Meet Team SFU

(Pictured Left to Right: Jana Rewey Huffman, Maike Johnson, Micheal Johnson (back), Sarah Donnell (front), Melissa Kitchen, Dave Andrick)

As Snaggle Foot University comes closer to launching, we thought you should meet the team behind making this possible! AIM (Active Interest Media) is our education partner for SFU. VP/Group Publisher, Dave Andrick, has this to say to Snaggle Foot:

Active Interest Media is a national leader in serving enthusiast audiences with an active lifestyle including backpacking, sailing, yoga, and our group which targets equestrian, pet and hobby farm.

Our AIM team has developed online training across numerous markets. The emphasis of our program has been engagement—we are a consumer content company, so we speak B-to-B in a way that is much more engaging than the typical approach. On the equine side, we have more than 1,100 retailers in the US, UK, AUS, and other markets using our programs to help retail staff become more knowledgeable on various equestrian brands, products and techniques.

We are excited to be part of the Snaggle Foot story, and look forward to helping provide online training for Pet Care Specialists. This will be a truly unique and state-of-the-art benefit that Snaggle Foot will be able offer to franchisees and their staff.

Melissa Kitchen (second from right) is Digital Director of the team and one of the founders of our online training program. Beatrice Rudolph (not pictured) is our Projects Coordinator and is the front line of all training and reporting. Beatrice has a wealth of best practices that she pulls from in her program designs, as well as being an accomplished artist in her own right. And I, Dave Andrick (far right), am VP/Group Publisher for the Equine Network division of AIM.

Thank you for the opportunity to work with your team!


Dave and the whole AIM Team!

E-mail Setup

General Email Server Details:



Password: < the password we provided you >

Incoming Mail Server:

Outgoing Mail Server:

If you do not have your login information, or if you have any problems setting up your email, please contact us via email, here:

iPhone, iPad (iOS) Setup using the default “Mail” app

  • Go to Settings > Passwords & Accounts, then tap Add Account
  • Tap Other, then tap Add Mail Account
  • Enter your name, email address, password, and a description for your account.
  • Tap Next. Mail will try to find the email settings and finish your account setup. If Mail finds your email settings, tap Done to complete your account setup.

If Mail can’t find your email settings, then you need to enter them manually. Tap Next, then follow these steps:

  • Choose IMAP for your new account
  • Enter the information for Incoming Mail Server and Outgoing Mail Server. Then tap Next.
  • If your email settings are correct, tap Save to finish

MacOS (OS X) Desktop Setup using the default “Mail” app

  • Open “Mail” application
  • Click on “Mail” on the toolbar at the top of the screen
  • Click “Add account
  • Click “Add Other Mail Account
  • Enter your full name (optional)
  • Enter your email address
  • Enter your password
  • Click “Next” button
  • Done!

Windows 10 Setup using the default “Mail” app

Android Setup using “Outlook” app

Q2 YoY Revenues

This chart presents a year-over-year comparison of Q2, 2018-2019. The intent is to reveal the overall collective health of the network. If you need help understanding your own financial picture and how it compares to the overall network, please contact the Home Office.

Meet the Team: Jana Rewey Huffman

Hey everyone!

I’m Jana Rewey Huffman, and I joined the Snaggle Foot Team in April 2019. I’ve been spearheading the launch of our very own Snaggle Foot University, scheduled for October, and I’m so excited!

I bring more than 15 years of experience in marketing strategy on the corporate side, as well as a strong foundation in educational development. I’ve led the creation of many internal and external training programs, and am also an adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota teaching courses in Content Marketing and Brand Strategy.

I live in the suburbs of St. Paul, MN with my husband, 3 “bonus” sons, and a 2-year old Cane Corso Italian Mastiff named Khali. Over the years, I’ve had a full assortment of pets and fur-family members with many rescue dogs of all breeds, cats, birds (including a pet Chukar who lived to be 10-years old), rodents and fish… so many fish. 😉

Snaggle Foot University is a passion project for me, as I really have a heart for dogs and teaching. I’m excited to bring this to you and to see how it impacts you and your staff. Working with the Snaggle Foot team has been a wonderful experience, as we are all united in the vision and mission for SFU. Production is moving quickly and we are on track for launching with several courses this fall. Stay tuned for more updates!

Q1 YoY Revenues

This chart presents a year-over-year comparison of Q1, 2018-2019. The intent is to reveal the overall collective health of the network. If you need help understanding your own financial picture and how it compares to the overall network, please contact the Home Office.

