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Setting up a Dog Kennel Business

All you need to know about starting and running your business.

In this article

What is a Dog Kennel Business?

The UK is a nation of dog lovers, with approximately 33% of households having a pet dog. This amounts to more than 12.5 million pet dogs across the country.

Many people consider dogs to be treasured members of their families. When people go on holiday, are admitted to hospital, or are unable to take care of their dog for a short time, it is, therefore, no surprise that they want their pet to have the best possible care while they are away.

A dog kennel is a professional, licensed establishment run by trained staff that offers a safe environment for your dog. A kennel can care for your dog for a few hours or even a few weeks.

A dog kennel business usually looks after multiple dogs at one time. The dogs will usually be housed in their own individual area, although some kennel businesses choose to house the dogs all together.

A dog kennel business may also offer:

  • An indoor and outdoor pen.
  • An exercise area.
  • A grooming service.
  • Insulated and heated sleeping areas.
  • A covered outdoor area.

A dog kennel business does not merely provide a safe space for the dogs to sleep, but it should also provide them with daily interactions and exercise, such as walks or playtime.

The individual kennel area that the dogs stay in should have their food and water bowls, a bed and bedding, and toys for the dog to play with. Many kennel businesses allow dog owners to bring their dogs’ favourite items from their homes to make them more comfortable and settled in the kennels.

Depending on your facilities and the staff you have available, you may also offer boarding for dogs with health ailments. You will need to ensure your staff are trained in the dog’s condition and that the owner provides any necessary medication and supplies.

You can choose to set up:

  • A standard dog kennel.
  • A luxury kennel.
  • A doggy hotel.
  • Kennels that also cater for cats and other small animals.

As so many people across the UK are such huge pet lovers, kennel businesses continue to be in high demand. This can make it more achievable that your kennel business will be both successful and financially rewarding.

If you are an animal lover who has experience caring for dogs, starting up a dog kennel business could be a great option for you. Running a kennel business can be time-consuming and requires commitment, meaning it is best suited to those who are passionate about animals and their care.

Types of Customers

When considering the types of customers you will target, the most obvious answer is pet owners. However, different types of dog kennels attract different types of pet owners.

Identifying your target market is an important aspect of creating your business plan and identifying your customer base.

  • Budget Market – A budget kennel will attract customers who are looking to spend the least amount of money. You will likely have fewer facilities, a smaller outdoor space, and no special extras available. The budget market is less popular than it once was, as many pet owners want their dogs to have the best possible treatment. However, if you offer a safe and comfortable service for a lower price, you are still likely to attract customers from the budget market.
  • Mid-Market – Mid-market kennels will likely have larger premises with better facilities. You may also offer outdoor areas that are appealing to customers. Some mid-market kennels will also offer some extra services and better equipment that encourage customers to spend a little bit extra.
  • Luxury – A luxury kennel business is comparable to a five-star dog hotel. A luxury business may offer spa treatments such as doggy pedicures, premium facilities, toys, accessories, food, services and luxury sleeping areas. They may also have more staff, so the dogs get extra time and attention.

When deciding the type of dog kennel you are going to open and your target customer base, ensure you consider the types of dog owners that live in your area, how much they are likely to spend, and your local competition.

Dog Kennel Cartoon

Equipment You Will Need

Your dog kennel business will have many different equipment requirements. Below is a list of general equipment you are likely to need. If you set up a specialist kennel business or a luxury business, you may need to purchase additional equipment.

This is one of the main things you will need to invest in when starting up a dog kennel business. The kennels will be used for sleeping and eating and some dogs may choose to spend the majority of their time in their kennel. You may choose different sized kennels for different dog breeds or choose to have identical kennels. You can also choose whether to have kennels or cabins. The price can vary significantly from £3,000 to £10,000 for 10 kennels or cabins.

A CCTV system

This helps dog owners to feel more secure and comfortable leaving their dogs at your kennel. A CCTV system can cost between £300 and £5,000 depending on the specification of the equipment, how many cameras you require, and the installation costs.

Room dividers

Mobile room dividers allow you to keep groups of dogs separate if needed. If you have a communal area for dogs to play or socialise, room dividers can help you to monitor playtime more easily or separate the room into different sections. A room divider can be purchased for as little as £70, depending on the size and material of the divider.

A deep sink or washing area

You will need to install a deep sink or washing area that allows you to wash a lot of equipment at one time. This will help you to save time overall.

A washing machine and dryer

You will have to supply beds, bedding, blankets, and even soft toys for the dogs you care for. You will need to wash these items every time a dog finishes their stay with you, so having a large reliable washing machine and dryer is recommended. Prices can range from £500 to £3,000.

Air purifier

This helps to keep your kennels fresh and hygienic. It can also prevent the kennels from smelling bad, which is a common problem with dogs. An air purification system can cost between £300 and £2,000 depending on the specification.

Air conditioning and dehumidifier

Air conditioning can help you to keep the kennels at a safe temperature and a dehumidifier can remove excess moisture from the air. This can help you to keep your premises safe and hygienic.

A van or other vehicle

If you offer a collection or drop-off service as part of your business, you will need a van or other vehicle. Your vehicle will need to have space to safely transport dogs, for example, by having a crate or boot gate in the back, or space for a pet carrier. The cost of a vehicle can vary, depending on whether it is new or used, and the make and model of the vehicle.

A dog first aid kit

A pet first aid kit allows you to provide pre-vet first aid if one of the dogs in your care is injured or ill. Your first aid kit should contain essential items such as sting relief, alcohol pads, adhesives for cuts and wounds, a rubber tourniquet, bandages of different sizes and tape. You can buy a first aid kit already prepared for approximately £25.

A human first aid kit

This is also essential in case an employee or visitor to your kennel becomes injured. For more information on what is required in a first aid kit, consult our knowledge base . A first aid kit can be purchased for as little as £12.

Cleaning materials

Some of the cleaning supplies you may require include a sweeping brush, a mop and bucket, kennel cleaner, bleach, window cleaner, sanitiser, cloths, sponges and other cleaning supplies. You should also supply hand sanitiser and handwashing facilities for staff and any visitors to your business.

A phone with a good camera

Many dog owners will want regular updates on their pets while they are away. You can send daily updates and take photos of the dogs and send them to the owners. This offers peace of mind and is a service that many dog owners will appreciate. A camera phone can cost between £100 and £1,000, depending on the make and specification.

A laptop or desktop computer

This can be used for making appointments, tracking your business accounts and marketing and advertising. You can expect to spend at least £400 on a quality device.

Other equipment requirements

There are several other equipment requirements your dog grooming business may have, including:

  • Dog beds, bedding and blankets.
  • Dog toys and balls.
  • A till and POS (Point of Sales) system.
  • A bin with a closed lid.
  • Food and water bowls (for each individual kennel).
  • Dog towels.
  • Dog cleaning and maintenance items.

Kennel For Dogs

Typical Pricing

When you create your business plan, you will need to create a budget including the typical start-up costs and running costs associated with your dog kennel business.

Some essential items you may need include:

Your premises will be your most expensive expenditure. You will need a site that is in a good location, preferably away from residential areas so that you don’t receive any noise complaints. You will also need to make sure you have a good outdoor area for the dogs to exercise and play, and plenty of space to build the kennels. The cost of your site can vary significantly, depending on the location, square footage, and existing infrastructure.

As the list above shows, your dog kennel business will require a large amount of equipment. You can expect to spend between £5,000 and £50,000 on equipment.

Replacing or maintaining equipment

This is an ongoing cost you will need to factor into your budget. You may need to maintain or repair equipment frequently and if your equipment is no longer functional, you will need to pay to replace it. As your doggy guests may bite or chew your equipment and it is likely to be heavily used, you may have to repair or replace equipment more often.

Creating your brand identity can include creating your business’s visual identity, a logo, business name, your business website and creating your brand message. You can hire a professional to help you with branding or do some of the work yourself. Branding can cost between £500 and £10,000.

Advertising and marketing

Advertising for your business may seem costly, however, it is an important expenditure for ensuring the success of your dog kennel business, especially when your business is in its first year of operation. It is recommended that you spend no more than 10% of your annual revenue on advertising costs. For example, if your annual revenue is £70,000, your maximum advertising costs should be £7,000. It can be more difficult to plan your advertising strategy in the first year when you don’t yet know your annual revenue.

Running costs

Running costs are the costs associated with running your dog kennel business. Most of these costs will be paid monthly, although some will be paid quarterly or annually. Your running costs could include your overhead costs such as electricity, gas, water, petrol and council tax.

As a dog kennel business operates 24 hours a day, you will need to employ staff. When calculating the costs associated with employing staff you should consider the number of staff and their hourly wage. You will also need to account for holiday pay, sick pay and maternity/paternity pay.

A dog kennel business will have several insurance requirements including Employers’ Liability Insurance, Public Liability Insurance, Professional Indemnity, Care, Custody and Control of Animals Coverage, Custodial Responsibility, Property Damage, and Building and Contents Insurance. Insurance costs can range from £10 to £150 a month depending on your insurance provider and the level of coverage.

Typical Pricing for Customers

On average, dog kennel businesses typically charge between £15 and £25 per day

However, this price can vary based on several factors:

  • Your location – Middle-class and upper-class areas will likely have dog owners who are willing to pay higher prices for your service. If you are located in the centre of a big city, such as London, you may also charge higher prices.
  • How many dogs you are boarding at the kennel – You may offer a discount for customers who are boarding multiple pets at the same time.
  • How long the booking is for – You may offer a discount if customers book longer stays or multiple stays at one time.
  • The time of year – Certain times of the year, such as Christmas and the Summer months, are considered as peak times. This could mean you charge higher prices, compared to other times of the year.
  • Whether optional extras are provided – If you provide extra services such as food, grooming, extra care or the administering of medication, you can charge higher prices. You may also offer a service where you collect and return the dog to the owner’s home.

Your typical pricing will also depend on your target market. For example, if you are targeting the luxury market your prices are likely to be higher.

Safely Running a Dog Kennel Business

Safely running your dog kennel business will be one of your top considerations. It will help you to ensure the health and safety of the animals, your staff, and any visitors to your business.

Some safety considerations you should make include:

Consider your vaccination requirements

To ensure the safety of all the dogs in your care, it is recommended that you check the vaccination status of all the dogs who enter your kennel. You may ask dog owners to provide paper or electronic proof that their dogs are up to date with all vaccines. Taking a copy of the dogs’ vaccination statuses or asking clients to sign a document can help to protect your business if an outbreak does happen.

Flea and tick prevention

To prevent an outbreak of fleas, ticks or lice in your kennel, ensure all the dogs are up to date with their flea and tick treatments. You could request proof that the dogs are up to date in their treatment, or request that the owners treat their dogs before they bring them to the kennels.

Ensure you have the correct staff ratio

Having the correct staff to dog ratio can help to protect both the animals and staff and ensure safety procedures are followed at all times. Having an incorrect ratio can also make it difficult for staff to deal with emergency situations. A staff ratio of 1:5 is recommended.

Employ staff with relevant training or qualifications

Although this is not a legal requirement, it is recommended to ensure the health and safety of the dogs. Having qualified staff can also help you to attract customers and improve your rating on your Boarding for Cats or Dogs Licence.

Happy Dog

Have a vet on call

As you will be working with so many animals, it is inevitable that you will be dealing with health issues, illnesses or injuries at some point. Having a local vet that you are connected with can be extremely beneficial and help you run your business more safely. You can call this vet if you have any questions or concerns and arrange appointments if necessary. You could also arrange for the vet to make visits to your premises if an animal requires it.

Conduct risk assessments

Risk assessments should be carried out before starting up a dog kennel business and at any other time you require them. If your business has five or more employees, risk assessments are a legal requirement. Your risk assessments could refer to any manual handling activities and risks associated with having physical contact with the dogs.

Implement cleaning procedures

Having effective cleaning procedures is essential for your business. A cleaning schedule and cleaning policies should be in place that cover the cleaning of equipment, surfaces, sleeping areas, beds, and food preparation and storage areas. You should also implement handwashing procedures for staff and visitors.

Ensure you have fully stocked first aid kits

You will need a fully stocked first aid kit for dogs and a separate one for humans. The first aid kits should be checked and replenished regularly and be easily accessible for all staff.

Ensure the security of your doggy guests

This is essential for safely running your dog kennel business. There are several ways you can secure your facility including installing a CCTV system and locking the kennels and premises securely.

Correctly label food and treats

Dogs have allergies and intolerances as well as people. Ensuring any food or treats are correctly labelled with the ingredients and allergen information is important for protecting the health and safety of the dogs.

Legal Requirements

There are certain legal requirements you must ensure you comply with when setting up and running your dog kennel business.

Apply for a Boarding for Cats or Dogs Licence

You will need to apply for this licence before your dog kennel business begins operating. Before you are granted a licence, your premises will be inspected by someone from your local council. They will check the suitability of the accommodation, the food, drink and bedding, whether the animals are protected, visited and exercised, and whether staff are trained to look after animals. Your local council will grant you either a one-, two-, or three-year licence. They will also determine the cost. As part of your inspection, you will be granted a star rating between 1 and 5 stars.

Apply for planning permission

If you need to build a main building, erect kennels or make any changes to existing infrastructure, you will likely need to apply for planning permission. To apply for planning permission, you will need to contact your local planning authority (LPA) via your local council.

Display your licence number and licence

Your licence needs to be clearly displayed on your premises and your licence number must be displayed on any advertising. You should also display your star rating for customers to see.

Ensure your paperwork and records are in order

If these are not in order, your licence application may be declined, or you may have your licence revoked. You should keep up-to-date records of your clients, the cleaning schedules, risk assessments, health and safety policies, temperature checks in the kennels, and health records.

Implement health and safety policies

This is legally required for all businesses in the UK. You should have policies in place that protect the animals, staff and any visitors to your business. If you have five or more employees, your health and safety policies should be recorded. Your policies should also include fire safety procedures and emergency procedures.

Register as self-employed with HMRC

Running a dog kennel business as an individual or as a self-employed person requires you to register with HMRC. You will need to register your business name and keep records of all your income, profits and expenses.

Purchase insurance

Certain types of insurance will be legally required, whereas others are only recommended. Contact your local council to enquire which insurance types you must have before starting up a dog kennel business.

Comply with employment legislation

As you will be employing staff, you must ensure you follow employment legislation. You must comply with legislation relating to recruitment, working hours, pay, sickness, discrimination, dismissals, and maternity or paternity pay.

Apply for a Notification to Process Personal Data Licence

You can apply for this licence with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) . If your kennels have a CCTV system or process personal information such as payroll information or accounts and records, you will need to apply for a licence with the ICO and renew your registration every year.

