Alaska Small Business Development Center

Seward Dog Lodge

Seward Dog Lodge: The Place Where Dogs Can Be Like Dogs

If you live in Seward and own a dog, you already know Heidi Sinclair and Seward Dog Lodge. Heidi started a dog walking service in 2014, catering to tourists visiting Seward. Local residents soon discovered her business and began requesting she take care of their dogs, too, and so Seward Dog Lodge was soon established. Due to Heidi’s excellent dog handling skills and clever social media abilities, Seward Dog Lodge has become a very successful and heavily sought-after service in the community.

With high demand and a long waitlist, Heidi turned to the Alaska SBDC to make data-driven decisions on how to expand. The SBDC helped Heidi create a survey, which received over 300 responses in two weeks, to better understand the local market for dog care. Seward Business Advisor KellyAnn Cavaretta worked closely with Heidi to create financial projections and a business plan, based on survey data and historical financials, to establish a plan for scalable growth. This empowered Heidi to quickly evaluate several options, before determining to expand her present location.

Seward Dog Lodge is currently working with a contractor to expand the facility, providing space for more overnight clients and daycare clients that might not fit the off-leash adventure business model.  On her experience with the Alaska SBDC, Heidi shared, “Alaska SBDC helped me feel like I had someone in my corner, cheering me on. Being a solo owner, you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off with and it’s hard to feel confident in where you want your business to go. Working with Kelly and Cliff helped me to not just look at my emotional side of growing my business, but to concentrate on how to responsibly grow my business. They helped me see things from an outsider’s point of view.  Having knowledgeable people walk with you each step of the way was so incredibly helpful. The communication was outstanding and I felt I was part of a team.”

If you are interested in learning more about Seward Dog Lodge, connect with them on Facebook or Instagram, where they have over 1,000 followers on each. Who doesn’t love great photos of dogs exploring the Alaskan outdoors?