Meet Your Team: Webmaster

Howdy, ya’ll! I’m Richard Donnell – a Minnesotan turned Texan! You can’t shovel the heat!

I haven’t had much direct interaction with many of you, but if you have needed anything changed on your Snaggle Foot franchise site – then that was me. 😉 Many of you have interacted with Sarah Donnell, regarding social media and a number of other things – and as you might have noticed, we have the same last name. That’s because I am one-half of her two outstanding offspring! 😉

I own a business also, called Roger Able Dog, where I focus on technology and design; mainly developing websites and providing graphic design/production for small- and medium-size businesses. I have worked on everything from standard, information-based websites to E-Commerce and custom sites; and produced everything from print catalogs and ads, to business cards, and much more! The terms “Roger”, “Able” and “Dog”, come from my initials “R.A.D.”, and are translated to the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet used from 1941 until 1956. In today’s NATO phonetic alphabet, it would be called: “Romeo Alfa Delta”. Coincidentally, I also love dogs, so “Roger Able Dog” was the obvious choice. 🙂

When I was growing up, I was very fortunate to have computers in my family, which quickly became a passion of mine. I am constantly amazed by what can be done with computers and technology, still to this day – and have been lucky enough to make a career out of my passion.

So, working in conjunction with Maike, Micheal, and Sarah; I have been brought on to help with the technology/website side of things. If you have noticed changes on the SF Home Office site, or your own franchise site, most likely that was me making those changes. We have some exciting changes coming for Snaggle Foot, so stay tuned to the SF Intel newsletter for more info!

I am grateful for this opportunity to work with all of you and I look forward to helping streamline things, and effect positive changes for everyone! So, thank you to Maike, and Micheal, and everyone – for this opportunity!


There has been a lot going on at Snaggle Foot during the past 18 months. Driven by questions from you, the franchisees, on a variety of topics, such as; how do we deal with competition from Rover and wag!, staffing questions, or marketing questions to grow your business.

We have been creating programs and making changes to original operating procedures making business decisions easier for you. Work to strengthen the brand, making it recognizable everywhere, giving you name recognition for your business. Some have asked why are we doing this and what’s expected from them? As franchisor – franchisee we are different from a retail organization with remote locations, such as chain stores. This perception encouraged this topic for our newsletter. “what’s the Responsibilities of the Franchisor, Snaggle Foot.”

As franchisor we are responsible for:
1. Support

a. Listening to your inquires and provide information allowing you to make the best decision for your business.
b. Work with you on creating new services and defining the old as the market changes to keep Snaggle Foot fresh and vibrant.
c. Provide training to use the new tools effectively.
d. Provide training information to you to use training your staff and clients.

2. Resources

a. Research on a variety of topics, staffing, marketing, or best practices for difficult or unique scenarios.
b. Provide supplemental staff to help specific questions, Pet Behavior, Quick Books, Social Media, and training.
c. Provide programs like CoSchedule to make management of Social Media less time consuming.

3. Marketing & Branding

a. Use of Advertisements, print and internet.
b. Use of trademarks, images, and logos.
c. Develop relationships with vendors, suppliers, and partners.
d. Create new logos, trademarks, and proprietary graphics as required.

4. Quality Control –
a. Proper use of branding materials and colors.
b. Following the Snaggle Foot operating practices and procedures insuring continuity across the franchises.

5. Business Innovation –
a. New branded supplies, marketing promotional items, and printed materials.
b. New programs to make operations convenient.
i. CoSchedule – Social Media management
ii. Data management – the ability to get meaningful reports on our businesses, locally and nationally.
iii. Snaggle Foot University – Due to rollout this September. Training for franchisee, staff, and client.

As a franchisor what we are not responsible for:
Is the topic for next month.

A franchisee is responsible for:
1. Day to day operations –
a. Meet & Greet with clients
b. Hire & fire staff as needed
c. Train and communicate with staff.
d. Manage finances to pay their payrolls and bills.

2. Maintain Snaggle Foots image and reputation –
a. Control local use of logos, colors, and proprietary materials.
b. Follow company operating manual procedures.
c. Use Snaggle Foot authorized supplies and promotional items.
d. Attend all communication sessions with Snaggle Foot to keep up with new materials, practices, and changes.

3. Communicate with Snaggle Foot –
a. Talk to Snaggle Foot:
i. About changes you would like to see
ii. About problems that are unique
iii. Need for training in areas not usually covered

4. Participate –
a. Bring you field experience and ideas.
b. Give opinions when asked about an idea or change.
c. Join a group and provide input and guidance on proposed changes.

