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Meet Cary and Shana Tepper of Westside Dogs LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cary and Shana Tepper.

In 2012 Shana, Cary and their Yorkie, Cody moved from New York City to Marina Del Rey. They immediately noticed a high demand for pet care in their neighborhood and a critical shortage of pet care providers. Cary and Shana struggled themselves to find excellent care for Cody. Finally, being loving and passionate pet owners themselves, Shana and Cary decided to take matters into their own hands. Since 2014, Westside Dogs LA has provided dog walking and the Pawventure to pet owners in the cities of Marina Del Rey, Culver City, Venice and surrounding areas.

Shana, Cary – please share your story with us.
Shana studied Journalism at the University of California Santa Cruz (Go Banana Slugs) and started her career at a national TV network in New York City. After 12 years of living on the East Coast, Shana received a great opportunity and was transferred to Los Angeles.

Cary had a successful career in the hospitality industry working in high-end catering facilities throughout the New York Metro Area. After moving to Los Angeles, Cary quickly landed the General Manager position at one of the area’s most popular restaurants. After working in an industry that left little personal time, Cary saw Westside Dogs LA as an opportunity to immediately fulfill two of his dreams – working and running his own business dedicated to helping others (and their pets).

Cary started the business by walking dogs and managing the day-to-day operations on his own, while simultaneously figuring out how to market, advertise and meet potential clients. He got to the point where he could not walk dogs on his own and had to start bringing on staff. As Westside Dogs LA continuously grew, Cary brought on a manager to help run the day-to-day duties, alongside himself. He also wanted to continually grow the brand and make Westside Dogs LA the face of the westside and, in order to do so, he later brought on a Marketing Manager. We now are part of many local residential buildings, take part in different events around the westside and participate in the Playa Vista Famers Market, as well.

We now have clients ranging from Santa Monica to Westchester to Culver to the Marina. As we continue to grow, we also have to constantly recreate ourselves by creating different operation tactics in order to make our managers and team stronger. These tactics, we believe, will continually help in expanding our services into different neighborhoods.

Has it been a smooth road?
Like any small business, it comes with its challenges. One of the biggest challenges we face is to find qualified staff who love dogs. We hold our standards very high and the ability to trust an employee for this type of industry is crucial. We go through a detailed process just to find the right person. However, once we find the employee with the right credentials, it is even harder to keep them for a long period of time due to the pure transitional career essence of the job itself.

The second challenge is to find enough hours in the day to give our staff enough quality time and direction for what they need to achieve. We find that talking directly over the phone or in person is a more efficient way to communicate, rather than through long wordy text messages.

Overall, we are perfectionists and want to give our customers the highest standards of service they deserve. We pride ourselves on the strength of our team and the quality of our work. For us, the pet service business is a 7-day a week machine, in which we have to be available to our customers every weekend and holiday, and truly be flexible and available for their every need. These pillar characteristics of our business, in particular, make us unique among the rest.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Westside Dogs LA is a local boutique dog company that services Santa Monica, Playa Vista, Marina Del Rey, Venice, Westchester and Culver City! Not only do we provide daily walks to our clientele, we also feature our Pawventure Hike, a weekly service which includes a pick up and drop off of your pup, and 10-15 other dogs, on a local neighborhood hike! After each service, we send a detailed text message about your dog’s walk, as well as a photo. This unique communication style with our customers makes us stand out among the rest, and keeps our clients coming back for more! The proudest moment of our career so far has been becoming the neighborhood go-to pet service provider within only 3 years on the westside.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes! We feel that Los Angeles would be an optimal place to start a business like ours due to the constant busyness of the city and the plethora of dogs that are reside here, especially in the high-rise and residential buildings. We also think Los Angeles is a great place to start a dog walking business due to the consistent incredible weather conditions, large amount of potential clients and, of course, the enormously supportive pet community.

Pricing:

  • Daily Walks Pricing:
  • 15 min-$17/walk
  • 30 min- $22/walk
  • 45 min-$27/walk
  • 60 min-$32/walk
  • Dog Walking Packages Pricing:
  • Ten 15 min Walks/$160
  • Ten 30 min Walks/$210
  • Ten 45 min Walks/$260
  • Ten 60 min Walks/$310
  • Twenty 15 min Walks/$300
  • Twenty 30 min Walks/$395
  • Twenty 45 min Walks/$495
  • Twenty 60 min Walks/$595
  • $5 for each additional family dog
  • $10 surcharge for after hour, weekend & Holiday walks
  • Pawventure Pricing:
  • $35 per Pawventure
  • $15 each for additional family dog

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Photo 1: Owners Shana & Cary Tepper
Photo 2: Westside Dogs LA Events Photos featuring clients Amy, Jamie & Baxter (dog) Snider, as well as other attendees!
Photo 3: Westside Dogs LA Dog Walkers Zoe (left) and Jenna-Rose (right)
Photo 4: Owner Cary Tepper on a weekly Pawventure!
Photo 5: Wonderful Westside Dog Walkers Zoe (left) and Amber (right) doing the infamous Pawventure “leg-pop”
Photo 6: Cary Tepper and his pack!
Photo 7: Pawventure Crew featuring (starting from the left) the incredible Zoe, Mike, Cary & Amber!

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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