Dogeden is a doggy daycare and grooming facility located in Markham, Ontario, owned by Jennifer Brunke. Ever since Jennifer was a little girl, she’s had an affinity for animals. She studied Encyclopedias (the internet wasn’t created yet), specifically for the dog, cat and horse pages, until they were so worn it was easy to flip open to those sections immediately.
Fast forward a bunch of years, and she met her soul-dog, Thor, the Golden Retriever who she started teaching pet obedience classes with. While she enjoyed teaching, she wasn’t getting the fulfillment she was hoping for. It was then, after some research, that she discovered a new trend in the States called “doggie daycare.” This was the perfect business for her. At that time in 1996, Jennifer could only find two businesses in Canada that offered something similar to the dog daycares in the States. She made the life-changing decision and registered her business “Dogeden” in 1997. The name is a play on words: “Dog Eden” or “Dog E Den.” She started the business out of the small farmhouse she was renting and now has a fabulous 4000 square foot facility with 12 employees. Dogeden have also added services such as dog walking, pet grooming, and dog-related retail. Dogeden is approaching their 21st anniversary, so we thought this was a perfect opportunity to put them in the spotlight!
ProPet: Why did you get into the pet business?
Dogeden: It was always my dream to have a job working with animals in some capacity. I worked hard to find a niche that was not related to the veterinary field, and voila, here I am. I do what I love, and I make an income from it. What could be better?
ProPet: What is the most fulfilling part of your day?
Dogeden: this might sound corny, but knowing that I am contributing to the betterment of the lives of the pets we are so fortunate to care for.
ProPet: What is your favourite part of each day?
Dogeden: Seeing the results of the services we provide and of course the satisfaction of our clients. For instance, a tired dog getting picked-up by happy parents after their day at daycare; a clean and tidy dog getting doted on by his mom at the end of his grooming treatment; a relaxed dog after her walk with one of our walking team.
ProPet: What are some of the challenges that you face?
Dogeden: One of the biggest challenges we have, while it doesn’t happen too often, is hiring a new employee. The whole process can take weeks to months in order to find an appropriate person. I suspect this is because there are a number of criteria that need to be met in character, ability and experience also each in a wide gamut of areas.
ProPet: What has ProPet changed about the way that you run your business?
Dogeden: Where do I begin…. After more than 15 years of searching for the perfect software package that would merge with Quickbooks, I found ProPet. That was one of the top 5 days of owning my business. From there it only got better, and it keeps getting better every week. The team at ProPet are unbelievably helpful, friendly and quick to respond. They are continually improving the software and admittedly have way exceeded my wildest expectations. ProPet has turned my arduous and paper-heavy documentation into a quick and enjoyable task, which I can even run on my mobile device! My clients are thrilled, but no one is more excited about ProPet than my manager Tara. I could go on for days, but I will just say this, ProPet gets an 11 out of 10 from Dogeden Inc.
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