Meet Your Team: Marketing Communications

Hey! I’m Sarah Donnell, and my super power is common sense – pretty amazing, amiright??

I think I’ve spoken to many of you, although not all of you – yet. 😉  I own Amp My Brand, LLC, and you probably know me best for CoSchedule and social media. But did you know that I am a small business owner, too, and have worked in communications for nearly 30 years?? Uff da – that’s hard to admit. And YES – I love animals! 🙂  While I’m currently pet-less (I don’t think of my horse as a “pet”), we raised our children on a small farm with horses, cats, dogs, and various small mammals. So care-taking pets is close to my heart.

Over the course of my career, I’ve worked in advertising, franchising (Great Clips for hair, Jiffy Lube, Hardees), loyalty marketing, comprehensive communications, and enthusiast marketing. I’ve worked with large, enterprise businesses, and small, mom-and-pop start-ups. I’ve worked in travel, finance, hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation, and beauty. I’ve been a client, and I’ve run an agency. And now, I find myself excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with all of you.

I started Amp My Brand in 2000, because I burned out working in a large agency on enterprise clients. Working for myself has been the most satisfying, exhausting, stressful, rewarding experience ever. 😉  And while there are some things I miss about being part of a large organization, I really value the freedom and flexibility of running my own business.

So I know about long hours, no vacations, being on call 24/7, and solving problems. I know about taking care of clients, managing employees, and doing the accounting. I know about the responsibilities of filing taxes, complying with local laws, and hard decisions around staffing.

But I’m doing something I love, and I think most of you can relate to that. I truly enjoy what I do: helping businesses and individuals with their marketing and communications. Running a business is hard, but marketing & communications shouldn’t be. It can seem complicated, but that’s what I’m here for – to help make sense of the market and identify what works.

CoSchedule is just the beginning. We’re busy with a number of initiatives which will become apparent as the year rolls along. Keep watching the SF Intel newsletter, as that’s how we’ll be announcing things and providing you with additional information and progress reports.

And one final note, I want to say thank you to everyone – Maike and Micheal, of course – but also to all of you. I truly am grateful for the opportunity to work with each of you, and I’m excited about being able to make a meaningful difference to your business (and your life). Thank you.

I’m Seeing Red!


I am seeing RED!

You might have noticed that pretty much all Snaggle Foot items are now red …. from poop bags, plastic bags, bandanas, leashes, t-shirts … everything is red. Everything proudly shows off the Snaggle Foot logo and/or the Snaggle Foot tag line.

This is part of our aggressive branding strategy to support you and your business.

Developing consistent branding across the board – from apparel, equipment, web sites, marketing and promotional materials, to values and copy – is important to you as a business owner and service provider in a competitive market.

Branding is also important to carry and market the Snaggle Foot brand across the nation.

What Does ‘Branding’ Do?

Branding distinguishes Snaggle Foot from all other pet service providers. Our Snaggle Foot brand is designed to be a true representation of who we are as the most trusted pet care provider. But it does more than that:

Branding drives new business;

Branding builds awareness and recognition;

Branding builds pride and satisfaction in staff;

Branding creates trust in the market place.

As part of our branding strategy, we are in the midst of completely overhauling our inventory order system – it will be ready for you very soon! The new Supplies item pages will be complete, more detailed and will give you more information about the item and its proposed use. Whether for running your business, working in the field, or for marketing or promotional events. Using a shopping cart interface, it will be much easier to search for items and to place multiple orders.

We are also adding a custom print section where you quickly can order custom items, like business cards, flyers, magnets, etc. that carry your specific web site, phone number or name.

With this comes another change!

We are no longer sending out fixed amounts of marketing or promotional items, as not everybody will need – or use – each item. Instead, we are announcing each new item in the monthly newsletter – often after the items have been tested out for one of you. New items will be available to you to order from the Supplies page at no cost up to a generous minimum, after that, we will pass the items on to you at cost.

With these changes, we want all Snaggle Foot staff to be outfitted in our colors, shirts, and equipment to properly represent our brand.

If you are working with ICs and are concerned about supplying IC’s with equipment needed to fulfill their duties – we have spoken with our franchise lawyer and he assured us that wearing SF branded clothing and using SF specific equipment is customary within the franchising industry, and does not raise a red flag with the IRS. ICs are fulfilling a service request under your name and can be supplied with SF specific (aka branded, supplied by the home office) equipment. But don’t take our word for it. Here is the official word from our attorney:

“Franchisors have the right to require that franchisees and their personnel present a uniform brand image to the public and their customers. This commonly includes requiring franchisees and their personnel to be properly trained, to wear branded uniforms, to use Snaggle Foot branded leashes and other supplies, and to provide a common set of services to customers. These requirements are necessary to provide the public with a uniform and consistent Snaggle Foot brand experience.”    ~ James Wahl, Attorney, Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty & Bennet, P.A., Minneapolis, MN

If you have any concerns regarding ICs and SF equipment, please contact us and we will discuss your specific concerns with our franchise lawyer. We want the Snaggle Foot to stand out, and to stand for something – and this is the first step towards a unified brand presence in the market.

