Let's meet at the Pet Boarding and Daycare Expo West in Burbank!

Every year, hundreds of dog boarding and daycare business owners and professionals meet up in Burbank, CA for the Pet Boarding and Daycare Expo (West). Check out the schedule of events below!

The conference begins on April 30th, with the expo on May 2nd and 3rd.

Here's the Pet Boarding and Daycare Expo West schedule: https://www.petboardingexpowest.com/schedule/

Find out more here: https://www.petboardingexpowest.com/

We hope to see you there!

Evaluating online booking software for your dog daycare, boarding and grooming business

Evaluating online booking software for your dog daycare, boarding and grooming business

Learn about online booking, reservation and appointment software programs for dog daycare, boarding kennels and grooming services.

4 Benefits - and Dangers - of using Free Kennel Management Software

This pet care blog article looks at the benefits and risks of using free kennel management and doggie daycare software and other free or low-priced doggie daycare dashboard - type software.

If you are using pen & paper, white-boards and google docs (let's call these '20th century fixes') to run your pet care business, switching to any online pet care software is likely a good thing for your business. And, if it's free, why not?  After all, the pen & paper system is free, right?

The Opportunity Cost of 20th Century Fixes

First, let's look at whether pen & paper systems are really free.  The fact is, there are opportunity costs  of using older, outdated technology.  Any 20th century fix requires significant staff time, is prone to errors (whether overbooking or under-booking) and other issues that cost you operating money, and limit your cash-flow. We know, that's why we created Gingr - one of our co-founders ran a busy doggie daycare using 20th Century fixes!

Typically, these 'systems' are, at their best, run by one-person who knows how the system 'works'.  As soon as you enter multiple players and increased business activity, things start to fall apart. Simply, as your pet-care business gross, the 20th Century 'fix' is not scaleable.  Your costs increase as fast as your business does.

The Benefits of Pet Care Boarding and Daycare Software

The benefits of pet-care software are many:

  1. Improve accuracy (pet info', client info', reservation data, financial reporting)
  2. Save staff time on the phone and email (with integrated online booking and customer portal) -  this can translate to $100s even $1,000s in savings per month.
  3. Improve customer service (most customers want to be able to engage online, and software will speed up transactions, saving your customers' time).
  4. Increase cash-flow (avoid lost revenue by automating fee calculations, track amounts due, automate payments increase tip-collection)
  5. Make marketing easy
  6. Automate online reputation management
  7. and many more.....

When the Software Is Free or Low Priced

Free or low-value software can often be a great choice for small pet care businesses seeing less than 20-25 pets per day, especially if you are coming from '20th Century fixes'.  Your income is lower, so you want to spend as little as possible on operations. That's good intuition, but often comes at a cost (remember opportunity cost - you might be missing out on important money-saving features).  You haven't risked much in going to free software, so no big deal if it doesn't work for you, right?  Also, you can always switch to a higher-value service as your business grows.

That said, you want to know what you are missing if you stick with the free or low-value product.  I almost always go budget on car rentals, but I know what I'm missing with the luxury rentals - space, comfort and style - and I know when I need to rent a higher value car.

Software is similar. A higher value software service will give you more money-saving functions, streamlines operations further, increase cash-flow and impress upon your customers that you don't skimp on the essentials. This becomes more important as your business grows (if you want it to grow).  An extra dollar a day towards higher value software can go a long way in terms of ease-of-use, time-saving features, support, and the knowledge you are using the best product available.

The Dangers of Free Software

Free, unfortunately, normally means you are missing out on something, or giving something up.

In pet-care software, 'free' can mean any or all of the following:

  1. Limited use of the software, either in # of records or # of users.
  2. Poor performance in availability. Cloud-based software requires a lot of back-end technology in storage and redundancy. This costs money. Much of a software subscription goes towards maintaining security and backup systems to help ensure a high level of software availability . Gingr, for example, delivers a target of 99.96% uptime (and outperforms this every year).  How does the free service compare? When your software is down, it's not free - it's costing you money.
  3. Lack of features and/or lack of granularity and customization of features - the software may 'have the feature', but it's limited in scope and customization.
  4. Limited support services - the company lacks the funds to provide quality support.
  5. Limited development - the company lacks the funds or knowledge to support continued development.
  6. Limited customer-base - the company lacks industry knowledge generated from its customers and fails to develop as the industry evolves.
  7. Higher costs as your customer grows in # of records or users, or higher hidden costs for SMS services, credit card processing rates or critical 'modules'. READ THE FINE PRINT!

