Monthly Archives: January 2013

What I have learned about opening a business on the web

A year ago today my website greatpup.com went live. When I reflect back over the last year and think of all I have learned. Wow, what a year.

My goal for my business is to offer dog lovers like myself high quality,safe and unique dog products at a reasonable price. Sounds simple but it has taken time and lots of effort to weed through all the dog products out there and  decide what is actually worthy of being on my site.

There are many companies in the USA that have some great products. West Paw is a company out of Montana and they create great toys that are for aggressive chewers and even offer a one time replacement if your dog chews the toys into pieces. I have sold hundreds of these toys and have only replaced a few. One thing I have learned is not every dog owner wants a to pay a higher price for a toy that is going to last a long, long time. Many people want to pay little money for cheap things made in China that their dog will destroy in a matter a minutes. Lesson learned; if customers will buy one West Paw toy they will see the quality and come back for more.

I have also learned that quality is not as important to others as it is to me. People don’t take the time to look at where their dog treats are made. The dog treats sold in the big pet stores and Wal-Mart are often made in China. China has no rules or regulations of production of dog treats. These dog treats have made dogs sick or even killed hundreds of dogs. I have studied and researched every bakery item, bully stick and dog treat that I sell on my site to ensure they are safe and made in the USA. Lesson learned: Customer come back and tell me that their dog is a picky eater but they will eat my treats. The reason they eat my treats, is not because their dog is picky, it is because they are all natural and organic.

Having a e-commerce store has taught me so much about the social media. I have learned about Facebook pages. I have page on Facebook Facebook.com/greatpup. It was easy to set up the page much it is much harder to get people to like your page. I have 82 likes and I have been trying to get to 100 since October. Many people like my post but not my page. Lesson learned; it take time and patience to reached the 100 likes on my page, it is harder than it looks.

Blogging is the next social media I have learned to do this past year. So much still to learn. How to get followers? What to write about?

When I look back on my first year as a business owner I feel good about what I have accomplished.  I know that I have stuck to my goals and have not compromised  what I know is best for both my customers and their dogs. I have had more fun talking to people and listening to their dogs stories than I could ever imagine. I know I have a lot to learn, but I look forward to the challenge. Happy Birthday Greatpup.com!

Below: a few of our satisfied customers!

Bumi is a great toy for two dogs to share

Bumi is a great toy for two dogs to share

Coco having a ball with her bottle tracker

Coco having a ball with her bottle tracker

Solomon loving his toy

Solomon loving his toy

Chase enjoying his antler

Our toys float!

Our toys float!

 

Beware your dog treat could make your dog sick

524740_520929061272431_1876044485_nI saw this article on Dogs Naturally Magazine. It made me so mad that the Chinese government can get away with making our dogs sick and in some cases even kill our dogs. The only way to stop this madness is to spread the word and don’t buy these products. Be a smart consumer and find out where your treats and dog food are made. All the dog treats on my website are made in the USA. Check them out: www.greatpup.com

Below is the article and the picture of the products made in China.

Congressman Jerry McNerney wrote a letter to the Chinese government, asking the government to “consider halting production of these chicken jerky treats until the FDA can determine whether or not the products contain tainted material.”

The Chinese government responded to this, saying that “from the perspective of the Chinese side, there might be something wrong with the FDA’s investigation guidance.”

The Chinese are in denial and stores in the US continue to stock their shelves with tainted jerky products.

383 dogs have died and 2,245 more were harmed by jerky products in 2012. Don’t let your dog become a statistic.

 

What is your dog telling you?

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Your dog may not be able to talk but his body language will tell you everything you need to know. Do you know how to crack the code?

“Let’s Play” – Front legs down on the ground, ears up, rump and tail tagging high in the air.

“Feed Me”- Paces back and forth from you to his bowl. My even let out short barks or other sounds.

“Life is so good”- Tail is held low and away from body, often wagging; mouth relaxed and slightly open.

“You’re the one in charge”- Lies on his back and exposes his belly, gazed turned away.

“I’m scared”- Fur ruffled, ears down and back, tail maybe tuck between lets, whimpering.

” Let me at them”- Lips curled up to show teeth, ears pushed back, gaze directly at subject, tail stiff, may be growling or barking loudly.

Your dog’s voice is very important. It is just as important as their body language. A bark can mean that your dog is excited, afraid or angry.  If you listen closely you’ll soon be able to tell the difference.  When dogs are lonely or in pain, they howl or whine in order to get your attention. Growling is a warning to you, or strange animals, that you’d better stand back.

Spending time with your dog and being observant will help you crack the code of their communication with you.

Walk this Way for a New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!  So today is the day that you make or begin your new years resolution.  If you are like most Americans you have a resolution about losing weight, getting more exercise or maybe just becoming healthier. Include your dog in this years resolution. Did you know that 55% of all dogs in America are over weight or even obese. Take them for a walk. Walking your dog has so many benefits for both you and your dog.

  • Your dog needs to a change of scenery to improve his mental health. Dogs are intelligent animals that need to be stimulated.
  • Just as exercise is good for you it is also good for your dog. Young dogs need an outlet to express their energy.
  • Socialization is important throughout your dog’s life. Most people only socialize their puppies but all dogs need a regular opportunity to meet and greet new people and animals.
  • Walking with your dog is a great way to build a bond with your dog.
  • Take the walking opportunity to work on other commands and training with your dog.
  • Dogs who are walked on a regular basis live longer. They are healthier and happier pets which leads to longer life span.

If you are not walking your dog because your dog doesn’t do well on a lease. Stay tune, by next blog will be tips for walking on leash.

Regardless of your resolution Walk your dog. May this year bring you peace, happiness and good health.

greatpup

For people who treat their dog as a member of the family. This blog will give you the latest product trends for your dog as well as tips and news to make your dog a greatpup.

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