Start a Dog Boarding Business
Owning a dog boarding business entails having a natural affection for dogs. If you are a dog-lover and thinking of going into business, then starting a dog boarding business is an exciting venture for you. Let us guide you with the steps you need to go through to enter the pet business.
It is inevitable that dog owners will need to leave their pets behind for one reason or another. Sometimes, it is difficult to find a “dog sitter” who is available in their times of need. This is where a dog boarding business will come to their rescue.
There are different types of dog boarding businesses. A standard kennel or veterinary office is one of them, where dogs are well taken care of. Another type is a luxury dog boarding facility. Here, dogs are pampered and boarding charges cost more. They get a couch or bed to sleep on, one on one and group playtime, scheduled activities and options for a massage or aromatherapy.
Before you get too caught up in the starting process, you should first check the zoning laws in your area to find out any restrictions imposed on pet businesses. You might also need a kennel license to operate a dog boarding business. Before applying for a license, check with your local zoning office the requirements you need to satisfy before opening your business.
Anybody who wants to start a business needs to begin with a business plan. Starting a dog boarding business is no exception. The business plan will help you have a clear picture of the kind of dog boarding business you will put up. Moreover, it will help you attract investors in any case that you will need additional financing. Your business plan has to indicate the construction of your kennel, personnel requirements, and details of your operations.
Learn the ins and outs of a dog boarding business before opening one. You may ask your personal veterinarian for some tips. If you know another kennel owner from a different area, you may also ask him if you can observe his business for a day and learn how his business takes care of its canine charges.
Location is a key factor in the success of your business. Your facility should be accessible and has an adequate area for both indoor kennels and runs as well as outdoor space for exercise.
The kennel and how you will handle the dogs will either make or break your business. Put careful planning on the setup of your facility. When building the guest rooms of your canine charges, allocate enough room to house both large and small dogs. Also, furnish them with beds, food and water bowls, and toys. Make sure that you have a large supply of dog food with several brands for cases when a guest dog has particular food sensitivities. Rawhide chews in different sizes should also be available in your kennel since dogs love to chew things.
The play area should be properly fenced to prevent dogs from escaping and should have dog-safe toys to keep the dogs entertained. You will also need a grooming area that has grooming tables and bathing stalls. A small clinic area for onsite medical care and front desk to welcome your customers must also be part of your facility.
Install comfortable chairs in the waiting area and have reading materials like magazines available. You can also place dog toys that your customers can use to entertain their pets while they are waiting and dog treats and food for sale. These can help add income to your business.
Your staff will have to take each guest dog outside to play, run and exercise so you also need to invest in several leashes, collars and muzzles. Another must is a well-stocked medical supply and a veterinarian on duty in case a dog gets sick. Do sanitize your facility. Purchase a range of cleaning products including a sanitizer that can kill any communicable disease like kennel cough and deodorizer to eliminate pet odors.
Dog owners need to know that you are in business. You can create a website for your dog boarding business, making it simple and attractive to dog owners, and post online advertisements. You can also utilize advertising in radio and print media, distribute flyers in your area and network with local shelters, veterinarians and pet shop owners.
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