How To Choose The Right Dog

Choose_Right_Dog

Snaggle Foot | November 2021

If you’re considering getting a dog, it’s crucial to do your research and find the right one for you. While there are lots of different breeds out there that could fit into your lifestyle, it’s important to keep in mind that each breed, and each dog, has its own unique personality traits. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some questions to ask yourself to choose the right dog for you and your family!

What are your living arrangements? 

One of the main things you need to consider when determining which type of dog is right for your lifestyle and needs, is what kind of living arrangements you have. A house with a yard might be better suited for an active breed like a retriever or labradoodle. If you live in an apartment without any outdoor space, then it may make sense to adopt  a smaller dog or a cat instead.

How much time are you willing to spend with your dog each day?

If you are considering getting a new dog, think about the amount of time you are willing to commit each day. Not only will your dog need plenty of walks and playtime, but they also require your attention for daily care. For example, if you work long hours or have other commitments that keep you away from home for most of the day, it might be better to adopt an older pup who isn’t as active.

What kind of personality traits are you looking for in a dog?

What kind of personality traits are you looking for? Do you want a dog that is playful and energetic? Maybe one that is calm and gentle? Or maybe one that’s more protective and loyal? When it comes to picking out your perfect pup, remember that all dogs have different personalities so it’s really up to what suits your lifestyle best!

Does anyone in your family have allergies?

If you, or anyone in your family, has allergies or other sensitivities, it’s important to work with your doctor before getting a dog. This will help you narrow down which breeds are best for you. The American Kennel Club is a great resource to find a list of “hypoallergenic” dog breeds that are likely a safer choice. The real issue to consider is the severity of your allergies so you and your family can live comfortably with your new companion. 

Is the dog for you, or someone else?

You may be trying to do something nice, but if you don’t know what type of dog they want or need, you could end up doing more harm than good. If you are considering buying a furry friend as a gift, try taking some time to find out what kind of lifestyle your recipient has and whether their home is suitable for pets before making any decisions about which breed would best suit them. Getting them involved in the decision is the safest route to take. It will save everyone involved plenty of headaches down the road!

Do you have any other pets?

If you already have a pet at home, one thing that may be on your mind is how the two pets will get along. Will they become best friends? Can they co-exist peacefully? Is your existing pet going to be happy with this lifestyle change? Will you have enough time and attention for all of your animals? Do you have enough living space if you add another dog to your family? With all the factors to consider, it can be hard to make a decision. But what’s important is that you find a dog who will fit your entire family… humans and animals.

When deciding on the type of dog to get, it is important for you and your family to consider what each individual wants in a pet. A dog is a big commitment and it’s a decision that has an impact on the whole family. There are many factors to consider before getting one (or another one). Hopefully this list was helpful to start narrowing down what type of dog may be right for you! 

Best of luck in your search!

Badges are a Valuable Business Tool

Snaggle Foot | Published:

Pet parents are searching for peace of mind.

Administering medications to pets is one of the most important services that you can offer as a Snaggle Foot Pet Care Specialist.  Often, the burden of having a pet that has a chronic illness, or requires a lot of extra medical care, leaves pet parents feeling stressed, depressed, anxious, and alone.  Similar to caring for a human family member, caring for a sick pet takes its toll.  Vacations are often skipped and work hours are shortened to accommodate for the extra care needs.  This “caregiver burden” is amplified by the lack of support services available to pet parents. 

It’s hard for pet parents to trust that anyone would take care of their sick pet the way that they would.  With medications being delivered on-time, right dosages being administered, and safe techniques being used to minimize any stress or harm.  News reports feature unreliable and unsafe situations that even healthy pets experience on a regular basis.  So, who can be trusted? 

That’s where you come in…

Where the “other guys” simply check a box stating that they are “comfortable” administering medications to pets, our Snaggle Foot Pet Care Specialists are trained and certified in this specific skill.  No other pet care company offers a medication administration certificate!  By leveraging Snaggle Foot Academy in your marketing and communications plans, you can become the trusted partner in that pet’s comprehensive care plan!

