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Shared From MOTHER EARTH NEWS Written By: MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
BRING ON THE CUSTOMERS
 Wet the animal thoroughly and uniformly, using lukewarm water whenever possible. Scrub the coat all over with a good “tearless” soap, then rinse it carefully. (You may have to repeat the sudsing step if the animal is very dirty.)
Light-colored nails—those in which the quick is clearly visible—are easy to trim. Just grip the animal’s paw firmly and snip off the tip of the nail below the dermis. Dark nails are a little trickier because the quick is difficult to see, but you shouldn’t have any problem if you trim just below the point where the downward curve of the claw begins (as indicated in the illustration).
Boarding care, of course, includes a daily feeding. The “dinners” we serve consist of a small amount of canned food mixed with a large portion of dry meal . . . but we recommend that our customers supply us with some of the animals’ usual food—so that we can keep the pets on their accustomed diets and avoid any stomach disorders—and most owners prefer to do so. The boarding rate remains the same, however, because preparing individual dishes requires more time.
Retailing pet supplies. We were surprised (and pleased) to discover that we needed only a state tax number to be able to purchase pet care products wholesale from a local distributor . . . so we quickly completed the required paper work. The tax number enables us to buy and sell small standard items—collars, leashes, shampoos, vitamins, etc.—from our garage work area. We can also special-order any other necessaries from the distributor and receive the delivery in 48 hours or less. And since retailing isn’t our only occupation, we’re able to sell the products for less than pet stores charge, while still making a decent profit.
Finally, remember that all your study and practice will be in vain if you don’t exercise enough patience and common sense. Dog training is basically accomplished through repetition: Show the animal (as often as necessary) what you want it to do when a certain command is given, be lavish with praise when it performs correctly, and it’ll catch on soon enough. Keep in mind, though, that every dog is an individual—just as every person is—and be patient if the beast balks.
To continue reading about Pet Care as a Homestead Business, check out A Small Investment in a Pet Care Business Brings Big Profits on MOTHER EARTH NEWS.