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New type of dog-wellness business expanding rapidly. When will Anne Arundel County host it?

Scenthound, a business that is currently rapidly expanding around the country may well end up in our county someday soon, due to its growing franchises. The new dog-care business model seeks to bring equity to dog care, by offering skin, fur, nail and tooth treatment on a regular maintenance schedule to dogs that don’t need their fur cut.

Since the start of Scenthound, the business has grown to 11 franchises and 5 corporate locations., There are more than 100 locations in development for sites across the nation. Franchising launched in in 2019 Tim Vogel, the companies founder and CEO wrote in an online interview.

“Now that we are developing locations in the Washington DC Metro area it makes logical sense for us to grow in concentric circles from there,” he wrote. “More franchise partners will help in creating a greater awareness of the brand and ultimately help the franchise locations’ growth and success.

Vogel said 9 out of 10 dogs in the country do not require haircuts, but regular hygiene visits can also improve the well-being and health of the many dogs that don’t go to a groomer, as well some of those that do. The franchises offer investors a unique opportunity to allow investors to get in on a business with little or no competition in the field, he believes.

“At Scenthound, we truly believe we do not have competition,” Vogel sad. “ There is no other dog-wellness focused franchise like Scenthound and that’s something we are extremely proud of – we provide a routine care for dogs that is membership-based to ensure that dogs are being provided with the essentials they require to live long and healthy lives.”

The services designed for dogs include grooming, but they also include bathing, ear cleaning, tooth brushing as well as a 6-point report on dog’s external health, done by a technician.

Vogel said the biggest challenge for the business model is getting the word out that short-haired dogs can also be helped by regularly scheduled maintenance. He said simple scheduled service can improve the well-being of such animals, but not many people realize that yet. Getting the word out is so important to the business model that Scenthound requires franchisees to spend 6 percent of gross sales on advertising.

“One of our greatest feats is that we provide a basic hygiene service for those underserved dogs, which many realize is essential to their everyday lives as soon as they are introduced to the concept,” he said.

Startup costs for a franchisee are significant, but Vogel says Scenthound offers a new franchise robust support.

“The training you receive as part of being a franchisee will teach an owner how to market a Scenter, create a local footprint, provide ongoing customer support, and perform all signature Scenthound services,” he wrote. “Scenthound franchisees also receive customer service supports and management support.”

The cost include:

  • Liquid Capital = $75,000

  • Minimum Net Worth = $300,000

  • Franchise Fee = $49,900 first location, $39,900 each additional

  • Royalty = 6% of gross sales

  • National Advertising Fund = 1% of gross sales

  • Local Advertising Spend = 5% of gross sales

  • Initial Investment = $180,950 - $297,950

Vogel explained how he got the idea for Scenthound when, after many years as a dog groomer, he was out walking his dog and ran into a neighbor walking their Labrador Retriever. The neighbor’s animal had a smelly ear infection and overgrown nails, but the owner wasn’t aware of the need for hygiene for the animal.

Now, with 10 years invested in developing the model, Scenthound is growing steadily. Along with the financial reward, comes other rewards for Vogel too:

“The biggest reward is that we are doing something good in the world,” he wrote. “We are providing a service that helps dogs – literally – live longer, healthier lives which allows the owner to take the time to love a clean and healthy pet. During COVID-19, you could see how many people purchased and or adopted dogs,”