"Certification marks have the greatest impact on consumer trust levels, period."

PRICEWATERHOUSE COOPERS

Establish trust through Snaggle Foot Academy online education.

Most of you have been providing this important service to your Snaggle Foot pet clients for many years -in fact- that’s why we created this badge.  Snaggle Foot Academy provides you with the tools and resources to not only raise the bar in pet care, but to set it!

Step One: Complete The Training

Ensure that each member on your team is enrolled in Snaggle Foot Academy and that you, and your entire team, have earned your "Administering Medications to Pets" Badge.

Step Two: Allow Pet Parents to Find You

Update your Pet Care Specialist's profiles with the specific badge credentials on your SnaggleFoot.com location page. Without taking this important step, how will prospective pet parents know that they can look to you as a trusted partner to join their care team? Why not differentiate yourself from the competition?

Step Three: Promote Your Services

Leverage social media, email newsletters, printed materials, and marketing communication to promote this important service to new, existing, and old clients.

Step Four: Request A Review

If you have a happy pet parent, don't be shy about asking for an online review.  Provide them with an easy link to where you want the review to go, and then consider thanking them with a personalized message, card, or even a percent off of an upcoming service.

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Percent of Snaggle Footers have already started their badge... is your team on that list?

Take the first step!

Team members can be added any time.
Questions?  Want help creating a learning plan?  We are here for you! 
Contact Jana Rewey Huffman at jana.huffman@snagglefoot.com

Top 5 Dog Walkers In Lexington, KY

Snaggle Foot Lexington has been named one of the top 5 dog walkers in Lexington, KY!

We’re excited to announce our Lexington, KY location has been named one of the top dog walkers by Happy Doggo. “We’re thrilled, of course,” exclaimed Kathy Ritter, owner of Snaggle Foot Lexington. “Our team works really hard to ensure the pets are happy, and the pet parents know exactly what is happening,” she explained.

Kathy Ritter
Kathy Ritter, owner Snaggle Foot Lexington

Part of their formula for success is a high level of customer service. Pet parents have learned they can trust their fur babies to Snaggle Foot Pet Care Specialists. The pet parents get regular communications about what and how their pet is doing, but Snaggle Foot also goes the extra mile. “When pet parents travel, we do lots of little things that are important, like turn lights on and off. Bring in packages. Water plants. Things we would want done for us, if someone was looking after our pet in our own home,” said Ritter.

In addition, Snaggle Foot Pet Care Specialists are trained and certified in many aspects of pet care, and in a variety of animal species. For instance, all Pet Care Specialists are certified in Pet CPR/Pet First Aid. Also, Canine Communications, Senior Care, Feline Fundamentals, and more. This training and certification means pet parents can rest assured that their pet is in the hands of true professional. All Pet Care Specialists are drug tested and background checked, and each Snaggle Foot location is locally owned/operated and insured.

We’re proud of Kathy and her team!

Protecting Pets from Extreme Heat

Hot Pets-Heat Wave

In response to extreme temperatures around the country, here’s some advice on how to keep pets safe and healthy in the middle of a heat wave.

By Jen Goetz, with edits by Snaggle Foot | Pet Business | June 30, 2021

The dog days of summer are upon us, and there has already been record-breaking high temperatures in several U.S. states. Reports indicate that these high-temperatures are likely to remain, throughout mid-July.

“If it’s hot outside for you, it’s even hotter for your pet,” according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

To help protect pets in the extreme heat, the American Humane Society shared some advice to help keep animal companions safe and healthy. To look out for pets in the midst of extreme heat, here’s some guidance retailers can share with consumers:

Limit or Adjust Exercise Routines

Exercise is an important component to a pet’s health and fitness, but during a heat wave, it needs to take a backseat. Owners should scale back on a pet’s exercise routine (i.e., take shorter walks, limit time outside, etc.) The American Humane Society suggests that pet parents should adjust their schedules to bring pets outside during the coolest parts of the day.

