The pandemic has presented some of the greatest challenges our industry has ever faced, but it's also demonstrated the resilience of the pet industry as well. One of the greatest silver linings has been the rise in pandemic pet adoptions, as more people have warmed up to the idea of pet ownership and welcomed new furry family members.
As wonderful as this is, it also presents its own challenges. There is, of course, the fear that due to economic and other concerns, pet parents may need to give up their pets. There are also many new, inexperienced pet parents out there that may not fully understand what adopting a new pet entails.
Of course, many of these inexperienced pet parents will undoubtedly seek out guidance and help from dog trainers to help their new pets settle in. In fact, according to a recent New York Times article, some dog trainers are finding that many owners of pandemic pets are not prepared to handle the responsibility of pet ownership.
As such, dog trainers are inundated with clients, trying to keep up with and accommodate increasing demand.
“The pandemic has certainly been a very busy time for dog trainers,” says Mark Forrest Patrick, CDT, CVA, CCMT of Tuxedo’s K9 Training Camp, Inc. and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers’ 2021 board chair. “We have all experienced a very busy period with several first time dog owners.”
As a result, some dog trainers have already reached capacity and don’t have much wiggle room to schedule new clients in.
“Many are becoming overwhelmed and concerned about the time when they return back to the office,” Patrick adds.
It's no secret that dog training services are more important than ever, and not just for pandemic pups. Post-pandemic concerns about separation anxiety could mean that more customers will seek out help from trainers on how best to handle behavior linked to this anxiety.
Hopefully, we’ll be on the other side of this pandemic soon, but people will still have these pets. Dog trainers, like nearly all others in the industry, have had to adapt to the new normal, and have created everything from virtual sessions to socially-distanced training sessions, to help guide pet parents in a safe way for everyone.
This need for dog training services presents an opportunity for retailers. If you haven’t thought about offering dog training services yet, it is something you should seriously consider. Not just to help new pet parents experience the joys of pet ownership to the fullest, but to build on your loyal customer base by demonstrating the type of valuable resources you can provide.