What It’s Like to Manage a Pet Store

Whenever people ask what I do for work and I say I manage a Pet Store, I always get the same response: “Aw that’s so cute. You must be able to play with puppies all day!” And yes, sitting on the floor cuddling a 150 pound South African Boerboel (a rare breed of mastiff) or carrying around a half pound, 8 week old Pomeranian puppy so his mom can shop is technically part of my job description but we do a lot more than that here.

We are constantly training, researching and educating our staff about animal nutrition, new products, training techniques and all things pet related. We are a shoulder to cry on for our customers when they have had a bad day. We are sometimes the ones crying along with them when a furry friend is lost. We try to be a pillar of support and advice when someone is battling the rollercoaster that is a new puppy. We help our human friends navigate the struggles our furry friends face like upset tummies, skin allergies, bug bites, hot spots, anxiety, excessive barking, diseases or illness, and more. You name it, one of us has probably experienced it with our own furry friends.

And then there is the not so fun and furry stuff. We also have to do things like paperwork, scheduling, invoices, hiring, taxes, permits, payroll, inventory, ordering, repairing equipment, returns, data entry, bookkeeping, fixing electronics and on and on and on. These are the parts of a pet store that many forget about but are imperative to keeping our doors open.

There are also fun things that people do not think about as well such as new product research, going to trade shows to learn about the industry and find new exciting products to share with our customers. Once a year we travel to Las Vegas to one of the largest Pet Industry trade shows in the country.  There we spend five days going to seminars to educate ourselves, learning about new emerging companies, meeting other professional pet lovers, and buying new products for our store to better care for our furry friends. Being in a pet store also means sometimes we get to bring our fur babies to work with us. There is nothing sweeter than being able to walk your dog on your breaks or look down to see your love when you’re having a rough day. Having your fur baby by your side is one of the biggest perks of working in a pet store.

Working in the Pet Industry has been an experience I will forever be grateful for. At the end of the day we are here for our furry friends, their health is our priority. Happy and healthy pets is the goal that we strive for every day. Managing a pet store might mean some days I am replacing parts in a freezer, working on paperwork late into the night, repairing a floorboard and even putting out a car fire on occasion (that’s a story for another time) but at the end of the day it is all to create the happiest and healthiest pets we can.

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