The scalding sidewalk and pavement outside can be painful for pet paws, so it’s important to either stick to the grass, or make use of pet boots that can protect paw pads from hot surfaces.

Be Careful Where You Leave Pets

This goes without saying, but keeping pets in a locked car in dangerous conditions can be deadly. It’s imperative that, if pets need to be left in the car, that they have a source of air, and that it won’t be for an extended period of time. Overall, if it can be avoided, keep pets out of locked cars in general, but especially during a heat wave.

On top of being stuck inside a vehicle, pets shouldn’t be left outside too long in the heat. After a brief time outside, pets should return to cool and shady spaces with a water supply nearby.

Address Heat Stroke Immediately

If pets experience heat stroke, they’ll need a vet’s attention right away. Heat stroke can lead to fatal complications in dogs or cats, so they need to be treated for this condition as soon as possible. Symptoms of a heat stroke in pets can range from heavy panting and excessive drooling to seizures and unconsciousness. Some breeds or older pets may be more susceptible to this condition, so we encourage pet parents to learn if their pets may be at a higher risk.

Hire A Trustworthy Pet Care Specialist

Snaggle Foot Pet Care Specialists are trained and certified in the important aspects of pet care, including: Pet CPR/First Aid, senior canines, canine communications, feline fundamentals, and more! There’s a reason so many people trust Snaggle Foot with their fur babies. Find your local Snaggle Foot!

What Happens If Pets Eat Cicadas?

Cicada

As Brood X emerges from its 17-year gestation period, pet owners may be concerned if their pet swallows these bugs.

It’s a momentous occasion that happens once every two decades—the re-emergence of cicadas. After a 17-year hiatus, Brood X has a new generation of cicadas coming out of the ground and, inadvertently, tempting dogs with their crispy, crunchy shells. Given the curious nature of cats and dogs, it’s only natural that they swat, nose and even bite the unidentified creatures. But what happens when pet owners hear that dreaded swallow?

As it turns out, nothing. While it’s not a healthy habit to encourage, pet owners shouldn’t be concerned if their animal eats the occasional cicada or two. In fact, veterinarians explained to the New York Times that the only concern is overindulgence and upset stomachs, which come in the forms of lethargy, diarrhea and vomiting. While cicadas do carry a fungus, it only impacts the bugs—not the entities that eat them.

The panic surrounding pets and cicadas is a rare event, given the longevity of the bugs’ gestation period. When that concern is factored in with the increased emotional bond pets and pet parents forged over the past 16 months, it’s only natural for owners to worry.

Cicada consumption is more of a concern for dog owners than cat owners, given the increased time dogs spend outside. Outdoor cat parents shouldn’t be concerned, either; the veterinarians interviewed by the NYT explained that cats are more inclined to go after static prey, not those that are moving.

For pet parents who are still wary about walking their dogs during this infestation, it’s recommended to get out before dawn or after dusk.

New Survey Reveals What Pet Owners Will Miss Most When Returning to Work

black and white dog

Ahead of National Take Your Dog to Work Day, this survey looks at pet parents’ greatest concerns about returning to the office.

A new survey conducted by Wellness Natural Pet Food found that 33 percent of working pet parents say that being with their pet is what they miss most upon returning to the office, beating out other conveniences like sleeping in late (28 percent), working from the couch (24 percent) and dressing comfortably (15 percent).

Given the option, more than half (53 percent) of working pet parents would rather continue working from home with their pet than to go back to the office without them.

After spending so much time at home, 21 percent of working pet parents said that leaving their pet at home alone is what makes them most nervous about returning to work, and 78 percent think there should be pet-friendly policies at their work place. The survey also revealed that 73 percent of working pet parents feel having pets at work will make it a fun place to be when they do return to the office, 22 percent say that the ability to bring their pet to work is the most important pet-friendly policy for them, and 29 percent say they are more compassionate in the workplace because they are a pet parent.

