disneyland. Upon

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CARING STAFF IS CRUCIAL. —Stacey Sturgess Co-Owner ADOGO Pet Hotels

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PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

our arrival she was given two buttons to wear. One that said 'It's My 1st Time' and another that said 'It's My Birthday'. Everywhere she went, staff members (and other guests) wished her a Happy Birthday or a great 1st visit. To this day, we all remember how special it made her feel." At ADOGO Pet Hotels, they do many things that make pets and their owners feel 'special'. They have a ‘dog of the month’ photo displayed on the walls of their facilities and they are always posting pictures on their social media pages of their clients playing and having fun. Each location has its own Facebook page with lots of followers. "People are the heart of our business," John says. "Our people are what make us successful." "We have over 85 employees now," adds Stacey. "When it comes to customer service, a good and caring staff is crucial."


by


The Sturgess's feel that one of the problems in customer service (in any type of business) is a lack of training. That's why every employee receives basic training before they start working for ADOGO, and also continuing education year–round. There are three main objectives for every staff member: 1. Safety. Above everything else, safety is paramount for pets and for people. 2. Attitude. Every staff member must be willing to work hard, get along with other staff members and the pets, and be willing to give their all. 3. Respect. Whether they are there for grooming, daycare, or boarding,

Above everything else

every staff member is expected to

SAFE T Y IS PARAMOUNT

the guests.

for pets and for people.

provide exceptional care and service to "ADOGO has won lots of awards," John says. "But, we are always working to improve ourselves and the things that we do. We have an incredible centralized cleaning system in each of our facilities,

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interactive webcams in the dogs’ suites," says Stacey. "They will enable the owners to not only see their dogs, but also be able to talk to them and dispense a treat to them!" In addition to the ADOGO pet hotels, John also owns RetrieveOne Advisors (retrieveoneadvisors.com), a pet consulting and management company. With his twenty–five plus years of experience in the hospitality industry (both pet and human), he is helping others develop, operate, and manage

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their pet–related businesses. "Whether you want your facility to be like the Ritz Carlton for Pets, or if you are more like a Motel 6, be proud


of who you are," John says. "You have to be consistent in everything you do to be successful. Most people don't like change. When they find a place

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FACILITY

5

IDEAS

TO CONSIDER WHEN

UPGRADING

BOARDING By John Walczuk

Managing a flexible boarding facility that can expand and contract with customer needs presents challenges. Whether

P

Photos by Shor-Line

lanning ahead can help you

runs can either have a slope or no slope.

maximize each of your run

The preferred situation is a slope be-

openings. These five ideas

cause it makes cleaning so much easier.

can help you avoid costly mistakes and take advantage of opportunities. 1. Always Keep Drainage in Mind Your largest ongoing expenditure will be on staff. Most often, animal contact will be their favorite part of the job and

slope of your floor typically slope down about ¼” per foot. Typically, these systems have a trench or hole drain. The panels seal to the floor to prevent cross-contamination. • A facility that has no sloped floor

you are expanding to

cleaning the least favorite. Planning

and/or drain system can still have run

drainage or fixing the problems that have

systems. They will need to be individu-

add to your footprint or

arisen will make everyone happier.

ally mopped out, which is time consum-

Most facilities use some form of spray

ing and not as effective as sanitizing.

building a new facility,

washing for cleaning. This is effective

These units are then sealed to the floor

there are ways to build

when there is a clear, predictable drainage

to prevent cross-contamination.

system. If you are adding to an existing

in flexibility.

Raised Floor Kennel Runs: These

facility, it is ideal to work with the existing

are used when you want to keep the pet

drain pattern whenever possible.

off the concrete or when you want to

Kennel runs are built to sit either on

bring in your own drain system. There

your concrete floor or raised off the floor.

are two styles that keep the animal off

Each choice has a couple of basic options:

the concrete but both of these systems

Kennel Runs on Concrete: These

30

• Runs manufactured to follow the

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

still need a place to drain:


Always Keep Drainage in Mind

RAISED FLOOR KENNEL These are used when you want to keep the pet off the concrete or when you want to bring in your own drain system.

