Forecasting wage increases for your pet business

Forecasting wage increases for your pet business

Robin Bennet, The Dog Gurus

Now, more than ever, anticipating wage increases for your pet business is becoming essential to successful employee management. The post-pandemic world is changing strategies for hiring–including those with entry level salary ranges. In some areas, minimum wage is being dictated by state policies and in other areas minimum wage increases are necessary to attract reliable talent — or some combination of the two. 

These changes in the workplace dynamic has businesses looking to be more competitive to retain talent while still managing the increased costs and profitability. 

Knowing your numbers and forecasting your wages for the next three years is a recommended solution to this balancing act. Or team, The Dog Gurus,  recommend using Microsoft Excel (or a similar spreadsheet program) as a tool to allow for multiple variables and adjustments. 

Tips to forecasting wages are to take these steps:

  • Divide team members into “fixed” versus “variable” staff members
    • Fixed are the staff you pay regardless of how many pets are served
    • Variable are the staff that provide services and will vary with volumes served 
  • List current staff and their wages and calculate their current monthly pay 
  • Decide how big of an increase each staff member will get in current year and month of planned increase
  • Calculate annual labor costs for current year by adding number of months at current wage and number of months at increased wages
  • Determine the overall increase in wages for the current year – this is the amount you will need to increase your revenues to pay for the wage increases
  • Create a growth plan with your employees to motivate these increases with quality work
  • Plan wage increases using the steps above for the next two years


Our video provides more details on setting up your excel worksheet and ideas on how to increase pricing to ensure your business passes on increased costs to clients.  We also share how you can use the staff forecasting data in our Pet Profits Template to confirm your service rates cover your increased labor costs. If you don’t pass along these costs, you’ll reduce your own pay to cover them. Pet services is not alone in facing increased labor costs so act now to create your plan to recruit and retain the staff you need to provide excellent care quality.

The Dog Gurus help pet care businesses launch, grow, and profit by providing business growth resources as well as staff training resources. Check them out at

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