So now I hope you are seeing RED, too!  😉

2018 Net Revenues

The following chart provides a look at the franchise network’s net revenues for 2018. The locations have been randomized, but you can find your location represented, and see how it compares to the rest of the network. Our intent is to provide you with information, incentive and transparency around your business, so you can better manage and understand your own performance. If you have questions, please contact Magic Mike:

Oh Poop!

By Kate Klausner, Ann Arbor, MI

Poop can tell us a lot about the health of a dog, but what, exactly does it mean? And what’s normal? I developed this guide for our Pet Care Specialists, and I thought the rest of the network could benefit from it as well. So here is my guide to the Perfect Poop! 😀


Use a scale of 1 to 5 to rate poop quality. 1 = liquid diarrhea, 5 = a hard/dry stool. 4 is ideal, “a light- to dark-brown stool that is well-formed, firm but malleable, moist, and does not fall apart when picked up.”

* Healthy/Normal

Should have a relatively inoffensive odor, typically be brown and of an even, well-digested consistency.

* Diarrhea and loose stool

Be Concerned If – It is severe, contains or smells of blood, contains raspberry-jam like mucus, is accompanied by other signs of illness, or continues for more than a couple of days

Not To Worry If – it occurs only once or twice and then resolves itself

Note – Dehydration is always a danger with mild or severe diarrhea; make sure plenty of fresh water is available.

* Constipation and dry stool

Be Concerned If – It continues for days or the dog stops going at all, which may be a sign of an obstruction

Not To Worry If – the dog has been unable to get out to go to the bathroom for an extended time and may have been “holding it” too long; if it only happens once or twice.

* Straining

Be Concerned If – The dog strains to urinate, as urinary obstruction can be rapidly fatal.

Note – Anything that causes constipation could cause straining, plus any inflammation of the colon, rectum, or perianal region.

* Poop that is flat on one side

Be Concerned If – the dog is male; an enlarged prostate can press against male dog’s rectum, causing him to strain. It may also have a squishy or mushy consistency.

* Greasy feces

Be Concerned If – It is ongoing; it is a sign that the dog is not digesting the fat in his food. A visit to the vet is needed.

* Extremely stinky

Be Concerned If – Feces should never smell alarming; a scent of blood or severe rancidity should alert you to something amiss.

Note – High meat diets will have stronger smells, as will diets with beans or veggies that cause gas.

* Odd contents

Be Concerned If – Nonfood items such as bits of plastic, wood, can cause a blockage or other problems. Do look for ways to stop access to nonfood “extras”.

Not To Worry If – It contains indigestible food chunks such as raw carrot, whole nuts, whole seeds or grass; their appearance is only occasional.

* Hair

Be Concerned If – It is excessive, which may indicate allergies, fleas or insufficient grooming. This is not a digestive issue.

* Mucus

Be Concerned If – If it doesn’t clear up after a bowel movement or two. Mucus means an irritated colon.

* Absence of stool

Be Concerned If – No stool or gas for a couple of days, vomiting, dehydration, and/or the abdomen feels tender and hard. There may be an intestinal blockage, which is an emergency. Slightly bloody or watery brown feces may indicate that the intestine has telescoped in on itself
Not To Worry If – If they otherwise seem perfectly fine, don’t worry if a dog occasionally fails to defecate for a day or two.

* Odd colors

Yellow, hard stool – a diet that contains a lot of bone meal. Soft yellow stool can indicate a serious problem like a viral infection, especially if it’s yellow diarrhea, with or without vomiting.

Green – can indicate imbalances. These may be momentary and caused by something recently eaten, or reflect longer-term problems such as parasites or an organ issue.

White or very pale and hard – Raw diet containing bone meal. It may appear in one feces but not in another on the same day. It may be slightly difficult for the animal to pass, as it can be comparatively hard, but is not usually a cause for concern. Good quality vegetable fiber can help to ease the situation.

Tarry or black stool – may signify bleeding from the stomach or from high in the small intestine. This is an emergency. However, a meal of raw organ meats, such as brain or spleen, may also produce black feces in healthy dogs. Pepto-Bismol can cause very dark stool.