Moving Forward

Risks and dangers aside, free pet care software may be a good fit for you to get started with, especially if you are a very small business. The important thing is to know what you are missing, so you can make an educated decision, and be aware of when you might want to switch from 'free' to higher value software service.

A few questions you can ask:

  1. What is your availability and uptime?
  2. What is your security?
  3. What are your hidden costs?
  4. What are your on-boarding and support services?
  5. When I want to leave, can I export and/or backup my data, and what format will that be in?

Free software can be a starter, and you can always upgrade to a more robust, higher-value product as your business grows.

Here's to your success!


Fast, Reliable File Uploading: A Technical Saga

Since the very beginning, report cards have been a core feature in Gingr. Report cards allow Gingr customers (your business) to keep in touch with their customers (pet parents) while they're away. In fact, it's Lee's (Gingr's founder) favorite feature! He loves getting pictures of Ginger while he's visiting a PB&D trade show.

However, file uploads have been a constant scalability concern. Not only is file uploading one of the most resource intensive things our servers do, we handle a lot of file uploads! Yesterday (March 21), we handled well over 100,000 file uploads with a peak of 4 per second. Once we receive an upload, we also have to process the image to make it suitable for use in a web browser.

Over the years, we've tried many approaches to handling file uploads. They've all worked for a while...until Gingr grew to a point where the current system couldn't handle the increased load. We think we've finally achieved the ultimate solution- infinite scalability. Let's review the history of file uploads in Gingr:

Upload to Gingr Directly, Process & Save Locally

Initially, Gingr took the "traditional" approach to file uploads. A user would upload a file directly to Gingr, which would then process the file (resize and rotate as needed) and save it on a hard drive shared amongst the servers.

Upload to Gingr Directly, Process Asynchronously & Save in Cloud

Once our second hard drive was filled to the brim, we knew we needed to find a more scalable solution. Users would upload files directly to Gingr, which would temporarily store the file locally. We'd then notify another server (using Redis pub/sub) about the upload. This other server would process the file and save it in the cloud. It would then update the database with the new file location. 

Upload to Gingr Directly, Process & Save in Cloud

After about a year, activity increased to the point where the temporary hard drive was unhappy with all the reads/writes we were throwing at it every second. We started getting failing disk warnings. That's scary, and it was time to find another solution. Now, users would upload files to Gingr which would process the file and save to the cloud. 

Upload, Process & Save in Cloud Directly

After a few months, our servers started to get unhappy with all that work. Resizing images takes up a lot of RAM and CPU, so our servers had to work harder and harder every day. Although nothing was "wrong", it was clear this solution wouldn't scale.

We turned to Google Cloud Platform to help us scale file uploads infinitely and to solve this problem once and for all. Using a mixture of Serverless cloud functions and Cloud Storage, users now upload files directly to Google. Serverless functions then process the file asynchronously.

There are some amazing benefits to this solution:

  • File uploads don't touch Gingr's production servers at all.
  • Uploading directly to Google is much faster than using Gingr as a middle-man.
  • Serverless architecture means Gingr's operation team doesn't have to maintain new infrastructure. Google handles it all for us.

We turned this feature on earlier this week and noticed some huge improvements. Most importantly, our users are now experiencing much faster uploading. Up to a 50% improvement! Internally, our average API response time decreased 22% and our server load was down 30%.

This solution will allow Gingr to scale file uploads for years to come and provide an improved experience for our users. We're very proud to roll this out to all our customers. You probably didn't notice a thing :).

Have any questions? Like this technical blog post? Leave a comment below!




PS - Since you made it to the end, we want to share some inside info with you! We're currently working on extending our new file upload architecture to achieve better video streaming. In the next few weeks, you should notice huge improvements in report card video streaming. It'll be just as good as YouTube!

Top Dog Daycare and Boarding Industry Trends for 2018

Top Dog Daycare and Boarding Industry Trends for 2018

Learn about key trends that may drive your dog daycare, grooming and boarding business in 2018.

Staff Scheduling for Pet Care Businesses: Tips and Tools

Your staff may be your most important asset. Ensuring you have the right staff on hand at the right times is critical to the success of your pet boarding or dog daycare business. Yet, over-staffing is expensive, and sending staff home can be bad for morale.

Tips for Timing the Staffing of Your Dog Daycare or Boarding Business

You never want to be understaffed, yet over-staffing can erode your margins quickly. First, determine what your staffing 'base' is per day. In other words, what is the minimum number of staff you need on hand when your business is open, if if just for one pet. This number may be one person for a small business, or 5 for a larger business that has multiple types of services. From there, you can determine what your variable daily staff requirements are.

