Virginia Is for Dog Lovers
Pet Product News’ 2018-2019 Marketing Retailer of the Year Award winner combined
its nutritional expertise and love of animals to expand from one store to five.
1. Nancy Guinn, owner and president
of Dog Krazy
2. The Adopt Shop suites at Dog
Krazy host dogs available for
adoption and are named after
canines that have passed.
3. Dog Krazy has five locations
4. Guinn’s own pets served as the
models for Dog Krazy’s recent
announcement of its fifth location.
Locations: 307 William Street, Fredericksburg, VA; 10681 Spotsylvania Ave.,
Fredericksburg, VA; 1603 Village Market Blvd., #108, Leesburg, VA; 315 Garrisonville Rd.,
Stafford, VA; and 3310 West Cary St., Richmond, VA
Officers: Nancy Guinn, owner and president, and Chris Guinn, vice president
Employees: 40 full time, 5 part time
Years in business: 12
Average square feet: 2,500
Products and services: Boutique, cat and dog foods and supplies, Adopt Shop, stress-free grooming, APAWthecary, delivery, self-serve dog wash, nutritional consultations
DOG KRAZY AT A GLANCE 1
PHOTOS COURTESY OF DOG KRAZY
BY LIZE TT BOND
At Dog Krazy, the journey to success began unassumingly with a bulldog, a loving pet owner and a singular aspiration. Simply put, Nancy Guinn wanted to spend as much time as possible with her beloved bulldog, Piglet.
Guinn’s ambition became reality in 2006. Leaving behind a busy career as a dental
practice manager, the entrepreneur opened the doors to Dog Krazy in downtown Fredericksburg, Va.
“Dog Krazy was established because of my love for my ‘heart’ dog, Piglet,” she says.
“I wanted to spend every moment with her.”
The fledging endeavor launched with a limited selection of foods and supplies in a
“It was the tiniest space,” she says. “I was there five years.”
The original business statement, “If it’s not good enough for our family, it’s not good
enough for your family” stands today; however, that avowal now complements a tribute
to Piglet’s legacy.
“Our business cards and postcards say ‘Pet nutrition is our specialty,’ but I wanted
one line that represents everything about Dog Krazy,” Guinn says. “So we’ve recently
changed our motto to ‘It all started with a bulldog.’”
Not one to stand on formality, Guinn, the owner and president of the business, which
now has five locations, refers to herself and her husband, Chris, who serves as Dog
Krazy’s vice president, as “humans to the four-legged owners.”
Indeed, since Piglet’s passing in 2016, a diverse menagerie of “four-legged owners”
have stepped in as spokes-critters and social media stars, including a pot-bellied pig
named Jimmie Dean, Ozzie the cat, Max the parrot, and four dogs: Pork Won Ton, Sushi,
Stirfry and Tala.
“I always include my animals in our social media videos,” she says. “I might talk
about Ozzie, Jimmy Dean, Max or the dogs.”
Social media platforms help Guinn keep customers connected to the two-legged and
four-legged proprietors of Dog Krazy. The ongoing creative and educational videos
cover a range of topics, including the Guinn pets, the company’s stress-free grooming
services, nutrition and ongoing or upcoming events.
Canine birthday celebrants also make their mark.
“We give free bandanas to birthday dogs and take their picture to post on social
media,” Guinn says.
While grooming services were not included in the initial Dog Krazy business plan,
a groomer rented space from Guinn, and upon relocation to a more spacious facility in
downtown Fredericksburg, Guinn added grooming to the service mix.
“When that groomer relocated, I ended up hiring all the people who worked for
her,” she says.
In 2015, the second store opened its doors in Spotsylvania, Va. At that point, Chris
left his own accounting career to join the business on a full-time basis.
In 2017, the couple inadvertently opened two stores simultaneously.
“It was a complete accident,” Guinn says. “We’d hoped to lease a space next door to
our veterinary oncologist’s office in Richmond, Va., where Piglet, and Chris’ dog, Nova,
had been treated, but another business acquired the lease.”
Disappointed but undeterred, the couple procured an agreement in the nearby town
of Stafford. A week later, they learned that the veterinary practice was purchasing the
building, with Dog Krazy as its choice to occupy the original site.
“We’d just written a sizable check for the other building and didn’t have the funds,
but we did some calculations and figured we would be able to cut costs by doing the
construction ourselves,” Guinn says. “We decided to open two stores at once.”
Chris undertook construction duties, and, mere weeks apart, both stores began wel-
coming customers. The latest location in Leesburg, Va., opened this fall.
Each location boasts its own distinct flavor and specialty while retaining Dog Krazy
branding and products.
“We carry the same products and offer grooming at each store; however, one will
offer something that the others don’t,” Guinn says.
For example, the Richmond store, which is sited adjacent to the veterinary practice,
often sees patients referred by the veterinary oncologist or internist.
“You have to be really strong to work in this store,” she says. “The veterinarians often
send us patients in need of nutritional help. Associates are not only experts in nutrition,
but must be prepared to cry a lot.”
A prayer wheel at the front of the store presents a loving, tender touch.
“It’s something I would have appreciated when Piglet was going through her treatments,” Guinn says.
YEAR of the