Bloody (red) – the dog may have swallowed something that is blocking the GI tract, or may have a severe food allergy; can also signify cancer. Frank red blood or mucus that looks like raspberry jam can indicate life-threatening disease. This is an emergency.
Note – Fresh-ground raw beets may innocently stain poop a deep red that can look (and ooze) almost like blood. Stool produced by a dog on a raw diet will vary more in hue than will that from commercial food. Be aware that dyes used in some foods or treats can stain feces almost any color.

Meet Your Team: Sales & Operations

HI, I’m Micheal Johnson. And yes, that’s really how my name is spelled! Most of you already know me, but you might not know this…
I’m originally from Minnesota, born and raised in a first ring suburb of Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center. I attended the University of Minnesota and served in the Army National Guard for 8 years in the 60’s.

My first career opportunity was in photography. I began as an assistant for a wedding/portrait photographer when I was 12, then became a lab technician for Color film lab for professional photographers, and finally worked for the photography department for University of Minnesota Hospitals.

At that point, I felt I needed a change, and completely switched my career trajectory by going into electronics. To do this, I attended Northwestern Electronics Institute to become an Electronics Technician, a 4-year evening program. This change allowed me to experience a wide range of technology; consumer electronics to business computer systems as a technician, service center manager, trainer, and lastly, consultant manager for a national IT consulting firm.

In 2009, I finally retired and returned to the University of Minnesota to complete my BA. I was enjoying retirement when Snaggle Foot came along and encouraged me back to work. 😉  My role here has been primarily in sales and operations, although I am actively involved in all projects and conversations.

It’s been fun working with Snaggle Foot and all of you. Through all of it, I’ve learned I’m still a Dilbert, a technical geek. 😀  As Maike settled into her role with Snaggle Foot, she asked me what we can do for the Franchises, I said “a lot!” Like create better support programs, update marketing tools and open the lines of communication, for starters.

In the past 18 months Maike’s creativity and enthusiasm for Snaggle Foot has made for exciting times. And there’s lots more to come. So hang on!

How I Make Events Pay Off

I think it’s hard for any event to be considered a failure. I always feel as though if I am able to share my business with some new people, then it’s a success. I use the wedding services we offer to get in the door of these events as a vendor. But I use the opportunity to present all of the services and products we provide. I definitely tell them about the wedding attendant services, but also give them a clear idea of all that both Snaggle Foot and PawTree (my other business) have to offer.

My most recent event was a Bridal Show, held at a nice hotel in the heart of Baton Rouge. The first one we did this year was held at an actual wedding venue. So the demographics of the people in attendance were a little different, but the numbers were about the same. Both events were $50/$60, and had 200-300 in attendance. What’s great about bridal shows is we get a list of all of the attendees afterwards. So that allows us to reach out and follow up with all of them again.

I always try to create a table display that’s pretty, simple, and fun. I created a special sign for the bridal shows. It sits on the table on a small easel. We use a larger Snaggle Foot banner for outdoor events, but this works well for indoor. I have pens, rack cards and event brochures, as well as business cards out on the table. On the opposite side of the table, I display some of my PawTree products (food and supplements) to show the variety of what we offer. I add a string of tiny white lights draped across the table to add a bit of elegance and draw attention.

My first question to visitors is almost always “do you have a dog”? It’s the qualifier. If they say yes, that’s my cue to start my spiel. As I’m talking, I grab a bag, explain what’s inside, and direct them to the raffle entry. It has to be thorough but quick. They have a lot of ground to cover, so you don’t want to hold them up for too long.

I loved my red Snaggle Foot bags!

I set up each one with a variety of items. Each bag contained the following:

  • SF rack card
  • Events brochure
  • PawTree info sheet
  • PawTreats sample
  • Pawpairings sample
  • Business card

The bags did exactly what I wanted them to do. Towards the end, I could look around and see all the people I had spoken with, because they all had a red bag in their hand! And it serves as a reminder later in the week when they see the bag sitting around at home. I think it’s important that they see the name a few times for it to become familiar enough for them to remember it.

So as you can see, I believe events like these are an inexpensive way to get in front of lots of new faces. Next month we are doing an outdoor rodeo event! I expect there to be more families in attendance. We will be focused on talking more about daily walks, pet sitting, and PawTree products, and less about the wedding services. Hope this inspires others to leverage events and make them pay off!

Charmain King
Snaggle Foot Dog Walks & Pet Care-Baton Rouge

[rev_slider Events]

Bad Review?? Don’t Panic.