Dogs Being Looked After

Positives of Owning a Dog Kennel Business

Running a dog kennel business is rewarding in many ways. Some of the biggest positives of owning a dog kennel business include:

You can spend your days with dogs

Many animal lovers will think of this as their dream job. You can spend your days walking and feeding them, playing with them and getting lots of doggy attention. Animals, and especially dogs, are considered to be therapeutic and spending time with them can have emotional and health benefits.

High customer retention

Once many dog owners find a kennel that they know and trust and their dog is comfortable in, they are highly unlikely to change to a different one. You will likely get return custom and even client recommendations.

Pick and choose who you want to work with

As the business owner, you will be responsible for hiring employees. You can choose to hire staff that you think will be beneficial to your business, genuinely care about animals, and will work well in your team. You hopefully won’t have to worry about dealing with bad co-workers ever again.

Control your own workload

Once your business is established and you have hired employees, you can begin to control your own workload. You can choose to work as little or as often as you like and also decide whether you want to take a hands-on or hands-off approach.

Unlimited income potential

A dog kennel business can be extremely lucrative, especially if you operate at high occupancy. You will also have the opportunity to expand your premises or open additional kennels in another location. This gives you the opportunity to earn an unlimited income.

Rewarding work

Not only can a kennel business be emotionally, mentally and financially rewarding, but it also allows you to help animals in need. Many kennels offer any extra kennel space to dogs who need shelter or provide animals in need with food, toys and bedding. Being able to help animals is a major benefit to many animal lovers.

Be involved with your local community

You will likely operate your dog kennel business in your local community. This allows you to connect with other dog lovers close to you and become an important part of the community.

Create the business you want

You can design your business exactly as you want. You can decide the type of kennel business you are going to run, the design and aesthetic, and the facilities, equipment and service that will be available. You can create your dream business, while still making money.

Looking After Dogs

Negatives of Owning a Dog Kennel Business

However, there are some negative aspects of owning a dog kennel business you should be aware of:

High start-up costs

You will need to purchase or rent a large amount of land, as well as fund the cost of building the kennels. Your start-up costs are likely to be high, meaning you may need to source outside investment. It may also take you longer to begin making a profit.

It can be time-consuming

Starting up and running a dog kennel business requires a big time commitment, particularly when you first open your business. Your business will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you could be responsible for a lot of tasks, including marketing, organisation, business accounts, taking care of the animals, ordering and maintaining equipment, and cleaning.

Work can be inconsistent

If you are not operating at full capacity, you are reducing your profits. Unfortunately, work can be inconsistent and there may be certain times of the year when you have low occupancy.

It can be stressful

Not only are you responsible for the success of your business, but you are also responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the animals and your employees. Running a dog kennel business can be demanding and extremely stressful.

Making your business succeed can be difficult

If your area already has an established kennel business, this can make it extremely difficult to grow your own business and make a success of it. Dog owners are more likely to choose a kennel that they have used previously or that already has a lot of positive customer reviews.

Planning Your Dog Kennel Business

An effective and well-designed business plan is imperative to the success of your dog kennel business.

There are some key considerations you should make when planning your business and creating your business plan:

What type of dog kennel business are you going to run and who are your target customers?

This is the first consideration you should make when planning your business, as it will influence your prices, facilities, equipment requirements, and branding. You need to decide whether you will set up a budget, mid-range or luxury dog kennel business and what services you are going to offer.

What is your local competition?

Being aware of any competition in your area is imperative. If there are already successful dog kennel businesses, you will need to consider how to make your business stand out. If the local kennel is geared towards budget customers, you may want to consider opening a luxury dog kennel to target a different customer base.

What are your premises options?

You will need to consider whether you are buying an existing dog kennel business, land that already has existing infrastructure that can be converted, or land where you will need to build the kennels and other buildings from scratch. This will heavily influence your start-up costs and initial investment requirements.

Where will you be located?

As mentioned earlier, the location of your business is important. Ideally, it should be easily accessible for your target customer base, but far enough away from residential areas that the dog barking won’t be an issue.

What are your equipment requirements?

Budget, mid-range, and luxury dog kennels will have different equipment requirements and facilities as they will offer different services. Consult the equipment list above to plan your requirements and calculate how much this is likely to cost. You should also determine whether you are going to purchase all of your equipment or whether some will be rented.

Can you finance the business yourself or will you need outside investment?

Calculate your start-up costs, running costs, and expected profits to determine your investment requirements. If you need outside investment, you could obtain this from a bank, another financial institution, a private investor, other businesses, or from family or friends.

Will you require your staff to undergo training or obtain qualifications?

Although this is not a legal requirement, qualified staff can make your business more attractive to potential customers, help to keep the animals safe and help you to obtain a higher score on your inspection.

What are your business objectives?

Determining your business objectives can be a great way to attract investments for your dog kennel business and can help you to grow your business. They also help you to create your business plan.

Your business objectives should be SMART:

  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Achievable
  • R = Realistic
  • T = Time-bound

Have you complied with all legal requirements?

Ensure you have filed all your paperwork and are complying with all legal requirements before opening your dog kennel business. Consult the list above to check you have followed all guidelines and applied for the necessary licences. Legal requirements are designed to help protect your business and protect the health and safety of the dogs, your employees and any visitors to your business.

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dog boarding business plan uk

Starting Your Own Dog Home Boarding Business the Right Way

Your Business

So you fancy dogs, you’re looking at a career change, and you’re thinking about having a go at boarding dogs or providing doggy day care from home. Brilliant! Instead of guessing at what all is needed to start a dog business, let us be your guide. Home boarding and dog day care have become rather regulated fields in recent years in the UK, so there may be more to do than you think to be considered official and operating lawfully, even if you want a small-scale business. But fear not! We at Dog Business School are a group of dog business professionals who run licensed and established dog businesses in the UK ourselves and help ambitious but unsure-of-where-to-start newbies like you find their way. So let’s dive in! We’ll give you some guidance on how to start a dog business from home in the UK, and the forms and paperwork you’ll need.  

Laying the Groundwork You should have at least some form of a rudimentary business plan for your dog business. Meaning, what services will you offer, what kinds of animals (and customers!) do you want to work with, how much do you want to charge, and how much do you want to work.

And then, what will be your sweet spot of how many jobs you need to take on per week or month to make what you want to be making? Will you be available weekends and holidays? Is dog walking and pet pop-ins something you’d like to offer as a service too, and if so, can you tend to the other pets under your care while doing so?

Establishing Your Online Presence and Attracting Your First Clients Finding clients by word of mouth or referral only may be doable for a lucky few, but more likely than not, your best shot at business will come via the web. Get some kind of website up and running (it can be basic initially, and fine-tuned as you go along). You can hire a professional web designer, do it yourself on a platform like Squarespace or WordPress, or have our team do it for you !

Having Instagram and Facebook profiles for your business is often helpful, as is a Google My Business profile. Put yourself in online directories, consider placing local adverts, and, just gin up business initially the old-fashioned way—do it for friends and family, and introduce yourself to local dog businesses like veterinarians, pet stores, and even fellow home boarding and pet sitting pros to ask for referrals.

Getting Licensed Following recent new regulations in England, all dog boarding and day care businesses must be officially licensed to be recognised as a lawful businesses, and taking an Ofqual regulated dog course is a great way to meet some of the key critieria for your licence. Dog Business School offers a few that will get the job done:

  • Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare Ofqual Level 3 Award covers care of dogs in kennels, day care and boarding environments, plus an intro to canine behaviour, and meets the Animal Activities Licensing Higher Standard requirements
  • Canine Care & Welfare is also an option, though that one’s Ofqual Level 2
  • Commercial Daycare including Ofqual Level 3 in Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare meets the Animal Activities Licensing Higher Standard requirements, and also includes an immersion in the Day Care legislation and local authority guidance
  • Home Boarding including Ofqual Level 3 in Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare also meets the Animal Activities Licensing Higher Standard requirements, and includes an immersion in Home Boarding legislation and local authority guidance

Successful completion of any of these courses will provide you with the certification needed to demonstrate sufficient knowledge to obtain your license when your local council comes to perform an inspection and award the license.

And if you’re looking for something that’s not Ofqual regulated, but will provide you with some terribly helpful takeaways for this point in your dog business journey, Dog Business School also offers a course called “ Start Your Own Dog Walking And Pet Sitting Business ” that covers what you need to set up your business, including:

  • Evaluating your business’ potential
  • Creating documents
  • Insurance requirements
  • Understanding relevant legislation
  • Researching your market
  • How to set your prices
  • Naming your business
  • Accounting and insurance
  • What equipment you’ll need
  • Laws that apply to dog walkers
  • Practical day to day matters like managing group walks and behaviour, and minimising the spread of disease

The course costs £99, but there’s also the option to pay £125, and have included pretty much all the templates and documentation one could need, including:

  • Initial booking enquiry form
  • Pet Information form
  • Terms and conditions
  • Dog meet and greet trial assessment checklist
  • Veterinary release form
  • End of stay report
  • Transport log

The courses are online and self-paced, and can take from 20-130 hours to complete, depending on which you select. You’ll have access to a tutor, and will receive a certificate of achievement, and you’ll be chock full of knowledge and forms to get off on the right foot!

Further Forms and Guidance Whichever pet care course you choose, if you find yourself still in need of pet forms, paperwork and templates, and your licensing application, Dog Business School’s sister site, dogbusiness.co.uk , has practically any customised template you’d need. Peruse them here .

And do check out Dog Business School Principal Randle Stonier’s very handy book, “How to Start Your ‘Home from Home’ Dog Business: The Kickstarter’s Survival Guide to Doggy Bliss.” It’s available as a paperback or on Kindle .

Finally, please reach out to Dog Business School at any point with questions on your dog business journey. Good luck!

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Starting a dog boarding business: What you need to know

  • Entrepreneurship

dog boarding business plan uk

Dog boarding accommodation provides a place where dog owners can pay to have their pets looked after whilst they are away on holiday.

A good boarding business will ensure a dog is properly fed, has enough space and access to a comfortable sleeping area, enjoys at least one walk a day and is given toys to play with.

dog boarding business plan uk

Why now is a good time to start a dog boarding business

Owning a dog is now more popular than ever and statistics show that more than half of UK households owned at least one pet in 2020-2021, with an estimated 12 million dogs living in homes. The dog population of the UK is one of the highest in Europe .

Many dog owners view their pets as part of the family and want them to have the best possible care whilst they’re away. Owners are often willing to pay more for the reassurance that their four-legged friend will be kept safe and happy whilst in boarding accommodation.

So, if you’re thinking of starting a boarding business to provide temporary, comfortable accommodation for dogs, now could be an ideal time.

What you need to consider

Whilst running a dog boarding facility can prove enjoyable and lucrative, there are many aspects to consider before starting your own business.

You’ll need to be able to look after and handle a variety of dog breeds, all with different temperaments, as well as be physically fit enough to manage walks and grooming tasks.

Managing employees and coordinating tasks is a big part of running any business and overseeing a dog boarding facility is no different. You’ll also need to be good with people to maintain a high reputation and provide an excellent service to dog owners.

Running a dog boarding business takes up a lot of time, evenings and weekends included, so you need to be well prepared for this. You’ll also need to have management in place to cover any holidays you wish to take during the year, particularly as peak seasons are also likely to be the busiest for a dog boarding business.

Finding a suitable facility can be tricky. You’ll need to ensure you have appropriate accommodation and space for the dogs and their wellbeing can be maintained. Each kennel in the accommodation should have a sturdy door bolt to ensure the dogs are kept safe , especially at night.

Register the business and obtain a licence

You’ll need to make sure you register your business for tax purposes and take out the recommended insurance.

You can apply for a licence through the local council and you’ll need to prove you can meet the required conditions .

Qualifications

The Animal Activity Licensing standards states that anyone working in dog boarding, catteries, pet shops and dog daycares must be able to demonstrate clear knowledge and experience or a recognised Level 2 Ofqual qualification.

It’s worth chatting to other boarding owners to ask questions and get an idea of what it’s like to run a dog boarding business before you jump in. If you’ve not got much experience of looking after dogs, see if you can spend some time helping out at a boarding facility to get a feel of the work involved.

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How to Start a Dog Kennel Business

Inside luxury dog kennel

Unless people can take their dogs with them on holiday, their next best option is to find them their own doggy hotel. Here your furry friend is pampered, exercised, and given all the belly rubs, love, and the top-quality food he requires.

Interested in starting a dog kennel business? The possibilities are endless, and the market is ever-growing. So, what’s the best way to do it – should you start a dog boarding business at home or find a location to start a dog kennel business?

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Dog Daycare?

Opening a dog kennel business or dog daycare can vary greatly in cost depending on if you’re opening an at home business or using an external location. Here are some of the expenses you can expect:

  • Business insurance
  • Property insurance
  • Commercial lease or purchase
  • Facility construction and set up costs
  • Basic equipment
  • Advertising both online and offline
  • Fees, licenses, training and software
  • Optional extras (specialty equipment for grooming, training, etc.)

Location, location, location

You need to identify options for a location in advance of writing your business plan because it can impact your strategy and approach. A few things to consider:

  • Will you be renting a commercial space or buying?
  • Will you run your dog kennel business from home or at a location?
  • What part of town is your business located in?

You need to make sure your area can support your kennel. It’ll create unnecessary stress setting up a five-star dog kennel with corresponding prices when your local client market wants a mid-market doggy daycare with some overnight boarding options.

You can go for the star experience, complete with things like spa treatments, pedicures, massages, wagyu beef treats and corresponding prices but if you’re located in a rough area, you may not find success.

Although it may be more expensive to set up shop in a high street location, you can charge accordingly for an upscale doggie daycare experience. For example, being the first to bring in a popular overseas trend can make your name and fortune, and there’s a market for exclusivity.

If you aim more for the middle of the road market, where people want a touch of luxury but not if it breaks their bank accounts, you can have larger premises and a bigger intake of dogs. In this market, doggy day-care alongside long term boarding is going to be a great target for you.

The reverse is also true. Set your bar too low when your local area is in need of a luxury dog kennel, and you’ve limited your income before you’ve opened your doors.

Top Target Market Tip : Research your area thoroughly before deciding. Don’t rush this step and base your decision on data, not a ‘feeling’ or emotion.

You need to make sure your area can support your kennel.

Create a Business Plan

Setting up a dog kennel business properly is a costly exercise, and you’ll need financial backing. A good business plan can give you, and those interested in investing, confidence that you’ve done your due diligence and can forecast success.

