"It smells so great in here."
That is one of the best compliments a client can give our facilities. People expect to walk in and smell dogs. That would be okay, we're a facility full dogs and, even most times, wet dogs. But...that's not okay with me and it shouldn't be to you either.
You should often walk your facility as if you were a client. You should start in the parking lot, what will a client see, what will they hear, what will they smell? When you open your front doors ask the same things. There's much to be addressed regarding all the senses (I'll probably do so later) but right now I'm focused on the the wonderful sense of smell. What do you smell when you walk in?
There are many products on the market to mask smell. We sell wonderful smelling candles, there are companies with scent machines, motion detection devices that spray as people walk by, and so much more. I personally am not a fan of any of them. What I want to smell is "clean". Hopefully at your facility you have distinct client and dog areas. Both should be cleaned and detailed daily. Having the areas separated allows you attack the pet odors in the back and keep things fresh up front. What products we use, how we clean, what our detailing protocol is, all factors into our nice smell, I can certainly help with those areas, but the most important thing for both owners and staff to understand is that it is NOT okay to smell like a kennel and you don't want your clients thinking it is either.
Let's not pretend that my front areas smell like roses all day everyday. That's just not true. But I, and my staff, take notice. If we recently had a dog poop in the boutique and the smell is lingering, we apologize to the next client that walks in and explain why it smells. You never want them assuming that's the normal smell. Same is true if we've had 50 baths in one day, it's going to smell like wet dogs. Again, we point that out to the clients with an apology. By addressing the smell it lets your clients know that you too smell the offensive odor and aren't okay with it; it's not the norm. They'll be friendly and say, "oh, it's not bad, I understand," because, you see, that's what they expect from a kennel. Then the next time they walk in to the fresh clean smell of your front area, they'll notice that too.
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Insights and Tips for Dog Daycare Owners