Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melissa Giannone, owner of APL - Teeth & Treats, located in Barrie, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We offer a cost-effective and natural solution to restore your pet's pearly whites. By scaling the teeth, we remove all the harmful buildup of plaque and tartar from the gum line to the tip of the tooth! This leaves your furry pups with sparkling Canines and Fresh breath - Making one HAPPY K9. We proudly use only natural and cruelty-free products, which means no animal by-products and no animal testing. This is a natural & cost-effective choice for You and your furry companion!

Tell us about yourself

When I was 18 years old, I rescued my first dog, Koda, a three 1/2-year-old collie lab retriever mix. He had five homes and quite the history, bites included. From there little over a year, I decided to rescue another dog and give Koda a brother. Nitro is an 8-month-old cattle border collie mix. These dogs were a hand full! And I started reading and watching anything I could to understand more about the breeds and how to train them to be balanced & happy dogs. From there, I started volunteering at kennels & dog training facilities. Showing my face consistently and soaking up anything I could learn. From there, I started walking dogs, dog sitting, and more volunteer time.

At 26, I met a company doing rehabilitation and dog psychology. I then started volunteering my time helping with all sorts of extreme cases. Rehabilitating them with the goal to become a family dog. Moving from there, becoming a second handler when gauging the dog's temperament, going to house calls, and assisting with the main handler. I learned how to read a dog's body language from the lip curlers and hard eyes to wiggle lose windmill tail.

At age 29, putting my resume in for cosmetic teeth cleaning position and not knowing what I was fully getting myself into… I then became hooked and passionate about informing humans about the importance of their pet's oral health care and the alternative options for teeth care. I try and bridge the gap between dogs and humans, helping them understand each other.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Every day of work is an accomplishment as I get to see many dogs in need and humans looking for help. Giving their furry companions a fresh, clean smile while they are awake, revealing those pearly whites and without the harsh sedation behind it. Many of our clients cannot go under sedation due to underlining health problems or being too old of age. And that's where we come in! This is a very rewarding job, and I feel like we are making a difference.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest lessons I learned was, "It may not be your mistake or fault; however, it is always your responsibility." As a business owner, you need to take responsibility for everything that happens, even when you have nothing to do with it. Ownership of that and stepping up is very important and helps you become a good leader.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Trust Your Gut: The saying "trust your gut" these feelings of intuition is a way to stay true to yourself. Following your instincts and you will certainly direct you towards the best path for you.
  2. Do Something You Have A Passion In: Choosing something you have a passion for will provide you with a drive like no other.
  3. Be Willing To Put In The Hours: I'm not going to sit here and write that this is easy. It takes a lot of strength, believing in yourself, commitment, and perseverance. They say it takes 10,000 hours to achieve mastery of a skill…. So think that every hour you spend is an hour closer to your achievement!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

It's not always what you know, some times it's who you know. With that being said, remember when someone is sharing a piece of knowledge to listen. The concept of life is learning lessons. They may have guidance to a lesson you are trying to learn.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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