Filling out an estimate of costs, like the ones outlined above, can give you an idea of your monthly outgoing expenses and then you can run projections based on your capacity and fees. Keep in mind that it’s often rare for a business to run at full capacity all the time so create different scenarios based on what your income can look like at 50% capacity, 60% and 75%.

Having a business plan with defined, achievable goals, deadlines and projects makes your business more likely to succeed and grow.

Take out a Good Insurance Policy

At a bare minimum you need general liability insurance for your dog kennel business. It’s not just good business sense, it’s a legal and licensing requirement for most local authorities.

If you have any employees or volunteers, you’ll need employer’s liability insurance. The other main core policy you’ll want is for professional indemnity.

You can get specific policies, especially for dog kennel insurance and work with the company to make sure it fits your needs. There are packages that cover every situation from vet call-out fees to theft and glass insurance. You’ll even get cover for losing your keys to the kennels and needing an emergency locksmith.

Top Insurance Tip : If you have employees onsite, make sure you get good personal belonging insurance as well.

At a bare minimum you need general liability insurance for your dog kennel business.

Get your Dog Boarding Licence

In 2018 new licencing regulations came into force in England. Known as the Animal Activities Licensing Regulations 2018 (AAL), the changes are broad and strictly enforced.

Right now, these regulations only impact England, but it’s likely Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will do the same in the future. Following the Higher Standards on the English guidelines is a good way to future proof your business if you’re outside of England.

In order to start a dog a kennel business, you’ll need to apply for a license from your local authority.

  • Your license conditions will stipulate how long your license is valid for, staff and training, how many animals you can board, and the conditions they must be kept in.
  • You’ll need to ensure your kennels are up to standard and display your license both at the kennels and on your website.
  • A license can be issued for 1, 2 or 3 years, and your kennels will be inspected at least once during your license term.
  • The inspection will cover everything related to the kennels from the pen size to the office paperwork.
  • The license fee varies depending on the council. Running a boarding kennel without a valid license can result in a fine and 6 months imprisonment.
  • In England, your kennel will receive a star rating, which is displayed on your license.

Top licensing tip : You can read through all the licensing requirements online. If you’re aiming for an upmarket or mid-market kennel, you’ll need to achieve the Higher Standard sections.

Organize Your Internal Structure

Working in dog kennels is a physical job, and you’ll be constantly on the move.

From the physical work of cleaning and maintaining kennels to dealing with clients, checking paperwork, and admin work, you’ll be busy day to day.

Setting up processes and automating some of your workflow will be the smartest process for running dog kennels smoothly.

Here are some important considerations:

  • Create policies that cover everything from
  • Set up staff training documentation and processes.
  • Create a game plan for emergencies – whether that’s for dog fights or
  • Find the right ratio of dog kennels to outdoor space and dogs to staff
  • Establish off-hours checks for overnight boarders

While certificates and qualifications aren’t a legal requirement to work in a dog kennel, experienced staff is going to be a major asset to your business. If they have the expertise to reassure customers, and the experience to handle different dogs, it will speak volumes to helping establish you as a serious contender.

Get Hands-On Experience First

Getting a certificate in dog training and behavior is an excellent start in your new career, and a nice addition to your website, but you can’t beat actual hands-on experience.

Spend a few months volunteering or working at a kennel facility yourself to get an idea of what the business is like. It will show you what pitfalls to avoid, and how to get the best out of your staff when your business opens up.

Take notes on what worked, what didn’t, and what should’ve been done. It’s always easier to make a judgement call when you’re not emotionally invested, and that’s what you’re doing here.

Top Experience Tip : Don’t burn your bridges when you leave! Kennels often get full at peak times and will recommend other places to potential clients.

Experienced staff is going to be a major asset to your business.

Set up an Online Presence

The first thing a customer does when they’re searching for a local business is go online. The second thing they’ll do is check reviews and explore your website.

Make sure you’ve got your website up and running with a valid contact number and email address. Spend some money and hire a website designer; preferably one who will take over the headache of sorting out hosting and site maintenance for you. Finding a digital marketer who can get your site visible locally will be key, and you may want to consider running some local ads to spread the word.

Hire a photographer to make sure you have great, high-quality pictures of the kennels and any of the services you offer that will draw in customers. Highlight your key features and display your certifications and your dog kennel insurance to maintain professionalism.

Top tip : Doggy cams are a huge draw for customers. They can jump online and see their pup in the communal play areas, and even their pen, depending on your setup. It’s a great way to reassure that a dog is getting the best care and living her best life, even without their favorite human around. This is a great way to set up trust and encourage loyalty to your facility once your customers have had a good experience.

Have a Vet on Call

One of your biggest allies is going to be your local vet. You need a vet to deal with everyday issues like long-term boarders that need medical attention, dogs with chronic conditions, or injuries.

Top Vet Tip : If possible, find a vet that will make on-site calls. This will result in less stress to the animal, which is always a good thing. These calls might be covered by your insurance policy, depending on your coverage.

Owning a dog kennel can be one of the most entertaining, frustrating, and rewarding things you do, all on the same day.

Starting a Dog Boarding Business from Home

Starting a dog boarding business from home can be a cost-effective alternative to renting or buying a commercial space to set up your business. From lower overhead costs to enjoying the comfort of working from your own home, there are several benefits to set up your business from home. However, there are a strict set of standards that you will have to meet in order to qualify for a boarding licence.

In order to set up a dog kennel at home, you will need sufficient garden space and provide a suitable living environment for each dog. You may need planning permission if you are going to make significant changes to your home.

As a guideline, dogs cannot be home boarded in:

  • a conservatory
  • a bedroom in which the usual occupant is below the age of 16
  • a garage (unless converted to a standard suitable for a human to live in)
  • a cellar (unless converted to a standard suitable for a human to live in)
  • a loft (unless converted to a standard suitable for a human to live in)
  • an outside building, structure or shed

It’s important to do your research and consider whether you are willing to commit to turning your home into a place of business.

How Many Dogs Can I Board in my Home?

Your home boarding for dogs licence will state the number of dogs that you can house at any given time. This will depend on the number of rooms or kennels you have available, as well as the facilities and number of staff members you have on site.

An Average Workday in a Dog Kennel

An average morning in the kennel can have a checklist ten items long or more:

  • Feeding and administering medications if needed
  • Pen cleaning
  • Checking if any dogs are feeling under the weather and need a vet check
  • Getting the dogs out for morning exercise
  • Responding to phone and email queries
  • Opening the doors to onsite customer drop off and pick up
  • Doing a stock check

Meanwhile the Great Dane with separation anxiety just ate his bedding for the third time this week because the Chihuahua he bonded with went home and nobody else wants to be his cuddle bunny, and it turns out the St. Bernard that came in yesterday has a special hatred for the mailman and can’t be outside for fresh air exercise during mail delivery.

While you deal with demanding dog parents, you’re sorting out staffing schedules, doggie pickups and drop-offs, invoicing and payments, marketing and social media posts. If you thrive in a busy, non-stop environment, starting a dog kennel business is for you! Otherwise, why not consider starting a dog walking business ?

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How to start up a boarding kennel

Multiple dogs playing outdoors with woman watching them

Boarding kennels offer pet boarding services to owners who are going on holiday, or who want their animals cared for during the day when they're at work. Check out our guide for starting and running your own animal boarding business

How much demand is there for kennelling services?

Are you cut out for running a boarding kennel, seasonality and additional services, kennel occupancy levels.

  • Price your kennelling services

Promoting your pet boarding services

Buy an existing kennel or pet boarding business.

The aim of carrying out market research before starting up is to make sure that your boarding kennel business has every chance of succeeding. There will be demand for boarding kennels and catteries in most areas of the UK, but it may be the case that it is lower in some less wealthy areas of the country.

Competition

Setting up in business in an area that is already well served by boarding kennels is likely to result in difficulties in breaking into the market. So the first thing to do is to check the entries on Yell.com and other business directories to see how many similar businesses there are in your area. It may then be helpful if you marked these establishments on a map of your local area so that you can see how close they are to one another and to see if there are any areas that are less well served. Bear in mind that many people treat their pets as one of the family and can become very loyal to a kennel that has looked after their animal well in the past. So it may be quite difficult to win business away from any existing kennels.

Get information about the type of services that existing kennels offer and the prices they charge.

Compare business bank accounts and loans

Do you want to open a business bank account or switch provider? Perhaps you need a loan to start or grow your business.

  • Compare UK business bank accounts
  • Compare UK start up business bank accounts
  • Apply for a business loan

The location of a boarding kennel is important for a number of reasons. When starting your business, you may choose to buy an existing kennel (see below), rather than set up from scratch as it can be difficult to get planning permission for new boarding kennel businesses.

Give careful consideration to how close the kennels are to residential areas. This is important for a number of reasons, such as:

  • the catchment area for your business. Unless you're specifically choosing to locate your kennels near to an airport or ferry port, you will probably find that the majority of your customers will come from your surrounding area, so it is important that there is a sufficiently large local population
  • noise pollution. Noise pollution is a potential problem for all boarding kennels - that's why many are located in fairly isolated areas. Just because a kennel has a licence, there's no guarantee that this licence will be renewed, so if you are buying an existing kennel make sure you check whether there are any ongoing complaints over noise levels
  • if the kennel is easy to find. Boarding kennels that are too far off the beaten track may lose business as customers are not able to find them. Delivery drivers may also experience similar problems

It's often an advantage to be situated near to main link roads. Pet owners may want to drop off and collect their animals when they're en-route to or from their holiday. If you're near to an important road link you may attract some customers from far afield who pass your kennels on the way to an airport, seaport or other holiday destination.

Customer profile

Your 'customer profile' has two aspects, your human (and paying) customers and your animal (and arguably most important) customers.

Your human customers are likely to be:

  • people wishing to board their pets while they are on holiday. These will come from all age groups and social and economic backgrounds. The one thing they are guaranteed to have in common, however, is a desire to see that their family pet is happy and well looked after when they are away
  • people who are working abroad on a non-permanent basis. These could include members of the armed forces, employees of multi-national companies and so on
  • working people who are reluctant to leave their pets during the day - demand for day boarding, or 'pet creche' services, has grown in recent years
  • animal charities. Some charities may ask boarding kennel proprietors to house rescued animals from time to time. These charities are usually given a sizeable discount
  • police forces. Occasionally, police forces may need to board some of their own dogs, for example, dogs that have been deemed unsuitable for police dog work and are waiting to be re-homed

Registered quarantine kennels provide services for people who need to import a rabies-susceptible pet animal - like a cat, dog or ferret - that doesn't qualify under the EU pet movement rules. However, since these rules were introduced the quarantine boarding market has almost disappeared completely, so it's fairly unlikely that you'll be providing this service unless you have a particularly good reason to enter the market. Bear in mind that things may have changed with Brexit.

Your animal customers might include:

  • dogs of all breeds, sizes and temperaments. It is advisable that you accept only dogs that have been vaccinated - you should check their veterinary certificates beforehand
  • cats. If you are going to accept cats, then the same issues apply to them as to dogs - the main one being that, again, they must be vaccinated
  • other domestic animals. You may be asked to board such pets as rabbits, guinea pigs and so on
  • exotic pets such as snakes, lizards and spiders
  • larger domestic animals. It is possible that you may be asked to board animals like pot-bellied pigs. You will obviously have to decide for yourself if you have the capacity, expertise and inclination to take such animals

You may also have non-boarding business if you decide to offer other goods and services like puppy training, grooming or pet food sales.

Decide what pet boarding services you will offer

It's likely that you already have a good idea of the type of boarding kennel that you're planning to run. If you intend to start your business from scratch you will be able to decide on the best layout for the kennel or cattery buildings. However, if you are thinking of buying an existing kennel then you will have to fit your plans and ideas around the buildings that are already there. Maybe you plan to convert a suitable existing building, such as an old barn.

Conventional kennel buildings usually feature a corridor through which to access each individual unit. Each individual unit will have access to some form of run and of course there will be strong perimeter fencing to prevent escape. As dogs often chew wooden structures, licensing authorities usually insist that alternative materials such as concrete or steel and wire mesh are used. Cats are often housed in chalets, also with access to an enclosed run. The run may be open to the elements, covered or a mixture of both.

Some of the things that you may want to consider are:

  • what animals you will accept. You may decide that you only wish to accept dogs or to cater for both cats and dogs. Alternatively, you might be intending to set up just a cattery. Perhaps you intend to accept other animals like rodents, caged birds and even reptiles
  • what the total capacity of the kennel will be. From a financial point of view, it would seem that the ideal would be to fit in as many animals as space will allow. However, you should remember that there is a large amount of work involved in running a kennel and that to cope with very large numbers it is almost inevitable that you would have to employ staff to help you. Therefore, you may decide to keep numbers to more manageable levels. It is difficult to say what the ideal capacity would be - you may wish to visit existing boarding kennels to see what sort of numbers they accommodate
  • the standard of accommodation you will offer. Some kennels provide fairly basic accommodation, while others style themselves as 'pet hotels' and charge a premium price for a luxury service
  • whether you'll accept day boarders. Demand for 'pet creche' services has grown in recent years
  • whether you'll offer other services aside from boarding, such as a grooming parlour or puppy training. If you are going to provide this type of service, think about whether you'll have to employ a specialist groomer or trainer - or if you will be able to deal with it yourself. Another service that is sometimes offered by boarding kennels - and which you may consider offering - is sales of food and other pet products

Research current trends, plus legal and tax issues

  • Sector trends for boarding kennels
  • Legal issues for boarding kennels
  • VAT rules for boarding kennels

Running a boarding kennel is often hard, physical work. You should think hard (and honestly) about whether you are cut out for this type of work - just liking animals probably isn't enough. Remember also that although the working day ends in the early evening, because your living accommodation will almost certainly have to be 'on-site', you will be in close proximity to the animals for twenty-four hours a day. If an animal is sick you'll probably be on duty all night.

The structure of a typical day will be something like:

  • let the boarders out and clean their living quarters
  • clean the feeding and drinking vessels
  • feed any boarders, as appropriate. Cats are usually fed twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening; dogs are usually just fed once a day. Feeding routines are, however, a matter of personal preference
  • attend to any problems with new boarders
  • let the animals back inside and then clean the outside runs
  • walk/exercise dogs
  • do a stock-take of food and cleaning materials, check the fencing, walls, flooring and so on to make sure there are no escape routes
  • check the condition of the bedding
  • check the animals' health records and visual health condition
  • groom any animals that need doing
  • attend to customers, delivery drivers and so on
  • deliver and collect any boarders, if you offer this type of service
  • administer any medicines and treatments, and arrange or oversee vets' visits
  • the last job will always be to make sure that all the animals are secure and that everything in the kennel is running smoothly

Don't forget as well that you will have to take care of any admin that needs doing, including keeping your books up to date.