Here are some tips and suggestions to help 'fine tune' your variable staffing needs:

1. Know your state & local regulations. Many states require a minimum number of staff per number of dogs in daycare, for example. Consider capping the maximum number of pets to be a multiple of the regulation's specification. For example, if you have to have one staff per 15 pets, make your daily capacity 30, 45, 50 or some other multiple. This way you can target enrollment for maximum profit per staff-member.

2. Encourage or require reservations, even for daycare. When your customers have reservations, then you have a good prediction of the number of staff you will need over the next few weeks. Make it easier by using recurring reservations functions in your software. For example, Gingr enables you or your customers to Add Recurring Dates to the first reservation-request. If the customer wants to bring their pet every M, T, W, Th, F over the next 12 weeks, for example, they can request these easily all at once. You can further Accept all the reservations at once, and then pet will then be counted as a reservation for each day coming up.  Check your Reservations By Date (or date range), per below.

3. Specify estimated check-in times and check-out times on all reservations whenever possible. This is a little extra work when confirming and accepting a reservation, but it will give you valuable data to help determine peak transaction times, when you really need extra help up front checking pets in and out.

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 4.20.48 PM.png

4. Review for your future Reservations By Date (or date range).  Checking upcoming reservations helps, especially if you require (or strongly encourage) advance reservations. Your reservation-software should have good reporting to help you get a sense of how many pets you will see on any given day or time-period. Experiment sorting report data by (estimated) check-in time and (estimated) check-out times, so you get a sense of when your peak transactional activities will be.

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 4.23.22 PM.png

5. Review Occupancy.  Occupancy reports can help you determine not just what days you will have a certain amount of pets, but what hours you expect pets to be checking in and out. As with sorting Reservation check-in times and check-out times (see #3), you can get a sense of when your peak transactional activities will be and when you are sure to need extra staff on hand.


Once you have a sense of when your peak business activities are, then you can determine our variable staffing needs for various days and times for the upcoming schedule.

There are many tools to help you with staff scheduling. We recommend a cloud-based software solution, so you and your staff can access the schedule from anywhere.

6. Review historical Reservation By Date (range) reports and sort for check-in and check-out times. This will help you determine trends in peak transaction times.

Streamline, Streamline, Streamline

Our mantra here at Gingr: streamline your operational processes as much as possible through the effective use of software. From reservation management to payment collection, automating and streamlining work-flows will reduce your staffing requirements, particularly during the peak times determined above.


staff scheduling software

Using an online staff scheduling software program will help you coordinate your staff schedules and related communication.

Many of dog daycare and boarding business customers use one of the following staff scheduling programs:


Gingr Scheduler (aka "StaffJoy")

https://www.gingrschedule.com/  (note, Gingrschedule is not integrated with Gingr at this time).

documentation on how to use GingrSchedule (aka StaffJoy) is here: https://support.gingrapp.com/support/solutions/articles/13000033864-how-to-use-staffjoy-scheduling


WhenToWork - this is a popular online scheduling software:



Interested in learning more about Gingr and Gingr's staff management tools? Contact us at sales@gingrapp.com or https://www.gingrapp.com/contact-us


From Dog Daycare 'Attendant' to 'Certified Professional Animal Care Provider'

From Dog Daycare 'Attendant' to 'Certified Professional Animal Care Provider'

Learn about professional pet care certification with PACCC.

How to get positive online reviews for your pet care business

How to get positive online reviews for your pet care business

Learn how to easily generate positive online reviews from your dog daycare and boarding customers.

EMV (Chip Cards) Have Arrived!


We're very excited to announce that we've completed a new integration with CardConnect that allows you to accept EMV (chip card) transactions directly from Gingr!

This technology is called CardConnect Bolt and will be available starting February 1, 2018. If you'd like to go live with this ASAP, we recommend placing your order today.

If you'd like to place an order, simply submit a support ticket via your Gingr App or email to support@gingr.freshdesk.com. Keep reading below for pricing information.

What is Bolt?

Bolt P2PE is a new technology developed by CardConnect, which allows a browser based application (like Gingr) to interact with a traditional EMV terminal.

Do I Need Bolt?

The short answer is YES. If your business receives a chargeback (customer fights your charge with their bank) and the EMV chip was not used you will lose the chargeback (along with the money, plus a fee). Until now, Gingr has covered your business in the event of a chargeback related to EMV. Starting April 1, 2018 Gingr will no longer offer this protection. We recommend that all businesses upgrade to this new technology as soon as possible.