“As pet parents return to work, it will be a transition for both humans and pets, and an even bigger adjustment for the millions of families who added a pet for the first time,” said Dr. Danielle Bernal, global veterinarian with Wellness Natural Pet Food. “This Take Your Dog to Work Day, we’re urging employers to think about and listen to the needs of their pet parent employees, and recognize the many ways that pets make us better people, and workers.”

New US pet ownership study confirms pandemic-led growth

Couple with their dog

Pet ownership in 2020 rose to 70% of US households, and Millennials were the largest cohort of pet owners, per APPA’s new survey.

In 2020, pet ownership in the U.S. rose from 67% of households to an all-time high of 70%, wrote Steve King, president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association (APPA), in a preview of the association’s soon-to-be-released “2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey.”

“Pets have played a central role in comforting Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic,” King wrote in an article for Pet Business. That resulted in increased spending on pet food and supplies in 2020, he added; 35% of pet owners surveyed said they spent more on their pets in the previous 12 months than in the preceding year. Gen Z and millennial pet owners led the higher spending, with 49-50% reporting they had spent more on their pets.

Millennials were also revealed to be the largest cohort of pet owners at 32 percent, followed closely by Baby Boomers at 27 percent, and Gen X at 24 percent.

Other key findings from the 2021-2022 study include:

  • Pet spending increased during the past year, with 35 percent of pet owners stating they spent more on their pet/pet supplies in the last 12 months than in the preceding year.
  • 14 percent of total respondents (pet owners and non-pet owners) obtained a new pet during the pandemic. Additionally, at least one in four new pet owners shared their recent pet acquisition – ranging from dogs to reptiles to horses – was influenced by the pandemic.
  • Pet owners’ online shopping increased by almost 20 percent. Before the pandemic, 60 percent of pet owners usually purchased pet products in person at brick-and-mortar stores. During the pandemic, in-person shopping dropped to 41 percent.
  • 51 percent of pet owners are willing to pay more for ethically sourced pet products and eco-friendly pet products.
  • Pet insurance purchases amongst both dog and cat owners have also increased, nearly doubling amongst cat owners in particular.

“For more than 30 years, APPA has been collecting and reporting consumer insight data through our National Pet Owners Survey, and each year we aim to enhance this industry resource,” said Steve King, APPA president and CEO. “The newest edition of the survey is the most comprehensive yet and we look forward to arming our members and the broader pet care community with the information needed to make strategic, informed business decisions that will help advance our already burgeoning industry.

The Surprising Cost of Parenting a Pet

By Carley Lintz

Pet Business | Published:

 

Adopting a pet is an almost surefire way to add joy to your life,

but it does come at a cost—at least for your wallet.

According to a new survey from TD Ameritrade, 33% of Americans have or have considered fostering/adopting a pet due to social distancing guidelines. When broken down by generation, the rate was highest among millennials at 50% compared to Gen X at 33% and Baby Boomers at 25%.

However, many pet owners quickly realized that pet ownership isn’t a cheap endeavor. In fact, almost half of surveyed dog owners (47%) said that having a pet is more expensive than they initially anticipated, spending an average of $1,201 annually.

Cat owners were similarly surprised with 41% reporting that their pet is more costly than expected, even though they only spent half as much as dog owners at $687 a year.

The top two spending categories for both animals were food and veterinary visits/vaccinations. When it comes to medical care, the average maximum dog owners reportedly will spend is $3,307 if their pup got sick. Cat owners capped their spending at just below $2,000.

According to the report, other categories pet parents are willing to splurge on include holiday gifts (66% of dog owners and 58% of cat owners), Halloween costumes (46% of dog owners and 34% of cat owners) and birthday parties (42% of dog owners and 34% of cat owners).