If you are someone who has a passion for dogs and a dream of turning that love into a thriving business, then learning how to start a dog boarding business is the perfect idea to turn your dreams into reality. It can be confusing to know where to start from and things to keep in mind on your journey to entering the pet industry.
However, you do not have to get worried because we got you covered. From the initial concept and ideas to the final necessary steps, in this guide, we have elaborated everything and made it easy for you to turn your dreams into reality. Good luck creating a positive impression on both the furry customers and their owners!
Below are a few steps you should follow to give it a start.
1. Do Smart Market Research and Have a Solid Business Plan
You must have a proper idea of the market before you get deep into knowing start a dog boarding business from home. During this phase, your main goal is to research the demand for dog kennels in your area as well as identify your key competitors. That way, you will know the existing standard you have to cross to capture the audience.
While researching, keep in mind that you need to know how many pet boarding businesses exist in your area already, if there are certain legal requirements you need to follow, the potential cost or the market expenditure at that time, and the income from the business. Even apart from that, if you have other goals, narrow them down.
Now that you have researched the requirements in your area, you need to have a unique offering that would make you stand out in the crowd. For example, you have a huge playground for puppies or grooming services or certain membership discounts that are not available anywhere else so the customers are attracted towards your business.
Following this strategy will not only make you stand out from your market competitors but also give your business a strategic superiority in terms of competitiveness. By market research, you will have awareness about the requirements of the dog boarding business that are not being fulfilled and have a chance to outshine all by bringing new ideas.
2. Navigating the Perfect Location
Once you have an idea about the market and have a business plan in hand, it is time to find the perfect location that is accommodating to you. There are certain things that you need to keep in mind when choosing a facility.
i) The Proximity to the Desired Customer Base
It is preferred that you choose a place that has more houses with dogs in the surroundings. That way, it will be easier for you to catch their attention. No one likes going too far for such services anyway.
ii) Your Range and Total Budget
You need to be smart with the budget because you can not spend all your money on leasing. In the long run, you will require money for rent or mortgage, the utilities required in the shop, taxes and insurance, furniture and equipment along with food supplies, the staff salaries when you hire employees, dog boarding software, and marketing and advertising.
You must decide on a location where you can accommodate and save money for all of this. The budget will change according to the business growth, so always be prepared for that. With a proper budget plan, you can make sure not to spend unnecessary amounts anywhere and avoid any shock when the billing arrives.
iii) Ideal Space Requirements
To know how to start a dog daycare and boarding business that is ideal, you need to have a bigger outdoor space since the dogs need proper playground equipment to have their physical fitness needs met for enjoyment purposes. Not only that, but also in case of the weather going bad, you will also require a huge indoor space for the dogs to get comfortable in. So, while choosing the perfect space for your furry friends, these things should be kept in mind.
It is better if you start with a bigger place so you have room to grow, and anyway, the larger the space, the easier it is to accommodate more doggies.
3. Legal Essentials: Getting Licenses and Permits for Your Dog Boarding Kennel
When starting a business that provides animal care, permits and insurance from state agencies apart from the typical business license are usually required. It mostly depends on the state in which you reside and the requirements and cost may change depending on that accordingly.
i) Secure a Business License
It is a permit that is issued by the local government of the country you are residing in, which allows you to manage businesses in your area. For more details about obtaining it, you can visit your local government website. If there are any state licenses required, check for them too.
ii) Obtain a Kennel License
This license is specific to the permission to house animals in a commercial capacity. It is important to have in case of any troublesome neighborhood.
iii) Get a Zoning Permit
Having a zoning permit would mean that you are allowed to operate your business in a certain location. Zoning laws might apply in your boarding facility, so it is always convenient to have a permit.
iv) Acquire a Health Department License
To ensure sanitary in your dog’s day care, you must obtain a health license since it is the kind of business that affects public health. It would also help the customers to build trust in you and your services.
v) Assure Property Insurance
In case of damage to the property, such as any kind of flood, fire, or natural disaster, it is important that your property is insured so it can protect your business.
