To help prepare families and children everywhere, Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow, the nation’s largest pet care franchise, has provided helpful tips on how to educate children to become responsible pet owners.
Teaching Children Responsible Pet Care
- Proper Feedings: Dogs need food, too! Dogs need to be fed two times per day. If dogs aren’t fed, they get hungry and can become ill. This means that you will have to wake up in the morning to make sure they have breakfast and feed them dinner before you take them on an evening walk.
- Exercise: Dogs need walks! It is best for dogs to be walked twice a day, for at least 30 minutes per walk. There are days that it will be rainy and yucky, but you still have to take your pup for a stroll. You might be tired after school, but you are still going to have to take your dog out and get them exercise.
- Dog Waste: Dogs need to go potty, and you’ll need to clean it up. Just like humans, dogs go “poop.” If you are on a walk, you will need to carry bags to pick it up after they go. If the dog goes potty in the yard, you will have to make sure you pick it up and throw it away. Although it is not a fun job, it is a basic part of being a responsible pet “parent.”
- Cleaning & Grooming: Just like you need to take a shower or bath because you get dirty and stinky, so do dogs. You will need to make sure that your dog gets a bath regularly, that you clip their nails so they don’t get long, and that you comb or brush them regularly. If they get in mud, dirt or something else, you will need to give them a bath right away. You can’t wait until your favorite TV show is over or until you are ready to.
- Training is Essential: Are you ready to take your dog to training once a week? Dogs have brains just like humans do, and they need to be given time to do some thinking. From proper sitting, petting and behavior around children and guests training your dog, or bringing them to a professional trainer will allow them to become a well behaved pet that you can bring around others.
About Camp Bow Wow
In 13 years, Camp Bow Wow, the premier pet care franchise, has grown to include over 152 locations across North America, becoming a $71 million brand. The company was recently ranked 214 out of 500 in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list in 2013 and for the fifth year in a row named to the INC. magazine 5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies. The Camp concept provides the highest levels of fun, safety and service for its Campers, and peace of mind for their parents. Dogs romp together in an open-play environment and pricing is all-inclusive. Since the Broomfield, Colorado-based Company started franchising in 2003, Camp Bow Wow has sold more than 152 franchises in 37 states, plus one in Canada, over 41% being women-owned. In August 2014, Camp Bow Wow was acquired by VCA, Inc. (NASDAQ: WOOF), a leading animal healthcare company in the United States and Canada.
Company Website: www.campbowwow.com
About Heidi Ganahl
Heidi Ganahl is the Founder and CEO of Camp Bow Wow, the largest and fastest growing pet care franchise in North America. Through her personal and professional tragedies – from the loss of her young husband, to losing a million dollar insurance settlement – Heidi has faced extraordinary adversity. She responded by turning her life-long passion for dogs into Camp Bow Wow and created The Bow Wow Buddies Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives and health of animals all over the world. Heidi and her first husband Bion conceived the idea of starting a doggy day and overnight care business from their love for dogs and the need for a market alternative to the bleak conditions of the traditional kennel environment. Unfortunately, shortly after Heidi and Bion finished developing the Camp Bow Wow business plan, Bion was killed in a tragic plane crash on his 25th birthday.
The untimely death had a paralyzing effect on Heidi and sent her into a downward spiral – albeit temporary. She lost nearly the entire $1 million settlement from Bion’s crash in a complicated custody battle for her daughter, unreturned loans to friends and family, a series of bad investments and the failure of two start-up businesses. Finally, in 2000, as a single mom with only $83,000 of the dwindling settlement left, Heidi was encouraged by her brother to take a leap of faith and start Camp Bow Wow. She invested the last of her savings and opened the first Camp in Denver, CO in the Fall of 2000.
In 2003, Heidi started franchising the concept and has now sold over 150 franchises. Today, Camp Bow Wow is one of the largest women owned franchise companies, one of the largest and fastest growing brands in the pet industry, the largest pet care franchise in the world and a $71 million leader in the $56 billion United States pet sector.
Outside of leading Camp Bow Wow, Heidi is on the board at the University of Colorado’s Leeds Business School, speaks professionally around the country and runs The Bow Wow Buddies Foundation – Camp Bow Wow’s 501c3 focused on lending a paw to animals in need. Heidi is married to Jason, who travels the competitive BBQ circuit, and the proud mom of Tori, Hollie and twins, Jack and Jenna!