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10 Uniform Styles for Your Staff

If your staff apparel needs a makeover, look to these standouts for inspiration.




EASILY IDENTIFIABLE. COMFY. Professional. Conversation starter. Functional.

The best business uniforms check all of these boxes — and then some. They also extend brand identity.

Barb Morris, co-owner of Treats on a Leash in Ames, IA, points to the aprons her employees wear as an example of that.

“They’re a great fit for the dog bakery aspect of our store,” she says. “The aprons set us apart from traditional pet stores and let customers know that we put a lot of time and thought into the edibles we carry.”

Owner Leel Michelle also had branding in mind when designing the stylish smocks her groomers don at Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe in San Diego, CA.

“Our uniforms convey the upscale and professional image with the fun and retro flair for which we are known,” she explains.

If your staff apparel needs a makeover, look to these standouts for inspiration.

Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe SAN DIEGO, CA

When owner Leel Michelle couldn’t find uniforms for groomers that combined fashion with functionality, she designed them herself and launched Retro Stylist Wear. The line now features a variety of smocks, pants and aprons in a range of silhouettes and sizes. All are tested and approved by Bow Wow staff before going on sale. “A great deal of thought, from the groomer perspective, has gone into our apparel design,” Michelle says. Smocks have three-quarter sleeves to protect elbows set on grooming tables. Pockets run vertical and have zippers to keep out paws and fur. The thicker, more durable and breathable fabric resists bleach and dye. Best of all, Michelle says, it deflects fur to help keep employees healthy. “Shaved fur can often act like a spear, lodge itself into the skin and get infected.” Bow Wow groomers (including Michelle, shown here) wear their choice of garments from the line.

Treats on a Leash AMES, IA

These employee aprons (shown here on Maggie Rompot) further extend the store’s brand by putting its logo — featuring Belle the Basset Hound — front and center. The late rescue dog inspired Barb and Michael Morris to open Treats on a Leash. They also rank high in functionality, Barb says, “when filling bulk baskets and the bakery case, and when greeting eager jumping pups!”

Blue Skies Pet Care NEWTON, KS

Owner Ashley Klein has her team wear these fun T-shirts when on duty, whether they’re walking dogs, pet sitting or representing at events. In addition to being a conversation starter — “People love the quote and engage the person wearing the shirt,” she says — they also serve as inexpensive and easy advertising.

Fur Baby Pet Boutique & Doggie Daycare MILFORD, DE

Each department at this pet business gets its own uniform, which varies by season. “We go to great lengths to make sure our facility reflects the high level of services we offer,” owner Sherry Shupe says. “Part of that experience is ensuring our team of pet professionals are always wearing clean, comfortable and easily identifiable uniforms.” Front desk staff (including Rebecca Nicholson, shown here) don these polos, in store colors with the Fur Baby logo, during the summer. They’re made of lightweight, moisture-wicking material. Shupe adds, “It’s also a bonus for our team members to not have to get their own clothes hairy or slobbery!”

Mutt Waggin’ MEDFIELD, MA

Owner Andrew Gaouette purposefully keeps his employee uniforms casual. The newest shirts extend the store brand by featuring its logo, his Boston Terrier, Loki. “Our customers seem to appreciate the laid-back look of the classic T-shirts, as opposed to the business-style polos,” he says. “I think that’s important in the pet industry as you don’t want to come off as pushing sales.”

Urban Pooch CHICAGO, IL

Staff at Urban Pooch Canine Life Center and Urban Pooch Training & Fitness Center (including Laura Bouxsein, shown here) get to celebrate Chinese Year of the Dog with their current uniform. No matter the theme, retail and purchasing manager Brittany West says, “We like to use bright colors to indicate who are team members are at a glance,” adding that the T-shirts also “promote the brand in a fun way that reinforces the joy of Urban Pooch.”


Daycare and retail staff wear these baseball-cut shirts featuring the store’s logo. Owner Angela Pantalone says, “I feel it’s important for workers to identify with the brand and more importantly for clients to know who is working here.” Hats and aprons help on that front, and also keep employees tidy. “I don’t tolerate a sloppy, messy or disheveled look, even though we are working with dogs.”

Simba’s Barkery DALLAS, TX

When this online dog bakery does pop-ups in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, team members wear #DogBar T-shirts. Co-owners Saurabh Rao and Nikita Hemani (shown here) also wear them when out and about. “The idea behind the T-shirts is to create a certain level of curiosity,” Rao says. “I’m sitting at a Starbucks, sporting the #DOGBAR T-shirt right now, sipping on coffee. In the hour that I have been here, I have handed out our business cards to a couple off people who are curious about what #DOGBAR is and what a Bark-tender does.” And what exactly do they do? “Our pop-up #DOGBAR creates a bar experience for dogs and their parents. We mix fresh treats for our dog clientele, such as Dog Beer Floats or Strawberry Pawtinis. Our customers demand a level of quality and customization, which we are able to deliver by #DOGBAR. We are available for private parties and public dog-friendly events.”