4. Recruiting the Right People for Your Doggy Daycare
To work in doggy daycare, being a dog lover, is just not enough. You need to find a staff that cares about dogs as passionately as you do and are willing to dedicate their time and heart to your business as their own.
For this, you must choose people who have a bit of experience in dog care are aware of the emergency and basic first aid of the dogs, and are patient enough to take care of any and every kind of dog. You must have workers that the dogs feel safe around and who can create a playful environment for them.
Lastly, you need dog lover employees who are adaptable to change of any sort and are quick to act when needed in case of emergencies. At the end of the day, you need people around you who have the same vision as you to create a business out of love.
5. Furnishing Your Dog Boarding Daycare with Essential Equipment
In any business, for it to flourish, you must be organized and have all the necessary equipment available at your door. In the doggy daycare business, you will need basics like waist packs, hands-free leashes, poop bags, dog wipes, dog food, treats and water, and bowls, and these are just the basics.
For overnight boarding, you will need dog beds, crates, large kennels, cleaning and sanitization stuff, and basic grooming supplies like shampoo, nail cutter, trimmers, driers, and plenty of towels.
You can also thoughtfully decorate the place with colors and toys since it creates a positive environment and a sense of security for the customers. Additionally, the staff would enjoy working in an environment that is not boring and morale boosting and enjoyable.
6. Connecting with the Pet Owners: Marketing and Advertising
Now that you are finally done with a business plan, a perfect location, important license permits, worthy staff hiring, and equipment and decor, there is one final step that is after which you will completely know how to start a dog daycare and boarding business. Marketing and Advertising your business to the dog owners. There are several ways through which marketing and advertising is possible.
i) Social Media Campaigning
Create promotional content with the help of your employers and start social handles of your doggy daycare on Instagram and Facebook. Additionally, follow the pages of daycare around you and work on growing your following.
You can also create a YouTube channel to show how things go in your doggy daycare so people can have a better look. You can also consider buying ads for promotion so your content reaches the directed audience.
You can hand in flyers and create creative panaflexes to market your doggy daycare. Make sure that you include necessary information like your working hours and email with the proper number and address so the target audience can reach out to you easily. You can also mention your social media in case someone wants to contact you from them.
iii) Private Email
Create an email account and update newsletter sign-ups on Facebook, where you can give quarterly or bi-monthly updates in your doggy daycare. It is also an easy way for customers to reach out to you.
7. Work Hard and Watch Your Dreams Turn into Reality
Now that you have taken all the important steps needed for your business to grow, dedicate your heart to it fully, and watch it flourish from zero to wonders. You can always make sure to go back to your initial business plan if, at any point, you feel like you are stuck.
To wrap it up, this is the perfect comprehensive guide on how to start a dog boarding business. It is not just about business but about the fact that both the wagging tails and the customer go home with a happy and satisfied heart. We assure you if you follow the guide step by step, you will not only create a business but also a place where all the furry friends are cherished and their owners are at peace of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Q: Are there specific dog daycare rules?
A: There are a few rules to keep in mind when establishing a business dog daycare.
1) The dogs should be of a specific age because it is harder to cater to puppies that are infants and require special care until and unless you possess the sort of setting, it is better not to allow infant puppies for the daycare.
2) There should be up-to-date vaccination requirements for the dogs before letting them stay in your daycare since you do not want to spread any kind of disease to other dogs.
3) Before admitting the dogs, it should be asked the owner if the dog has any history of being involved in any trauma or aggressive behaviors in the past since you do not want to have any dog cause aggression or misbehaving towards other dogs.
Q: Can additional services like grooming or dog training be offered in the dog daycare?
A: Yes. It is a plus point if your dog daycare has services such as grooming dogs and dog training since it saves so much time for the owner and excludes him from going to two different places for services. However, make sure that before you offer these services, you have the expert staff for it.
Q: Is it necessary to have a background in veterinary care to start a dog boarding business?
A- While it can be beneficial, it is not the most necessary thing when starting a dog boarding business. You can just hire staff that has certain expertise in vet care or partner up with local vets for the services provided by your business.