• The elevated floor system has a rail at the bottom where the PVC Coated Floors sit. Liquid waste falls below the unit and a sprayer directs the waste to a trench drain and can spray off the floor. This design elevates the floor above the trench drain so the pet does not come in contact with flowing waste. • The raised floor system incorporates the drain choice into the raised floor. They are pre–sloped ¼” per foot and can attach to your sewer system via stub out. You then seal the side panels to the floor to prevent cross-contamination. This system is best for existing facilities where you do not want to modify the building. It also is a good choice if you are anticipating relocating your facility or

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2. Balance Cost Savings at the New Build Vs. Ongoing Staff Costs Whenever possible, let the equipment do the work. Let the staff give attention and affection to the animals because most customers are essentially paying for their pets to be happy and healthy in your care. For example, feeding systems generally need to be ordered with the

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initial run component order. A swivel feeder makes it easier, safer and less stressful for staff and boarders. This lowers pet stress and gives staff time for other duties. Pet sleeping areas aren’t a one-

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size–fits–all. Not all boarders can handle a cot without turning it into a chew toy. Investing in some runs with durable raised resting benches

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

owner at checkout. Balancing these built-in conveniences and quality equipment vs. more disposable options will give you your true yearly operating costs. 3. Plan Your Space For Multiple Uses

Flexibility gives you and your customers options. Items such as transfer doors on kennel runs allow you to use a space for multiple uses. When it is open it can be a large suite, housing for a bonded pair or an exercise area for a pet who can’t be with the group. Few people regret investing in large transfer doors. Double Decker kennels give similar flexibility. A family of small dogs utilize three kennels in a row if transfer doors are properly positioned. For a “high end” boarder, one can have a “luxury suite”, which will command the highest


Plan Your Space for Multiple Uses

DOOR OPEN

TRANSFER DOOR

When it is open it can be a large suite,

housing for a bonded pair or an exercise

area for a pet who can’t be with the group.

occupancy rate, while other pet parents might opt for a cost–saving single with playtime outside.

more than you saved. Many kennel manufacturers provide good installation information. Make

sure you read this so you understand at least the basics of what needs to be done. If something is confusing, call

A folding kennel can provide extra boarding space at night while folding away during the day. It is great for overflow or open it up for easy “de–stress time” for dogs that get a little too excited during playtime. It all comes down to openings. You can always close some off if you have transfer doors, but you can’t instantly create more. 4. Invest in Installation The best kennel systems in the world still need good installation. Whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a crew, make sure your facility is installed as it was designed. Interview your installers and ask for references from similar jobs. Do not be afraid to reject the low bidder. If they damage your new runs, it will cost PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

35


Look for Low Stress Options

PRIVACY PANELS Look for runs and

housing designed to limit the number of

pets that are looking

University research suggests that allowing pets to display their natural behavior helps limit stress.

before installation day and ask for clarifications. Delays happen when the contractor waits until the install day to ask for help. Kennels are built to fit into a planned space. There is some tolerance built in because a smaller kennel can fit into a space but one that is too large won’t. The contractor should know how to make the runs fit into the design.

directly into each other’s housing.

5. Look for Low Stress Options So much publicity has been given to lowering pet stress. University research suggests that allowing pets to display their natural behavior helps limit stress. So, providing pets a place to rest in comfort, a place to hide and a place to safely eliminate helps reduce stress. Items like the privacy panel for runs let pets relax behind it. Elevated pet beds or benches get them off

the floor and make them feel more like they can spring into action if needed. The study also talked about the importance of animals having a separate area for defecation. Most pets are potty trained, so not being able to eliminate outside of their “den” is stressful. An area with a transfer door is especially helpful to senior pets who might not make it to the morning potty break. Look for runs and housing designed to limit the number of pets that are looking directly into each other’s housing. Your initial installation should work hard for you. The more flexibility you build in, the more staff can focus on caring for the pets. So, make sure your cost analysis considers how your staff will use the equipment. Remember, a stress-free pet is a healthier pet. n John Walczuk is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Shor-Line. Shor-Line is one of several equipment companies that offers FREE consultations. All of their representatives have more than 20 years of experience with animal holding facilities, so they likely have seen whatever challenge you are facing. Sometimes some new ideas are just the cost-saving solution you need. www.shor-line.com

