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Holiday Pet Events

Episode 173: Holiday Pet Events You Can Copy in Your Town

One of the best ways to gain exposure to your pet sitting or dog walking company is to host or participate in a holiday pet event. But oftentimes we have no idea what to do, where to do it, or just feel like it takes way too much energy.

When I used to have my company, Bella’s House & Pet Sitting for 14 years, I would participate and host many events.

These events gave me an opportunity to get my name out to the community and a good excuse to walk up to people and talk about my company in a way that didn’t seem sleazy.

Through a lot of trial and error, my events became very successful.

With a little bit of my magic, I’m going to show you how hosting a holiday pet event can be successful in your hometown area too.

Holiday Pet Events

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want to Miss

Hosting a holiday pet event doesn’t have to be overwhelming! With my list of holiday pet events you can copy, you too can host an event with all sorts of:

  • Prizes
  • Giveaways
  • Photographer
  • Alcohol sponsors
  • Rescue groups getting piles of money
  • Signs prominently hung outside of businesses with your logo on them.

The Holiday season is the perfect time to host events and spread awareness of your company.

Show Highlights

  • Yappy Hour/ Mutt and Mingle [2:03]
  • Dog Walking Club [3:10]
  • A Dog Hiking Club [4:48]
  • Dog Park Date [5:40]
  • Santa Paws [7:14]
  • The main purpose of the events [8:26]
  • How to have a howling event in your town [9:13]

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Holiday Pet Events You Can Copy in Your Town

One of the best ways to gain exposure to your pet sitting or dog walking company is to host or participate in a holiday pet event. But oftentimes we have no idea what to do, where to do it, or just feel like it takes way too much energy. When I used to have my company, Bella’s House & Pet Sitting for 14 years, I would participate and host many events.

These events became known in the community and offered me a lot of exposure and reason to walk up to people and talk about my company in a nonsleezy way. The events were successful and through lots of trial and error, I got them running smoothly. We had all sorts of prizes, giveaways, even a celebrity photographer at one event taking pictures of people and their pets. We had alcohol sponsors, rescue groups getting piles of money, and signs prominently hung outside of businesses with my logo on them.

The holidays are the ideal opportunity to host events and I am going to show you just some of the magic that you can create in your hometown area.

Here are 5 Holiday Pet Events you can host in your town:

  1. Yappy Hour
  2. Mutt and Mingle
  3. Dog Walking Club
  4. Dog Hiking Club
  5. Santa Paws

 

Pet Events

Yappy Hour/ Mutt and Mingle

Host the happiest of happy hour events with Yappy Hour or Mutt and Mingle. It’s a lot of fun to go to the local bar with your dog and especially for a holiday pet event. It can be an indoor or outdoor event. This is a great way to get your community together with their pups and strike up conversations about your business.

All you have to do is:

  • Find a local bar or venue to host the event
  • Get a liquor sponsor through the venue (they always have some)
  • Designate a photographer
    • You could either hire one for a couple of hours or have someone assigned to take pictures on their phone.
  • Decorate
  • Chat it up with all the attendees!

To take it a step further, you can add cute decorations like dog treats in shot glasses and host a raffle or giveaway.

 

Dog Walking Club

This great event doesn’t have to be just a holiday pet event, but can be a year-round, once a month event.

Here is how it works: Humans and their dogs walk all together in a pack, creating a community where you can get your brand out there to relevant people. Often times it is a one or two-mile loop.

The dog walking would typically work best in a subdivision or where there are a lot of apartment complexes, anywhere where you could walk a big circle. You may even be able to do a mile loop where you “pick up” and “drop off” people along the way.

The biggest advantage is all the advertising that comes with it at each apartment complex once they agree to it.

 

Holiday Pet Events

Dog Hiking Club

Are you a little more of an “off the beaten path” type of person? If so, a dog hiking club may be a better fit for you and your community than a typical walk around the neighborhood.

To do this, it would be very similar to starting a walking club but you would want to find hiking trails best suited for large packs and pups of all breed and ages.

If you have already created a blog with the best dog walking trails in your area, you might want to start with that. Consider reaching out to hiking clubs and see if they wanted to partner with you on an event with a twist… with the dogs!

 

Dog Park Date

Create a holiday pet event within the community you’ve already established and invite your clients to the dog park for a date!

With this event, it’s up to you to be creative on what the event will entail.

Will you host a raffle?

Will there be a flyball or find the treat contest?

This event is perfect to meet new people.

In doing so, you’ll be reaching out to the happy hour crowd who already goes to the dog park but now you’ll be able to get your name out there. While there, you may even meet people outside of your clientele.

 

Santa Paws

The classic Christmas celebration, taking a picture with Santa. No matter what you celebrate typically this type of holiday pet event attracts all types of people.

Host the event yourself by:

  • Partnering up with a local Pet Store
  • Get a trainer to dress up as Santa
  • Hire a Photographer or do it yourself
  • Order a Christmas backdrop off Amazon
  • Make the pictures available on your Facebook page
  • Invite everyone you know!