Is Bolt Secure?

Yes. Bolt provides full Point to Point Encryption in an encrypted environment. Card numbers never touch your computer nor Gingr. Data is "tokenized" directly on the terminal and a random token is returned to Gingr. Gingr then uses this random token to authorize charges and save cards on file. Even if someone managed to steal this token, it can only be used with your merchant account- so they'd be making you money.

What Does Bolt Cost?

You can choose from either the Ingenico iSC Touch 250 or the Ingenico ipp350. The iSC Touch 250 retails for $500* and can be leased from CardConnect for $20/month*. The iPP350 can be purchased for $360*. (*prices reflective of June, 2018 pricing, confirm for current pricing).

Existing Customers

Buy Outright

For a limited time, Gingr is offering a $150 account credit per terminal (limit 2 per location) when purchased outright. This brings your total cost per terminal to $350. To be eligible for this credit, you must:

  • order your new terminal from Gingr by March 30, 2018
  • mail us your old IDTech swipers 

Lease From CardConnect

  • You can lease a terminal from CardConnect for $20/month/terminal
  • You will be billed by CardConnect directly
  • Support and replacement warranty is guaranteed
  • Billing is continuous; there is no 'rent-to-buy' option at this time
  • You do not own the terminals, and must return them to CardConnect if you cancel your merchant account.
  • Important: If leasing a terminal, please complete this form  and submit it along with your ticket to Gingr support.

New Customers

Buy Outright

New customers can purchase a terminal outright for $500. Contact sales@gingrapp.com if you have any questions!

Lease From CardConnect

  • You can lease a terminal from CardConnect for $20/month/terminal
  • You will be billed by CardConnect directly
  • Support and replacement warranty is guaranteed
  • Billing is continuous; there is no 'rent-to-buy' option at this time
  • You do not own the terminals, and must return them to CardConnect if you cancel your merchant account.

Is there a warranty?

Yes! When you purchase a terminal outright from CardConnect you receive a 1 year warranty from the purchase date.

The Ingenico iSC Touch 250 is widely deployed at big box retailers across the country. They're quite durable and are rated for 500,000 EMV inserts and 1,000,000 signatures by the manufacturer.


Manufacturer page: https://ingenico.us/.../pay.../isc-series/isc-touch-250.html


Do I Still Need My E-Signature Tablet?

It depends. Currently, there are some things that Gingr's e-signature tablet can do that Bolt can't do. Those are:

  • Display legal agreements and collect signatures
  • Display line item level detail of
  • Pre-determined tip options

The good news is that CardConnect plans to develop all of the above features. Gingr's end goal is to replace the e-signature tablet entirely with Bolt.

In the meantime, if you require e-signatures for legal agreements and/or line-item level display of the cart, you will need to keep the e-signature tablet around for those features.

Is Bolt Easy To Set Up?

Yes! It's very easy to configure Bolt in Gingr. Our beta testers have been able to set up the terminal, configure Gingr and run a transaction in under 10 minutes. Easy peasy.

Does Bolt Work In Canada?

Not yet. We're told by CardConnect that certifying Bolt with Canadian banks is a top priority for them. The good news is that Gingr is ready to go once CardConnect is.

Will Bolt Have More Features Down The Road?

Yes!  Currently, there are some things that Bolt can't do but will in the future. Those are:

  • Accept Apple/Android/NFC Payments
  • Accept payments "out in the field" or away from the facility

What can we do about e-signatures for agreements today?

Great question! We're currently soliciting feedback from customers about one option to collect agreement signatures from a new Bolt terminal today. 

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers but small business owners, like you. We will be discussing this idea with our lawyers and we'd love it if you could run it past yours.

Here's our idea:

  • You keep a printed, laminated copy of your agreements behind the front desk.
  • When a customer wants to sign an agreement, you present them the printed, laminated copy to review.
  • You click the button in Gingr to push to device, but instead of going to the E-Signature tablet, it goes to the new Bolt terminal.
  • The terminal would say something to the affect of "I agree with the agreement provided to me." and the customer would sign electronically.