The most common reason for people to board their animals in a kennel is when they go away on holiday and, as a large percentage of animal owners also have children, your busiest times will be at school holiday periods. These are two weeks at Easter and Christmas, six weeks in the summer with three week-long half term periods.

You could try to lessen the effect of these seasonal fluctuations by targeting different markets. For example, many people take weekend breaks, during which they may ask a neighbour or family member to feed their pet. If you offered special rates for weekend boarding and/or a pick-up and return service, people may be tempted to use your kennels instead.

You may also consider offering other services to stand alongside the boarding side of the business. One of the more popular of these is a grooming parlour. It is very likely that you will provide a certain level of grooming to the animals that are boarded with you and the charge for this will often be included in the boarding fee. However, you could offer this service to non-boarders and charge the full fee for it. You may find that to successfully provide a grooming service, you will have to employ staff with the relevant qualifications. To reduce further the impact of seasonality on your business you could also consider offering a puppy training service and perhaps a 'pet creche' service for people who are reluctant to leave their pet at home all day while they're at work.

You may also be able to boost your income by selling pet food and other animal related products. If you plan to do this on a large scale, you may have to check first with your local authority to see whether they will allow you to do so.

If you think your income is likely to be very seasonal it can be wise to make sure you start your business at the right time of year. Starting up just at the beginning of your quietest time of year could mean that you have to go for several months without much income to cover your regular expenses and overheads, which might include loan repayments.

Your 'occupancy level' is the percentage of your maximum possible capacity that's filled at any one time. Bear in mind that your maximum capacity may well have to take into account a couple of permanently empty units to be used as isolation kennels in an emergency.

A number of things can affect a kennel's occupancy level, particularly the time of year. You should expect some quiet times throughout the year. It's likely that your kennels will be fully booked for a fairly small percentage of the year, maybe around 10 weeks during the peak school holiday periods. The remaining weeks are likely to vary from nearly full down to nearly empty.

Your bookings and occupancy for a typical year might look roughly something like this example:

  • 100% booked - about 10 weeks
  • 75% booked - about 12 weeks
  • 50% booked - about 18 weeks
  • 25% booked - about 9 weeks
  • 10% booked - about 3 weeks

During the peak summer period you might decide to impose a minimum length of stay - perhaps one week - to maximise occupancy levels. It's not uncommon to have a minimum charge of two nights accommodation at all times of the year.

These figures are a very rough guide and you should make your own estimates taking into account your own particular situation. You might, of course, be closed for several weeks of the year, during which time your occupancy level would be 0%.

Once your business is up and running it's a good idea to keep occupancy records. These will give you valuable information about how your business is performing and could help you to identify particularly quiet periods so that you can work to improve occupancy.

Pricing your kennelling services

Make sure that the fees you charge are enough to cover all of your operating costs, including your own drawings.

Fees can vary quite widely from one kennel to the next depending on things like regional location, standards and facilities, reputation and whether or not the owner needs to operate on a fully commercial basis. It's worth checking out the going rate in your area for the type and standard of service you intend to offer - try searching online to get an idea of this.

Many kennels have different prices depending on the type and size of the animal, for example:

  • Small dog from £16.00 per night
  • Medium dog from £17.00 per night
  • Large dog from £18.00 per night
  • Very large dog (if taken) from £19.00 per night
  • Cat (if applicable) from £10.00 per night

(Figures included for illustrative purposes only)

Because your customers are mainly members of the public, prices quoted generally include VAT (if applicable).

You might decide to charge extra for very difficult dogs, for example those that are prone to anti-social behaviour.

If you board dogs and cats over the Christmas and New Year period then you might decide to increase your charges for these days - some boarding kennels double their charges for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. Others have several 'high season' periods - typically Christmas and Easter fortnights and the summer holidays - when their charges are higher.

If you decide that you are able to take other types of animal, you may choose to negotiate a rate with the individual pet owner rather than have a set tariff. For example, you may charge the same for a rabbit as you would for a cat (although rabbits and other small animals are often charged for at a lower rate) and the same for a domestic pig as you would for a very large dog.

Think about how you will charge your customers. You may decide to charge a deposit when a customer makes a booking, with the balance payable on collection, or you may decide to charge the full fee in advance. Think too about what your fees will include. For example, will your daily fees cover insurance or will you charge extra? Will you offer discounts if customers provide their own pet food? Maybe you'll charge extra for winter heating, bathing, calmer/relaxant, to cater for special dietary requirements, and so on.

If you're going to offer any other non-boarding services then think about how much you'll charge for them. These could include things like a day care 'dog creche' service, dog walking and pet transport ('pet taxi' service).

Special offers and discounts

You may wish to make special offers from time to time. Probably the best time to do this is during the periods when your business is at its quietest.

It's quite common for boarding kennels to offer discounts to regular customers and to people wishing to board their animals for a long stay (for example over a month). Many also give discounts to people who board more than one animal. You could consider offering free trial stays to build up a regular customer base. You might offer special weekend boarding rates to attract custom from the increasing numbers of people who take weekend breaks.

  • advertise in your local newspaper and any local directories
  • sponsor a local event such as a dog show
  • pay for a display advert on Google My Business or Y ell.com
  • use social media, forums and blogs to stay in touch with, or attract customers

Almost all types of advertising and promotion have a cost, whether it's financial or your own time and effort - or both. You need to make sure that the beneficial effects of your advertising efforts are worth the time and money spent on them. It's up to you to decide which types of advertising work best for you - sometimes this is down to trial and error.

You might decide to buy an existing kennels, rather than start your own venture from scratch. Buying a going concern can mean that the products, customers, regular sales, staff, premises and equipment are already in place.

It is a fairly common way to enter the pet boarding industry. Sometimes the established business is sold along with the owner's accommodation, on the same site. Combining a business purchase with a house move gives you plenty more to think about.

But buying a business  can be a hazardous, expensive process unless you have the right skills and experience on your team, including legal and financial know-how. Establish the genuine trading and financial position, so that the price you pay for the business is not too high.

Note that just because a kennel currently has a licence, it does not mean that it will automatically be renewed once it expires. Licences are annual. Contact your local authority to find out whether there are any reasons why the licence would not be renewed (for example, there may have been complaints about noise levels). Also meet local neighbours, to uncover any kind of problems on that front.

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How to start a dog daycare business

Table of Contents

Sniffing out what you need before starting a dog daycare business

Registration, sole trader, limited company, wales and scotland, qualifications, public liability, care, custody and control, small business loan, angel investor, services and pricing, opening up the doggy door to your first customers, market research, target audience, customer profiles, website and bookings, marketing channels, social media, keeping a leash on your financial management with countingup.

If you think dogs are a treat to be around , you’re not alone. The number of canine pets in the UK was 12.5 million last year.

More time at home during the pandemic lockdowns saw people able to welcome new dogs into their families. But what will owners do now they have to go back to work? The answer is dog daycare .

This is your paw-fect time to start a doggy daycare business of your own. You’ll combine your love for pups with your pursuit of commercial success .

This guide to starting a dog daycare business includes:

  • Keeping a leash on your financial management

Start the ball rolling by registering with the UK government . To register the right way, choose which type of business ownership you’ll use.

  • Unlimited liability — personally liable for the business’s debts.
  • Simple registration — only responsibility is to register as self-employed .

For more information, see: What is a sole trader?

  • Limited liability — only lose the money you put into a business if it can’t pay its debts.
  • Complex registration — register the business with Companies House , which requires more responsibilities than just self-employed.

For more information, see: What is a limited company?

When starting a dog daycare business, the next important thing to consider is the licences you need.

A Boarding for Cats or Dogs Licence is required to open a pet daycare business in England. You can apply through the UK government, and you’ll receive an inspection shortly after.

Inspectors will check dogs you look after:

  • Have food, drink and bedding .
  • Get regular exercise .
  • Aren’t diseased, injured or suffering .
  • Aren’t in danger (e.g. fire hazards).
  • Are cared for by someone qualified .

In Wales and Scotland, you need an Animal Boarding Establishment Licence which you can apply for with the UK government.

Local councils will conduct an inspection similar to England, which looks for the same key points.

To reassure your customers that you can take care of their precious pooches, you can get qualified through courses .

Inspectors for your licences will seek to determine if you have the training to care for animals, so consider the Level 3 Professional Day Care and Boarding course.

This course is available from:

  • Dog Business School

The Ofqual regulated courses prove that you can comply with the terms of your licence arrangements .

Think about your daycare’s location to make sure it’s a safe place . You could use your own home or rent a property to use.

When you consider where to set up, think about if the space can:

  • Allow for dogs to exercise (e.g. indoor area like a warehouse or outdoor like a field).
  • Keep dogs warm (e.g. room for blankets, beds and heating for cold days).
  • Prevent dogs escaping (e.g. high fences and secure areas).

If your business doesn’t employ anyone else, there’s no insurance you legally require. Although, cover can still be helpful and essential for any dog business.

Dogs can damage public property, and they can injure people . If you’re on a walk and either of those things happen, you could face legal action.

Public liability cover will help pay towards the court fees or compensation in that situation.

If a dog is injured or falls ill in your care, the owner could also claim against you. So care, custody and control cover would help you deal with that financially.

The cover can also pay for veterinary costs and advertising to help find lost dogs.

You can benefit from both of these covers with a specific dog daycare insurance, such as:

  • Home boarding insurance
  • Dog daycare, dog day creche insurance
  • Pet sitting insurance

To pay for insurance, courses or property, you might seek extra funds for your business.

One option to secure funds is to approach a bank for a small business loan . They could offer you the money you need and you’ll arrange to pay it back over time with interest .

To apply for a loan, you’ll need to put together a business plan which explains what you’d do with the money and the likelihood of your success.

For more information on business plans, see: What should a business plan include?

Another option available for funding is to pitch to angel investors . These are wealthy individuals who can give you the money you need in exchange for a share of your company .

You’ll also need a business plan to impress them. But angel investors often invest in industries they are familiar with, so they could also offer helpful dog related contacts and advice for you .

A critical point to consider before starting a dog daycare business is the services you offer and their prices .

Think about whether you’ll look after the dogs over weekends if owners go away or do weekdays while they’re at work. If you have to work overnight for example, you can likely charge a higher rate.

You could have different packages you offer which include extras like:

  • Trimming dogs nails
  • Cutting and washing fur
  • Dog massages
  • Luxury food

When starting your dog daycare business, you’ll need to discover who your customers and competitors are . If you know who to target and who you’re up against, you’ll be able to market your business effectively.

To find out information for both, conduct market research . That can involve direct communication with the public through surveys or interviews . Ask what dog services people want and find groups are most likely to use them. 

You can look into your competitors online through their sites or visit them to see what services they offer .

If you search on Google which dog daycare businesses are run near you, you’ll likely find a few different ones. You’ll aim to stand out, so think about what you can provide that they don’t .

Through your market research, you may pick up on some similarities between the potential customers.

For example, you could find that most people who said they’d use your service are on higher incomes and above 35. 

Any helpful insights into those customers will form your target audience . These are your ideal people to focus on in your marketing. If you focus your advertising approach, it will be more efficient and save you money.

To decide which marketing channels to use to reach your target audience, you can create customer profiles (sometimes called customer avatars).

These are summaries of the lives of ideal customers, use them to discover when and where to market your business . For example, if they work during the day, you might target them in the evening.

A customer profile can include:

Another critical step before you shout about your dog daycare business is its branding . Your brand is the company’s public identity , and it’s how you can build familiarity with your customers.

Your brand can include your:

  • Business name –– what you call your brand (e.g. House of Hounds).
  • Slogan –– a phrase to associate with your brand (e.g. who let the dogs in).
  • Logo –– an icon to represent your business (e.g. half, chewed toy).
  • Colours –– two or three colours for your brand (e.g. brown and white).
  • Tone of voice –– how you talk to customers (e.g. playful and excitable).

These points can form your brand guidelines to follow in your marketing. They’ll help maintain consistency to help you build recognition with the public . 

If people can easily remember your business, they may be more likely to trust you with their pets.

Now you’ve got an audience to target and a strong brand, the last step before marketing is a way to accept bookings.

It’ll be helpful to create a dedicated website to explain your services to customers. They’ll be able to learn what they want to know and see what options you have available for them.

There are a few website builders that you could use:

  • Squarespace

Your site should also have contact information in case customers may have specific pet requirements to ask about.

For example, their dog may be allergic to certain foods, so they’d want reassurance they won’t come into contact with those.

Also, think about other ways to accept bookings like email and over the phone , but make sure you can manage all of that information together.

You can either use a physical diary or an appointment tool. These include:

Now you’ve got a place to direct your customers, you can build awareness of your brand and services. Your customer profiles should paint a clear picture of your ideal customers, so think about how to reach those.

For example, if you’d like to target young adults, you could use a social media platform like TikTok . You can show clips of the dogs and information about the service in a fun way while you reach your ideal audience .

Your business will likely cater to dog owners that are local to you. In that case, it may be a good idea to find ways to spread your messages within your community.

Facebook has plenty of groups specific to local areas for users to interact with people nearby . If you create a page on the platform, you can encourage family and friends to share the business on their accounts.

Another channel that might be great for a local approach is regional radio. It might be expensive where you live if there’s high demand, but everyone who hears it will likely live close to you .

You could put on a launch event for your business, and you can invite people to bring their pets for a dog themed party.

Everyone that attends could get a voucher for a free day of daycare. After a good experience, they’ll be more likely to choose your business again over a competitor.

If you like animals you could also consider starting a cat sitting business .

When starting a dog daycare business, you need to acknowledge the costs you might face.

These could include:

  • Food — stock up, and different dogs might have their unique dietary requirements.
  • Toys — keep the dogs entertained, and some will chew through them quickly.
  • Beds — enough for all of the dogs in your care, which can vary in sizes too.

Apart from dog care specific costs, you’ll likely also have rent, utilities and marketing costs to monitor.

Countingup is a business account with built-in accounting software , and it lets you manage your finances through your phone. 

Its expense categorisation feature sorts all of your costs automatically. It labels them to show which areas you spend the most time on.

If you’re self-employed, you also need to consider filing your income tax Self Assessments . You must do these before the end of each tax year, but they can be time-consuming for new business owners.

Luckily, Countingup can provide you with tax estimates regularly . It means you’ll already know how much you should put aside each month, so taxes become easy to manage.

In a service industry like dog daycare, it’s essential to record what you bill your customers . It will help you understand whether you’ve charged reasonable fees for what you provide.

