Talking with Katie Ast of Just Dog People, I got to see just how passionate she is about dogs and helping pet parents build a strong human-animal bond. A lifelong dog lover, Katie told me that she always wanted to live amongst dogs, and she’s truly has made that her life! From her shop, to her new multipurpose training and event space to her own home where 5 shelties keep her company.

Katie is all about building a community of dog lovers – she says her business isn’t just a pet products shop or a dog wash, it’s so much more than that! She treats her staff and customers like they’re family – in fact, she’s run businesses with her mom and currently, her husband! For Katie, family, dogs, and business are three peas in a pod. I’m so excited to share this conversation with you.

Do you want to connect with more women who love dogs and business? Join the Wear Wag Repeat Labs FB Group! There’s about 700 dog-obsessed bosses in there who are ready to give feedback, advice and support for you and your pet business.

Creating a Community of Dog Lovers at Your Business

After Katie Ast graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC she moved to Atlanta to take an apprenticeship with a well-known dog trainer. After three dogs, she moved to back up to North Caroline and opened a dog boarding and day-care called Bone-Voyage. Katie ran Bone-Voyage for 12 years before selling the business.

After taking a year off to explore options, Katie opened Just Dog People with her husband, Jason. In 2019, Just Dog People was named Retailer of the Year: Concept and Innovation…a truly humbling honor. And just this past October, Katie and Jason opened Barks and Recreation, a dog activity, training and learning center with their good friend, Jackie. When she’s not running her businesses, Katie enjoys spending time with her 5 Shelties, Zoe, Olive, Bea, Veda and Wren – ages 1-to 13 years old.

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • How Katie came up with the concept for Just Dog People
  • How she continues to raise the bar at her store
  • Engaging ways to keep your staff trained and informed
  • Why Katie started Barks and Recreation in 2020

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Where to Find Katie:



You can listen to the Wear Wag Repeat Podcast through Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play and many other podcast players. Subscribe so you don’t miss a single dog-inspired episode!

If you love what you hear and want to support my efforts to shine a light on more women making it work in the pet industry, please leave a review for my show on iTunes. More reviews help more people discover the show and hear our stories! Reviewing Tip: If you’re on a computer, open the link then click “Listen on Apple Podcasts” and scroll to the bottom to write a review.

You can also see all the episodes on the Podcast page of my site.

Spend Less Time Working, and More Time with Your Dog

The Wear Wag Repeat Resource Guide has over 160 apps, tools and resources recommended by my podcast guests that will help you run an efficient and successful pet industry business!

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The Wear Wag Repeat Shop is stocked with stylish goods created by independent artists and dog mom makers. Express your love for your dog with playful clothes, accessories and gifts (like our best selling Puppy Breath Candle!). I have a special discount code for my loyal podcast listeners. Use code: PODCAST to get 15% off your first order.

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