DogBoy's Dog Blog

The Honest Economy: Transparency in Pet Care

Posted by Courtney Emken on Mon, Aug 26, 2013 @ 08:08 AM

At DogBoy's, we have always been trail blazers.  When we decided to open up a boarding kennel in the mid 90's where dogs could run and play together, people told us we were crazy. When we decided to structure our pricing so that almost everything was included in our nightly rate, it went against the norm in the industry. When we decided to only take spayed and neutered pets over the age of 6 months, my father said, "Courtney, you'll lose HALF your customers!" (I didn't want that half.) And now, when we were faced with a major outbreak of both bacteria and viruses, we knew just what to do: what no one else would.
Being transparent as a company isn't always easy. But the well being, health and safety of your dogs is so much more important to us than hiding something that could have major financial consequences on our business. Closing down doggy day care for over two weeks, encouraging people to follow their instinct and cancel their reservations if they see fit, and paying for most of the vet bills related to this outbreak has been a very costly ordeal.  What is usually a busy time for us, when we squirrel away extra funds to get us through the lean months will mean that we just have to be a lot more creative this fall.
This month, when we sent emails to all of our customers to alert you to the problem, we knew that some of you would worry, and not unnecessarily. Some of you had dogs who were already showing signs of illness. Some of you had dogs who were here and you were worried about their health. Others were about to come in for boarding and wondered if it was safe, or where else you could board on such short notice. And finally, many of you hadn't been in a long time and probably wondered why we were bothering you with this at all. You can see why this would make us all a little worried. But we took a deep breath and sent the information out - to each and every one of our customers.
To my surprise and delight, we were flooded with emails of support and encouragement. Some of you even made me cry! Here is just one example of the responses we received:
On behalf of Doug, Teddy Bear and Conner, I want to express out heartfelt thanks for your courage and willingness to share this information with us. 
I have been in human healthcare for 40 years. During an extended portion of my career, I worked in infectious disease epidemiology and infection prevention and control. More than once, I became aware of an exposure situation during which determinations needed to be made regarding which individuals had to be informed. My experience taught me that people respond differently to this type of news and, unfortunately, many responded unkindly (to say the least!). Nevertheless, doing the right thing was always my top priority.
Obviously, doing the right thing is your top priority, as well, and for that, we are grateful. Fortunately, Conner and Teddy Bear appear healthy. That you were willing to share this exposure situation alerts me to the fact that I need to be even more vigilant in keeping my eyes on the boys and how they are acting and feeling. 
Receipt of this notification from you is more evidence that I have picked the best place possible for my beloved boys' home-away-from-home. Doug and I are committed to remaining a part of your regular clientele.
Thanks so much to Bart and you for everything and if there is any way I can be of service to you, please let me know.
Ellen E., RN, MT(ASCP), MS
You know, we've always loved you. You and your dogs are our very favorite part of owning a pet care facility (you didn't think it was the poop scooping, did you?).  You have become like an extended family to us, and we are so grateful for your loyalty, love and kindness that you show when things like this happen.
I think back to the times when our kids would bring home something from school - strep throat, the flu, even just a common cold. I never blamed the school, but I also never received an email from them, warning me that something was going around (maybe because something always is!). I wasn't happy about it, but I knew that it wasn't the school's fault. Those teachers do an amazing job trying to keep all the kids safe and with clean hands to boot! Sometimes kids just get sick. And sometimes dogs do too.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, for caring as much about us as we care about you and your dogs. Thank you for lifting us up when we felt really down, and thank you for being such wonderful people. We think your dogs are pretty cool too! And we promise to continue blazing trails and keeping you informed about each and every thing that goes on within these gates.
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Topics: customer praise, Wellness, DogBoys Family

Top 7 Worst Dog Food Brands

Posted by Courtney Emken on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 @ 09:04 AM

Check out this great article on the top 7 worst dog food brands by the Holistic & Organix Pet Shoppe.  Could it be that your dog is eating one of these seemingly healthy but nutritionally devoid kibbles?  Read on to find out more!