With Countingup’s invoicing feature, you’re able to create and send bills on the go. Sort invoices through your phone with one hand and still pet pups with the other.

Get started for free.

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Almost 20 years down the line, Barking Mad has grown exponentially. Now covering over 80 core areas across the UK, providing top quality to care for dogs from Dundee to Torquay, Barking Mad continues to grow. It continues to offer fantastic opportunities to dog-lovers who want to run their own dog boarding business from their home and give dogs that holiday experience whilst their owners are away.

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Dog Boarding Business Plan

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Many people love pets, but not everyone has the time to look after them. With busy work schedules and hectic lives, many pet parents look for a safe space to leave their pets.

And if you like being around pets and can take care of them well, you might have thought of having your own pet boarding business.

If you are planning to start a new dog boarding business, the first thing you will need is a business plan. Use our sample dog boarding business plan  created using Upmetrics –  business plan software to start writing your business plan in no time.

Before you start writing your business plan for your new dog boarding business, spend as much time as you can reading through some examples of  pet-related business plans.

Industry Overview

The market size, measured by revenue, of the Pet Grooming & Boarding industry, is $8.4bn in 2021 and is growing rapidly.

The growing preference for having pets increased awareness about their health and hygiene requirements has led to this growth.

The dog boarding industry has grown due to people having full working days and looking for proper places to look after their pets.

Say goodbye to boring templates

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Plans starting from $7/month

dog boarding business plan uk

Things to Consider Before Writing a Dog Boarding Business Plan

Make a note of the services you’ll offer.

Dog boarding facilities offer a number of services like grooming and medical help. Many facilities also serve as play areas for pets. Hence, it is important to decide what services you’ll offer beforehand.

The set of services you offer will determine how you stand apart from your competitors. It is a good practice to take suggestions from your target audience regarding the services they need, so you get to become a one-stop shop for them.

Find trained personnel and staff

Handling and grooming several pets at once can be a tough task if you don’t have skilled trainers at hand. A skilled team will not only make your task easy but also help you gain your customer’s trust as their pets will be in good hands.

Hence, make sure you hire skilled and efficient people.

Decide how you’ll price your services

You can pick amongst different pricing strategies from competitive to monthly or annual pricing. You can also have combo offers that give other services apart from the primary boarding facility.

Having the right pricing strategy and figuring out the same early on is essential for any business. It helps you have profits as well as prices that your customers are willing to pay.

Find the right location for your boarding services

While picking the location you have to take care of several factors like accessibility, size, and visibility of your arena. Many people are super busy and wouldn’t want to drop their pets at a faraway location on a daily basis, also having an extremely small place can make it less lucrative as pets usually like to play around.

Also, you can work on a theme and decor to make your facility look more attractive and to help your business stand out.

Chalking out Your Business Plan

Setting up a business, getting customers, and managing it might feel overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.

And if that’s stopping you from having your business, all you need is a dog boarding business plan. A business plan will guide you at every step of doing your business and help you have a profitable and successful dog boarding service.

Reading sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for. It will also show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.

We have created this sample dog boarding business plan for you to get a good idea about how a perfect dog boarding business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.

Dog Boarding Business Plan Outline

This is the standard dog boarding business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

  • Mission Statement
  • Vision Statement
  • Customer Focus
  • Success Factors
  • 3 Year profit forecast
  • Business Structure
  • Startup cost
  • Product and Service Description
  • Market Trends
  • Target Market
  • Market Growth
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Sales Strategy
  • Publications
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Important Assumptions
  • Brake-even Analysis
  • Profit Yearly
  • Gross Margin Yearly
  • Projected Cash Flow
  • Projected Balance Sheet
  • Business Ratios

After  getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this sample dog boarding business plan into your business plan and modify the required information and download the dog boarding business plan pdf or doc file . It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.

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Download a sample dog boarding business plan

Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go; download our free dog boarding business plan pdf to start.

It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your dog boarding business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.

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Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more

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What are you looking for, how to start a doggy daycare business.

  • 1. What is doggy day care?
  • 2. Get a business plan in place
  • 3. Define your doggy daycare services
  • 4. Cater for convenience
  • 5. Plan your pricing
  • 6. Dog daycare startup costs - establish a financial plan
  • 7. Training and qualifications
  • 8. Do I need a license to open a dog daycare?
  • 9. Location
  • 10. Hire the right staff
  • 11. Doggy day care rules
  • 12. Marketing
  • 13. How much does a doggy daycare owner make?

Has the thought of running a doggy daycare business been hounding you for a while now?

With 27% of UK adults owning a dog (an estimated population of 10.2 million pet dogs-!), pet daycare businesses are a booming sector right now. Doggy day care, in particular, has seen a massive increase, caused by people returning to workplaces after prolonged periods of working from home.

Dog daycare startups are certainly in high demand right now – could this be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to pursue your passion?

What is doggy day care?

Different from kennel boarding, dog walking and pet sitting services, doggy day care is a short-term daytime care for dogs. It works a lot like day care for children – owners drop their dog(s) off in the morning on the way to work, and while they’re gone, their dog receives lots of care and attention. Your dog’s day gets filled with activities based on its specific needs and temperament, feeling more at ease and stress-free than if they were to be at home alone. Dogs don’t naturally enjoy being alone, preferring the company of their family. Doggy day care solves this problem by keeping them company and giving them the chance to socialise with other dogs. Owners’ minds are also put at rest knowing their pet is in a fun and safe environment, while they’re at work.

Get a business plan in place

A business plan is a document that describes your business. It will show in detail:

  • Why and how you will run your business
  • Financial forecasts – how much money you will make and how you will raise funds
  • How you will promote it
  • Who your customers will be
  • How many staff members you’ll need and at what stage they will be recruited.

A business plan is a working document that can be changed and updated at any time. There is no set format for a business plan – it can be a formal or informal document.

It’s not necessary to have a business plan. However, spending the time to put business ideas down on paper and planning what you will do should mean that you can work towards creating a successful and financially viable business.

To help you get started, get your free UK business plan template below.

Define your doggy daycare services

If you’re opening a doggy day business, make sure to spend time doing your research. What type of services does your target audience require the most? What do they value most? What are your competitors offering? Start building a list of all the services you plan to offer, such as drop-off and pick-up times, food, and what days and times you’ll be open. Will you open on the weekend? Offer emergency overnight stays?

Offering a range of services can increase your appeal, such as dog walking, grooming, bathing and obedience training. A range of food options is also worth offering, as not all dogs eat the same food.

Cater for convenience

Convenience is everything when it comes to competing for customers’ business. Once you’ve defined your basic services, spend time thinking about how you can continue to make life easier for your customers. (Could you speak to some local dog owners for some ideas?)

A home collection and drop-off service is one of the ultimate time savers for owners. A fantastic example of a business offering just this is Bruce’s Doggy Day Care , which offers its own custom designed and built doggy buses! Featuring fitted beds, bespoke temperature control and even some calming scents such as lavender, all buses can be live tracked, so owners always know where their dog is by tracking it via an app or email.

Plan your pricing

Base your pricing strategy on the quality of your services, but ensure they remain competitive. Unless your location and equipment is superior, charging more for the same service isn’t going to give you an advantage over your competition. If a customer questions why your prices are higher than other local businesses, you need to be able to explain why. Equally, don’t price your services too low, as this can actually cause suspicion!

In the UK, most doggy day care businesses charge between £15 and £40 per day. If customers use your facilities frequently, you might want to set up a weekly or monthly recurring fee.

  • Read more : How to price a product UK

Dog daycare startup costs – establish a financial plan

Make sure you know what the dog daycare startup costs will be, and what capital expenditure will be necessary. Costs will vary depending on the type of facility you set up, as well as your location. For example, if you run your business from home , you will need to allow for essentials such as equipment, food, and pet-proofing your premises, as well as insurance, licensing, and qualification fees. Should you be setting your sights on a larger commercial facility, you’ll need a more substantial space. Renovation might also be required to meet the needs of the animals, such as a separate section for puppies, a playground, etc.

You’ll also need to invest in the necessary equipment, from toys to food bowls, beds to cages, and food to cleaning supplies. Another key consideration is a reliable heating system to ensure they are warm and comfortable.

Training and qualifications

You’re probably thinking about the training and qualifications you’ll need to open a doggy daycare business…

Rightly, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is increasingly demanding formal professional qualifications for everyone involved in animal welfare. This training will not only help with competency, but providing qualifications increases your credibility as a business and professional standing with customers, (as well as inspectors!).

It’s important to truly understand what dogs need, and that you can keep them safe and happy in any circumstances. Nothing demonstrates this better than the nationally-recognised Ofqual Level 3 Professional Day Care And Boarding Qualification . The Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT) offers a distance learning course, allowing you to study at home and in your own time. It involves around 60 hours of study, and you will be supported by one of the IMDT’s tutors. The Dog Business School also offers a wide range of Ofqual courses for dog businesses.

Do I need a license to open a dog daycare?

You must comply with UK law to avoid any legal issues. Ensure you have the necessary licences in place before opening, and register all the necessary documents with the government.

Consult your local council and a legal advisor for the appropriate advice before setting up. There is always a possibility that an inspection team will pay you a visit to check your facility. There are no shortcuts – everything must be in place and you must be qualified and covered accordingly to ensure a quality, safe environment for your employees, customers and animals.

Insurance and liability

It goes without saying but looking after other people’s dogs is a big responsibility. You must have public liability insurance in place to protect your business. There are other types of insurance available that will cover you for theft, damage, repairs, fire, injuries, dog runaways, legal fees, natural disasters – anything that poses a risk to your business.

For example, professional indemnity insurance protects you against claims for loss or damage made by clients or third parties as a result of the impact of negligent services you provided or negligent advice you offered.

If you employ staff, employer’s liability insurance is compulsory because employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees whilst at work.

Always get professional advice when it comes to organising your insurance to ensure you’re protecting your business in the best possible way. Don’t cut corners with insurance – you need to ensure you’re covered should anything happen.

Animal welfare in the UK is forever improving. From 1st October 2018, all businesses offering dog boarding, home boarding or doggy day care services need to be licensed. You must hold and display a licence granted by the local authority.

It’s crucial to obtain a licence before operating. In England, the Animal Activities Licensing Regulations 2018 was introduced (updating the Animal Welfare Act 2006), while in Scotland and Wales, the Animal Boarding Establishment Act in 1963 governs dog boarding and day care. If you operate without a licence, you can be prosecuted and sentenced to up to three months in prison and fined up to £500 for each person, plus possible costs and victim surcharges.

So, how do you apply for a licence? It’s pretty simple – file an application form, pay a fee and have your home/venue inspected. Licences have conditions attached including how you care for the dogs and provide for their needs, how many dogs you can care for and a requirement to keep a record of the animals in your care.

The time it takes to get a licence depends on your council. Some are very quick and can organise your inspection and supply your licence within 10 days, however a month is average. (10 weeks also isn’t unheard of-!) Being inspected and actually receiving feedback and the licensing documentation can take two months.

Licences must be renewed annually, with most councils issuing licences from 1st Jan – 31st December for ease of administration. You can still apply any time of the year, but your licence will likely run until 31st December. In England, establishments that satisfy the licensing conditions can be licensed for 1, 2 or 3 years, at the discretion of the local authority; however, random inspections can take place. In Scotland and Wales, a dog boarding or dog day care licence is granted for up to one year and always expires at the end of December in the year it was granted. The Animal Activities Licensing Regulations (October 2018), has not yet been brought into effect in Scotland and Wales.

What will the licensing authority be looking for?

The inspectors look for a number of things including (but not limited to):

  • Specialist knowledge in the species that they are caring for and a clear understanding of its needs and welfare
  • Accurate record keeping and up-to-date information on the dogs they are looking after
  • An understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly. These documents should be available for the inspector to examine
  • Proper safety and hygiene in sleeping spaces, play spaces and around the dogs’ food
  • Adequate space for dogs to relax, play and eat
  • A sensible ratio of carers to dogs
  • The right level of training and supervision for any staff or helpers you may have
  • Plenty of appropriate mental stimulation for the dogs
  • A daily exercise routine that meets each dog’s individual needs
  • Measures to prevent illness and injury
  • A plan for what to do in an emergency
  • Being able to handle dogs appropriately and safely
  • Training procedures in place to make sure staff know what is expected of them, and clear evidence of good supervision of staff
  • The premises itself will be assessed so the licensing authority can be sure the licence holder can meet the conditions relating to the physical environment in which the animals will be kept.

Based on the information provided and the inspection, the inspector will assess the risk rating and award a star rating. This will determine the length of the licence period. Low-risk businesses can attain up to five stars, and premises that have been assessed as higher risk can be awarded up to four stars. If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision, they can make improvements to address highlighted issues, and ask for a re-inspection (fees apply).

Location is essential when running a doggy daycare business

If your location isn’t convenient for your target audience, they’re not going to use you. If you’re looking to run your business from a separate building, spend time (and effort!) finding a good location that’s on budget (you won’t want to spend too much initially on rent). You’ll need a location that offers both indoor and outdoor facilities such as paddocks, offering dogs plenty of space to run and play.

You’ll need to have enough space for cages and equipment, as well as an information desk, waiting area and employee facilities. Cleanliness is also crucial – your location should be safe and clean to safeguard both animals and humans.

Security is also vital. It should be properly fenced to prevent dogs from escaping and risking injury. No wild animal should be able to enter your facility, either.

Hire the right staff

When you’re in a position to hire a team, spend time finding the right people that share your passion for animals, while having the appropriate experience. They need to be well trained and knowledgeable when it comes to pet care, and be capable of performing a variety of tasks such as grooming, walking and entertaining the animals.

Doggy day care rules

Ensure your business runs smoothly by setting day care rules regarding dogs and customers. These rules will protect you from liability, such as:

  • Not accepting adult dogs that haven’t been neutered
  • Not accepting puppies that are too young
  • Dogs must have up-to-date vaccinations and a certificate must be provided by the owner

An interview or trial period must be in place before accepting a dog in case they are aggressive, are difficult to control and pose a risk to others.

Before promoting your business, ensure you get your branding right from the very beginning. Ensure your name and logo stands out, is memorable, and quickly communicates what your business is.

When it comes to offline marketing, think about the best places to advertise to your target audience. Can you distribute flyers near dog-friendly parks, pet supply places, veterinary clinics, etc? Can you offer referral commissions?

Digital-wise, ensure you have a user and device-friendly website that clearly communicates your services, and clarifies why customers should use you, while making it easy for people to get in touch and locate you. Once your website is in place, it’s time to start testing out a selection of online ads (such as Google PPC, Facebook, Gumtree, etc) to see which platform and ad type(s) perform best in pushing quality inquiries your way.

