Aside from full grooming, Richmond also offers Dog
Krazy’s only self-serve dog wash facility.
With the opening of the Leesburg location, an in-store
bakery, Lola’s Barkery, stands out from the competition.
“There are quite a few specialty dog stores in the area,
so we wanted to be different,” Guinn says.
Guinn’s mother, Maria, a Leesburg resident with a lifelong passion for baking, is realizing her own dream by
creating canine delicacies, such as chicken and waffles,
birthday cakes and other freshly baked indulgences.
“I wanted to put a bakery in for my mom and decided
to do a dog bakery,” Guinn says. “I surprised her on her
In a nod to her Filipino heritage—“Lola” means
“grandmother” in Tagalog—the moniker “Lola’s Bark-
ery” seemed a natural fit.
“Everyone calls her Lola,” Guinn says. “But Lola was
also Piglet’s name when she came into my life.”
In Spotsylvania, Va., three Adopt Shop suites as-
sist rescue groups in placing dogs and cats into forever
homes. Each suite is dedicated to the memory of a rescued
pet that has since passed. Dog Krazy employees see to
the care and comfort of resident dogs and cats awaiting
a new family.
“If a customer comes in asking if we sell puppies, we
direct them to the suites and promote adoption,” she says.
“A rescue can also bring a fostered pet to our store to meet
with a potential adoptive pet parent.”
Guinn noted that the more difficult adoption cases are
near and dear to her heart.
“I like to focus on the ones that have been in foster care
for a while,” she says.
The Stafford store, sited on a busy commuter route,
features grooming and a full-line of pet supplies and
“This store is sited on a two-lane road, but approx-
imately 150,000 vehicles drive by every day,” she says.
“It’s literally a grab-and-go store, but we are planning an
expansion of the busy grooming services.”
The downtown Fredericksburg store, with its upstairs
Paw Spa, presents a warm, old-fashioned ambience with
an eclectic flair.
“The decorations are different because of all the nooks
and crannies,” she says. “It is my absolute favorite.”
As a certified clinical pet nutritionist, Guinn said she
feels that guiding customers to an appropriate and health-
ful diet must be based on the individual pet. A wide va-
riety of canned, dehydrated, freeze-dried, kibble and raw
dog and cat foods are available to meet those needs. Bud-
get constraints are also taken into consideration.
“I am all about the dog or cat that is in front of me—I
want to do what’s best for the animal, but I am always
aware of budgets,” Guinn says.
To further assist in determining the ideal nutritional
course of action, Guinn has written and created a computer program offering staff members easy access to dietary
Pet owners shop with confidence, knowing that foods
and supplies in the Dog Krazy mix have been carefully
scrutinized by Guinn.
“If a product is in our stores, it’s something I’d bring
home to my pets,” she says.
This assessment also includes manufacturer factory
tours of the foods and treats being offered.
“It’s not just the ingredients,” she says. “I want to
know how the food and treats are made, where products
In addition, Guinn claims the largest natural chew
bars in the state, with more than 200 selections.
“We carry everything from bully sticks to duck heads,”
she says. “It’s crazy how many duck heads we sell.”
Bakery cases in each store reveal a mouthwatering display of goodies to tempt the canine crowd.
Every location offers a broad assortment of natural,
holistic supplements stocked at the APAWthecary.
And for customers wishing to shop from home, the
Dog Krazy website features an online store, with free delivery for orders more than $99.
DOG PEOPLE RULE
When Dog Krazy is considering a new hire, dog lovers
are sought, but successful candidates are also perfectionists in whatever they do and happy to get down on the
floor with visiting pets.
“We want people that make a customer feel like their
dog is the only dog in the store,” she says. “I hire dog
people, not people-people, because the bond occurs with
the customer through their relationships with the dogs.”
Tutelage is ongoing, with associates undergoing testing that helps them recognize foods and ingredients that
will benefit specific health conditions. Spot-check testing
identifies areas that might require more training.
Consumer education is central, and, each month, specific matters are addressed companywide—for instance,
dental or pancreatitis concerns.
“The employees get together as a team and learn as
they study products, create displays that address the
monthly issue and share with the other locations,” Guinn
says. “The store with the best display receives a group
activity as a reward.”
Dogs in need of pampering enjoy a little spa time by
Pet Product News International December 2018
What is Dog Krazy best known for?
Nancy Guinn: Our dogs are our best friends, and we are known
for treating each dog as if it were our own.
What is the biggest challenge for pet retailers today?
Guinn: Time management. I have a long to-do list, so getting
everything done in a timely manner is a challenge.
For the pet industry overall?
Guinn: With so many new products available, it’s difficult to
determine the best selection. For instance, right now there are so
many cannabidiol (CBD) products out there, it is overwhelming.
Are you watching any interesting trends right now?
Guinn: CBD. That’s what I’m paying the most attention to. I carry
two brands that I really love, but people come in here all the time
asking about other products. I’m always trying to keep up with
what’s going on.
What do you see for the future of Dog Krazy?
Guinn: Opening two more stores in the next year. I want to get
to 10 and then just take a break and let the business run as is.
I’d like to eventually leave Dog Krazy to my nieces and nephews
and let them take care of everything. Chris and I will be in the
Bahamas swimming with the pigs, just like we do every year on
the anniversary of Piglet’s death.
IT’S A RETAIL LIFE
Lola’s Barkery at Dog Krazy’s fifth location was named in
honor of owner Nancy Guinn’s mother, Maria (pictured).
A canine customer eyes the selection at Dog Krazy’s in-store bakery.