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Success Story

DogJogJax, Inc.

I truly am thankful for the SBDC. Cathy Hagan has been a tremendous help to me as an entrepreneur, guiding me through the process along the way. She has been a creative, knowledgeable sounding board to assist in all aspects of the business.

Theresa McAfee has found a way to combine two of her passions into a successful business. She is an avid runner, meeting daily to run with friends and competing in local races, oftentimes placing among the top finishers. And, she loves dogs. Theresa started DogJogJax (DJJ) in 2014 to combine these two passions and offer a different twist on traditional dog-walking services. So, if your pup needs more than just a leisurely stroll, Theresa will take them on a run to burn off energy and have some fun. Of course, running is optional. Sometimes that leisurely stroll is exactly what her furry clients need. And whether it’s a run or walk, Theresa always follows with some cuddling or perhaps a scratch behind the ears to guarantee yet another happy DogJogJax customer. DogJogJax also offers in-home boarding for pet owners who want their dogs (or cats) to go on “vacation” rather than being boarded at a kennel.

Theresa got her first four-legged client in April 2014 through word of mouth from friends and family. That network quickly grew and she started to get requests for “traditional” mid-day walks as well as in-home boarding. By the end of 2014, she had more than 60 clients and continues to add more every day. She knew she needed to get a handle on the growth before it got too big to manage and was referred to Cathy Hagan at the FSBDC at UNF by another pet-loving business owner.

Cathy and Theresa discussed how to select the right legal structure for DogJogJax. Cathy referred her to an insurance agent who is a member of the Small Business Resource Network. She was able to offer Theresa options for liability insurance. Cathy and Theresa spent a lot of time talking about the issues related to independent contractors vs. employees. Theresa’s education was in accounting so she is familiar with the concepts, but Cathy encouraged her to turn to her accountant for guidance.

Cathy also introduced Theresa to fellow FSBDC at UNF consultant Jared Bailey. They took a critical look at her web site,, and Jared made some recommendations on how to optimize the site for search engines and make it user-friendly for visitors. Cathy reviewed the DogJogJax Facebook page and encouraged Theresa to keep up the practice of posting pictures of her furry clients.
Theresa’s biggest challenge has been managing the growth of her new business while seeking personal balance in her life. She has adapted much of her house to offer separate quarters for boarding to accommodate small and large breeds. Theresa now has three other DJJ certified boarders to help with the overflow, especially during holidays when demand is the greatest. She has also hand-selected five independent contractors to help with mid-day walks. Theresa talks with Cathy periodically to get advice and feedback on how to grow efficiently and plan for the future of DogJogJax. As a dog owner, Cathy is able to provide input not only as a consultant, but also from the client-perspective. Cathy’s dog, Finn, is a DogJogJax fan, loving the attention he got at a recent “vacation”.

DogJogJax, Inc.Theresa McAfee

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