Our Top 10 Tips for Starting a Doggy Daycare or Kennel Business

We really love dogs (and cats), they’re presence brings joy and comfort. Owning a dog means unconditional friendship.As a companion, they give all they have and ask nothing in return; but, owning a dog does mean extra responsibility. We have to feed them, keep them safe and clean, and sometimes, when travel or emergencies disrupt our normal care we are faced with the challenge of who will take custody of them.Enter boarding kennels. Kennel Cat boarding  businesses, like doggy daycare, offer to take care of our best friend and manage our pet related responsibilities while we are away. Every year, millions of pet owners rely on the services of knowledgeable boarding kennel operators to provide safe, dependable, and secure pet care and, as an industry, the future has never looked brighter.Factors like increasing pet ownership (especially relating to adoption) and progressing consumer preferences toward pet care has caused the industry to nearly double over the last decade. Currently, the demand for high value pet services like doggy daycare is at an all-time highIf you’ve ever considered starting a dog daycare or kennel business, now might be the time. If done properly, owning a kennel business can be quite lucrative; and, though this type of business may not be for everyone, providing a safe and secure place for peoples pets can offer a very rewarding career to those that love pets and their parents.Enter your email and we’ll send you a printable business plan and workbook that you can use to start planning your business. The workbook includes:Chances are you didn’t just stumble across this article and decide it sounded like a captivating read. If you’ve made it this far, we assume that you have spent some time thinking about starting a kennel business and were led to this article while doing research.We understand that there is a lot of information on the web about owning a business and it can be quite overwhelming, especially when you are just getting started. We created this guide with the goal of helping you begin this journey. What makes us qualified to advise you on starting a dog kennel business, you may ask?

For starters, our company was born out of the needs of animal shelters and, in addition to previously owning a kennel and dog training business, we have spent 20+ years developing relationships with shelter and kennel professionals and the surrounding pet community. Suffice to say, this experience has helped us deeply understand some of the key success factors (and mistakes) in opening a kennel business or doggy daycare.Below are our top 10 tips for starting and operating a successful dog boarding business.Chances are you are already familiar with the animals you intend to care for and their basic needs. This is an excellent start but, sadly it may not be enough. Understanding the industry demands, the target customer, the potential pitfalls, the competitive landscape and a host of other factors will play a major role in the success of your business.In fact, in his book Small Business Management, Michael Ames list this “lack of experience” as the #1 reason small businesses fail.Before starting your kennel business it’s worth taking the time to interview active professionals in the pet care industry. If you can afford to, apply for a part time job with a nearby dog daycare to learn some of the day to day habits of successful business owners. Or, simply volunteer time at your local SPCA or animal shelter. All these options could provide invaluable experience and knowledge of the industry and save you time, money, and headaches in the future. Decide on a locationThe old real estate mantra “location, location, location” could not be more true for business success. Poor location is one of the top reasons we have seen otherwise fantastic businesses close their doors.Location is particularly important for doggy daycares and grooming businesses where clients will be dropping off their dogs more often. Having a location that is in their neighborhood or on the way to work is a great selling point.When you think about the general area you’ve chosen, what immediately comes to mind… Is it the “dangerous” part of town? The “up-and-coming” part?Locations are not immune to judgement and chances are, if you have opinions about an area others will too and the will tend to associate your business with these opinions, however untrue they may be.You’ll also want to investigate local laws, regulations, permits, licensing and insurance requirements. Consider reaching out to a local commercial insurance agent and discuss specific insurance requirements for a boarding kennel.You will likely need a kennel license and vendor license but, don’t take our word for it, every location is different. Contact your appropriate state, city, and county offices regarding licensing and taxes for new businesses. The Small Business Administration is a great place to start answering some of these questions.