Last month, Michelle and Mark attended a four day “pet boarding and daycare expo.” Like conferences from long ago (say 18 months to 2 years ago) this event was full of owners and managers of overnight care and doggie day care facilities from around the country, those thinking about getting into the pet care industry, vendors, and speakers. After 25-years of pet care, more is learned chatting in the bar and strolling the vendor showcase than in the presentations.
So, what did we learn (or perhaps have reaffirmed)?
- The pandemic was really, really hard on the pet care industry. A number of pet care facilities around the country closed and an even greater number who weathered the storm are now for sale as the owners have simply had enough.
- Hiring quality employees is really, really, really hard everywhere. Almost every facility had stories about job postings not resulting in applications, applicants not showing up for interviews, and new hires not showing up for their 1st day of work.
- As much as everyone was complaining about running a small business wherever they were located, they all felt much better about their situation after learning that Pet Camp was in San Francisco.
- The Pet Camp counselors are amazing! While we have a rule about not airing our dirty laundry in public, after listening to other owners and managers for 4 days, it was clear how dedicated the Pet Camp counselors are to the campers and how fortunate we are to have them as part of the Pet Camp team.
- The Pet Camp campers and their humans are great. Sure, we’ve had some not-so-great experiences with some human clients, it’s almost never an issue with the pets, (sometimes our fault and sometimes not), but overall, both the pets and the humans who grace our lobby are the best and we are grateful for them.
We are fortunate to be part of an industry that, in non-pandemic times, gathers 3 or 4 times a year to share ideas, swap stories and learn best practices.
Thanks for reading.