Custom Cage Systems

Written by Sam Watts.

Doggies Day Out has been operating now since 2008 with the current owners 'taking the lead' in April 2010 and in all of this time we have needed good solid, safe and comfortable cage systems for our pet transportation vans and vehicles.

Our first two vans already had cages fitted with both being suitable for purpose but not exactly pleasing to the eye as after all they had been in use for some time before they came to us.

As we grew at our original branch we felt that we needed to update our cage systems so that they reflected the quality of our services when out and about providing pet care services. We also found that the original designs for the van cages had maybe been for different end purposes. For example one cage system was for a lady that would show dogs around the UK and not for muddy, wet dogs!

Over time we researched a few different van cage makers but noticed how the end result was very different from company to company with some looking like industrial 'Mechano' sets! Some used wood panels which is certainly not ideal for wet pooches and generally they all looked a bit 'tacky'. These van cages were not cheap either and although we knew they had all been made by hand rather than mass produced you still expect a certain look and feel of quality if your paying upwards of £1,500 for van cages.

Eventually in early 2013 we found a locally based van cage manufacturer and he set about creating our first van cage system for a 2013 Peugeot Expert. It certainly looked the part and we had some input into the construction so that it was practical for our purposes. By 2013 we were using our vans to walk in excess of 15 dogs each weekday so we needed something much more suitable.

These cages are still in use today although the van itself is no longer a part of the Doggies Day Out fleet. And whilst they were good we did notice a few small issues with quality and as such decided to look into building these van cages for dogs ourselves.

In December 2013 we signed up a new Franchise branch for Birmingham and ordered them a brand new Citroen Dispatch and set about building our own cage system for it. For our very first attempt it was pretty good although we let ourselves down a bit with the finish of the metal which in hindsight we would have got powder coated rather than painted - but hey, it's all a learning curve!

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So here we are at the end of 2014 and we have officially launched our cage building division and have been overwhelmed by the amount of enquiries we now get for various different types of van cage systems. Some have been for other dog walkers, dog agility trainers, dog groomers and even people in the building trade looking for security cages to protect their tools within their van.

As I type this blog we have literally just finished a silver 2014 Citroen Dispatch for a lady based in Milton Keynes who takes her dogs out and about for agility events. We now have a fantastic welder called Steve who with my input on the design front has created a beautiful set of van cages for the customers dogs. The finish is amazing and I am very happy with the flooring we have used which is anti-slip and hard wearing.

So now that we have got going with this project and added a 'Custom Cage' division to our ever growing range of Doggies Day Out pet services we look forward to working on many more different and exciting projects.

All of our cages are built from scratch, we do not use templates or mass produce in advance. This is 100% quality British craftmanship with our aim to build you the best, reliable and attractive van cage system possible. If you have a project in mind please give us a call and we can discuss it in detail to ensure you get exactly what you need from your dog van cages.

Our enquiry number is: 01536 357 738 and ask for Sam

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Above is the 2014 Citroen Dispatch in its original condition when it arrived with us here at Doggies Day Out (left) and the finished result (right)

A Journey Into Franchising

Written by Sam Watts.

Since we first purchased Doggies Day Out in September 2010 it was always an intention to eventually grow the business through franchising. I think back then we felt that once we had developed our original branch in a way that made it easy to replicate we could very easily set about selling our business model by setting up a franchise that was fair and easy for all parties to get going.

We certainly never expected to be franchising the business within three years, but such is the demand for what we do that we saw it as a good way of meeting customers needs.

Number 1 Pet Care Business?

Written by Sam Watts.

I have noticed on many other pet care business websites that they claim to be 'Number 1' and if I am honest I would say we have also made that claim in the past so I felt it only fair to justify that claim because as some of our competitiors have pointed out they would say there is no 'test' to determine who is 'Number 1'.

I am always a little wary of any website that claims to be number 1 as it is a phrase often used to try and send a message to potential customers that they are 'the best' and from our point of view we feel our customers know who is 'the best' so why use it as a false statement?

Who Are Doggies Day Out?

Written by Sam Watts.

Doggies Day Out was founded in 2008 within the Kettering area of Northamptonshire and operated as a 'man and a van' type business until it was sold to the current owners in September 2010. The original branch quickly began to grow and within its first full 12 month trading period generated a turnover in excess of £90,000 which allowed for staff to be hired and additional services to be added with the aim of being a one stop shop for dog owners.
 
In April 2012 a rival pet care business was purchased Your Pet Your Home based in Corby, Northamptonshire which quickly grew and evolved into a new company Doggies Day Out (UK) Limited which now operates the entire Doggies Day Out brand throughout the UK through the sale and management of franchises. The original Your Pet Your Home business was split into two new Doggies Day Out branches in 2013 which continue to operate with great success.