The Value of Adding Enrichment Services to Your Pet Business

The Value of Adding Enrichment Services to Your Pet Business

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We're going to spend the next 30 minutes or so just talking about something near and dear to our hearts, which is enrichment. And we have seen enrichment work for every type of facility out there. So I will say, first of all, that, if you're not doing enrichment, then have an open mind as to how you could add this. Whether you're a groomer, a dog trainer, a daycare, a lodging facility what am I missing? Pet sitters, dog walkers. All of these individuals have added enrichment to their programs.

And it's another way of adding revenue streams, and you can do it so many different ways. So our thought on this Facebook Live is just to really help you to think about some creative ways of adding this to your business. And for some people that means just adding it as an add on activity or a VIP option. For some people that might mean you completely redo your entire service mix to be enrichment focused. So either way, it's a great thing to consider. And I will say that today's pet parent is more interested in enrichment than ever.

And they're also interested in really tailored care and concierge level service for their dogs. So this is a service that today's pet parent is actually going to be more interested in. I think, and Susan said this yesterday on a webinar that we did, that this is really the future. It's actually the current of pet industry right now. I think in five years, four to five years, as Susan said yesterday, we are going to see this as the norm and that people that are doing day-long play or just basic, overnight lodging, or just come in and get your dog groomed, send them home, or just a regular dog walk, that's going to be like a commodity service that people are just going to be price shopping for.

And you're not going to get a high enough revenue really to make that worth while. So we would say looking at enrichment is really the way to go for a lot of reasons. One, because you're going to regenerate more revenue, you're going to make your business more successful and stand out more. And I also think you're going to be catering to the pet parents to begin with. So that's what I'll say to start with Susan.

What do you want to add? I'd be interested in what questions people have why they haven't done enrichment, what's stopping them? Some of the things we hear about are not knowing the space, where to find it, we're going to find it and you may have to get creative. But the nice thing about enrichment is it really doesn't require a lot of space. And so depending on what activities you pick, a lot of them can be done in boarding enclosers. You can do some things in your lobby when it's not super busy. I think you can find space. So I'm also looking at what is a profitable service and enrichment is very profitable, so it may be worth transitioning space.

So you can do enrichment from maybe another service, which isn't as profitable. So I know that's one of the big obstacles. People don't know how to price it because we're used to comparing pricing to our, what our competitors do and competitors aren't offering it, we don't know how to price. And so we've talked about pricing and really we should be pricing our services based on the costs that we have in our businesses to provide them and then adding a profit margin on. And enrichment is a high value service. So I think it should be 20 to 25% profit margin on top of your cost, at least at a minimum.

And that's just a tip on how to go about pricing services. So those are a couple of obstacles that I know people have asked us about. So Jen says Hello, enrichment is our jam. Total revenue increaser. I love that, Jen. So Jen, let us know if you're doing that for a daycare or lodging or what services you offer that for.

And Jennifer says from Tennessee, we've been running an enrichment day camp for two years now looking for some fresh ideas. So again Jennifer, let us know are you doing that every day, is it a VIP option? Is it something you do just a certain times? But there are a ton of ways to add enrichment. So like I said, you could just add this as an add on activity. So we often see this, if you're doing overnight lodging and one of your options to add on an activity package might be some enrichment activities. Enrichment activities would be things like one-on-one attention for the dog.

And so some of you do that already with just, cuddle time or snack or something like that. But typically with enrichment, you're doing a little bit more for the dog. Something that might exercise the dog's brain, or get them to think differently. You can add tricks, you can add any kind of obstacles. You can add nose work. You can, we have a whole list of things you can add.

So it's really the sky's the limit. And it's not about teaching the dog to do all those things. It's about giving the dog the opportunity to experience some new things.

So you don't have to have a trainer. I will just stress that. You don't necessarily have to have a trainer on staff, even if you're just going to teach. We recommend the climb from Blue-9 so to do platform training.

