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Manager's To Do

Create a Cease & Desist Letter Template, Plus More Smart Management Tasks for December and January

Get ready to cross these important to-do’s off your list with advice from your fellow indie pet business owners.




Dec. 3-9

GIFT BAGGING Display a sample of your branded shopping bag with holiday tissue and bow near gifty items and at the checkout counter. This lets shoppers know they will get a nice presentation — like this festive one from Bark On Mulford in Rockford, IL — with their gift purchase.

MERCHANDISING Tweak your holiday window displays throughout the month, moving things around and highlighting different products. To window shoppers, this sends the message that you have a wide range of merchandise and it’s moving quickly — so they had better not miss out!


Dec. 10-16

SALES Surely all team members follow your business on social media. But they may not see every single video or photo if you’re a prolific poster. Keep your accounts queued up on a tablet in the back. Or go old school and screenshot, print and hang any product promotions you do so that if a customer comes in and says, “I need that cute fuzzy squeaky toy I saw on your TikTok,” staff are ready to lead the way and close the sale.

Dec. 17-23

HEALTH Holiday excitement can make it difficult to fall asleep, despite how tired you might be come bedtime. Use one of the pet-friendly essential oil blends you stock to make a spray for your pillow. Scents such as lavender will help you fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply and wake up fresher.

Dec. 24-30

MANAGEMENT If you’re open Christmas Eve, bring in extra-special snacks and beverages for staff helping last-minute shoppers and/or those providing care to boarding guests. It’s a nice gesture, above and beyond any holiday pay you offer.


MERCHANDISING Did you see an adorable reindeer lawn ornament but didn’t want to spend? Or has your holiday tree reached the end of its lifetime? The next few weeks are an ideal time to shop for 2024 decorations.

Dec. 31-Jan. 6

MERCHANDISING Instead of overbuying holiday-themed toys and treats, you smartly added bows to non-seasonal merchandise, right? Time to take them off!

LEGAL Get your legal ducks in a row for 2024. If you don’t already have one, contact your attorney — or hire one — for a template “cease and desist” letter you can have ready to go if a disgruntled former employee or customer begins to unfairly bash you on social media.

Jan. 14-20

PEST CONTROL If you don’t already have a process for receiving and storing — whether in the back or on the floor — natural chews and bulk biscuits, put one in place. Members of the PETS+ Facebook Community shared their tips and tricks, including freezing all shipments upon arrival for 24 to 48 hours. Other excellent advice came from Samm Albright of Whisker & Bone in Saint George, UT, “Tried and true: Galvanized buckets with whole bay leaves in the bottom of each one (three to five dried leaves) … We used to have infestations all the time. Haven’t in the eight years since using this method. Get rid of any wood buckets — period.”


Jan. 21-27

SUPPLIES Save money and time with this helpful advice from Sheila Raebel of Dogma Dog Bakery in Arlington, VA: “We started ordering paper materials and other supplies in far larger quantities. We rearranged our backstock area to hold more supplies, and now we only order two times a year for most.”

Jan. 28-Feb. 3

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Start every customer interaction with a smile. This five-star “Would Poop Here Again” review sign at Yuppy Puppy in O’Fallon, MO, gets a laugh out of everyone who approaches the check-in/check-out desk.


Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won more than 20 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+ editors at



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