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PET BOARDING & DAYCARE


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By Dave Zellmer

PET CARE CENTER FOR AN

I

n the past year we have seen

parts of the US and Puerto Rico. Fire,

and Recovery for Your Pet Business

many natural disasters that have

flood or even a power outage could

brings to light a harsh reality, “A large

devastated parts of the world.

create the need to evacuate your pet

disaster, particularly one that displac-

care center. Are you ready to go?

es you from your facility, could close

California experienced its largest wildfire in their state history and hurricanes brought devastation to

38

Sonya Wilson, author of Hairy Situations: Crisis Planning, Response

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

your doors permanently. As with any emergency, being prepared will help


keep you, your team, your business and the pets in your care safe during an evacuation.” The biggest challenge is going to be getting all the pets in your care to a safe location. Ideally, during most evacuations, you will have owners (or emergency contacts) picking up pets in advance. However, even with the best preparation, it is likely you will personally have to evacuate a number of animals. Evacuating a facility is very expensive, even if you just have a handful of pets. In your customer agreement, you should outline a charge for evacuation in the event a pet cannot be picked up. When determining this charge, remember you will likely need to pay for travel, hotels, staffing, food, etc. An evacuation charge should be a minimum of several hundred dollars. Some important considerations: • Have a supply of crates on hand to utilize for evacuations. • Collars, harnesses and leashes should be well organized, easy to grab and put on pets. • Having vet records and pictures on hand for all dogs in your care would be a great additional tool and resource to have in the event of an evacuation. • Step by step procedures for quick and easy printing of records should be documented and kept with your disaster preparedness kit. Consider how you would transport animals. Do you have access to a van, enclosed trailer or RV? Rentals will be hard to find during an emergency crisis that affects an entire community. Ask friends, family and neighbors if you could borrow an appropriate vehicle in case of emergency.

Do you have a place to go? It is beneficial to make friends with others in the industry. Contact a few pet care centers 1—2 hours from yours and collaborate on a plan for working together when emergency situations arise. Having

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

a relationship with a pet care center in your local area is also a smart idea. Sometimes you may have an emergency affecting just your facility so having a close contact will assist in moving dogs quickly and keep them local.

39


KIT ITEMS

CRITICAL 3-7 day supply of food and water

Feeding/ Medication instructions Litter, scoops & poop bags Collars with IDs tags & leashes

Dish soap & disenfectant

Feeding & water dishes

Plastic trash bags

Litter trays

Treats Pet photos & medical records

Bedding

Pet first-aid kit Crates & sturdy carriers

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One of the critical steps of preparation is ensuring you have everything needed for an organized, quick departure. Utilizing checklists will assist in gathering necessary supplies and will undoubtedly prove useful as you pack up during a stressful time. Create an emergency kit. Make sure that everyone on staff knows where it is, and that it is clearly labeled and easy to carry. Critical Items that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA.org) recommends for pet evacuations include: • Pet first-aid kit and guide book • 3-7 day supply of canned (poptop) or dry food and water • Pet feeding dishes and water bowls • Feeding/medication instructions • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect) • Litter, scoops and poop bags • Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and leash for each pet • Plastic trash bags • Treats • Bedding • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant • Photocopies and/or USB of medical records • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet • Recent photos of the pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters). Finally, don’t forget about the typical necessities for human evacuation. Items to include: Batteries, flashlight, human first aid kit, cell phone and chargers, duct tape, multi– tool, baby wipes, extra clothing and footwear, extra cash, whistle, water, non-perishable food, 3-day supply of water, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information. Also, an updated staff contact list and other critical phone numbers should always be a part of your “Evac–Pack.” Your emergency evacuation plan should also include several other


factors including, but not limited to: a communication plan with your employees and customers, instructions on how to secure your building prior to departure and safe procedures for return. Feeling overwhelmed yet? Wilson