So you got a bad client review on Nextdoor, Yelp, or some other local review site?? There are a few things you can do. But first, take a deep breath. Even though you might be mad, offended, afraid, hurt, or just plain irritated, there are some effective ways to deal with this…

Here are the Cliff Notes on the steps to take in this situation:

1. Go ahead and feel the full spectrum of feelings. Get it it up and out of your body (yelling, talking and/or crying with a friend) so you can then be free to take action. Don’t skip this step. It affects everyone this way!

2. Contact the staff member who provided care to get more information about the situation. If you were the one who cared for the client, think clearly back to that day and if what the client said happened, really happened. Alternatively, help your staff to do the same. He/she may also need to work through Step 1 before they are able to think clearly about what happened. When you question them, don’t take sides, and don’t be emotional. You need to be the calm, rational one in this equation. Once you collect all the facts, and the story..

3. Think carefully about what to say to the client. Take your time. This can take a day. Or two. It’s better to take a little more time to work through this, than to move quickly and make the situation even worse. So stop and think. What you say and do will get a response. What response do you want? Tailor your actions and words to get this response. Then…

4. Call the client. Don’t email. Call. On the old-fashioned instrument called a telephone. Yes, this is hard. But one thing we know is that it’s much easier for people to express their anger or dissatisfaction through social media rather than face to face, or voice to voice. So by calling them, you will begin to defuse the situation. If you don’t get the person on the phone (they may choose not to answer your call)…

5. Leave a calm and loving message or talk directly to the client in a loving, calm manner. Include the words “How can I make this right?” That’s right. Loving. Express from your heart, how much this hurts, and how much you want to make it right. Most people respond positively to authentic expressions of care, remorse, or concern. Even if you don’t feel loving, do this. You won’t ever regret taking the high ground.

6. If the client doesn’t respond in a day or two, email them a loving, calm email. Include the words “How can I make this right?” For all the same reasons we just mentioned. Then…

7. Breathe. A lot. Know that you are a good person and a good pet sitter and realize that sometimes bad things (and reviews) happen to good pet business owners. Soon this review will be a distant memory. It’s not the end of the world. Your right clients will find you, bad review or not. Trust us!

In every situation, we want to know what you are dealing with. We may have additional suggestions for your particular situation, so please contact us and let us know what is happening. We’re in it with you. 😉

New Web Services Support

We’re really happy to announce that we have engaged a new web services firm, Roger Able Dog. This new relationship benefits you in some tangible ways:

  1. 24-hour response time window means issues are addressed quickly;
  2. Updates, maintenance, security, troubleshooting, and consulting are all under one roof, this means efficient and comprehensive service;
  3. Ultimately, we aim to eliminate the frustration that sometimes goes along with websites and technology. 😉

Remember that we have two important emails for your use:


Use this email to send updates for your website including prices and pictures.

In the subject line tell us what we are getting. A pet image, price change, biography update, etc. This helps us identify the appropriate action to take with your email.

For website images use the following format:

The file naming protocol: petname.jpg  For example: wilson.jpg

Note there is a 2mb size limit.


Use this email to report errors, links that are not working properly, or other technical issues.

When reporting issues, please be a specific as you can.

If you have a technical issue such as a broken link, error message, etc. please tell us what is happening, the page that’s affected, and which web browser you are using.

We’re excited about the plans we’re making for updates to all websites, making them more current and mobile friendly. Stay tuned for more!

Meet Your Team: Alpha Dog

I was born and raised in Germany and studied business, economics and political science at the University of Mannheim, Germany. Way back in 1991, I moved to the U.S. to obtain my MBA at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. I’ve been living in Minnesota since 1992.

After graduating with my MBA, I worked in international marketing, business and consulting functions; ranging from military product development; to business and marketing consulting; to managing and growing international businesses.

I left the ‘suit and tie’ industry to become a designated pooper-scooper and treat dispenser to our rescue dogs and my Icelandic horses. I’ve worked as mounted patrol for our park system and I am still a firefighter and first medical responder for our local fire department in Loretto, MN.

Initially, after the Snaggle Foot ownership change we have been focusing on reinforcing the business up with the legal, accounting and general business items required for growth. Now we are focusing on moving forward.

Taking over this business has been exciting and challenging. My learning curve has been steep, but I’m fortunate to build on a solid foundation with a network of experienced entrepreneurs. I deliberately took a step back to ensure that we have the basic building blocks in place. This led to defining and documenting the values, goals, branding ideas and concepts for Snaggle Foot. My primary focus now is how to best provide support, assist and help grow your business. For I fully understand, that when you succeed, the entire network is lifted up.