Remember to spotlight your licence in your marketing. While you can’t operate without one, it’s still important to communicate this with customers, as it reassures them that your business is reputable, and that you can be trusted to keep their dogs safe and happy while they are staying with you.

How much does a doggy daycare owner make?

How much you can make as a doggy daycare business owner will depend on your location, services, and market conditions. A well-established and successful doggy daycare business in the UK can potentially generate annual revenues ranging from £50,000 to £250,000 or more. 

To estimate your potential income, consider the following:

Average daily rate: Determine the average rate you plan to charge per dog per day. This can vary depending on factors such as location, facilities, services provided, and competition. As a rough estimate, doggy daycare rates in the UK typically range from £15 to £40 per dog per day.

Capacity and occupancy rate: Calculate the maximum number of dogs you can accommodate at your facility and estimate your desired occupancy rate. Multiply the average daily rate by the number of dogs and the number of days in operation to get a monthly or annual revenue estimate.

Additional services: If you plan to offer additional services such as grooming, training, or retail sales, consider the potential income generated from these services separately.

Remember to deduct operating expenses, including rent, utilities, staffing, supplies, marketing, and other costs, to estimate your net income.

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Starting a Pet Sitting Business in the United Kingdom

  • Starting a Pet Sitting Business…

Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Pet Sitting Business in the United Kingdom

Starting a Pet Sitting Business in the United Kingdom

Here’s a guide on starting a pet sitting business in the United Kingdom.

Industry Practice

The majority of people spend much on the welfare of their pets as they view them as their family members. The increase of adoption of pets among consumers is necessitating the need for increased pet sitting services. According to a study by FEDIAF , 33% of households in the UK own a dog, with over 13 million dog population. With the increasing numbers of owners shifting away from customary kennels and opting for a true home from home, pet sitting businesses are now taking over. Therefore, starting a pet sitting business in the United Kingdom is an opportunity to take advantage of this vibrant and lucrative industry.

Pet sitting is the act of caring for a pet in its own home while the owner is away. Again, dog walking is a form of pet sitting as it involves coming to the pet’s home to offer exercise and companionship. Some pet sitters may offer other additional services such as limited in-home boarding and may not be regarded as pet sitting. The reason why pet owners may seek the services of a pet sitter may be:

  • Pets seem happier and encounter less stress at home in their familiar environment.
  • There is no interruption of diet and exercise routines
  • You eliminate travel trauma for both owner and pet
  • One removes the pet’s exposure to illness

As a pet sitter comes in handy when the owner is out on vacation, travels for business, works long hours, or is not able to do so due to illness.

Some of the services that the pet sitter does may include:

  • Feeding the pet and changing their water bowls
  • Offering exercise and playtime
  • Cleaning up any other pet messes
  • Administering pet medications, if required

Business Registration Process

If you’re thinking of starting a pet sitting business in the United Kingdom, you have some experience handling pets. Again, before you roll out your business, you’ll need to have the proper paperwork in place for your clients; a service contract is a necessity.

These are some of what you should consider before starting your pet business.

1. Decide on the Type of Pets

Most of the pet sitting business focuses on dogs and cats, and much revenue comes from them. You have to make your mind whether you’ll sit out of your home, at the client’s home, or both. You must understand the following:

  • Understand that you will have irregular hours that involve nights and weekends
  • You must be a pet lover and care about animals if you want to succeed in this business.

2. Develop a Business Plan

Most successful businesses have a well-thought-out business plan to act as a road map to their business. To do that, you must first perform the market analysis, which will help you find out how many people in your area might use a pet sitting service. As a business person, you must outline your operational, financial, and marketing strategies in your business plan. How are you going to move from point A to point B? It’s a document that has to be solid and straightforward.

3. Choosing Your Business Name

Every legal business operating has a business name that defines its nature. When choosing a name, ensure that you have a simple, unique name that resonates with your business. Having a business name is the beginning of the company incorporation process.

4. Registering Your Business

When starting a pet sitting business in the United Kingdom, your client will take you seriously if your business is registered. If you plan for company registration in the UK , then you’ll have to register with Companies House. You can register as a sole trader, limited partnership, and as a company. For each of the legal structures, you must meet all the legal requirements to complete the process.

5. Develop a Website

Whenever you plan to market your business to a larger audience, having a website will make you reach that target. Today, brands are embracing online presence and building their company to meet their clients’ expectations. Having a website is not enough; you must elaborate on what kind of services you offer. You can go further and provide your contacts so that people can reach out to you.

6. Promote Your Pet Business

Starting as a new pet sitter may be challenging because you are new in the market. Now for you to be known out there, you must promote your business. You can begin with the area within your locality by word of mouth. Share your business cards or flyers with your potential clients within the target areas. Again, you can attend local events or shows for dogs and owners and share what you offer as a service.

7. Setting Your Price

When running any form of business, you must have a price policy within your sales structure. Before doing that, you must know what prices your competitors are charging on similar or different services you’re offering. Keep your prices competitive. That can generate you some decent profit margin.

8. Securing a Pet Sitting Insurance

The UK provides you, a business person, with an opportunity to secure insurance for your business. Within this insurance, we have:

  • Key Cover: This covers the loss of a client’s keys during the period you’re undertaking your services. It’s associated with replacing locks, the cost of re-setting intruder alarms, and call-out costs.
  • Care, custody, and control
  • Non-negligent cover
  • Equipment cover

In case you experience any challenge, you can always contact a UK corporate service provider such as 3E Accounting.

Licenses, Permits, and Regulations

If you’re planning on starting a pet sitting business in the United Kingdom, you may not need a license. However, if you’re holding your client’s keys and entering their home, you will need a Criminal Record Check .

Animal Handling and Interactions

The law governing animals stipulates that any person (s) responsible for the care of the animals must be competent in the appropriate handling to protect them from suffering, pain, injury, or disease. In case you’re into home boarding, those responsible must have the competence to handle dogs appropriately and be in a position to identify dogs that are anxious or fearful about contact. Again, they must possess the ability to recognize and act upon undesirable behaviors.

The Scope Criteria That Are Subject to Licensing

  • Suppose your business will arrange for the provision of accommodation for other people’s cats and dogs. For instance, if your business connects pet owners with people willing to look after their animals for no fee.
  • Businesses that offer accommodation for dogs in a home environment inside a domestic home are not in their usual home.

Monitoring of Behavior and Training of Animals

Whenever you plan on starting a pet sitting business in the United Kingdom, you must be aware of the guidance relating to the company. This goes even in how you monitor the behavior and training of the pets. The guidance should be:

  • A program with the owner on dog enrichment inside and outside, including grooming, socialization, and play.
  • You must ensure that all dogs receive the appropriate toys and feeding enrichment unless suggested otherwise with the veterinarian.
  • A daily check of items to ensure they remain safe.

Remember, species whose welfare relies partly on exercise must provide exercise that benefits the animals’ physical and mental health, unless otherwise in the vet’s opinion.

Some of the guidance may include:

  • Dogs that are incapable of exercising must have an alternative form of mental stimulation.
  • Chances to exercise must involve a minimum of at least one walk per day.
  • When it comes to outdoor areas, they must not be used by more than one dog at any given time unless they are from the same household or a written consent obtained from owners.
  • In case an artificial turf is in use, the maintenance should be top-notch to avoid ingestion hazards.
  • Again, dogs shouldn’t be left unsupervised to access ponds, pools, wells, and any area within the garden that might pose a threat.

For further clarification or assistance on starting a pet sitting business in the United Kingdom, you can contact 3E Accounting .

Starting a Pet Sitting Business in the United Kingdom

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What You Should Know Before Starting a Dog Boarding Business

Kate Barrington

Let’s get down to business – starting a dog boarding business

So, you are considering starting a dog boarding business? Perhaps you’ve learned a lot over the years and want to share that knowledge of dog care with others. Or you simply have all the perfect accommodations for dogs. Whatever it is, starting a dog boarding business can be a great idea. When it comes to opening such a business, it may seem as though you need little besides space to house the dogs and staff to feed and walk them. In reality, however, starting and maintaining a dog boarding business can be full of unexpected challenges. After all, it is never as simple as it seems at first glance. With the proper research and preparation, however, it is possible to create a thriving business. But, if you do it wrong, you could be faced with some serious problems. It is best to know exactly what such a business entails. So, if you are considering opening a dog boarding business, keep these tips in mind.

Questions to Ask Beforehand

Starting such an enterprise won’t be an easy task. Before you commit to starting your business, there are a few simple questions you need to ask yourself. What is your primary motivation for opening the business? Do you have the time and space to devote to the business? Is there a need for a dog boarding business in your area? If your primary motivation for opening a dog boarding business is to make easy money, you should think again – as is true of any business, you need money upfront to get your business started and then it could take some time before you start to see a profit. It could cost you anywhere between $25,000 and $80,000 to get your business off the ground.

In addition to the financial factors, you also need to think carefully about whether you have the time to devote to such a business. If you feel as though you are truly able to commit to a dog boarding business, your next question to answer is whether there is a need for such a business in your area. It doesn’t matter how much time you put into developing the business – if the need isn’t there, your business is unlikely to succeed. Another important issue to raise is the legality of having such a business in your area. You will need to research zoning and licensing requirements in your area to make sure it is legal for you to start any kind of business (particularly out of your home). Some cities and states can have tight rules and regulations on such matters, so careful research is key. And remember, there’s no such thing as asking too many questions – it is perfectly reasonable to want to be as informed as possible.

Proper Planning Is Key

Once you’ve determined that you’re ready to start your own dog boarding business, it’s time to get to work. And a great plan will help guide you through the entire process, as you’ll know what you need to do in order to make your dreams of working in the pet care industry a reality.

Here are a few tips that can help you get started. Then, once your dog boarding business is up and running, it will be a matter of properly managing it in order to maintain it for the long run and watch it grow over time.

Outline What Services You’ll Offer: In addition to boarding, will you also offer grooming and bathing services, or perhaps even canine training sessions? Will you only offer longer-term boarding, such as for people who are going on vacation for a few days, or will you be providing daycare services for people who just need someone to watch their dogs while they’re at work? Will you have a small store that will sell pet food, toys, and other pet care products to your customers?

All these questions need to be answered and made known to potential customers. If you want to make a better income, then certainly you can expand your service and go beyond simple dog boarding. But with each new service, you will likely have to expand on the number of employees, raising your costs. In the end, it is all about calculations and income. 

Determine the Prices You’ll Charge for Your Services: After you establish the services that you’re planning on offering through your dog boarding business, it’s time to figure out your prices for those services.

Your price structure will depend on your location, as different markets might charge different amounts of money to customers for the same services. So do your research into what other local dog boarding facilities are charging. Sometimes it is the pricing that will set your business apart from the competition at first!

Beyond that, you also need to come up with prices that will allow you to make a large enough profit every day in order to keep your business running. This step will involve calculating your expenses to ensure they’ll be covered by the money you’re bringing in from sales. It will be easier to do this once you’ve found the right facility and you know what the overhead costs will be. Pricing can be difficult to balance, so take every expense and income into the calculation. Your prices need to be attractive enough to potential users, but not so low as to incur losses. And if your close competitor has lower prices – then try to offer a better service than theirs! Remember, higher prices need justification with quality service or products. 

Find the Right Facility: Now that you know what services you’ll be offering to your customers, you can more easily find the ideal facility to make it all happen. Perhaps you’ll find a former dog boarding facility that you can revamp and make your own, or maybe you’ll find land on which you can build one from scratch. No matter what, check zoning regulations, local laws, and licensing requirements to ensure you’ll be able to run your business in a particular location.

As you search for your place of business, keep location in mind at all times. Will it be easy for customers to find your boarding facility? Will it be located in an area that gets plenty of traffic by car and by foot, so people who have never heard of your business before will learn about you?

Also, be sure that the facility you choose will give you enough space to house everything you need. Again, this will depend on the services that you’re planning on offering. For example, if you’re adding grooming services to the mix, you’ll need to have a space that will accommodate that. Check that the facility will be easy to keep clean and safe for your workers and the animals in your care. And ensure that temperature control will be simple throughout the year as well.

Tips for Better Management

Running a successful business is all about careful and quality management. A business that is run in chaos and “crossing the bridges as they come” is never easy to control and can quickly spiral into ruin. But a business that is carefully researched, set-up, and maintained, is sure to succeed. So always devote a certain part of your day for hard and dedicated work at your business – the effort is sure to pay off! 

Once you have done the background research and have determined that opening a dog boarding business is definitely the way to go, you can start thinking about some of the details. A large percentage of new businesses fail due to poor management, so you would be wise to keep these basic management tips in mind before you start your own business:

  • Treat your business as a business – you may have gotten into it because you love dogs, but if you don’t treat your business as such you won’t take it seriously. Keep your personal affinities and preferences at home. Business needs to be done after some rules, so always take them seriously and to heart. Your customers are bound to see it reflected in the business. 
  • Invest in effective marketing strategies to increase your sales and to get the name of your business out there. Keep in mind that in order to earn money – you need to spend money. Sometimes investments are the shortcut to earning big! 
  • Don’t miss out on opportunities to make extra income off existing clients – offer grooming services, sell toys, etc. A bunch of small steps can lead you a long way! Increase your income steadily by offering new and interesting services. 
  • Keep track of everything from the hours you spend on bookkeeping to the money you spend on upkeep of your boarding facilities – over time you will start to notice opportunities to increase efficiency.
  • Reinvest in your business – when you first start your business you should put your early profits back into the business rather than putting them into your pocket. Here, patience is key. You’d be eager to spend all those first earnings, but the smartest thing is to play it cool and re-invest them into your business. This can only boost your efforts further, resulting in better earnings down the road. 
  • Don’t forget about savings – put away a little bit of money each week to help provide a cushion against disasters and unexpected costs. Just a little bit each week can amount to a lot of money at the end of the year. These savings can really come in handy in unexpected situations. You will thank yourself later. 
  • Hire quality staff – being an animal lover shouldn’t be the only criteria – look for people who are responsible and hardworking who will mesh with your existing staff. You cannot do everything by yourself. So don’t try to save money by refusing to hire new staff. It will affect the business badly. 

Don’t Start Without Considering:

Odds are, you haven’t just thought of this nilly-willy or because you love dogs so much. (Although maybe you have, and that’s okay too. Just be sure to pay attention to the following tips!)

