The Importance of an Online Presence
Crazy Dog Dehydrated Treats is a local pet store in Mount Uniacke, owned by Shawna OHandley and her brother, Kevin. Shawna started the business at home in 2008 making raw dog food and dehydrated treats, first out of her kitchen and then out of her garage. As the business continued to grow, Shawna needed additional space, and moved to Crazy Dog’s current location at 75 Richard John Drive in Mount Uniacke, where the store has been for the last several years.
Crazy Dog’s products can be found in more than 60 locations across the Maritimes, including Global Pet Food, Planet Paws, Jollytails, and Pet Valu like the local Elmsdale location. Crazy Dog produces their own dehydrated treats, raw dog food blends, as well as the protein components to make it yourself, and carries Omega Alpha products, toys and discs, and all-natural tick collars.
When COVID-19 arrived in Nova Scotia, Shawna was concerned about the impact it would have on her business. As the pet food industry is an essential service, pet stores remained open for people to get food and supplies for their beloved companions. However, during the lockdown, people were not going to stores as often or purchasing more than the basic necessities, which impacted the pet food industry.
Shawna recognized that this was the time to get more of their business online. She expanded the products available for purchase through Crazy Dog’s website as prior to COVID only the raw food was available online. When a popular dog trainer, who offered free online training videos that could be accessed world-wide, recommended their treats, Crazy Dog was in a great position to take advantage of this attention as they had taken the step to expand their products offerings online. With their enhanced online presence, Crazy Dog was busy answering emails and preparing shipments. Now Crazy Dog offers shipping across Canada, and even had orders come in from around the world. You can find Crazy Dog on Instagram and Facebook.
During this time, Crazy Dog also had growth in other product areas. As people did not want to spend more time than necessary in grocery stores, Crazy Dog offered contactless pick-up which grew the raw-food side of their business. People were also spending more time at home with their dogs, and so were purchasing additional items like bones and antlers to keep their dogs occupied. Crazy Dog offered deliveries to pick-up areas, and for people who had to self-isolate, Crazy Dog helped out by doing deliveries directly to their homes.
Crazy Dog’s business is continuing to boom with the online orders being a great success. For other entrepreneurs, Shawna’s advice is to “please your customers” as that is what she always does and what she kept in mind while adapting to change brought on by COVID-19. Shawna says that Crazy Dog loves operating out of Mount Uniacke where she has a great customer base.
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If your business is looking to get online or export, please contact us. Our Economic and Business Development team are here to strengthen and provide support to local businesses.