This work has sparked projects, time lines, actions and products.

I want you to know that my goal is to build a true Snaggle Foot community, open and direct communications within our community, and transparent actions from the Home Office.

You – as a current owner – are my priority. Your experience, knowledge, and your goals are the ones I’d like to work on with you.

I realize I’ve had a few missteps as I have learned the business…but I am excited and energized by the great projects and products starting to happen. I feel we are starting to gain momentum, and over the next few months we’ll be rolling out new initiatives aimed at helping you in your business.

Thank you for being the hands and feet of Snaggle Foot. I’m looking forward to working together in the best job ever … pet care!

Brag Posters Work!

Brag posters are an easy marketing tool to communicate the value of professional pet sitters and dog walkers, and the positive effect this service has on any pet.

You can use any photos of your own pet, your friends’, or ideally your client’s, and show case what positive change occurred in the pet since the pet parent started using your services.

Then hang these posters anywhere you find pet parents foot traffic. For example: pet stores, groomers, veterinarians, etc. But also think outside the box and consider places such as: hair salons, spas, gyms, local grocery stores, and coffee shops. You can even create a story line and up-date it regularly to engage people in how a dog/cat/bird is doing.

Pet parents will connect with the positive effect you are having on a pet, and the peace of mind you provide to the owner. This is also a way to highlight some of your other white glove services, such as: pet taxi, medication, bringing in mail, or watering flowers.

Be creative! You do so many wonderful things – don’t be shy – brag about it!

Examples of poster layouts:Brag-Poster-Bradley




Managing Your Online Reputation

Did you know that 97% of US consumers look at online reviews about local businesses?

According to Forbes, about 90% of global sales still happen in physical stores, but 97% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses and three in four people who use their smartphones to search for something nearby end up visiting a local business within a day.

Keep in mind, 90% of customers say that what they decide to buy is influenced by positive online reviews, and 94% will use a business with at least four stars. Since you run a small business, the very best thing you can do to attract more customers is to maintain a high star-rating on the most popular review sites.

And, you have more control of your online star ratings than you know. First, you can proactively encourage your customers to post reviews about their experience — 68% of customers will leave a review if asked. This activates your happiest customers, buries any unfair negative reviews and ensures that your business’ “review ratio” is healthy.

Second, you can use online reviews to uncover any legitimate blind spots and show acts of good faith for all the public to see. Engaging with dissatisfied customers in online review forums can actually lead to repeat business, and up to 70% of complaining customers will give the business another shot if their concerns are resolved.

So, how to get started? There are 5 basic steps:

1. Determine which platforms your consumers are using the most and which are the most influential to your business.

2. Make sure you have an active account on each of these platforms, have full control over your business pages, and understand each platform’s policies.

3. Go through all existing reviews, making sure to flag inappropriate or spam reviews and respond to any negative feedback.

4. Try to do this at least once a week and create a formal process for someone to easily follow, so they can assist you and make sure the management is happening.

5. Come up with a comprehensive strategy to increase your positive reviews and make responding to negative reviews successful. Video reviews can be especially effective, but you can also solicit reviews and feedback via email or social media.

But Now You Have A Negative Review.

The Web has given people enormous power to damage a brand. Negative reviews on sites like Yelp or Angie’s List can crush a business.

And let’s face it, nobody likes to be criticized. If you are in business, though, it’s going to happen. How you react to criticism can make the difference between a meaningless annoyance and a full-blown crisis.

Step 1: Stop & Think.

The key here is to keep a cool head and analyze the situation. Contact the Home Office immediately, and we’ll help you with the best course of action. And while there is no one right way of responding, we have a few things for you to think about before reacting:

Are the negative statements true? If so, deal with the issue.

Social media provides tremendous customer service tools. Acknowledge your fault and spell out how you will rectify the situation. When possible, take the conversation offline. If the issue has criminal or civil implications, check with your attorney before taking any action.

Who is the source of the negative comments? This is hugely important.

If it is one unhappy customer and you have dozens of positive testimonials or reviews, it may be better just to ignore it.
If it is a journalist or blogger, then it is important to engage him/her. Show your respect. See if you can find a way to change their mind. If you have gotten positive reviews from other journalists or bloggers, those can outweigh one of two negative statements.
If it is a disgruntled former employee, then that statement can be overwhelmed by positive reviews from other employees.

Are the statements libelous?