Some thoughts:

  • Gingr does store the full text of the legal agreement at the time the customer signed- a "point in time" copy, if you will.
  • As long as you print off the new agreement whenever you update it, the text will always be the same.
  • Gingr can also automatically email the customer a copy of their agreement once signed. 
  • You could add a clause to your agreement stating that the electronic copy provided to the customer is the prevailing source of truth during a dispute? (Again, we are not lawyers).
  • Just as one datum, when I visited a large chain hotel last month they had me sign 2 times on the credit card terminal. Once to authorize the charges and other to agree to their Terms and Conditions. The second screen said something to the effect of "To view the full terms and conditions, visit http://my-big-hotel-chain.com/terms or ask the front desk agent for a copy of the agreement".

Do I Have to Buy The Terminal From CardConnect Directly?

Yes, just like the IDTech swipers you have today, these terminals are specifically encrypted to only work with CardConnect and your specific Merchant ID to prevent fraud, skimming and abuse. This is to protect both your business and your customer's personal information.

Our pricing is very competitive compared to other companies selling the same device online (except for eBay). Buying a used credit card terminal off eBay is just asking to get hacked. Don't even think about it.


Holiday Support Hours


Friday, December 22: Normal Hours

Monday, December 25: Email Support Only (guaranteed 24 hour response time)

Tuesday, December 26: Email Support Only (guaranteed 24 hour response time)

Wednesday, December 27: Normal Hours

Thursday, December 28: Normal Hours

Friday, December 29: Normal Hours

Monday, January 1: Email Support Only (guaranteed 24 hour response time)

Tuesday, January 2: Email Support Only (guaranteed 24 hour response time)

Wednesday, January 3: Normal Hours

Thursday, January 4: Normal Hours

Friday, January 5: Normal Hours

Best Practices for Collecting Deposits for Dog Boarding Reservations

Best Practices for Collecting Deposits for Dog Boarding Reservations

Review our support team's recommendations for 'best practices' in managing dog boarding reservation depostis.

Pricing and Profit for Dog Daycare and Boarding Facilities

Pricing and Profit for Dog Daycare and Boarding Facilities

Learn about pricing and profits for dog daycare and boarding business plans.

Thanksgiving Week Support Hours

Support hours for this holiday week

Monday, November 20: Normal Hours

Tuesday, November 21: Normal Hours

Wednesday, November 22: Chat 8AM - 2PM Mountain, Email Normal Hours

Thursday, November 23: Email Support Only (guaranteed 24 hour response time)

Friday, November 24: Email Support Only (guaranteed 24 hour response time)

Is your website https:// secure?

Is your website https:// secure?

Learn about how to secure your pet daycare and boarding marketing website!

Financial Aid for Pet Care

Financial Aid for Pet Care

Check out this great resource for financial aid for pet care business customers' pets.

An exciting announcement from Gingr! 😃 🎉

Dearest Gingr Customers,

We have a very exciting announcement, as well as some needed reassurances to come along with it. 

On August 31, Gingr was acquired by Togetherwork, the emerging leader in Group Management Software and Payments. This acquisition provides Gingr the resources we need to continue growing as a business and improving our product and service.

We know that past acquisitions of pet services software companies have been very disappointing events in our industry, as product development stopped and support quality declined. We are very sensitive to this and want to be entirely clear that nothing is changing at Gingr, except for us being a better resourced company.

The entire Gingr team, including Lee and Aaron (the original co-founders), is staying intact, including support, development, and on-boarding staff. We have big plans for the coming years and, as always,  customer satisfaction is at the fore of our intentions.

Over the next few months, we will hire multiple additional developers as well as additional sales and on-boarding support personnel. This will allow Gingr to accelerate its growth and bring exciting new features to the Gingr platform.

So please, join us in celebrating this exciting milestone and rest assured that we're going to be the same company as we've always been, only better!

Thank you for your loyal support. We're here to answer any questions you may have, and are always here to support you. For questions about the acquisition, please feel free to reach out to your account manager at myaccount@gingrapp.com.

All the best,

Lee, Aaron, and the whole Gingr team

Temperament Tests for Dog Daycare

Temperament Tests for Dog Daycare

Learn about performing temperament tests and establishing acceptance policies for your dog daycare business.

Dog Day Care Playground Equipment

Dog Day Care Playground Equipment

Learn about dog daycare play equipment for your pet boarding and daycare facility.

Disaster Planning for Dog Daycare and Boarding Businesses

Disaster Planning for Dog Daycare and Boarding Businesses

Learn about preparing your dog daycare and boarding facility for weather and other emergencies.

Understanding Credit Card Processing Fees

Understanding Credit Card Processing Fees

Learn about credit card processing fees and what to avoid when establishing a merchant processing account for your dog daycare and boarding business.