Dogs are definitely man’s best friend. They comfort you, play with you and keep your household safe.
A dog often becomes a part of the family and as such people want them to have the best care possible. People’s lives are getting increasingly busy and they’re often away from home for extended periods.
However, many owners do not feel comfortable leaving their dog at home for long periods of time. This creates a huge opportunity for people who love dogs and want to start their own business.
If you’re a dog lover who wants to open their own doggy daycare, you’ve got a few things to consider first. Read on to learn more about starting a doggy daycare!
Starting a Doggy Daycare
The pet industry is growing by billions of dollars annually. This gives doggy lovers the opportunity to now turn their passion into a lucrative business.
However, you will need some training before you can get started. You’re going to need to gain experience and knowledge in canine CPR. You will also need to learn first aid and animal behavior.
If you have experience as a vet technician, dog walker or pet sitter then you already know a lot about animal care. If you lack prior experience, volunteering at a vet or animal shelter is a great way to gain some.
Consider the Business Technicalities
There are some things that you need to consider before opening your doggy daycare. These include business and legal technicalities. Get expert advice on the pros and cons of starting your business as a limited liability company, sole proprietorship or any other entity.
You will also need to pick your location. Find out what zoning considerations or permits are needed to establish your doggy daycare at your desired location.
Think also about whether or not you will be the only employee. You may find that you’ll need a few part-time or even full-time employees. When hiring employees always ensure that they have experience with and are certified in dealing with animals. They should also know pet CPR and first aid.
Consider getting insured, and having a release form to prevent any legal problems if dogs are injured. Create a relationship with a vet, so that you can bring animals to him in case of emergencies.
Creating a Fantastic Daycare
The trend is that doggy daycares are now getting cage-free facilities. They are also keeping dogs in groups throughout the day.
Some daycares also separate dogs according to size during play. Puppies may also be separated from adult dogs.
You should also have kennels to feed dogs separately and kennels for overnight stays. The areas where the kennels are located should be air-conditioned or heated as necessary. Establish rest areas, outdoor areas and play areas.
Drinking water should be readily available at all times. Consider wired or live cameras too so that owners can check on their dogs.
Use Economical Advertisement
Make a website and advertise with local newspapers. Even consider digital marketing and how it’s advantages could benefit your startup.
Social media can be a powerful tool for getting the word out there about your business. Advertising on most of these platforms is affordable and you are able to target the local market in ways you never could before.
Hand out flyers and cards at vets, supermarkets, pet shops, and offices. Ask to place a few flyers on office notice boards so that interested workers can contact you.
Determine the Type of Service to Offer
Most doggy daycares operate from about 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekly. Some also have weekend services usually starting from mid-morning and closing in the late afternoon. Decide if that’s how you want to operate.
Determine whether you want to offer a shuttle service for pick-ups and drop-offs at an additional fee. Also, see if you want to offer overnight, weekend boarding and even emergency boarding.
Consider if you want to offer grooming, training or bathing along with pet supplies and food. You can even create bundle packages for your services so that owners can pick the packages that best suit them.
Choosing Prices for Your Services
Start by calling around and seeing what the competition offers for similar services. Base your rates on the services that you’re offering. Try to offer different rates for monthly plans and offer special discounts as well.
Try to Interview New Clients
Before you accept a new dog, be sure that the dog is trained and socialized to interact with other dogs in a positive manner. Let their owner bring them in for a visit.
Conduct an interview with both the dog and its owner. Hand out a contact sheet for completion.
Doggy Daycare Startup Checklist
As you can see there is a lot to consider when you’re thinking about starting a doggy daycare.
Here’s a checklist, so that you can break everything down into easy steps:
- Cost to start
- Business objectives
- Type of service
- Equipment and supplies
There is a lot that needs to be done in order to get your doggy daycare, up and running. However, there is no need for you to become overwhelmed. Just do things thoroughly one step at a time.
The Right Balance
If you’re an avid fan of dogs and you are also entrepreneurial, starting a doggy daycare could strike the right balance for you.
The fact that the pet care industry is growing and that more people are working longer hours leaving their dogs without company makes tapping into the doggy daycare business a good idea.
There are few things to consider in order to run a successful doggy daycare. However, with your checklist in hand, you are sure to get on the right track for starting your doggy daycare quickly.
If you would like some more helpful entrepreneurial tips, please check out the money and finance section of our website. You will find great tips to help you finance your new business.