Some people approach social media as the Wild West, where rules and laws don’t apply. The fact is – laws do apply. If the attack on you or your business is libelous, we’ll help you determine if you should take action. Sometimes sending a cease and desist letter is enough to get the offending posts or comments removed.

Step 2: Be Civil

There is a reason why they call it social media. The Web is a place where communities are created, where conversations take place and where relationships are established. As in any community or relationship, there will be disputes. Handle them professionally, civilly, with grace and even with humor.

This will humanize you and your business and serve to establish you as positive member of the community.

Step 3: Learn from the Experience

Conversations on the Web are always evolving. As in any crisis situation, try to learn from your mistakes and use that knowledge to improve the way you do business. If there were complaints about your services or your employees, take those complaints to heart.

Think of social media as a massive focus group. Criticism can be very healthy for a business owner. It can provide a wake-up call and it can be a great test of your customer service, your flexibility and your leadership. The key is how you respond – and the Home Office is here to help you navigate the situation.
Have you had to deal with a negative review? What steps did you take, what did you learn, and how did it turn out? Please share your story with us so the rest of the network can learn from your experience:

Industry Insights 2019

There’s no question—the pet industry continues to thrive.

In its 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) reported that 68 percent of U.S. households own a pet (84.6 million homes). Because of this, the need for profes-sional pet sitters and dog walkers remains high.

The APPA also found that Americans  spent $69.5 billion on their pets in 2017—more than ever before.

Included in this total is $6.16 billion spent on pet ser-vices, which include pet sitting and dog walking.In an interview for Pet Sitter’s World magazine, Bob Vetere, APPA president, shared that according to an APPA survey, 35 percent of all dog owners report some use of pet sitters over a six month period. In addition, 67 percent of cat owners report such use. The trend in use has remained high for cats. And for dogs, it has shown a significant increase versus past surveys and appears to be continuing to rise in use by both baby boomers and millennials.

PSI’s most recent pet-owner survey (conducted in January 2018) found that 67 percent of the pet own-ers surveyed had used the services of a professional pet sitter or dog walker in the previous year.

While there was once concern that the demand for pet-care services may decline as baby boomers (and their pets) aged, recent data supports an ongoing—and likely growing—need for pet-care services.

In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, “employment of animal care and service workers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.”  (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The high level of pet ownership, combined with the increase in ownership of a variety of types of pets, equals an increased need for professional pet-care providers, including those who specialize in specific pets (“cats only” pet sitting, for example).

And, it’s not just about cats and dogs. The National Pet Owners Survey found that many households own other pets such as small animals, reptiles or saltwater fish.Breakdown of pet ownership in the U.S. according to the 2017-2018  APPA National Pet Owners Survey:


Follow Up On FES

From The Alpha Dog
Follow Up On FES

Last month, Sarah (Amp My Brand) and I visited the Franchise Expo South (FES) in Ft. Lauderdale. Our mission was two-fold: learn how other franchising companies represent themselves and what services they offer to franchise owners; and find new support service companies.

The exhibitors were mainly small to medium franchising companies – and only three exhibitors were involved in the pet care industry: Camp Bow Wow; a two-location outfit that offered beverages to the owner while their dog can get a bath and play in a dog park; and a wellness grooming company (think Jiffy Lube meets Massage Envy: a 15-minunte, membership-based service that cleans a dog’s ears, teeth and coat, and clips nails while the owner is shopping).

Here is what we learned:

  • As a whole, Snaggle Foot is in good shape. We are offering more services and support to you, the franchise owner, compared to most exhibitors. We are; however, reviewing and up-dating every item and will continue to work hard on doing more. That being said, I’d love to get your feedback on what we need to work on.
  • Personally, I was disappointed that we did not see any company that offers franchise owner support items. Yes, there were law firms, finance companies, training and marketing companies … but really, we did not see or meet with anybody that was worth investigating further.
  • I was also looking for new service ideas. We found only one idea – offering some dog/cat related health items. As for business and marketing ideas, it also was slim pickings. We are doing everything, and more, when compared to other franchising companies.
  • Overall, it was a show well worth attending. We learned and saw a lot; met and talked to a variety of people; and it was good becoming part of the franchise industry.
  • Now walking away from that show, I have to say that I am terribly proud of Snaggle Foot. You have so much compassion and love for what you do.
  • We also attended a workshop about social media and company/client data. It drove home the importance of having a strong social media presence and strengthened our strategy on social media. It also made me realize that we do not have a data breach emergency plan, aka how do we act and react if/when our data is  hacked. This is definitely an item we need to look into right away and put a plan and protocol in place.

As always, happy dog walking!