How big is the pet care industry?

In good times and bad, pet spending endures — even during the Great Recession

It’s a given that ours is a business that attracts dog-lovers. But if that’s all we were, our business would have gone to the dogs a long time ago. The reality is Camp Bow Wow is a company that generated over $100 million in revenue in 2016 and is positioned near the top of an industry that’s growing by 7% a year — three times as fast as the national economy.

The grooming and boarding segment of the industry has almost doubled since 2005, according to IBISWorld, thanks to the way our customer base acquires and relates to their pets. Pet ownership is on the rise and more pet owners have increased disposable income, driving them to spend almost $8 billion on grooming and boarding in 2016 alone. The real impetus behind this phenomenal growth? The shift in the way people think of their dogs. Once kept around largely as helpers and guards, dogs now occupy a space as beloved family members, and devoted pet parents are willing to spend more money on them. The grooming and boarding segment is projected to grow to nearly $11 billion by 2021.

Camp Bow Wow is a sustainable business

Detroit franchise owner Ann Roth and her husband opened their first Camp in 2003, and five years later, when the Great Recession hit, they were in the midst of opening their second location.

“A lot of businesses didn’t make it. We made it through all of that,” Ann said. “That says something.”

Today, she and her husband Bob, both in their early 50s, are working on opening a third location. “I could not be more happy with the direction of the brand,” Ann said.

Figure represents the aggregate increase in annual gross revenue for the 137 locations that were open and operating for any length of time during the 12-month period ending on December 31, 2016 when compared to the aggregate annual gross revenue for the locations that were open and operating for any length of time during the 12-month period ending on December 31, 2015. The financial performance representation contained in Item 19 of our 2017 Franchise Disclosure Document also includes: (1) annual unit-level gross revenue; and, (2) selected expenses for expense- reporting franchises.

Who are Camp Bow Wow customers (the two-legged kind)?

One thing in the Roths’ favor in such a challenging climate was a customer demographic that remained dedicated to spending money on their pets. Industry research shows that the consumers who spend the most on their companion animals are couples without children – empty nesters and single people.

Why do customers choose Camp Bow Wow?

In 2016, Camp Bow Wow welcomed 210,000 4-legged customers, who spent 3.3 million dog visits with us. Providing day camp and overnight services are more complex than simply warehousing dogs in a large space. Many of our franchise owners operate in high-volume locations, caring on average for more than 85 dogs per day and night**. They must train and maintain a staff of highly skilled and engaged employees who not only handle the varied needs of the dogs but are also skilled at interacting with customers who are very particular about where they leave their fur babies.

** Figure represents the average number of dogs per day for all Camps open 12 months or more during the 12-month period ending on December 31, 2016

Camp Bow Wow creates high customer intimacy by treating our dog parents’ babies like they were our own. Put another way, we pass our customers’ sniff test. Our customers tell us they come to us because we make it fun and we keep dogs safe. We have webcams that cover the entire Camp. We have a climate-controlled environment with alarms that trip and alert the franchise owner if the Camp becomes too hot or cold. We pre-screen dogs to make sure they’ll be safe and comfortable and enjoy being around other dogs. Our customers are discerning about their pet service providers, and they appreciate our attention to detail.

If you’d like to learn more about owning your own pet care franchise, please click the button below or fill out the form at right.