Dog Krazy Multiple locations in Virginia

Employees at the four Dog Krazy stores have a dozen or so T-shirts to choose from as their uniform. The Resting Bulldog Face option, inspired by owner Nancy Guinn’s beloved late pup Piglet, proves popular.

Bath & Biscuits Granville, OH

Staff members at this pet spa and market also have options. The No Big Woof suits groomers nicely, as it relays their attitude when it comes to wet dogs and the mess that comes with them.

Pamela Mitchell is the senior editor at PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Spot the senior Boston Terrier as her assistant.



PETS+ Live with Candace D'Agnolo

This North Carolina Pet Business Thrives by Creating Unforgettable Customer Experiences

Catch the replay of this PETS+ Live! webinar hosted by Candace D’Agnolo of Pet Boss Nation. This episode featured Wendy Megyese of Muttigans in Emerald Isle, NC. Learn about ways to combat the big boxes and online — the key is to give your customers an experience they can’t get anywhere else — and learn why the business was honored in the 2018 PETS+ America’s Coolest Stores contest.

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Haul Out the Holly — and Maybe Even Yoda — for Snappy, Happy Holiday Decor

For a snappy, happy ever after, get those decorations up now.




IT’S THE MOST wonderful time of the year. Customers are picking out gifts, and booking extra grooming appointments and boarding stays. Best of all, you get to deck the halls to further boost the holiday cheer and spending. These pet businesses shared how they do exactly that.

Southern Barker

On any given day, Southern Barker looks pulled from the pages of a decorating magazine. The holidays are no different. Special touches like the countdown calendar pickup truck and faux snowballs add festive charm to displays, those of holiday and non-holiday products alike.


How sweet is this giving tree? Customers are able to purchase an item off the tree for a specific forever foster or adoptable pet, with the lineup changing each year with the organization. White tinsel and snowflakes also decorate this store, with Christmas and Hanukkah items adding pops of color throughout.


The Dog Store

Forget the Grinch! The Dog Store favors another green creature, Yoda, in one of its holiday displays. Making an appearance in the front window are Santa Snoopy and seemingly every single holiday dog toy on the market. Passersby can’t help but stop to take it all in, and then head inside for more.

Wagging Tails

Pet-centric holiday paintings are a running theme in the lobbies of these boarding facilities. Santa holds a puppy, giving him a candy cane to lick. A kitten plays with ribbon on a wrapped gift. And a Westie looks out a snow-dusted window, with a Christmas tree in the background. All creating a merry mood for clients dropping off their pets.


Bark On Mulford

Festive items mix with year-round gifts to give both categories a boost during the holidays. Dog breed ornaments decorate Bark on Mulford’s Christmas tree, along with those representing other pets.

Paws on Main

This store took full advantage of last year’s town Christmas parade theme: ugly sweaters. It devoted the front window to holiday sweaters for pets, and threw a Snuggly Paws and Ugly Sweater Party. Not only did Paws on Main sell a slew of sweaters, it won the Best Dressed Animals Award at the parade!

Woof! Woof! Pet Boutique & Biscuit Bar

Treats remain a priority during the holidays at this store, with the famous biscuit bar and bakery cases getting a festive makeover. And look at the bone-shaped tree lights and garland with moose ears. Adorable.

Captivating Canines

This store takes part in its neighborhood’s annual storefront holiday decorating contest. White twinkle lights hang from the awning, helping to light the window displays that feature festive holiday decor. Good luck this year!

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6 Pet Hotels That Will Make You Kind of Wish You Were a Dog

This is high-end boarding for dogs!




AT FIRST GLANCE, you might think some of these accommodations are for people. But look closely — at the size of furniture at Chateau Poochie, the water bowl at Yuppy Puppy and the video-chat camera at Bark Life Market. This is high-end boarding for dogs! Also, the pups in other pics give it away.

Wagging Tails

Wagging Tails Pet Resort & Spaw has staffed cage-free boarding with toddler furniture as lounging and bedding options. Among the playful offerings are a pirate’s ship, racecar and train.
Krista Lofquist buys Little Tikes and Step2 beds new, but also finds them gently used on Facebook Marketplace.

NIGHTLY RATES: $50 (includes daycare)

Yuppy Puppy

Each of the Plaza Suites at Yuppy Puppy pet spa and resort features a tempered-glass door, garden-view window and outdoor fenced-in area for suite guests only, plus raised bed, couch and included amenities such as bacon-and-egg brekkies in bed.

Jessica Cooke expanded boarding options to include suites when moving to her current location. “I was quite nervous that I would end up upgrading dogs for free to utilize the space. But the suites are full every day, and I have clients booked in them into 2020. We are opening a second location, and the rooms will primarily be these.”