Even if you're just going to work on some platform training or some stationary object training, your basic handlers can do that and you can teach them how to do some special skills and special activities with those dogs. So you don't necessarily need a trainer. So you can add it just as an add on activity package where you're just going to say, okay, we're going to spend 15, 20 minutes with your dog doing XYZ.

You might tailor that to the dog. You might have a different theme based on the time of year or whatever. The other way we've seen it is to add it as a completely different option.

So most often we see this in daycare, but you could also do something like this with pet sitting or dog walking where what we see in daycare typically, is you have the day long play and that's one option at one price. And then the other option is our VIP package, which includes, play still, but in much smaller groups and a lot of rotation of the dogs so that they rotate through four to five different activities throughout the day. So it's a little bit more structured, like Montessori school.

We always compare it to a very structured school for your child. So they have two different options. So you could do that also with your dog walking. Like the basic dog walking option.

I'll take your dog out for a 20, 30 minute walk, or we will take them out for a 15 minute walk and then do 15 minutes of enrichment. And obviously the enrichment would be priced at a higher price point. So you can do this a lot of different ways.

I would say those are probably the two most common. We've seen it with groomers who add on enrichment packages for either dogs that are going to be at the grooming shop after the groom and they're just going to sit in a crate. So rather than sitting in a crate, let's do some activities with them.

We've also seen it added on for folks who have dogs that really don't like being groomed. So it's an extra activity package to distract the dog, while they're being groomed. So using something like a licky mat or a stuffed Kong that someone would hold while the dog is being groomed.

Which again, I would be adding additional fee on for that price. But that's also helping the dog to get a little bit more comfortable and a little bit more used to the grooming package, or the grooming itself. So there's just lots and lots of different ways that you can do this. Okay.

So for Jen, she says for our pet sitters and dog walkers, they're now carrying extra items because some clients are still not investing in their own enrichment activities for their pets. Cats, dogs. I love that you're doing it for cats and bunnies and pigs and any, and all of that. So yeah, I would say for that, I would recommend having some supplies that you're, if you're sending people to people's homes, I would have some supplies that your pet sitters or dog walkers can use.

You might also look at, we had a lot of people during COVID that actually rented out some of their equipment. So the owner actually kept it at their house for a rental fee. So that's an option with the ultimate option being that they try to buy the stuff from you. So if you can give the owner a reason to use the equipment when you're not there, then that's a little bit of a way to encourage them to start using the equipment.

And then hopefully that leads to them buying the equipment. And if, for some, for most equipment, like for climbs, which we recommend a lot, you can actually become a dealer through the Blue-9 website. And then you're actually getting a discount when you purchase and then you can sell it for retail. So you actually can generate a little bit of revenue on that type of a situation as well. I don't know, Susan, if you had any other comments for that. No, I think just understanding, the different species how can they be, mentally enriched, what senses? A lot of I've seen more and more enrichment activities being talked about with cats that we traditionally think of for dogs.

So I think it's just really knowing every type of species and having alternatives because even within dogs, some dogs, really love I think almost every dog loves the nose work. But not all dogs are really into doing tricks. So having some alternative in different types of activities, whether it's mental or physical, that will appeal to all ages, puppies, adults, and even seniors. Enrichment is great for even senior dogs. The other thing I'm going to come back to this question in a second, but the other thing Jen said was every training session includes enrichment. Most pet care visits and dog walks include enrichment, and we've raised our rates, which is awesome.

And Jen also said she was a dealer for Blue-9. And activity-wise, I love these ideas too. So scatter feeding on grass sidewalks. I do a lot of scatter feeding with my dog when I'm really busy and it's really hot out, which it is right now.

Hot for Colorado. But enrichment box stuff, feeding vessels. So I love that as well. Jen, one idea I just had regarding the people that don't want to pay for the enrichment equipment, another option, I don't know if this would work because it literally just thought about this while I was like, while Susan was talking, but I wonder if you could charge that enrichment, let's just say, you're going to charge $10 more to do enrichment. I would probably charge more than that, but just going to make it simple.

