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Dogs in the Franchise Spotlight


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I’ve always wanted to attend a dog party. Picturing it all is half the fun: dogs chasing me, me chasing dogs, tug of war tournaments, wrestling matches, bark-offs and, as the cherry on top, feeding dogs a multi-layer cake—and not being the one responsible for cleaning up the mess.

Does this picture of insanity make me a good candidate for a dog franchise? Maybe. There sure are a lot of choices out there as Americans continue spending ever more dollars and inches of my Facebook feed on their fur-bearing friends.

According to the American Pet Product Association (APPA), Americans spent approximately $47.7 billion on pet products and services in 2010, an increase of 4.8 percent over 2009. That’s a lot of puppy money.

Some razor-sharp Googling reveals a few industries that are approximately this large: energy technology, big data, custom apparel, divorce, display advertising, e-cigs and VoIP. No, I did not intentionally choose such a strange array for comparison.

Here at Franchise Times, Nancy & Co. has covered the packs of pet-centric franchises for years, but the list is virtually endless. A few of the big dogs include: Bark ‘N Bubbles Dog Wash, Bark Busters Home Dog Training, Camp Bow Wow, Canine Campus, D.O.G. Hotels, DoggyWash, Dogs Love Running! (they sure do), In Home Pet Services, MetroDogs, Pet Butler and Pet Supplies Plus.

It begs an obvious question: how much is too much in terms of dog spending? As a new dog co-owner, I haven’t  shelled out much money toward luxury nail grooming or Oakley’s (see above) vacation fund, but I would if she could ask me.

After being contacted by D.O.G. hotels, I investigated to see what luxuriant canine options are available. So far no hot stone massage, but I suspect that’s coming soon. This is where I stumbled onto D.O.G.’s “party services,” which can include customized dog cakes and “decorations to make the day memorable for their dog.” Having already proven Oakley has a sharp memory, this seems pretty legit.

As a newcomer to the industry—franchising since October 2014 and with two corporate stores—D.O.G. caters to animal lovers, and those of us who are enthusiastic and energetic. While they haven’t expanded outside of Florida, the company says its future depends upon escaping beyond the sunshine state.

Let me be clear, my franchise friends in the industry. If you know of an innovative or hyper-luxury dog franchise doing cool things, I want to know about it. If said franchise is willing to board me overnight in the name of research or throw me a dog party, I’m down. Very down.

This dog stuff is going to be big. Let the insanity begin.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is staff writer at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 
Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner is editor-at-large of Franchise Times magazine and the editor of the Food On Demand media project. You can reach her at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nanweingartner.
 

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