Barker’s Lane

Grooming clients can also board at this salon, in one of four stylishly appointed rooms worthy of an Instagram-famous pup.
Julianna Reese offers this advice for those inspired to use similar decor. “You have to know the dogs to determine what can be left in the room. We do put down pee pee pads at night, but the rugs and bedding are washable and bought at places like Ross, Home Goods, Tuesday Morning.”

NIGHTLY RATES: $45 and higher

Bark Life Market

The all-inclusive Penthouse at Bark Life Market’s newest resort measures 10 by 13 feet and includes sliding patio door, resort decor and music, a queen-size bed and flat screen with DogTV, as well as private web cameras and a Petchatz video chat and treat dispenser. Also included, egg and cheese omelet for breakfast, salmon or beef fillet for dinner, and tuck-in treat at bedtime.


Chateau Poochie

This doggie day care, spa and pet hotel has multiple levels of accommodations, including its most luxurious: The Tea Suite. Measuring 14 by 14 feet, it has seating and sleeping options throughout, a crystal chandelier, flat-screen TV and webcam, plus additional included amenities.

NIGHTLY RATES: $250, and pet parents can pay an additional fee to have a staff member spend the night in the suite.


Wag Central

At Wag Central, staffed slumber parties are one of the higher-end boarding options. Pre-screened day-care regulars can stay together in a room that has four custom-made bunkhouses. Angela Pantalone says they cost about $800 each, including beds.

“It’s a great upsell for pups who are anxious or first-time boarders. The human-interaction aspect is a big draw for owners who are concerned about their pup as they travel, too.” She adds, “We are able to multitask the use of this room for dog families who insist on keeping their pups together when we are not opening it to sleepovers. It’s a nice puppy nursery, too, for daycare. Overall, it’s been a hit!”

NIGHTLY RATES: $68 (includes daycare)

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Tout Your Own Brand with Custom Merchandise, Branded Freebies

Swag those tails!




WHO DOESN’T LOVE SWAG? Offer up a free button or ball or other small promotional item, and your customer will say, “Yes, please” and “Thank you.” Some even love your business so much they’ll pay to wear or use its branded products. Now that’s success — revenue and “free” advertising. These six businesses have achieved exactly that.

Fetch RI

Humans and dogs alike can show their love for this store — in a variety of T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and bandanas. Johnna Devereaux offers this advice, “People love buying our shirts and sweatshirts because they are super-comfortable. Work with your local embroidery shop and have them order samples so you can decide which materials feel the best, and carry only those!” As to pricing, she says, “Because we are getting free advertising when people wear our branded items, we only charge a 25 percent markup.”

T-SHIRT COST: $13, SWEATSHIRT COST: $35, HAT COST: $12, BANDANA COST: $4.50, DOG T-SHIRT COST: $8 | SOURCE: Local embroidery and screen-printing shop


Crossbones Dog Academy

New training clients get their very own clicker to use, not only during class but when out and about practicing new skills. When hung from a wrist coil, they serve as walking advertisement for the business. Katherine Ostiguy says, “Branded clickers are worth the investment if your store offers positive dog training services.” She also sells them for $3.29.

COST: $1.15 | SOURCE: The Doggone Good Clicker Company

Cats Exclusive Veterinary Center

In their welcome packet, new patients get a three-step can lid with the clinic logo on it, and they also are available for $1.39 at the on-site store. Manager Amanda Bass says, “Carrying can lids when you sell dog and cat food is a must! Merchandise them near the canned foods as well as by the checkout stand.”

COST: $.049 | SOURCE: Pawprint Promotions

Animal Connection

Branded merchandise at this store features its tag line, “Bark Local.” Patricia Boden sells T-shirts, toys and magnets, but also gives them away — along with “Bark Local” and “Purr Local” buttons — at certain events and to valued customers. She even rewards those who wear the gear: “If I see someone wearing a pin or shirt, or a car with a magnet, they get a prize on the spot!”

SHIRT COST: $14 SALES PRICE: $20 SOURCE: VistaPrint | TOY COST: $9.50 SALES PRICE: $16.99 SOURCE: Hugglehounds | MAGNET COST: $1.50 SALES PRICE: $3 BUTTON COST: $0.44 SALES PRICE: $0 SOURCE: Sticker Mule


Wishbone Pet Care

Tammi Bui worked with an Etsy artist to create a custom, hand-painted dog collar with brand colors and logo. She sells them for $22.99, but also gives them as gifts to her most loyal customers.


Yuppy Puppy

Jessica Cooke says, “I smack my logo on anything I can!” Some items she gives away, such as bandanas to new grooming clients, but uses others as incentives. Customers who book a 30-day play-camp package for $515 get a free towel they can use on Splash Days, and those who buy a filled treat jar for $6 can refill it for $3. “We also use these in our donation gift baskets, with a note telling them to keep the jar and come see us for a refill!”


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