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Here Are the Letters From Our Readers for April

The more product ideas the better!

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Love New Products

I love seeing new products through PETS+. It lets me get ideas on what to bring in — so the more product ideas the better! Same with promotional ideas. I love fun, trendy sales and events. I gather a lot of my best events and ideas through your articles! — Taylor Gonzalez, Three Tails Parlor and Pantry, Columbia, IL

Starting Point

I’m a responsible, ethical breeder. I’m also the starting point for introducing and recommending clients to certain products and product lines. It gives me a unique opportunity to start pet owners in the right direction with respect to nutrition, play, treats, toys, containment and accessories. I love new products and services and seek them out for my clients, who rely on me as a font of information regarding all things German Shepherd and dog in general. — Jacqueline Levy, Cross Keys K9, Williamstown, NJ

More Services

I’d love to see a little more featured on the pet service industry. This market is more saturated than ever, even before the Wag and Rover apps. I’d love comparisons of hobby vs. pro, interviews with successful pet care business owners, those who have branched out, etc. — Ashley Cook, Viva La Pet, Dover, NJ

Ready for Mentorship

In order to look forward, I first glance back to remind myself how far I have come. 2018 was a difficult year for our business, mostly due to the effects of Hurricane Florence, but it was also a year that I grew personally. I was ready for mentorship, and found what I needed in the pages of PETS+, not only as a magazine, but also through the introduction of Pet Boss Nation, the coaching group led by Candace D’Agnolo. — Wendy Megyese, Muttigans, Emerald Isle, NC

What Others Are Doing

We love the Best of the Best section (page 46 in this issue). It gives us insight on what others are doing. The Brain Squad is always something I stop to participate in because I like to see others’ responses and hope mine will help someone else! — Sal Salafia, Exotic Pet Birds Inc., Webster, NY

ED: Hear ye, all owners and top managers of brick-and-mortar pet businesses: Join Sal in participating in our monthly Brain Squad surveys by joining today at petsplusmag.com/brainsquad.

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Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 14 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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PETS+ Live with Candace D'Agnolo

Learn More About America's Coolest Store Winner, Bar K

Catch the replay of this PETS+ Live! Lunch & Learn webinar hosted by Candace D’Agnolo of Pet Boss Nation. This episode featured Candace on location at Bar K in Kansas City, MO. Find out how owners Leib Dodell and David Hensley implemented their idea for a dog park/restaurant/bar that owners enjoy as much as their pets do — and learn why the business took top honors in the 2019 PETS+ America’s Coolest Stores contest.

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Letters From Our Readers for July

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More Than Sales

As a veteran of indie pet retail, I am ecstatic over the number of pet parents advocating for their pets by reading, discussing and seeking out alternative remedies, raw food, herbs, etc. Our sales of raw and freeze-dried foods, supplements, CBD and herbs continue to climb. It’s not just the sales we love; it’s the feedback we are getting on the improved health and wellness of the pets. It doesn’t get much better! — Karen Conell, The Bark Market, Delavan, WI

A Fun Day

We have managed to put our daughter in daycare, previously a cost our budget couldn’t handle. By utilizing ideas from this magazine and its featured stores, and a business mentoring program for pet business owners, I can happily pay that $600-plus a month for my daughter to go make friends and have a fun day! — Sarah Cordes, Knotty Dog, Chelsea, AL

Great Relationships

We love the great relationships our staff members build with our customers. They support us on social media with congratulatory posts anytime our staff are promoted. It is very refreshing to see that! — Charlsye Lewis, Metro Animals, Fort Worth, TX

Grooming: Check!

I’m adding grooming! It’s going to change my store, and it’s exciting and scary at the same time! — Anna Woodcock, Brown Dog Barkery, Ankeny, IA

Life on the Ranch

We are so busy! My family and I are moving from a suburban townhome to a 2.5-acre ranch in the country, complete with a corral, chicken coop and a 96,000-gallon pond with plenty of wildlife. We’ll Instagram our homestead life adventures soon! — Leel Michelle, Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe, San Diego, CA

The Next Level

I will be launching my e-commerce shopping for pickup or delivery this week. Hoping will take my little store to the next level. — Kimberly Gatto, The Wagging Tail, Las Vegas, NV

Cool, But …

I love the America’s Coolest Stores feature because the ideas inspire me to try new or different things in my stores. But the latest winner — while extremely cool — is more of an attraction or restaurant than a store. Maybe you need a new contest? — Keefer Dickerson, Nashville Pet Products, Nashville, TN

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Here Are the Letters From Our Readers for June

You have expressed your disappointments and frustrations.