It’s quite a possibility that you have already worked in a doggy day care or kennel and this maybe inspired you to get into the biz yourself. If not, it’s something that may be super beneficial to you as you open your own, and working in an established operation beforehand will give you a wealth of knowledge and experience money just can’t buy. If you work in an established boarding or kenneling business, you’ll be able to see what works (and what doesn’t) and how you’d like to operate in your own right. You’ll gain good experience with animal behaviors from different animals, how to handle different health issues and general maintenance issues that may come up with your own facility.

If you’ve not worked as a vet tech, pet sitter, dog walker or animal shelter employee or volunteer, doing so is also something that could bring valuable, first-hand experience on the ‘dime’, so-to-speak, of another organization before you jump in on your own.

You also want to consider finding local membership groups for kennel owners that will give you insight and education opportunities, as well as networking situations that may be advantageous for different circumstances you may find yourself or your facilities in. Like-minded people committed to the same concepts of quality kenneling are great communities to find, and ones that can enrich your experience and that of your potential customers as well.

We also can’t stress protecting yourself and your customers enough. Consider whether you’ll be a business, a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company or something else altogether. Talk with others in the industry and your attorney.

Be SURE to have insurance–for you and for your clients, and make sure you have an established protocol and partnership for emergency situations. They WILL come up, and preparation is the key to surviving them.

Starting a business isn’t easy and it definitely isn’t something you should jump into without proper forethought and preparation. If you feel as though you have the time, the financial means and the drive to successfully operate a dog boarding business, however, don’t let anything stop you from accomplishing your goals!

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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Purdue University’s Animal Welfare researchers roll out their dog breeders’ Canine Care Certified voluntary program, which has the potential to improve breeding practices. The dog breeding industry now has a new standard for its breeders. This couldn’t have come at a better time, since we need it! Many people have had it with puppy mills and the way animals are treated. And frankly, USDA standards are pathetic, only addressing breeders with a certain number of dogs and not penalizing offenders. Canine Care Certified is a new national, voluntary program for professional dog breeders. It has rigorous standards – well, rigorous compared to the past. Many professionals had input to this program, which was developed at the Purdue University’s Center for Animal Welfare Science. Related link: What to Look for in a Quality Dog Boarding Facility For example, professional breeders, veterinarians, recognized animal experts, animal welfare organizations and professors at university in the animal science departments. Other university animal scientists and canine welfare experts reviewed the program over a three year time period to make sure it was sound. The program is the first of its kind in the U.S. and focuses on the ethics of dog breeding. What the Program of Certification Entails

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever Basics Some dog breeds need to be sold to potential dog owners as they might not be familiar with the intricacies of what makes those particular pups special. Other breeds are so legendary that the name is a selling point in and of itself. Enter the Labrador Retriever. The reputation of this beloved breed speaks for itself. There’s a reason why suburbs are filled with these fine animals and why seemingly every family wants to bring one into their homes. These dogs live up to the hype. Labrador Retrievers are among the most popular dog breeds out there today for a reason. Loyal, easy to get along with, and easy to train, these retrievers could be considered a neighborhood classic all around the United States and even in other parts of the world. It’s hard to find anything negative to say about these remarkable pooches and they are guaranteed to remain family favorites for generations to come. But what exactly makes Labrador Retrievers such popular and well-respected dogs? Does a strong breed always mean that a Labrador Retriever will be the right dog for you? The answers to these questions and many more can be found below. So if you’ve ever considered bringing home a Lab Retriever, you’ve come to the right place. Keep your eyes glued to this page and scroll away. By the end of this article, you’ll either be racing out to get a Lab or beginning your search for a new breed. But what exactly makes them such popular, well-respected dogs… and does a strong breed always mean that a Labrador Retriever will be the right dog for you? Origin Canadian in decent, Labrador Retrievers originated in Newfoundland, having descended from the St. John’s Water Dog around the 16th century. The smaller versions of the St. John’s Water Dog were often used to retrieve as well as pull in fishing nets, giving this breed of dog a true working class background. Many people will observe that the personality of Labrador Retrievers is a strong indication of this background. These dogs are happiest when performing a task with their humans, after all. Descending from Portuguese, English, and Irish breeds, the Labrador Retriever could be considered a classic “blue-collar” dog. It is not quite on par with some hunting dogs, but certainly one of the more favorable “working” dog breeds available out there today. More recent history through previous centuries brought the Labrador Retriever back to England where it became a popular sporting and hunting dog. These dogs may have started in Canada, but they belong to the world now. Pedigree

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois Basics If you don’t stop and look twice, you might confuse the Belgian Malinois with a really tough-looking German Shepherd. That would be a big mistake and an unfair burden to put on the Belgian Malinois. Although they both hail from the same general region of Europe, there are some key differences between the breeds that you’ll want to be aware of. Considered good as a guard or police dog, the Belgian Malinois actually looks like the police of the dog world, strong and square and certainly ready for action. He’s a pupper authority figure. Ready to keep all other dogges in line. While the Belgian Malinois can be incredibly loyal and even obedient, they’re definitely not a dog for someone who isn’t able to demonstrate authority over a dog. If you’re a particularly passive owner who prefers a dog who develops its own personality naturally, the Belgian Malinois is probably not for you. They can be territorial and while not always aggressive, they’ll need proper training and socialization from a young age to bring out their innate friendliness and general cooperation. This is not an an ideal pet for a first time dog owner. It takes a certain type of owner to keep up. Are you that type of owner? There’s only one way to find out. Keep your eyes glued to this page and scroll away. All will be revealed. By the end of this article, you’ll either be running out to bring home a Belgian Malinois or frantically searching for a different dog. So what are you waiting for? Read on… If you don’t stop and look twice, you might confuse the Belgian Malinois with a really tough-looking German Shepherd. Origin One of four Belgian sheep dogs – that is, dogs commonly used to herd sheep – the Belgian Malinois is actually far more popular in its home country of Belgium than it is in the U.S., even despite the relative popularity of the German Shepherd. Hard to believe, but true. While there are three other breeds of Belgian sheep dogs, many have considered them all the same breed with minimal differences, such as the color of their coat. Even so, the Belgian Malinois gained American Kennel Club recognition as a breed in its own right in 1959. The breed is just that well respected. In the United Kingdom, however, the more European way of acknowledging this dog as part of a larger breed is still adopted. This can make for some confusion between the two continents, but when you see a Belgian Malinois, there can be little mistaking that you’re looking at a very serious dog indeed. Pedigree

Beagle

Beagle Basics When you hear a one-word breed of dog, you think of some true classics: Dalmatians, for example. Poodles, for another. It seems that any breed of dog with only one word in its name must be somewhat unique and, well, considered a classic. The Beagle? No exceptions here. One of the most recognizable dogs in the world, the Beagle often has a classic brown-and-white coloring to its coat that has become synonymous with the world of pets. Heck, if there was a flag for pets, it would probably look like the coat of a Beagle. Technically a type of hound, the Beagle’s unique identity is thanks to its easy-going and easy-to-get-along-with nature. It’s cute enough for anyone in your household and loyal enough to melt the heart of even the most stubborn anti-dog people around. For many people, a Beagle is a perfect addition to the home – it’s not often where people have to wonder if this breed is “right for them.” The question is: are you right for a Beagle? The Beagle’s unique identity is thanks to its easy-going and easy-to-get-along-with nature. Origin We told you Beagles are classic. Some people trace their origins back to antiquity and ancient Greece, making their direct ancestors thousands of years old. Beagles were not developed as separate breeds like many Terriers in the 19th Century; instead, the Beagle has a long and rich history across the European continent. That doesn’t mean, however, that the Beagle always appeared in its modern form. The history-changing William the Conqueror brought a Beagle-like hound to England, the Talbot hound. This hound gave rise to another breed of dog that is believed to be a direct ancestor to the Beagle. So the genetics of the Beagle were definitely swimming around during the high Middle Ages even if their current form wasn’t quite developed. But that doesn’t make them a non-classic: heck, you can say the same about the history of corn. Pedigree

Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested Basics If you’ve been looking for a breed of dog that makes an excellent companion in a myriad of ways – avoids barking, gets along with children, and gets along with other dogs – you could do far, far worse than opt for a Chinese Crested. The Chinese Crested dog is considered among the best companion breeds for a number of reasons: not only for those mentioned, but for its appearance, general demeanor, and ability to perform tricks. In other words, acquiring a Chinese Crested for yourself and your family can be a great decision indeed. There are two kinds of Chinese Crested dogs – the Powderpuff and the Hairless. Both types are odorless, non-shedding, and hypo-allergenic, which makes them a great dog for allergy sufferers. If you have the opportunity to acquire one for yourself and make it a part of your family, you’ll find it makes an ideal pet for households with small children and it’s a dog that won’t make strangers feel unwelcome. If there ever was a “house dog,” this is one. The Chinese Crested dog is considered among the best companion breeds for a number of reasons. Origin Despite what its name suggests, many people do not believe that the Chinese Crested actually originated in China. For one, the Chinese Crested does not keep in line with a number of ancient Chinese dogs like the Pug or the Chow Chow. The Chinese Crested has too recent a history to be counted among those breeds in pure historical longevity. Where, then, do Chinese Crested dogs hail from? Many believe it’s actually Africa, being referred to as an African Hairless Terrier in texts across the 19th century. (Note: Of course, the 19th century is far off from the origins of the more ancient Chinese breeds.) Because there is genetic evidence of being related to the Mexican Hairless, this further confuses the issue, although following the genetic line will probably lead you to form a more accurate opinion. Those who do believe the Chinese Crested originated in China note that the Chinese Crested had a lot of maritime experience, being brought around by Chinese sailors. The truth is probably a combination of all of these, as the Chinese Crested was believed to have descended from African roots. Pedigree

Watch This Brave Cat Save Her Dog Sibling from a Coyote Attack

Watch This Brave Cat Save Her Dog Sibling from a Coyote Attack

Who said that there is no love between cats and dogs? This touching story proves that some bonds between a cat and a dog are so strong that one would risk their life for the other! The event took place in Edmond, Oklahoma, where a tiny pooch was miraculously saved from a vicious coyote attack– by none other than a feisty cat. At first glance, Oakley, a white Havanese dog, and Binx, a black cat, seem to belong to completely different worlds. But even so, they are family. Lane Dyer, the owner of the two, explains for Oklahoma News how the attack - and the daring rescue - came to be.“I was kind of inspired by it, quite frankly,” she said. The event occurred on November 30th, when the 6-year-old Havanese dog, Oakley, was let outside to go to the bathroom. “Out of nowhere she was attacked by a coyote,” said Dyer. Soon enough, another coyote came rushing.

Dorgi

Dorgi BasicsYup, the adorable name is a dead giveaway – prepare to meet one of the cutest designer dogs around! The Dorgi is the charming result of crossing a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and a Dachshund, two compact pooches with distinct appearance and loveable personalities. The result of this unusual pairing is a pooch that leaves no one indifferent, with a stocky, pudgy physique that makes everyone that sees them squeal in cuteness. They’re best known for their plump, long body, short legs, and large, erect ears, and round puppy eyes no one can say no to. But it’s not only about looks with these small dogs, as they are also super cute and extremely affectionate, loyal, energetic, and social.Fit even for Queen Elizabeth II, these dogs are a lot of fun and will provide you with years of love and devoted companionship. But they can be a bit challenging in their own way. To find out if a Dorgi should be the next new member of your pet family, check out the facts below.The Dorgi is a cross between a purebred Corgi and Dachshund.Origin The Dorgi is a designer crossbreed, which means that their history isn’t well-documented – their origins are not entirely known and their past is a bit murky. While no one can know with certainty how the Dorgi originally came to be, there are some sources that indicate that these short-legged cuties have a royal origin – and while we can’t claim it with certainty, these stories are certainly fun to consider. Namely, as most people know, the late Queen Elizabeth II was a big fan of Corgis, and has kept many of these dogs throughout her life, whereas her sister Princess Margaret had Dachshunds. According to some theories, two of their pets had an unplanned “affair”, the result of which was the first well known litter of crossbreed puppies we’ve come to know as Dorgis. Whether that story is true or not, the fact that Queen Elizabeth II did keep Dorgis as pets – in fact, one of the four dogs that outlived her was a 15-year old Dorgi named Candy. PedigreeThe Dorgi is a cross between a purebred Corgi and a Dachshund, which means it is a so-called “first generation mix” or a 50-50 combination of its parents. The mother is usually the Corgi as they are the bigger of the two breeds, and the puppies can take up after either of the parental breeds or be a complete mix of the two. Some pooches might have floppy ears while others have the distinct erect ones, some might sport the classic Doxy colors of coat whereas others will combine the colors of both parents – and all of this diversity can be seen across one litter! While the element of surprise is something that many fans of designer dogs love about them, the fact remains that first generation mixes are quite unpredictable – you simply can’t know how a litter of crossbreed puppies will look like and whose traits will they inherit. As a result, there can’t be a standard for the breed, which is a prerequisite for pedigree and the status of an official breed. Even so, don’t let that discourage you – no matter which parent they favor more, Dorgis are always the best of both worlds, inheriting a little something from both the Corgi and the Daschund. Food / Diet

5 Alternatives to the Dreaded Cone of Shame

5 Alternatives to the Dreaded Cone of Shame

But although fun and goofy, the cone of shame is nothing to laugh about – it’s there for a special reason. Still, if you want to ditch the lamp shade, try one of these safe alternatives that can work just as well.As a dog owner, there will come a time when you will have to subject your dog to the dreaded “ cone of shame” – the Elizabethan collar (also known as the e-collar). Not only do these collars make your dog look like a walking satellite dish, but they can be stressful and upsetting for some pooches. However, an e- collar is not a fashion statement but rather a medical aid: they are used to prevent your pet from licking, biting, and scratching a recovering wound after a surgery. The cone is a simple and old-fashioned solution to stop this, but it might be scary for some dogs or downright uncomfortable.If you want to keep your dog from licking his stitches or otherwise accessing an injured body part, consider one of these alternatives to classic dog elizabethan collars. They are less funny-looking and uncomfy, but equally efficient! Inflatable neck pillowYou’re probably familiar with those circular pillows that people use to sleep on airplanes – inflatable neck pillows for dogs look similar. These neck pillows come in several different sizes and can be a comfortable alternative to the e-collar. To use one of these, simply inflate the pillow then place it around your dog’s neck and secure it with Velcro. The pillow will prevent your dog from biting, scratching, or licking without impeding his vision. The secret of this design is its semi-rigid form: the dog simply won’t have the range of motion needed to reach around and lick the wound. It is a crafty and simple solution, with very few drawbacks. Our choice: BENCMATE Protective Inflatable Collar for Dogs