Let's say you're going to charge $10 more for enrichment. Maybe you charge a slightly larger, higher surcharge if you have to constantly use your equipment because there's some wear and tear on your equipment, blah, blah, blah. So maybe you could tell, your pet parents look part of that $10 is actually, we're going to charge another surcharge on top of that and figure out what, how many visits you would have to do with the surcharge before, like they should have just bought their own equipment. Know what I'm saying? So in other words, it's almost like a rental where instead of renting to say, Hey, if you do this 50 times, you're going to have paid me enough that you should have just bought your own.

I don't know if that would work, but that's an idea I just had. So I would look at that as an option too. And that could be, for things like Kongs or not necessarily treats, but for actual equipment that you're using over and over on your pet set. So any kind of enrichment toys, any kind of food, puzzle toys, the climb, snuffle mat, like anything like that. I think you could, I think you could probably do that and then encourage people to purchase it instead.

And then I would love to switch completely to enrichment. I'm unsure how to schedule the dog days. Do you want to talk a little bit about that Susan? Yeah. That's part of the challenge with enrichment is it's so flexible and customizable that it can be a challenge. So part of it is just thinking about what activities you want to do. Do you still want to do some small group play? And then what other activities would you want to do and how often? And start with a schedule of some group play, plus, maybe a one-on-one activity or an activity with two or three dorms in both the morning and the afternoon and beta test it and see how that system works.

And also then cost it out to see what the pricing is, and if that's something that would work in your market. So there's lots of questions. You guys are very chatty today, which is nice. We love that.

So Jennifer said we're in a rural setting. So regular daycare was just not enough draw. And I do think that we've seen enrichment work pretty much anywhere we've seen. We've also seen daycare work everywhere too.

So rural settings city suburbs, whatever. We've seen it pretty much everywhere. I do think a lot of whatever services you're offering, a lot of it is how you're talking about the value and how you're talking about the benefit to the client.

And that's true for enrichment as well. And one of the, one of the biggest changes, if you're adding, especially if you're converting your current services to an enrichment only service, is making sure that you are explaining to the clients why you're changing your services and why the new service is better and why the price is higher. And a lot of times we also see clients that ask, why are they going to have rest periods now? Maybe they have more rest periods with enrichment, which is typical. So it's really fine tuning your marketing message to make sure that you're explaining how much fun the dogs are having and how much better it is for them to have this structured environment, as opposed to all day recess, which is like the day all day play environment. But it really does depend if you're finding it's a struggle, then I would really reach out to find out, get help with your marketing overall.

Because most of the time, what we find is it's not that people don't want the service and it's not that people won't pay for the service. It's that the message you're sending somehow isn't resonating with your ideal client. And that's a marketing problem. That's not a, I can't do daycare or there's nobody in my area that wants it kind of problem. So hopefully that makes sense. So let me see.

Yeah. So Jo said country setting was getting, clients was more difficult to enrichment was the draw. So that's awesome. And then there's some discussion about just typically like how long sessions last. And if you're doing daycare, what we call Daycare 2.0, which is an enrichment

model of daycare, we typically tell people to set things up relatively simple at first and the rotation is going to be four to five, maybe six at the most, but I usually say four to five activities throughout the day. And the length of those activities are going to depend on what the activity is. So you might do, cause we typically would recommend smaller groups of dogs, like six to eight dogs. And you might have play session that is with all the dogs, all those six to eight dogs.

And that might last an hour, maybe an hour and a half, maybe 45 minutes. That's going to be a little bit longer. But then, and then you might put them all in an enclosure with a puzzle toy that might only last 45 minutes, maybe a little bit longer. But if you're going to do like nose work, like Susan mentioned, then nose work might only last 15 minutes. If it's a puppy, might not even last that long.

So it just really depends on what the activity is that you want to, as you set up your schedule. So there's a lot of variables in terms of that. And we do recommend for whatever service you're going to add this to, we would always recommend beta testing it first. And that's the best way to really figure out what works best for your particular facility.

So beta testing, we would not be charging anybody, anything extra. We would be letting clients know, Hey, we're going to try this whole new thing and we've selected your dog to help us with this. And we're not charging you with same price as normal, but your dog is going to get so much more interaction, so much more fun, whatever. And that gives your staff a chance to actually play with the whole idea and figure out what activities they like to do, what activities the dog likes to do, you can figure out your schedule. So I would run beta testing groups multiple days with probably a couple of different groups and get your staff to participate, get staff feedback, like really figure out what you like about it and what might need to tweak before you actually roll it out.

And that's true, whether you're doing it for pet-sitting, dog training, whatever. Like I would beta test it first. That also gives you an opportunity to take tons of pictures, tons of video, which you're then going to use for marketing. And I would even start to tease the concept on your social media channels.

So you can say we're trying something new, Fifi playing and doing nose work or playing on the agility equipment or whatever it is. So you don't really have to. I think a lot of people worry that they don't have all their ducks in a row to launch it. But if you beta test it, I'm telling you there's no pressure on anybody.

You're not charging anybody. You're not telling anybody it's a new thing. You're just practicing to see how you like it. All right. I'm reading questions Susan so I'll let you chat for a second.

Okay. We've had a lot of members implement enrichment and they all love it. Not only for what it does for their business, but especially they can see the engagement from the dogs is higher. And some dogs that they didn't think were players do play when they're in a smaller group, because dogs do have to feel safe to play.

And the other big advantage is with their team members. The staff actually get a lot more engagement because they develop a deeper relationship. And they're learning new things as they're teaching enrichment and observing the dogs actually enjoying doing a lot of these activities. So this is like one of the win-win wins that we found that it's really a no brainer when all of our members that have offered it, none of them have dropped it to our knowledge.

And in fact, they see demand increase and actually start doing more and more of it and more services. And some even have a converted their daycare over to a total enrichment daycare. So Jen said our ducks were so not in a row.

We started it anyway. I love that. So we do a lot, Susan and I talk a lot about, we build the plane as we're flying it. So we do a lot of stuff that's let's just try this and then we're adjusting as we go.

So yeah, there's a lot of ways you can start this where worst case scenario if it doesn't work, you have not lost a thing. But I have another suggestion for Jen though. So Jen gave this information about what she's doing right now. So we mostly do it yourself equipment, and now clients are leaving TP roles, Amazon boxes, package, paper D stuff, toys.

I love that, that your clients are like here, they can play with all this. So that's cool. I sold a few climbs and then you can't see all of this, so I'll just have to read it now. I sold a few climbs, but would love for each dog to have a topple or snuffle mat or a rubber feed bowl, balance pad, for example. So for that additional charge, they would pay for it. So another idea I just had when I read that Jen, was what if we're going to talk about memberships and I don't know if I would include this as part of the membership, unless you built the fee in which you could we'll talk about that in a second.

But I was thinking what. In order to be in your enrichment program, there was some kind of an upfront cost? And I would maybe set it up to say, Let's just say the upfront cost is ,I'm totally making this up right now you guys, so just saying, this is what Jen is like causing me to think about. But what if you said, okay, you're going to do enrichment. If you want to do enrichment as part of your program, then there's an upfront cost of a hundred dollars.

I just made that number up. I would obviously price this to make sure it's right. And then they get to select, like with that a hundred dollars, you can say, you get, you can pick for your dog package A, B or C. And you obviously build in profits, so you're making a profit. But so that list that you just said, I would love them to have a snuffle mat, a rubber full, a balance pad, like something.

So maybe they're not going to buy all of those, but maybe you say we have these 10 toys or equipment that we really use all the time, and when you become an enrichment member, you pay an additional upfront cost of X amount and then you get to pick three toys that you want, or whatever. Anyway, that was my idea. That's my idea for the that's my idea for the day that Jen just spurred me. But anyway, that's just that initial, that way, you're essentially making them buy something.

Not all of your toys, but you're going to have some kind of way to get them to buy into the program, get at least two to three pieces of equipment that then they have at their house. So you don't have to bring all of that all the time. And then hopefully that leads to them getting more stuff later too. Anyway, that's my idea so far. She said I'm with you, keep going.

All right, hang on. There's so many questions I can't keep up. So many comments I can't keep up. So Jennifer said I need some training inspiration for my staff.

It was my idea. This is a great one. Susan, if you want to talk about staff buy-in because she's excited. I'm always trying new things, but my staff thinks is a lot more work.

So you want to talk about that? Cause this is actually a very common issue, Jennifer. Okay. Yeah, I think you need to help them see how it benefits them and that it provides them an opportunity to learn and do new things and actually let them try it out and let them see what it feels like as part of that beta test. And it gets down to, they're going to get paid for the hours they work.

So what they do, they're still getting, the same pay. Or they may actually be able to make more pay. We have people that have set up in enrichment counselors like an advancement role. And I think the big thing is letting them try what it feels like to do something different with the dogs. Because in their mind, they haven't tried it out yet. And so they don't understand how much easier it is to lead a group of six to eight dogs versus 15 to 20.

And so I think the biggest thing is just having them try it and doing some of that beta test days. So we had a couple of questions. Janice said, what do you charge? And Karen, I think how do you figure out the initial staffing when you don't know the number of dogs you have? I'll talk about the pricing and then we'll talk about how that translates into scheduling. And Susan, if you want to talk about setting that schedule.

But in terms of pricing and Susan touched on this before, pricing really, we could do an entire day long session on pricing. What I'm going to say is pricing really is all about knowing how much it costs you to run or offer the service. And I feel like a lot of us don't sit down and actually calculate that, but you really need to sit down and say, if I'm going to do this particular service, whatever, and this is not just for enrichment, this is for any service or offering.

You have to know what it's costing you. So how much is your payroll? How much is cost? Is it costing you in supplies treats or whatever, like on a routine basis. So you have to know those costs and then we would factor in a percentage of your fixed costs. If you're doing dog-walking that fixed cost might just be your car or gas. If you have a facility, those fixed costs are going to be a percentage of your rent, your utilities, your insurance, like all that stuff.

And then figure out what that is. And then add a profit margin. And again, as Susan said, at least 20% profit. That gives you what you should be pricing this at. If you don't do that, then any price that we throw out like, oh, you should be charging, I don't know if that's good for you or not, because if I don't know what it costs for all of your fixed expenses, I don't know what it costs for your labor.

Like I'm just throwing out a number. And that's also the problem with comparing your costs to others in your area. It's a good benchmark, but you don't know if they're making any money either. So I wouldn't necessarily.

Put all my eggs in that basket to say, oh, I'm going to charge the same as what they're charging or slightly more, slightly less, which is often how people price. But you don't know if that person's making any money. And you also really don't know if they're offering the same good service that you're offering. So the best way to price is definitely you can see what others are offering as a comparison as a benchmark. But the best way to price, know your cost, add a percentage of your fixed expenses and then add profit. That's your price.

In terms of staffing, because that's a really good one. Typically we do recommend figuring out your capacity and then Susan, you want to talk about cancellations and that kind of thing and how we work with that? Yeah. Once you figured out your initial schedule that will tell you how many staff that you need based on the number of dogs that you are planning to have.

And then because you're doing smaller groups and even some one-on-one care, you may have to change your attendance policies to participate in enrichment and, think about like child. You've reserved your spot for Tuesdays, Thursdays every week, and if you miss a Tuesday, you still pay because they're holding your spot for your child, even if they're not there. And this is different and new for pet care.

But I can tell you a lot of our members that have implemented enrichment do it, and it works. People see the value and are willing to pay for their spots even if they can't make it in order to ensure that their dog will be there the majority of the time. Yeah. And the other thing that we do look at is, because this question comes up a lot, is for those of you, especially that are doing lodging or really it could be any service where you have peak season usually at the holidays where your business just ramps up. And it maybe it's, you're a dog walker or pet sitter, and you just, at the holidays, you just don't have the extra time to do enrichment because you have so many new clients for lodging. Obviously we see it a lot where the lodging capacity hits the peak and sometimes even goes over so people run out of space.

A lot of times folks will expand their lodging into some of the daycare play space and they just don't have any room. Or again, they don't have the time to take care of all those dogs who are lodging and also do daycare. So we also have seen that a lot of people that do this enrichment, they set it up so it's on some kind of a schedule.

Typically we talk about it in terms of semesters, where you're matching the school season. And only because typically the school season also matches your peak seasons. When school's out people go on vacation.

So it might even be summer depending on what your summer looks like. So there, you can do set up the scenario where let's say from in the fall, when school starts, you use your semester for enrichment starts, and then it ends when school gets out. So maybe they sign up for that. Let's just say that's a three month period.

They sign up for that three months period of time for enrichment. And then, like Susan said, they're committing X number of days for that period of time, whether they're there or not. And then it ends at the peak season, beginning of the peak season. So now you can say, Hey, enrichment's done because we don't have time to do it anyway.

And that's when your peak season starts. So you have to look at your capacity as well and know your capacity for everything staffing wise and all that. So if you're, if you've been in business a while, you probably already know some of those things.

And then it might just be that we can still do it, but we can't take as many dogs. So maybe you have, half the capacity or whatever, and that might happen like in the summer. So you have to figure that out for your facility as well. Or we've also seen people who, during COVID, because of lodging stopped during COVID, we have worked with some facilities who are like, you know what? We rolled out. We rolled out enrichment and it's doing so well. We're not even going to start doing lodging anymore.

Hey, that's another option too. You could, if you find out that it's very successful, we also had people that renovated. Did some, not really renovations, but they pulled out some of their lodging enclosures to give more room for enrichment. And if you think about that, and Susan brought this up like several months ago during COVID when we were talking to some of our clients, that if you think about the average pet care facilities, they're maxed out at peak season, sometimes they're over but the rest of the year they're not. So does it really make sense to have. Do some number crunching and decide.

Does it really make sense to have an extra 10 runs when the only time those 10 get filled is their peak season? Or should you pull those enclosures out to give you a little bit ore room to offer enrichment where you're making money? You know what I'm saying? So you could, I wouldn't run those numbers as well to decide what makes the most sense for that type of layout. Especially if you have a lot of enclosures that aren't, if you're at capacity all the time, then that's not a question I would ask myself. But if you're, if you have a lot of enclosures and you're like yeah we use, like half of them, most of the time and the other half, we use it Thanksgiving and Christmas and figure out the numbers. What makes more sense? And where are you going to make more money? Having those things sit empty or pulling them out and using that space for something else? All right.

That was a soap box issue apparently for me. All right. So I was going to, I'm going to just look to see if we had other obstacles. I'm looking. Susan and I actually just did a whole entire webinar on enrichment, adding enrichment.

And so I literally didn't think about this before, but right before the call, I was like, right before the Facebook Live, I was like, maybe we should just give them that webinar replay. So I'll put a link to that, but I'm just going through to see, cause I know there were other obstacles we talked about Susan. So if you remember them, you can mention them, but I'm going to look them up real quick to see. I'm scanning through the PowerPoint real quick. Wow. Deciding the best option was one of them.

So really determining how you want to add enrichment was one of the obstacles. And then I think the other obstacle, and we've talked a little bit about it, is really determining your activity schedule and what you want to do, what activities you want to do. So we did talk a little bit about that and then finding space.

Do you want to talk a little bit about finding space? Yeah, we've talked about it. I talked about that at the very beginning, but like you said, you can use enclosures. You may not have to take them out, midweek. Rarely is your facility a hundred percent occupied. So if you're offering this during daycare you can do a lot in a large enclosure.

You can wall off some space with some temporary fencing and make sure it's, dog safe and do some activities there. You just have to get creative and look at your space in a new way. And as Robin mentioned, looking at what's going to make the most money. So the last thing I'll talk about really briefly, and I'll let Susan jump in with any comments about, but the other thing I would, we do recommend considering when you're adding enrichment is looking at a way to add a membership component to your business. And this may or may not be associated with enrichment. You could make it a membership for, in order to be in the club to do enrichment, you have to be a member.

We've seen a lot of people do that. But we've also seen people just create memberships for other things. So maybe have a membership for a grooming package or a membership for a training package or whatever.

And we did a whole Facebook Live on that, which is, should now be on our YouTube channel. So memberships are really big right now. So if you haven't considered a membership for your business, think about the things you've seen memberships for in your life or coming across your social media feed.

There's memberships for subscription services for your dogs, for their toys. For hair products, my husband has, which is like shaving stuff for him.

Wine clubs, like your there's members of, for everything literally. Candles. You name it, there's probably a monthly subscription service type of membership for those. And your pet service should not be any different. So really get creative and thinking about how you can add a membership component to this.

It's a natural, we talk about it the most with enrichment programs, because it is a natural. Because enrichment, to go back to that question, Karen asks, because enrichment does have a more limited scope usually there's not enough space for everybody to do it. So usually you have some kind of a cap.

Usually you have staffing requirements. And then as Susan said, you usually are committing getting people to commit to a certain amount of time because of the payroll factors if people just don't show up. But because of all that, it actually is a really good opportunity to say this is an exclusive club and you have to be a member to be in it. So if you haven't seen that, then definitely check out our YouTube channel and find the webinar or the Facebook Live we did on memberships as well. I don't know, Susan, if you have any other comments on, I know we could talk forever on membership, but I want to do at least bring it up. Yeah.

I think that the Facebook Live we gave a lot of ideas. And so I think that's a good one to check out. But a lot of people have found that it is a great fit because the demand is there. People get the value of what enrichment is providing to their pets. And memberships can help you manage that demand to the people who are the most loyal. Okay.

This will be my last question. So Jen said any idea for a do it yourself enrichment event. We're thinking of doing a community gathering of items and doing an enrichment workshop where we show people how to build things, how to figure out what their pets like how to start slow preferences.

How much should I charge for that? Charging, I would go back to the same thing we said earlier is like how much time,is it gonna, how much of your time and your staff's time and factor those expenses in terms of payroll and your time just in terms of planning or whatever. So the same thing. I would figure out what it's going to cost you to run it and make sure you're going to make money.

And with that like, obviously you're going to divide all of your costs by how many people you think you can get to attend so that you can cover your costs and hopefully make money on it. But I think it's a really fun idea. I would say like off the top of my head, I do think bringing people in and showing them how to use some of the equipment and how to figure out what their pet likes to me, again, I'm thinking like Jen's totally put me on the spot today.

I think the biggest thing I would look at is canine body language. I would probably be teaching canine body language to teach pet parents first of all, how to know if their dog is having fun doing something. And the subtle signs of does your dog hate this thing? Or can we get them to overcome it and ways to really show them how to go slowly when introducing stuff? We've all seen the videos of the pools where people just pick their dog up and throw them in.

Not a way I would recommend introducing my dog to a swimming pool, but there's a ton of people out there that think that's perfectly fine. And so really the way, is that good for the dog is look at the dog's body language. Cause I'm telling you, those dogs are not happy when that happens. And they're not happy when they're swimming and they're not happy when they get out. But that's all canine body language. So I think a lot of it, I like to talk.