The Main Idea of Pet Events

The main idea of these pet events is to bring more exposure to your brand. You have to remember that not everyone is going to be ready to buy your services immediately, but getting to know you and what you stand for will make you memorable when they do need your services or even their friends.

Also, remember that these events are not about how many people show up to the event but all that you get to do to attract them to the event. All the promotions, fliers hung in the elevators or put in the pet store bags. All of this helps to ensure that your community gets to know your brand in a fun way that you are giving back and celebrating their bond with their pets!

 

pet sitting staff gifts

5 Holiday Gift Ideas To Give Your Staff

There’s nothing quite like the squeals of excitement when your surprise someone with a gift. It’s even better when you’re rewarding your hard working employees with heartfelt appreciation. Day in and day out our employees put in their effort, energy, and time away from their home and family for our businesses. That’s why these 5 holiday gifts to give your staff are the perfect ideas to really show just how much they mean to you.

 

Think about it: Our employees are the backbones of our business. They are the faces our clients see, they are the ones we trust to show up as scheduled. This holiday season make sure your staff knows that you really care.

We talked with some of our closest pet sitting and dog walking business owners and here are 

pet sitting staff gifts

pet sitting staff gifts

5 Holiday Gifts To Give Your Staff:

 

Take Them Out On The Town

Our friend, Cheryle Meyer Stadler took her 6 Employees to a  VIP party at the Improv. They all enjoyed  dinner, drinks and front row entertainment with a guest of their choice. Even more, they also got a bonus, personalized wine glasses complete with a dog-inspired wine tags, plus a goodie bag full of awesome things like candy, hand sanitizer, flashlights, lanyards, nail polish, & lip stuff.

 

Send Them On a Getaway

Another great idea we got was from Krista Cugno Lofquist. She decided to give her hardworking Office Managers a trip or a cruise. Start searching now for a Groupon or Expedia and give them a much needed vacation. Our office managers work endlessly running the day to day tasks needed for a successful business, that’s why they truly deserve it! Sometimes even a stay-cation would do the trick!

christmas gifts to give your staff

Personalized Gifts

In previous years Krista also got each sitter and groomer a piece of pawprint jewelry, some with a birthstone, others with diamonds. How sweet is that? Try to find a local jeweler to get a great deal on a bulk order. This is such a wonderful idea that Katie Westerfield also gave out personalized jewelry one year. She gave pandora bracelets with the paw print dog bowl charm to her staff of three. Her staff posted about how great their boss was with pictures on Facebook. That’s how much they loved it!

Lindsay Licata likes to make things a bit more personal. She says, “I got one of my girls a beanie hat that has cat ears (Amazon $10), another one new cat dishes for her cat, a soap and cream set, a couple bath and body sets…..” What a great way to let your staff know that you put some personal through into what you got them. 

holiday gifts to give your staff

Bonuses

Sometimes when you have a larger staff it can be hard to do group parties. Pet sitting businesses aren’t set up like normal offices, where we all can break in the lunchroom for cake and punch for the holidays. That’s why Lucy Moore offers her employees cash by way of a bonus through payroll or even a year of membership at Costco. This is a perfect option for larger staffs and tougher schedules to coordinate. Speaking of Costco, they have great client gifts too!

Liz Chancey says  I always give cash. It’s not very creative, but I always loved receiving cash at Christmas. Plus, if they are having a hard time financially it’s helpful to them. I only have 3 employees and I give $50.00 to each.”

Samantha Busser also does cash with a twist: We do a girl’s day out every year (on their)  “workaversary” and Christmas with a nice lunch, a movie, and mani pedis, sometimes an old fashioned sleep over with girly movies and junk food lol, and for Christmas I also do a $50 cash bonus and some kind of gift, which I usually spend $25+ on.

 

Gift Cards

Everyone agrees that gift cards are a great way to go. For some, they can seem a little impersonal, so try to tailor the gift card to each person. Whether it’s a local boutique, pet store, or their favorite cafe, it’s more special when they know you were thinking of them specifically. Costco often sells them for 25% off, so check there first.

 

Even More Ideas… BONUS ROUND:

After I posted this article, I heard of even more awesome ideas that I couldn’t not add to the list. Take a look:

Christmas Lights and A Limo:

Sharon Jones says, “We are going out to eat this year and then a limo is picking us up and we are going to look at Christmas lights. We will have a gift exchange at the restaurant, we make it a game like white elephant but the gifts they bring are really nice. We limit to $25. Then we have for each of our staff members Holly Cook’s book “My End of the Leash”. We are celebrating this Sunday evening, I am excited!”   (BELLA NOTE: I have that book and I highly recommend it!!!)

Once you have picked out the best gifts for your staff let the fun begin!  Watching their eyes light up like twinkling lights and getting a big hug will make your day just as much as theirs. Plus, you’ll know your staff is assured of your appreciation, which is priceless. I always say, keep your staff happy, and they will keep your clients happy!

 

gifts to pet sitting clients

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