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Turbo-Charge Your Brand with a Vehicle Wrap

See if this doe not expedite the process and lead to better results. 

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A WRAPPED VEHICLE OFFERS many benefits. It boosts awareness of your brand, acting as low-cost advertising whether driven or parked. A wrap can also relay business location and contact information. Last, if designed with a sense of humor, it makes people smile and creates buzz in your community.

The only potential drawback?

“You have to drive very carefully. No speeding or cutting people off,” says Nancy Guinn, owner of Dog Krazy stores in Virginia, who recently wrapped her Jeep. “And I let everyone in front of me now.”

She and other pet store owners share their experiences turning vehicles into mobile billboards. If you decide to do the same, they recommend finding a professional installation company that will provide references you can contact. A wrap should last at least five years when well cared for, so you want to know if the work has held up.

Also, consider using the company’s designers, as their experience with materials and placement can expedite the process and lead to better results. 


Fish & Bone BOSTON, MA & PORTLAND, ME

Fish & Bone uses its van for deliveries, store transfers and brand awareness. Owner Katherine Palmer loves the playful design — complete with a cat tail in back — and says the wrap has paid for itself several times over.

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“How many full-page ads can you buy with $2,500? Plus, there’s the satisfaction of seeing people smile when you drive by,” she says.


Bark JACKSONVILLE, FL

Owner Jamee Yocum extended the Bark brand to its delivery vehicle. Store colors green and gray, as well as regularly used fonts and graphics, cover the Mini Cooper. Cost: $2,100.


The Hungary Puppy FARMINGDALE, NJ

Wraps on The Hungry Puppy trucks make it clear that the store sells and delivers more than just dog food. The slogan “Big or small, we feed ’em all” appears on each side, continuing on the back with “No butts about it!” Strategically positioned animals drive the joke home.

“We thought that looking at the truck from the back and just seeing all of the animal butts would leave an impression on folks,” owner Frank Frattini says. “We’ve certainly been noticed, by the comments we’ve heard.” Cost: $3,000 per truck.


New England Dog BiscuitSALEM, MA

With a wrap, owner Kim Barnes takes the New England Dog Biscuit mascot — a tricorne-wearing Dalmatian — everywhere she goes in her Ford Edge.

“Improving brand and logo recognition was the driving (no pun intended) goal,” she says, pointing out that her trademarked slogan “New England’s Finest Micro-Barkery” appears on the back. “Using the vehicle wrap is a great way to promote it.” Cost: $800.

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J.M. Pet Resort and J.M. Pet Vet BROCKTON, MA

Owner Jeni Mather wrapped her business vehicles — two pet taxis and a mobile veterinary clinic — to boost brand awareness and attract new clients. Bright colors serve as a backdrop for photos of adorable dogs and cats, which catch the attention of drivers and pedestrians, who then see services offered.

“We strategically placed the list of services on the back of the taxis to ensure that when people were driving behind the vehicle, they could read each bullet point completely without missing anything,” marketing and social media manager Kim McIntyre says. Cost: $5,300 for both pet taxis; $7,250 for mobile vet clinic.


Dog Krazy MULTIPLE LOCATIONS, VA

The first time Nancy Guinn drove her freshly wrapped Jeep, complete with store inspiration Piglet on the tire cover, two people stopped her within 10 minutes to ask about Dog Krazy.

“I’m approached several times a week because of the wrap,” she says, adding that she delivers food in the vehicle as well. Cost: $2,000.


Healthy Pet Products PITTSBURGH, PA

Employees at Healthy Pet Products use its wrapped Toyota Prius for deliveries and store transfers. Owner Toni Shelaske wanted the vehicle to reflect her business brand.

“It looks like my stores on wheels, by using the same font, colors and characters. It’s fun!” Cost: $2,500.

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The Dog Store by Your Dog’s Best Friends ALEXANDRIA, VA

When employees of The Dog Store by Your Dog’s Best Friends zip around town, they drive these eye-catching vehicles. The design inspiration? The shape of a Smart car resembles that of a dog’s head! Cost: $2,200.


It’s a Dog’s Life EDMONTON, AB

Pups who frequent It’s a Dog’s Life may just end up in its marketing materials.

“We love to showcase our client’s dogs,” owner Angela Moreira says, “as a thank-you to them for entrusting their care to us.”

She did exactly that when wrapping the company vehicle.

“We were using it for picking up supplies, going to events and driving pets to the veterinary if they needed care while boarding at our facility. With the vehicle traveling on the road as much as it was, it only made sense to utilize it as an advertising tool. What a great way to expose the public to our services! We also wanted to expand and include a Pet Taxi service for our clients and community. The return on investment was realized in a short period of time.” Cost: $6,000.

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.

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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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Benchmarks

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

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

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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
LEXINGTON & LOUISVILLE, KY

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.

Paddywack
MILL CREEK, WA

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.

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The Dog Store
ALEXANDRIA, VA

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
WEST HARTFORD & WOLCOTT, CT

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.

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Bark On Mulford
ROCKFORD, IL

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
COLUMBIANA, OH

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
BRISTOL, RI

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
WESTERVILLE, OH

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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Benchmarks

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

This is high-end boarding for dogs!

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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
WOLCOTT & WEST HARTFORD, CT

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
O’FALLON, MO

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.”

NIGHTLY RATES: $55

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Barker’s Lane
DAVIE, FL

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
SEMINOLE, FL

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.

NIGHTLY RATES: $99

Chateau Poochie
POMPANO BEACH, FL

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.

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Wag Central
STRATFORD, CT

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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Benchmarks

Tout Your Own Brand with Custom Merchandise, Branded Freebies

Swag those tails!

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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
RICHMOND, 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

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Crossbones Dog Academy
PROVIDENCE, RI

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
SHORELINE, WA

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
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA

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

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Wishbone Pet Care
MISSOURI CITY, TX

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.

COST: $11 | SOURCE: etsy.com/shop/merryjaneandthor

Yuppy Puppy
O’FALLON, MO

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!”

TOWEL COST: $11, TREAT JAR COST: $2.50 | SOURCE: AnimalsINK

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