ADDITIONAL

Association of Pet Dog Trainers

RESOURCES

www.APDT.com

recommends taking an “all hazards approach” when creating your emergency plan. Begin with general information that will apply to many emergencies such as creating a list of important contacts. In addition, delegate appropriate sections of the plan to

Federal Emergency Management Agency

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Fema.org

www.ASPCA.org

employees, which will encourage them to take an interest in the planning process. In the event of an emergency, having an emergency kit and plan in place could mean the difference between life and death for the pets in your care. “Anything can happen in today’s world,” Wilson says. “We must live up to the trust that has been placed in us.” n

Dave Zellmer founded and operated Paws

sustainable businesses with teams that

in Motion, a Dog Daycare and Boarding

truly know dogs. He also volunteers for

Center in Virginia for eight years, and

the Professional Animal Care Certification

is now a Coach for The Dog Gurus. The

Council (PACCC), a non-profit

team at The Dog Gurus is dedicated to

organization created to establish industry

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ANIMAL HEALTH

PRODUCTS By Barb Hoover We often hear clients complain that their dog still has fleas even though they treat monthly with a topical or oral product. It is assumed the products are not working. In reality, they likely are working, just as promised, but many people do not understand just how they work and their limitations.

T

opical and oral products do not stop a dog from getting fleas. The fleas have to come in contact with the animal or the animal dander to suffer the effects from the pesticides. The products do not give an instant kill. It can take twelve hours to kill the fleas. In that twelve hours, they are able to bite, causing an allergic reaction and reproduce. The Advantage Multi insert explains: “Advantage Multi for Dogs should be 44

administered at one-month intervals. If the dog is already infested with fleas when the first dose of Advantage Multi for Dogs is administered, adult fleas on the dog will be killed. However, re–infestation from the emergence of pre–existing pupae in the environment may continue to occur for six weeks or longer after treatment is initiated.” That is very important information. One thing it does not approach is that the above is a controlled scenario. If PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

the environment is getting re–infested during that six weeks from other animals, like stray cats or dogs, the flea population is continually growing. Additional fleas are being dropped in the environment and reproducing. When those jump onto the pet, they also need up to twelve hours of contact to be killed by the products. With only topical and oral products being used, it is a never ending cycle of fleas for the pets.


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If an infestation is present and the dog is continually picking up fleas, it is important to find the source. They come from somewhere. They do not just magically appear on the dog.

The topical and oral flea products are meant to prevent infestations. If the environment is clear of flea infestation, the products will usually kill any fleas a pet might pick up on a walk or from the occasional stray that wanders onto the property. The kill is usually fast enough to prevent a huge population growth and infestation. Unfortunately, many owners only use the products after they see fleas on the pet. At that time, the environment is usually infested or at least has a good number of flea eggs left around to hatch out. If an infestation is present and the dog is continually picking up fleas, it is important to find the source. They come from somewhere. They do not just magically appear on the dog.  They must be killed there, at their source, in order for the dog to remain flea free. In most cases, that requires spraying the yard

and the house. This is not a one-time thing. The sprays do not kill the fleas in every part of their life cycle. Some will kill the adults and the larvae. Some will kill the eggs. None will kill the egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. The treatment needs to be done every 10—14 days, for approximately six weeks to catch and kill the fleas at all stages. Once the environment is clear, and steps are taken to avoid re–infestation from roaming animals, the once a month products can usually do a great job keeping an infestation from occurring again. But the owner may still see the occasional flea on the pet. Remember, it can take up to twelve hours for them to die. For myself, if I see two or three fleas on a pet that is regularly treated, I consider the product doing its job.  If I see a dozen or more fleas on a pet that is regularly treated, the environment is in need of treatment. n

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INFLUENZA VACCINE TO REQUIRE OR NOT TO REQUIRE? By Dr. Lisa Aumiller Anyone that has ever had an outbreak shutters in fear at the thought of the next possible outbreak; angry clients, sick dogs, and cleaning…cleaning…. cleaning. This discussion is meant to give kennel owners the pros, cons, and health considerations when making the decision about requiring influenza vaccines in pet clients.

I

n the past decade, clients have become increasingly sensitive about what vaccines they want to give their pet. There has been a major shift in the veterinary industry towards wellness, individual lifestyle considerations for pets, and a ‘less is more’ approach is often seen by clients as superior. In general, the majority of the time, symptoms of upper respiratory infections in dogs are mild and require no treatment or a brief course of antibiotics and cough suppressants. In rare cases, especially in the immunocompromised, influenza can progress to pneumonia. Influenza vaccines currently are

48

either available as an H3 or H8, or the combo H3/H8. The dog vaccine, unlike the human vaccine, does not change and has not been reevaluated based on how the disease may mutate year after year. Finally, prominent immunologists like Jean Dodds, DVM point out that in cases of natural immunity (when a pet is exposed to an infection and mounts its own immune response), the pet often gets cross protection from those antibodies to prevent other infections. This response does not happen with vaccine exposure. Therefore, pets may build stronger immune systems by being allowed to have these infections

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE

that generally are not life threatening (just a nuisance.) Not requiring the vaccine can open kennels up to backlash if an outbreak occurs. Clients may have the perception that you failed to protect their pets. ALL kennels, whether you require the vaccine or not, should have excellent client communication skills and consider implementing all of the following: • Explain at initial introductions that in group situations pets may catch colds and have clients sign a waiver saying that this was discussed. • Have a thorough cleaning protocol. • Train and reevaluate cleaning by


staff frequently. • Have zones for air flow and an area for isolation. • Perform brief check in and exit exams on each pet, looking for signs of upper respiratory infections. • Provide an information sheet regarding any disease that has been reported in your kennel. Nothing is better than having a good preventative cleaning and check

in protocol and a proactive response to a disease occurring in the kennel. This shows your clients that you are not only communicating with them but have an action plan to prevent further sickness within the kennel. If three pets show signs of an upper respiratory infection, swab one of the pets for further information. Most vaccine companies now have guarantees where they will pay up to $5,000 if a

pet gets an upper respiratory infection that they are vaccinated for. Zoetis has the best guarantees currently for Influenza and Bordetella if the vaccines were administered. In conclusion, the current trend with pet owners towards a ‘less is more’ approach makes it hard for kennel owners who have to make ‘herd health’ decisions to protect their businesses. The influenza debate is one that will never be settled in the kennel/daycare community. My best recommendation is to speak with the veterinarians in your community about what they recommend for vaccination. I think vaccine decisions are best made between the veterinarian and the patient where they have time to discuss pros and cons of vaccinating or not. In either case, take measurements to protect your business by implementing the above suggestions with your team and communicate and educate your clients every opportunity you can. Good luck! n

ASK

THE VET

Do you have questions that you want the vet to answer? Send your questions to

AskTheVet@

HousePawsMobileVet.com Dr. Lisa Aumiller is a veterinarian that has been serving pets in NJ and PA for over 15 years. She is the founder and CEO of HousePaws Mobile Veterinary Service, the largest mobile veterinary service in North America.

50

PET BOARDING & DAYCARE


NEW PRODUCTS

each other, and speak to each other. By clicking an icon, parents can dispense a treat, provide a soothing aromatherapy, stream DOGTV and record and share videos of their pets’ shenanigans. PetChatz is available at petchatz.com and

CONNECT PETS TO THEIR OWNERS ANY TIME WITH PETCHATZ® PetChatz® is the original brand of the “Treat Cam” category and is pioneering new technology that enables pet parents to interact with their pets from anywhere, any-

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is added to the equipment with these

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Add these puppies to your facility

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perience! For more information visits

NEW FUNITURE BONE DESIGNS FROM STONE MOUNTAIN PET PRODUCTS Our new bone designs add a

time. The patented, award-winning

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ings don’t only look good, they also

and their pets see each other, hear

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CLASSIFIEDS Fulfill your dream of living in Alaska. Beautiful home on 7+ acres. Multiple business opportunity. 34 year successful pet boarding business. Profitable turnkey. Call 907-283-3218 or email kkcooper83@gmail.com

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Wisdom & Grace A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back–to–back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triplebraided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 Living Bible

52

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Pet Boarding and Daycare March April 2018  
Pet Boarding and Daycare March April 2018