Marketplace: Karen Snyder keeps tails wagging
Karen Snyder’s fan club is really furry.
For the past decade she’s been known for her mobile pet grooming service, but after selling it last summer, she’s hitting up the same clients and their owners with her new endeavor: Wag-n-Tails.
Anything you can’t do for your pet she’ll do, and with the expertise and education of someone who has made a successful career out of animal care.
Short-term pet sitting, feeding, taxiing, walking and consultations take up most of her time. There are dozens of reasons why people need someone to step in and drive their cat to the vet, or watch over an aging dog if an emergency business trip comes up. In those situations owners want to call someone they trust.
Anybody can hold a leash and pour food in a bowl, but Snyder is certified in small animal CPR and an expert in behavioral training and animal nutrition.
Fueled not only by her passion for pets, but also her desire to be successful in the animal-care industry, Snyder said she’s spent a good part of her life learning everything she can about making pets and their owners happy and healthy.
"Every animal is an individual and needs to be treated like an individual," she said. "That’s really important to me."
Everything going on inside and outside of a pet is relevant to their behavior, she said. In order to give each animal the best treatment possible, the caregiver needs to be sensitive to all of the causes for troublesome behavior. If a dog limps while on a walk, the walker needs to identify whether the cause is something serious.
If they have trouble being walked, they may not be properly trained how to behave on a leash.
"They need discipline they need to know who’s boss, or they’ll be the boss," she explained.
treating pets the same way a caregiver would treat a human; Snyder said she’s established a deep trust with her clients that the four-legged members of their family are in good hands. She frequently cares for cats, dogs, birds, and nearly every other kind of small animal.
And just as she’ll point out a limp, she also recommends clients about diet. If an animal’s coat could have better luster, or they’re losing a lot of hair or develop a skin allergy, the solution is often nutritional.
"It’s important to educate yourself on anything you really want to be good at," she said.
She’s also frequently called upon to recommend animal services because of her extensive experience in the local industry. For just such occasions, she’s developed a sophisticated rolodex to pass on the names of trusted professionals in pet massage, acupuncture, therapy, veterinarians and nearly every other kind of service.
And Snyder said she prides herself on answering these questions for free. She wants animals to be as happy and healthy as possible and that’s only achievable when owners have good information.
"It’s in the best interest of the animal," she added.
Client Annie Elliott said she’s known Snyder for years and trusts her with the family pets.
"She’s the kind of person that gets to know the quirks of each animal and make adjustments to whatever she’s doing to make sure the service is appropriate," she said.
With young cats and aging canines, Elliott said her pack runs the gamut.
"I trust if I’m away and Karen is taking care of them, whatever need arises Karen will take care of them, no problem," she said.
It can be tough to find people that committed to the animals, she added.
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