An Interview with Nerdy Dogs

Your Sacramento Pet Sitter
(916) 585-3182
We offer cat sitting, dog sitting, dog walking, care for rabbits, chickens, rats, fish and more.

Nerdy Dogs is Midtown’s newest pet supply boutique. Owner Caitlyn answered these questions for me shortly before opening their store front at 19th and L. The Grand Opening is coming soon!

Nerdy Dogs is currently competing for Best Pet Supplies in the KCRA A-List contest which ends May 18th. Please take a moment to make them #1 by voting here

    10 Questions with…Nerdy Dogs owner Caitlyn Shortt

Q: Before you started this business, what kind of jobs have you had in the past?

A: Before I started Nerdy Dog I was a swim coach and worked for a rafting company seasonally. Once I got done swimming in college I went back to my home town in Oregon and started working at a rafting company in the office. After a summer at the rafting company, I went to go volunteer coach at San Diego State University for a season. When I got done in San Diego I moved to Costa Mesa, CA and coached for a club team in Irvine working with 9-12 year olds. Then I met a boy and moved out to Boston, MA and coached 9-12 years olds for a club team at Harvard. Which after 6 months I moved to Sacramento for my fiance’s job. That’s when I started making dog treats!

Q: What made you decide to start your own business?

A: My dog Churro is the pickiest dog I have ever come across. Since he was a puppy it was very hard to find the right foods that he enjoyed eating. He has always been very gentle when taking treats or even a piece of meat. So making my own dog treats for him seemed like a reasonable thing to do in order to find something he liked. I was tired of paying lot’s of money for food and treats he wouldn’t eat. Chicken liver dog treats were the first home made dog treats I could find that he liked! I thought it would be a great way to start a business, if Churro liked the treats why wouldn’t other dogs?

Q: What makes your product/service unique?

A: How many dog treat companies do you know make Pac-Man dog treats? Probably not too many if any at all! We are nerds at heart as owners and well…Churro he is just flat out nerdy. So we wanted our treats to reflect our little families nerdyness. Our treats come in all sorts of shapes. Tetris, Pac-Man, Spaceships, Finder, Animal Crackers, and more.

Q: What do you find to be your biggest challenge with this business so far?

A: Opening up a store front! While I am very, very excited, the government does not make it easy to get all the forms you need. Can’t tell you how much of a wild goose hunt I have been on to get forms filled out only to find out I still don’t have all of them. We now have everything done and filled out, but wow!, it was not easy. However, I am still really excited 😀

Q: What is one of your favorite customer experiences so far?

A: So many! Any time we would go to an event people couldn’t help but smile when they came over to our table. It really shows you the power of both doing something fun but also how much animals in our lives really make us happier people! Even selling our treats online we always have people telling us how cool or awesome our treats are. I love that I have a product that can make someone smile!

Q: What has been your most challenging customer experience so far?

A: I haven’t really run into this too much…yet. I’ve had someone look at my treats before and then tell me her dog wouldn’t like any of them. Not something she really needed to tell me, but it was a little rude! I’ve had mostly positive experiences with my business!

Q: What, if any, are some major challenges facing your business with regard to the current economy?

A: Luckily we haven’t had too many issues with this! The pet industry didn’t take too much of a hit during the recession. Shelters expected to be way more full than what they ended up with. Of course, there are tons of pets waiting to be adopted! My thought is that your dog or cat is your family. It’s not just something that’s easy to give up. Most people will find any way possible to keep ahold of their family member. And those that do still want to spoil them! The recession hasn’t affected my business and I truly believe things are starting to turn around. Which is why I have no problem opening up a business as it will only begin to help the economy grow!
Q: If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be?

A: Two things could be changed in the pet industry. One would be that AAFCO needs higher standards and stricter policies on manufacturing pet food. Too many dogs are becoming obese and we need more pet food companies like Orijen that are concerned with the ingredients they include in their food. The second one would be more awareness on helping dogs find homes! Too many breeders out there these days and not enough people checking their local shelters for dogs that really need a home and some love too. Adopt! Adopt! Adopt!

Q: What is something that your customers would be surprised to know about you?

A: Haha, well. I swam for 16 years competitively in both Washington and Oregon. During that time I competed in several US Opens, National meets and US Olympic Trials and then went to swim for the University of Washington Huskies. While I was there I went to Pac-10’s and NCAA’s. Go Dawgs!

Q: What is the best way for new clients to reach you?

A: Now that we are opening up a store at the end of March/Beginning of April it will be super easy! We are located 1118 19th st. in Sacramento, CA 95811. You can email us at or give us a call at 916-706-0209 (yes, we have a landline!) Our website is and you can also become a fan on Facebook or follow us on twitter @NerdyDogs! We love the digital world!

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