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DCM Frustrations

This DCM thing has me stressed and frustrated. My hope is, it will allow more growth in foods that are less processed and more species-appropriate. My fear is that it will drive people blindly to low-quality brands because of the hysteria. — Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA

Podcast: Talking Cybersecurity, and Keeping Your Pet Business Safe Online
Behind the Pages

Podcast: Talking Cybersecurity, and Keeping Your Pet Business Safe Online

Podcast: Travel Deals for the Pet Pro on the Latest “Behind the Pages”
Behind the Pages

Podcast: Travel Deals for the Pet Pro on the Latest “Behind the Pages”

Podcast: Meet the Pet Product Entrepreneur Who Turned Down Shark Tank’s Investors
Behind the Pages

Podcast: Meet the Pet Product Entrepreneur Who Turned Down Shark Tank’s Investors

Investigate the Truth

I’m wondering how boutiques that sell the dog food listed by the FDA handled the DCM issue with grain-free foods. I printed out the letters from the food companies I sell and distributed them if my customers wanted them. I also researched and informed my customers that there is no scientific proof that these foods cause DCM, and all the foods we carry and sell are manufactured from reputable sources. The power of money and media can be destructive if you do not do your own research and investigate the truth! — Laura Haupt, Bark & Meow, Tarry Town, NY

Upsetting, Disappointing

I started in 1995 as a professional pet sitting service and today am so, so, so annoyed, aggravated, concerned and disappointed at the state of the industry. Wag and Rover have made every Tom, Dick and Harry a “pet sitter,” have cut into my clientele and have definitely diminished the “professional” part of the business that I have spent so long and worked so hard to make reputable. — Krista Lofquist, Wagging Tails, Wolcott, CT

Fear the Onslaught

I fear for small shops with the onslaught of big-box and online shopping. Leasing is also a huge deterrent to opening a business with low margins. It’s tough to make ends meet if you don’t have the volume coming in — a couple of bad months can easily bankrupt you. — Rosi Ladouceur, Barrkhaven Pet Boutique and Spaw, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Raise Our Prices

I would love to hear from other service businesses about raising the price of our services to reap more profit and security for owners. The Facebook group, Owners of Dog Daycares, sometimes details the grueling nature of pet care, and I believe that pet care is an undervalued service in society. Our rates should collectively go up! — Charlsye Lewis, Metro Animals, Fort Worth, TX

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Here Are the Letters From Our Readers for May

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Good Points

I loved the “Expansion Time!” article (PETS+ June, page 24). I’m not going to be expanding, but I am looking to open a few more locations. So many good points were made. — Angela Pantalone, Wag Central, Stratford, CT

Sharable Bulletins

Our team enjoys the magazine. However, we primarily utilize the daily bulletins. We share the content and info on a weekly basis with each other. We enjoy the style of the short articles that helps us keep up with all the changes and information in the industry. — Bill Greene, Reber Ranch Inc., Kent, WA

Podcast: Talking Cybersecurity, and Keeping Your Pet Business Safe Online
Behind the Pages

Podcast: Talking Cybersecurity, and Keeping Your Pet Business Safe Online

Podcast: Travel Deals for the Pet Pro on the Latest “Behind the Pages”
Behind the Pages

Podcast: Travel Deals for the Pet Pro on the Latest “Behind the Pages”

Podcast: Meet the Pet Product Entrepreneur Who Turned Down Shark Tank’s Investors
Behind the Pages

Podcast: Meet the Pet Product Entrepreneur Who Turned Down Shark Tank’s Investors

Fly on the Wall

I’m pleasantly surprised by how many times topics and issues we’re wrestling with will show up in the next issue. You must be listening in on our staff meetings! — Keefer Dickerson, Nashville Pet Products, Nashville, TN

Keeping It Up

Love that you are doing more stories about social media! Please, please keep it up! — Morgan Moses, Harley’s Bakery, Harrisonville, MO

Save the Date

I look forward to the daily bulletins and always try to put the webinars on my calendar. Thanks for making the extra effort it takes to get us great information! — Wendy Megyese, Muttigans, Emerald Isle, NC

Inspiring Products

Seeing new products for cats and dogs in your magazine helps to inspire me! I’ve ordered these products, mainly due to the info you’ve provided. — Cecelia Michaels, Lickin’ Good Whole Pet Food, Park Rapids, MN

Own vs. Rent

I would suggest a look into owning versus renting. We just purchased a new building and are doubling the size of our original store. When any business does this, we always compare the option to rent versus own. We decided again that owning was for us, as we view the real estate as an important part of our business’s total value. — Sal Salafia, Exotic Pet Birds Inc., Webster, NY

Hiring Help

I really enjoyed the ghosting article by Candace D’Agnolo (June PETS+, page 41). She hit some great tips that have helped in my hiring practices. — Debbie Brookham, Furry Friends Inc., Colorado Springs, CO

Managing Requests

The “Give Wisely” article by Stacy Busch-Heisserer (May PETS+, page 41) was right on point for us. The dreaded donation letters for fundraisers are non-stop! Thanks for some good ideas on how to manage the requests. — Sue Hepner, Cool Dog Gear, Roslyn, PA

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