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Topics: Wellness, Your Dog's Diet, Dog Food

Is My Dog Fat? Pet Obesity Infographic

Posted by Courtney Emken on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 @ 09:03 AM

Pet Obesity is a serious problem. Check out this cute infographic and then take a serious look at how you can prolong the life of your pet by helping her watch her girlish (or boyish) figure!

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Topics: Wellness, Your Dog's Diet

When to Call the Vet

Posted by Courtney Emken on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 @ 08:02 AM

Does Rover not seem right?  Do you sometimes wonder, "Am I just worrying, or is this serious enough to call my vet?  You know, it's better to be safe than sorry.  To help you in your decision making, we've listed some great reasons to pick up the phone and contact your veterinarian.

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Topics: Wellness

Summer Safety for Dogs

Posted by DogGirl (Courtney Emken) on Sat, Jun 19, 2010 @ 06:06 AM

Summer’s here, and it’s time to start being conscious of the heat.  Not just in regards to ourselves, but also with our dogs. Most of us know when the heat’s getting to us, our children or our friends; do you know what to look for in your four-legged friends? 

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Topics: Dog Safety, Wellness

Vets Rock!

Posted by DogGirl (Courtney Emken) on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 @ 14:01 PM
by Nicole Mlakar Photography"]

Long time no see!  This last month has been a whirlwind.  Our Training & Wellness Center is complete, the Open House is next Saturday (10 - 2 - please join us!), we're busy with new fencing, signage, phone lines, furniture, and my iPhone has officially turned into a Pachinko machine.  Bing-ba-bing-bing-bing!

We have visited some wonderful local vets this month, letting them know all about what we're up to, and how we can all work together to improve pet care in our community.  First we met with Dr. Carolyn Love of Love Pet Hospital, who gave us lots of great info on how to find local acupuncture vets and chiropractors (and vets) who are trained in animal chiropractic care.  We also enjoyed meeting her Office Manager, Robin, who had some great stories to share.

Next was a great heart to heart with our own vet, Dr. Todd Riggan of White Rock Veterinary Hospital.  Dr. Todd was excited about all the training classes we're teaching, and gave us the name of the chiropractor who treats his pet patients.  We are looking forward to learning more about him hopefully getting him out to treat pups at DogBoy's as well.  We love White Rock Vet!

Soon after we were knocking on the door of Dr. Neans and his super friendly crew at Central Texas Animal Hospital.  It was great hearing stories of how much Dr. Neans has seen Pflugerville grow over the years, and brainstorming about how we can work together to help the community continue to understand the importance of spaying & neutering their pets.  Thanks to Dr. Sameer Modak & their Office Manager Michelle for meeting with us as well.

Dr. Gudipally over at Pflugerville Animal Hospital introduced us to his super friendly long haired chihuahua named Levi, and a sweet kitty who's name escapes me.  His business is growing, and he's now treating pets in two locations.  Way to go!

Today, with DogBoy out of town, I visited our last two (but no less important) vets.  Dr. Watson at Tech Ridge Pet Hospital has such a kind heart, and his staff was so welcoming to me.  They even let me sit behind the front desk like one of their own.  Dr. Watson was interested to learn more about diet and its affect on behavior, and we look forward to talking more about that!  See our Diet Sheet if you're curious to know more.

Finally, I got the sheer pleasure to meet Dr. Sutton at Hometown Animal Care.  We laughed about the ups and downs of the boarding industry and he told me all about the up and coming Round Rock location of the Central Texas Veterinary Specialty Hospital.  This second location (original is off Ben White, near Hwy 290 & 71) will be a specialty hospital by day and a top notch ER by night.  We can't wait for them to open!  A big thanks to Cindy for giving me the grand tour.

We are so grateful to all our local vets, and can't wait to work more closely with them in the coming year.  What they all had in common was how open they were to our desire to bring alternative medicine to this area, and their sharing of the wonderful reputation we have built in this 15 years of business.  Did I mention that?  This is our 15th year!!!  Woo Hoo!  Get ready for a year of fun and lots of  new adventures!  Hope to see you at the Open House!
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Topics: Dog Training, Wellness

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