Connect with us

Benefits, Pay & Perks

See how your fellow pet business owners compensate their employees.




These are a significant contributor to your ability to attract and retain top talent. As much as a person may want to work in the industry, they may require health insurance to do so. Perks can also be a deal maker, as getting food for your pet at cost or even for free makes a big difference in how far a paycheck goes. Here’s what you offer.

Check the benefits you provide:

Among the “Other” answers to this question were vision and supplemental insurance, stipend for self-insured healthcare policies, and matching contributions to retirement accounts.

How much above minimum wage do you pay starting non-managerial employees (with the exception of groomers)?

$0 — We start at minimum wage.
$8 or more
As expected, respondents in regions with the highest minimum wages — Northeast and West — pay the least above it. And the areas with the lowest minimum wages — Midwest and South — pay the most above it. Several states have higher minimum wages going into effect in 2024, so it will be interesting to see how these percentages change in next year’s Big Survey.

How much do you pay salaried managerial employees (with the exception of groomers and minus bonuses or commissions)?

Greater than $80k/year
Within the 54% who answered “N/A” are those who do not employ managers and those who do but do not pay them a salary. Looking geographically at the results, we found that managers in the Northeast earned the highest salaries, with 34% bringing in more than $60,000. That was almost twice as many in the South, where 87% of pet store managers earn less than $60,000.

Do you offer bonuses to employees (with the exception of groomers)?

Yes — It’s based on meeting and/or exceeding individual sales goals.
Yes — It’s based on gross overall profit.
Yes — It’s based on net overall profit.
Yes — I give bonuses, but there’s no structure to it from year to year.
No — I don’t have a bonus structure.

What is your commission structure for groomers?

Results exclude the 66% of respondents who answered N/A.

What is one unusual-for-the-industry perk you offer employees to motivate and retain them?

Discounts on products and services, as well as brand feeding programs, are common perks in the pet industry, but some of you go above and beyond and also offer a set store credit each month for staff to use. One respondent said, “I give them a $100 every month. Half must be used in freezer products or supplements.” Check out these other atypical perks that help keep employees feeling valued and appreciated.

  • A kitchen stocked with tea, chocolate, sodas and snacks. Kids need snacks.
  • We offer lunch freshly made several times a week, or we order something in. That way they don’t have to go “off campus,” and it’s something fairly healthy. We started this during COVID because we knew that staying healthy was going to be really important, and now it’s just become a part of our company culture. Some of our staff have had jobs as cooks and chefs, and everybody likes to help out planning menus and giving their opinions on what we should make. It’s also a great way to share a meal in the middle of the day when we are switching shifts.
  • One of my customers works at a bakery and brings us fresh bread loaves, and we get to pick out of her trunk. One of my employess said, “This is the best job ever!!!”
  • Discounted gym memberships.
  • Yoga! We have an agreement with a local yoga studio, and I pay for yoga for the whole gang. It’s within walking distance, and my employees love it.
  • We offer life and healthier eating habits coaching — for the humans!
  • Believe it or not, set schedules for the staff is one thing I have found that they love. We try very hard to provide consistency with their schedules.
  • I don’t limit time requested off or sick days. As long as we all work together and no one is taking advantage, they get what you need/want. They don’t take advantage. We support each other 100% for mental and physical health needs.
  • We close up both locations for the day and go to Disney World, then out for a nice dinner.
  • Summer party on the lake!
  • We close all the locations once a year and do a full staff and family party that we have with a food truck, games, swimming pools and lots of fun! Everyone loves this day!
  • Two times a year, I pay to have the staff’s cars detailed and waxed professionally while they are working.
  • Health insurance for their pet.
  • Free self-defense and concealed-carry classes.
  • We pay for volunteer days.
  • We encourage non corporate attitudes! Look the way you want (non-traditional hair color, comfortable clothing from your own closet, etc.).



P.L.A.Y. Media Spotlight

At P.L.A.Y. — Pet Lifestyle & You — toy design is definitely a team effort! Watch PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita and P.L.A.Y.’s Director of Sales Lisa Hisamune as they talk about the toy design process, the fine-tuning that makes each toy so special and why every P.L.A.Y. collection is made with independent retailers top of mind.

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular