Working At A Doggy Daycare – Bruce Casalis is the founder of Bruce’s Dog Daycare, which started the dog walking business Credit: Bruce’s Doggy Daycare/Pete Gardner.
B. Russ Casalis, founder of a daycare for dogs, reveals how he built a business in an industry where one mistake can cost you everything, and why we spend so much on our beloved pets.
Working At A Doggy Daycare
If you want to see a person about a dog, talk to Bruce Casalis, who sees 600 dogs and pooches this week through his pet care service, Bruce’s Doggy Day Care.
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The company provides daycare for dogs just like nurseries provide it for tots Every morning a fleet of 14 vans (Casalis calls them “dog buses”) pick up pets from a catchment spread across south west London and Surrey before sending them to one of two centers in Ripley or Cobham.
Both sites have acres of farmland and amenities such as swimming pools, grooming parlors, agility courses and heated log cabins. At the end of the day, tired and fed pets are brought home
If this sounds like a Disneyland for dogs, that’s because it is When he founded the company, Casalis wanted to offer something that other pet care providers didn’t
The idea came to him in 2008 after a friend suggested dog walking as a legitimate career. “I thought it was crazy,” he remembers. “People were getting paid to walk other people’s pets.”
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But local London parks were full of professional walkers who would climb up and down the tower with as many as six dogs. Casalis tried it for 12 months at Clapham Common
Apart from scooping up a lot of poop, there were other issues as well “So many hikers were out of control.” he says. Other animals and people—even picnickers—created many possibilities
In March 2009 he opened Bruce’s Doggy Daycare in Cobham for a handful of owners. Today the company deals with hundreds of people, offering additional services such as boarding and training
Casalis, which employs 35 staff, turned over £900,000 for the financial year ending April 2016. It is forecast to be £1.5m by April 2017 based on the last seven months of trading.
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“There are challenges like growing the team,” he said. “To begin with, you do it yourself You set high standards because you know you will do everything in your power to meet them “
Bringing in new people, however, depends on others sharing that passion for excellence Sometimes they don’t “You have to learn from hiring the wrong people,” says Casalis. What were their characteristics and traits that you didn’t want next? “
Make a list of likes and dislikes that you refine with each successful (and unsuccessful) hire, he says. “You’ll eventually get the team right. We are full of passionate and reliable people It separates us. “
Something else that sets the company apart, Casalis claims, is how much money it returns on convenience and performance Businesses have their own customer management software to track who needs what and when It’s linked to an iPad app for drivers and a dog tracking app for customers, which will launch next year.
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And don’t forget to invest in what customers can see, he says. “Make it visible When people come to our site, I want them to be blown away This puts us ahead of the pack. “
But it’s not about competition; Empathy also makes the company tick, Casalis says It’s something he thinks is lacking in modern business, which treats the customer relationship as a transaction and nothing more.
At home their dog and switch to Classic FM for example Is the dog going to know the difference? “Probably not, but it’s personal; It shows how much we as people care about our owners. “
That said, the animals will always come first “We have to do what’s best for them,” says Casalis, who owns two Labradors.
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Even if it means losing a potential customer “There are times when an owner will be a little out of our catchment area, but that ends the journey for the other dogs in the van,” he explains. “We should say that we will do anything in our power to meet that need, but we cannot; This is going to affect other pets. “
So what’s next for the industry? A survey of 1,000 UK dog owners by American Express found that they spend an average of £1,252 a year on their pets. A quarter said they had spent more than five years.
“The health of the area is good,” Casalis said. “Couples come to us who have moved in together, but aren’t ready to have children, so they get a dog.” They also have more disposable income and treat their pets more like family It’s a recipe for growth
But there is work to be done “Pet care is where child care was 30 years ago,” he says. There is not much regulation or consistency
Dog Day Care
“Someone might estimate that one person is taking care of 50 dogs in the field, but our staff-to-dog ratio is [one for 12 dogs]. We enforce it because it’s responsible, not standard. “
Better laws will come, he says — and with them better care “People often see what I do for easy money: put some dogs in the field and away you go. But we are so cautious. If a delivery company misses a parcel drop, the worst case scenario is that you get it the next day. “
Casalis doesn’t have that luxury If the business forgets to pick up the dog, it can remain at home for 12 hours “Our reputation can be destroyed in a heartbeat,” he says. Who can you trust to take care of your best friend while you work or travel? These spots have some of the best ratings in the city
For those who care for pets and want to keep their dogs active and social while working or away from home, dog day care is a godsend.
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And especially after the epidemic cools down and life returns to some semblance of “normal,” many dogs are not going to understand why their humans are leaving the house so much after a year of being bullied.
In a post-COVID world, dog day care can really make sense So, here are 5 local dog daycares with great reviews and ratings:
Camp Bow Wow is a franchise owned locally by Brett Ippolite that offers day and overnight services complete with fun litextras. There’s always a special nightly ‘campfire treat’ for overnight guests, says Ippolite. In addition, the facility has web cams so pet-parents can check on their pets at any time. Training services are also available
Central Bark Puppy Daycare 420 S. 1st St., (414) 347-9612 3675 N. 124th St., Brookfield, (262) 781-5554 333 N. 25th St., (414) 933-4787 6228 W. State, Wawatosa, (4) 14) 771-7200 1075 North Branch Dr., Oak Creek, -9663 centralbarkusa.com
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Central Bark is a franchise started in 1999 by husband-and-wife team Jackie Jordan and Chris Gaba. Today, it is the largest network of daycares for dogs in the country. The signature Central Bark Care philosophy includes “Whole Dog Care” that combines decades of dog experience with the latest dog behavior science. Services include lavish doggy daycare, salon and spa, “weekends” and more.
Happy Paws Grooming & Daycare 5401 W State St., (414) 778-0112 2929 N. 114th St., Waukesha, (262)491-5508 happyypawsmke.com
Happy Paws was started in 2014 by dog lover Sean Davis The business offers day care, boarding, training, grooming, party rentals, swimming and laundry services. “I wanted to open a daycare/kennel where not only did the dogs feel welcome, but where their owners felt welcome as well,” Davis says.
Love Pet Care of London offers daycare, grooming and boarding in a large, renovated facility. The business is owned by Jazmine Swann and her 8-year-old “assistant” and son, London. Swann has a business management degree with a veterinary assistant certificate and years spent working as a groomer, doggy dayer and most recently as a veterinarian. Wright Brown Deer Veterinary Hospital
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Playtime is the dream-as-truth business Jodi Pawełski After a career with the Marines, Pawelski received extensive training as a dog handler, trainer, groomer and veterinarian. These experiences inspired her to open her own dog daycare Playtime also offers grooming and boarding “Dogs I’ve worked with in the past still recognize me at the downtown dog park today,” says Pavelski.
More stories on: Dog Day Care, Dog Grooming, Dog Training, Central Bark, Camp Bow Wow, Love Pet Services London.
Molly Snyder began writing and publishing her work at age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem “Unicorn.” Since then, he has written in many different mediums, extending from the subject of mythical creatures, but, near and dear to his heart, for thousands of essays. “Dandelions: A Podcast for Women.” He has been accepted by five Milwaukee Press Clubs