Pet franchise: Group of pets together in front of white background.
Company ProfilesExclusive Content

Online Exclusive: The Best Franchises for Pets 

When it comes to pet franchises these brands are ahead of the pack

It’s no secret that Canadians love their pets and shower them in new toys, healthy food options, and a whole lot of love. There are many pet franchises that help support pet parents by offering nutritional food, toys, and activities, and even in-store grooming services. For franchises like Global Pet Foods and Pet Valu, along with its family of brands including Bosley’s, franchisees are an essential connection to local communities. Where some brands take care of all vendor relationships others allow franchisees to curate their offerings, allowing each store to have a unique footprint. Read on for more examples of how these two brands build enticing franchise opportunities and keep customer’s coming in and pets’ tails wagging.

Bosley’s by Pet Valu

As the largest Canadian pet retailer, Pet Valu represents a handful of brands across Canada. Bosley’s by Pet Valu, which is its B.C. imprint, offers proprietary products for all areas that the brand offers services in: everything from food and treats to apparel like leashes and collars, and even shampoo and other grooming products. Pet Valu’s family of brands also includes Paulmac’s, Tisol, and Total Pet. Adam Woodward, Pet Valu’s senior vice president of franchise store operations, says the brand even offers self-serve dog wash stations for customers and their furry friends.  

Personal relationships with customers, who Woodward calls DPLs (dedicated pet lovers), drive sales and bear weight in determining the product offering—“we know our customers and can answer their questions,” says Woodward. To achieve this, Pet Valu and its family of brands look for certain skills in its franchisees including a willingness to learn the ropes of the pet care industry, and desire to work as team-oriented, public-facing owner-operators. “Community connection is crucial to success in this business and the unique insight a franchisee can offer into a community gives them a step up over competitors,” says Woodward. 

In-store training builds up skills, with key stores acting as approved training locations for incoming franchisees. Woodward says trainees get experience in all aspects of the role, from managing cash to stocking deliveries and placing orders. “They also spend time with our head office [team] so they can gain insight and knowledge into key roles, such as merchandising, human resources, and marketing, to name a few.” After opening, the field support team assists the new franchisees through the understanding of all aspects of the role after opening. 

Pet Valu’s 47-year history in the pet care business gives it a leg up over other retail pet franchises for potential entrepreneurs. “All aspects of the business are covered, including a wholesale business,” says Woodward. In addition, the brand offers “great products that we stand behind in all categories, which promotes loyalty and repeat visits.”

And the in-store experience creates trust between the franchisee, the customer, and their pets. “A key part of that experience is the high caliber of expertise we instill in our in-store associates, which we call Animal Care Experts or ‘ACEs,’ through extensive upfront and ongoing training we provide,” notes Woodward. “We provide our franchisees and their staff access to all these resources and encourage them to complete the training programs available to them.”

After 47 years of caring for pets and acquiring regional brands like Bosley’s, Pet Valu is continuing to grow its network of locally owned and operated stores across Canada, and it needs a new wave of pet-loving franchisees to complete this goal. For Woodward’s advice for prospective franchisees, he says to “take time to understand the amount of work that is involved in starting this business. Product knowledge, customer service, and community relationships all take time to build. Be patient and curious to learn!”

Click this button to see more information from this pet franchise.

Global Pet Foods

They say pets are a reflection of their owners. Maybe the same is true for pet food franchises. With Global Pet Foods (GPF), a franchisee can build their store in a way that aligns with their personality, curating a product selection that resonates within their community and getting access to Global Pet Foods’ network of rescue partnerships driving animal welfare in its communities.

Laura Fowler, director of operations and marketing, says that GPF’s franchisees are business partners. “Franchisees are encouraged to grow within their market through localized marketing initiatives, community involvement and participation, and as a curator of the product selection that is integral to their setting.”

Global Pet Foods seeks out franchisees with an entrepreneurial skillset, an engaging personality, and a customer- and community-focused mindset, according to Derek Wong, Global Pet Foods’ director of franchising and development. “Our franchisees are not one size fits all. The right Global Pet Foods franchisees need to be passionate about the business and animals.” The brand runs a four-week training program that focuses on running a business in the pet care industry. The brand also provides in-store support for the first week after opening, as well as ongoing support where necessary.

Franchisees’ curation of products relies on a two-way relationship with manufacturing partners. In addition, GPF’s product evaluation, nutritional formula ratings, ingredient sourcing, and health and safety protocols ensure that products on shelves remain safe and healthy.

Furthermore, the brand provides education opportunities so franchise partners can access best-in-class nutritional training to correctly and confidently make recommendations based on pet diet.

As the brand grows, its focus is on driving value for its customers. This comes from providing products at a range of price points to be attainable at any customer’s budget and focusing on the in-store experience.

As for advice for prospective franchisees? Do your due diligence and ensure your values align with the brand. Consulting with existing franchisees is also a great help, as networking can set you up for success. Of course, Global Pet Foods will be with you every step of the way with continued training, education, and new programs. “Ensure you join a brand that trains you properly and sets you up for success,” adds Wong. “The real reward of owning and operating a Global Pet Foods lies in the relationships you create with pets and their owners.”

Click this button to see more information from this pet franchise.