I like to attract people to sessions that are like how to know your dog is happy is a really good way because everybody wants to know how to know if their dog's happy. So you have to make sure you have a really catchy title about, I don't know if people would just come, if you're like, I'm going to show you how to use enrichment. I think most people would be like, ah, either they think they know, or they don't understand that they need it. Nobody thinks they need information about getting a puppy before they get a puppy.

And so you have to be creative about how you approach that. So I would say that, but I think all the concepts that you put in there are great to teach. Having them bring stuff that maybe they bought something and their dog never did use it. Why not? And it's probably because they didn't know how to introduce it. So I love that and I love about teaching them to start slow. Even teaching them what treats like why a high, about what a high value treat is and why it makes a difference.

Because if they're trying to get their dog to do something with a piece of kibble versus a piece of steak, you will generally see some difference in motivation there. So I think it's a great idea, and I think it's a great way to introduce people to what you do as your business. And I would also make sure you collect emails and follow up with those people because they can, they're your potentia clients. I don't know if Susan if you had any other thoughts on it. That's a great idea.

So let us know how it goes. Yeah. And I think you could even do that. It's nice to have everybody in person but if you're in a city or county or state or whatever, where you can't meet yet in person that's something you could probably also do on zoom like through the webinar, through a webinar or a Zoom meeting or whatever. So even just to do that, to just generate new leads for your business, I think is a fun idea too.

You could probably also do that as a Facebook group where you set up challenges are really big right now on Facebook. If you haven't seen anybody do like a five day challenge. Susan and I have actually done two this year for The Dog Gurus.

But that's another idea is just do a five day enrichment challenge for clients and get them having fun with their dogs and seeing what they can do. And it's all on Facebook, but again, they're inviting their friends and you can increase your awareness of what you do in your, within your community. So lots of ideas there. So Jen, Jennifer said, can you share resources for ideas for specific activities? I would say YouTube.

Jen actually mentioned that she had an enrichment group. There's also an enrichment group. There's a couple of dog enrichment groups online on Facebook. You can probably Google and find, and there, they have all kinds of activities that pet parents are listening and they're like, Hey, I did this thing with my dog. They're very creative ideas. What other resources would you recommend Susan? We have one, we have dog daycare done right where we list a bunch of resource ideas and we have our Daycare 2.0 Toolkit, which I think you're going to

share our webinar on enrichment link. And so that provides more details there. But you can also get inspiration from what's happening in child daycares. A lot of the same things apply as far as doing crafts and just think about, what are some physical activities that dogs enjoy like long line walks versus walking on a six foot leash. What kind of activities will use their brain, what kind of activities are social? And if you look for, and just get your staff together and brainstorm lists based on those different categories that you'll come up with more than you think you might. And you don't need that many, three to five will get you started.

Yeah. And then the other thing, so I did put a link to the webinar replay in there. That replay's only going to be alive for about the next seven days. So definitely check that out. We, at the end of the replay, we do talk about Daycare 2.0 Toolkit, which has a bazillion resources, including staffing resources and floor plans, and then a ton of resources, both video and handouts on teaching your staff, how to do some enrichment activities.

Other resources I would look at are Blue-9 pet products actually has a YouTube channel that has a lot of really good resources. I don't think people utilize the climb. If you happen to be using a platform or the climb, there's 80,000 things you can do with that. And every single time I watched their YouTube channel, I even come up with a new idea because they've just got a lot of different ideas for how to use the climb for everything from platform training, which is what it's well-known for, to scent work to puzzle toys. Like you could use the climb for all of that stuff.

Blue-9 also has a new product, love the company and all their products. And anyway, they just came out with a new product called the Propel Air Platform. I think that's the right name. And it's a, like a balance, a piece of balance equipment for dogs.

So that's another thing. They've got YouTube videos on that too. Kira Sundance, somebody said, yeah, Karen mentioned Secura Sundance.

She does, she's well-known for trick training. And some sport what's it called? Stunt dog training. She's got tons of books and tons of videos out there as well.

So YouTube, you can find a ton of stuff on YouTube.

2021-07-14 14:58

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