Scientists Finally Identify Mystery Dog Illness Sweeping America

Scientists Finally Identify Mystery Dog Illness Sweeping America

If you are a dog owner in the United States, you have likely already seen the news reports about the mystery illness responsible for the deaths of several dogs, prompting veterinary professionals to caution pet parents about taking their pets out to public spaces. But we may finally be able to spot the light at the end of the tunnel… Dr. David Needle, pathology section chief at the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture at the University of New Hampshire, reported that scientists have finally identified the cause of the illness. While this doesn’t mean that life for our dogs can return to normal immediately, it does mean that they are one step closer to finding a cure and moving past this nightmare. The research article has yet to be published, but the team is sharing their initial findings to provide hope for pet parents and the veterinary community. The pathogen responsible for the mystery respiratory illness is described as “a funky bacterium.” “It’s smaller than a normal bacterium in its size and in the size of its genome,” explained Needle. “Long story short, it’s a weird bacterium that can be tough to find and sequence.” Searching for the cause of this illness wasn’t easy for researchers. Initially, there were no known bacterial, viral, or fungal pathogens, meaning they were searching blind. However, after testing 30 samples from New Hampshire, genetic material from an atypical bacterial species was discovered. The next step in understanding the cause of the illness and working towards a cure (and possible preventative) is to compare these findings to samples from dogs in other states to verify that it is, in fact, the same pathogen in all reported instances. States with possible cases of the disease include: CaliforniaColoradoFlorida Georgia IdahoIllinois IndianaMarylandMassachusettsNew HampshireOregonPennsylvania Rhode IslandVermontWashingtonOne challenge faced by veterinarians is the fact there is no test to confirm that all reported cases are, in fact, the same illness. What Are the Warning Signs?Common symptoms resemble respiratory infections like canine influenza and kennel cough, conditions usually seen in higher numbers at this time of year. Luckily for the human members of our family, there are currently no reports of the illness being transferred to humans. Veterinarians recommend watching out for the following symptoms: Coughing or sneezing WheezingDifficulty breathingNasal or eye dischargeDehydration Loss of appetite Weight loss FeverLethargyHow Can You Keep Your Dog Safe? Until a cure has been identified, dog parents are encouraged to focus on preventative measures. Ensure your dog’s vaccinations are current, protecting them against known respiratory problems. Avoid public spaces like dog parks, doggy daycare, and grooming establishments where dogs may be exposed to the illness. If you must go to a public space, steer clear of shared food and water dishes. Your dog will be just as happy to spend this time playing with you as they would with another dog!If you notice any signs of respiratory trouble or illness, don’t panic. Contact your veterinarian to share your concerns and make an appointment.

Pom-Chi

Pom-Chi Basics If you want a small fluffy dog with a lot of spirit, you will find it in Pom-Chi. And let’s face it…who doesn’t?! This designer dog is a sweet and affectionate little pooch that bonds strong and fast with his family. He is loyal and adorable, but also has absolutely no sense that he is so tiny. In his mind, he is as big as an Irish Wolfhound and he acts like it! For that reason, this adorable pint-sized dog will always be on guard, “protecting” his family and territory. It’s far more cute and hilarious than it is threatening, but this doggo will never know that. Pom-Chis will readily alert their owners when strangers are about, though- they might not be guard dog materials, but they do make good little watchdogs. So that’s something. The Pom-Chi is a mixed breed dog- a Chihuahua and Pomeranian cross. This means that there will be a lot of differences with individual dogs of the breed, as there are no set standards for the appearance or behavior of most crossbreeds. Usually, these hybrids inherit a little bit from both parents. Like their mom and dad, they are also lively, affectionate, and quite smart. Of course, there are some tendencies for behavioral issues, as is common for almost any small breed dogs. Without proper socialization, they can be shy, fearful, or aggressive toward guests. So it is important for Pom-Chi’s to develop social skills early in life. Proper training and socialization during their early and impressionable years is absolutely vital. Owing to their unique lineage, these hybrids are a versatile breed that does well in many different families and settings. Seniors and singles will find they are fantastic companions, while families with older children will appreciate their loyalty and cuddliness. There are few homes that these little pups won’t fit into Pom-Chis don’t need a ton of exercise and they are perfect for apartment or condo living. They also do well in the suburbs as well as in the country. Pom-Chis are crowd-pleasing dogs that everyone seems to enjoy. However, if you need more convincing, read on and we will break down everything that makes this pups so popular. The Pom-Chi is a sweet and affectionate little dog that bonds strong and fast with his family. Origin In the 1980s, an Australian breeder crossed a Lab to a Poodle in an effort to produce a hypoallergenic seeing eye dog for his client. When he realized that the rest of the resulting litter would be considered mutts, he called them Labradoodles hoping it would attract attention and find homes for his crossbreed puppies. Well, not only that he managed to do it, but he set off a worldwide trend of crossing purebreds to create new hybrids- or designer dogs, as people started calling them. From then on, many other crosses were developed, some more popular and some less. However, the fact remains that a lot of purebred mixes are still a matter of accidental mating rather than an any sort of intentional breeding effort. This makes it hard to pinpoint when a certain designer dog breed was first created. After all, there’s certainly a chance that Labs and Poodles had mated long before anyone came up with the name Labradoodle. THere’s just no way to possibly confirm that. The Pomeranian and Chihuahua mix dog known as the Pom-Chi has been around for decades. But it was only in the last 20 or 30 years that breeders started intentionally crossing the two breeds. The Pom-Chi Club of America was established in the late ‘90s, so it’s safe to assume that the breed was first developed in the United States at some point around that period. Although Pom-Chi is the official name of the breed, these dogs can be found with names like Chi-Pom, Chimeranian, or the mouthful Pomahuahua. Pedigree

A Guide to Dog Menstruation

A Guide to Dog Menstruation

If you have an intact female dog, you’re going to have to deal with menstruation. Here’s what you need to know to ensure that time of the month goes smoothly. Every woman is familiar with “that time of the month,” but did you know that female dogs go through the cycle of menstruation as well? In dogs, it’s called the estrus cycle but it’s typically referred to as “heat.” Keep reading to learn more about this cycle and how to deal with it. When Do Female Dogs Start Menstruating? A female dog will have her first heat cycle when she becomes sexually mature – when she reaches puberty. There is no one-size-fits all guide to when a dog will reach puberty because it depends on a variety of factors, primarily breed and size. Generally speaking, female dogs can have their first heat around the time they reach 6 months of age (which is why most veterinarians recommend spaying female puppies before that age). Smaller breeds often go into heat for the first time before they reach six months and larger breeds may not have their first cycle until they are 12 to 18 months old. Regardless what age it happens, a dog’s first heat cycle means they are capable of becoming pregnant. Related: Understanding The Dog Heat Cycle How Often Do Dogs Go Into Heat? Once a female dog has her first heat cycle, she’ll go into heat roughly twice a year, about every six months. It takes time for a dog’s cycle to become regular, however, and breed size influences how often the cycle happens. Small breeds, for example, may cycle three times a year while large and giant breeds may only have one cycle every 12 to 18 months. To determine how often you can expect your dog to go into heat, do a little research on the breed or ask your veterinarian. What Are the Signs of Heat in Dogs? It’s a good idea to pay attention to the signs of heat so you can protect your dog against unwanted pregnancy. The earliest sign of heat is swelling of the vulva, but you probably aren’t paying a lot of attention to that part of your dog. The first thing you’re likely to notice is a bloody discharge. Some dogs bleed more heavily than others, so you may need to put a diaper on your dog or be prepared to do a lot of cleaning. Related: What is an Ovary-Sparing Spay? Once the cycle begins, the discharge will become increasingly waterier and the dog may start to display marking behavior. During this time, the dog will also be putting off pheromones – pheromones which a male dog can detect from a great distance. When the discharge becomes watery, this is when the dog is most fertile and when she will be receptive to breeding. If the dog is bred during this window, she is most likely to become pregnant. The Basics of Pregnancy in Dogs Once a dog becomes pregnant, she enters the gestation period – the period during which the puppies develop in her womb. This stage lasts 9 weeks, or about 63 days. It won’t be for three weeks after conception, however, that you’ll be able to detect the pregnancy. After about 28 days, a veterinarian will be able to palpate the dog’s abdomen to feel the puppies and it is safe to perform an ultrasound after about 25 days. At 6 weeks, the puppies’ bones will have calcified enough to show up on x-ray. The cycle of life is a beautiful and amazing thing, but there are risks associated with pregnancy in dogs – especially for breeds with large heads like Bulldogs. Failing to spay a female dog also increases her risk of uterine infections and certain types of cancer. Think very carefully before you choose to breed your dog and if you’re sure you aren’t going to breed her, it’s best to have her spayed by one year of age.

Northern Red-Bellied Turtle

Northern Red-Bellied Turtle

Northern Red-Bellied Turtle General Info The Northern Red-Bellied Turtle is also referred to as the Northern Red-Bellied Cooter. There are three distinct breeds of red-bellied turtles, and they are isolated from one another geographically. However, they all have broad red stripes on their carapace, along with a varied red and black pattern on their plastron. Northern Red-Bellied Turtles are also referred to as Northern Red-Bellied Cooters. Native Habitat These turtles are usually found in freshwater bodies of water, such as ponds, creeks, streams, lakes, and rivers that also provide basking areas and a soft substrate that is used for hibernating. However, these turtles can also survive in brackish water. The Northern Red-Bellied Turtle prefers permanent ponds with a lot of vegetation. It is found in states ranging from New Jersey to North Carolina, although it has also been found in Massachusetts. Overall Description

Paw Reading Is Japan’s Newest Cat Trend

Paw Reading Is Japan’s Newest Cat Trend

Reading cat paws is a feline version of palmistry which hints that there’s more to your kitty’s jelly beans that just cuteness. When it comes to fantastic feline-related phenomenon, they mostly originate from Japan- just look at cat cafes. It probably won’t come as a surprise, then, that the land of the rising sun has another pawesome thing for cat lovers around the world: guessing kitty personalities based on their paws. Yup, you’ve read that right. Paw reading is now a thing in Japan. It all started when Mr. Akatsuki, a mysterious cat-loving fortune teller (I kid you not) presented his observations about the link between paw shapes and personalities in cats. Although his method might not reliable, his goal is noble, as his wish is to help new cat parents find a pet feline whose character will be a perfect match. He even wrote a book with instructions and explanations! According to him, there are five main types of cat personalities, with 13 sub-types, all determined by the slight differences in their jelly beans. In case you have a feline companion and want to put Mr. Akatsuki’s theory to the test, here’s what to look for. Type A Cat (Heart-shaped middle jelly bean)

Top 10 Yappy Dog Breeds

Top 10 Yappy Dog Breeds

Big yips come out of little packages! Need proof? Take a look at the barkers on our top 10 yappy dog breeds list. They’ve all got something to say, and they’re not shy about speaking their minds!“Who’s that at the door?” “What’s that across the street?” “Did you see the way that dog was looking at me?” These are probably the things that dogs are telling us when they bark – but that doesn’t mean that we need to always know what’s on their minds. There are times they should keep their thoughts to themselves. But not so with these yappy dog breeds! They need to let you know what’s going on, at all times. The fact of the matter is that some dogs simply bark more than others and it often doesn’t take much to set them off – a squirrel running through the yard, another dog passing on the sidewalk, or something as simple as boredom.If you’re looking for a dog that keeps his thoughts to himself (most of the time), avoid the pooches on our top 10 yappy dog breeds list:Dachshund

Scottish Straight

Scottish Straight

Scottish Straight Breed HistoryThe Scottish Straight is one of the feline breeds that make up the Scottish Breed Group, along with the beloved  Scottish Fold. More specifically, according to  The International Cat Association (TICA), the Scottish Breed Group consists of the Longhair Scottish Fold and the Shorthair Scottish Fold, as well as the Longhair Scottish Straight and the Shorthair Scottish Straight, for a total of four breeds. The group is quite unique in many ways, and it is known for being smart, affectionate, and attractive. Let’s learn more about these Scottish felines, and what makes them so special! This breed of cat has an interesting history. The very first Scottish Fold was a barn cat whose name was Susie. She was found by William Ross in 1961 in Scotland, on a farm near Coupar Angus in Perthshire. He quickly recognized that she had a standout feature: folded ears that made her look a bit like an owl. This kitty was later bred with other breeds, such as the  American Shorthair, Burmese, Exotic Shorthair, and Persian.    One important thing to realize is that the Scottish Straight is almost identical to the Scottish Fold, and they can actually be born within the same litter. The only difference is in the ears. While Scottish Folds have those iconic ears that fold down, Scottish Straight cats do not. As the name implies, their ears are straight like other breeds. The reason for this difference lies in the breed’s origins. All Scottish Folds can trace their ancestry back to that first kitty with folded ears, Susie. However, the selective breeding program did not solely produce kittens with those unique ears, as some had straight ears. Thus, all Scottish Folds that do not develop the unusual folded ears are simply called Scottish Straights. So, when you learn about the Scottish Fold, you’re also learning about the Scottish Straight, and vice versa. Again, they can both be born in the same litter, and will, therefore, showcase the same personality traits and physical attributes. Today, the Scottish Straight is known for its wonderful temperament. Many pet parents all around the world absolutely love having these kitties as part of their families. Not only are they super cute, but they also have a personality that makes them lovely companions for people of all ages. Of course, like other breeds, there are certain qualities that Scottish Straight cats will exhibit, both in looks and behavior, and it’s those qualities that help them stand out against other felines.   Breed Traits

Beaglier

Beaglier BasicsI’ll bet you didn’t think that a Beagle could get any better. A classic mistake that all too many people make. That’s the thing about designer dogs. Breeders take something that we all love and find a way to make it even better. Today, it’s time to say “hello” to the Beaglier, a mix of Beagle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. As it usually goes with designer dogs, these pooches boast the best of both worlds – the most beloved traits of their parents all bundled up in one super cute package. These adorable pooches crave human attention and will be stuck to your side most of the day. When they catch their human family relaxing and unwinding, they will no doubt be attached to your hip, forever begging for belly rubs and head pats. Anyone who enjoys affectionate pups will be seduced by this cutie, who lives to love and be loved.This hybrid dogs are even easily adaptable to most home environments. Beagliers don’t often bark at strange noises or strangers coming into the house, which makes them perfect apartment dwellers. However, you should provide them with plenty of chew toys, as they do often get bored and will go after whatever they see that is chewable (for example, Beagliers will consider your shoes to be perfect toys to sink their teeth into). Despite being chewers, the Beaglier does wonderfully with children, both younger and older. They are friendly, affectionate, and absolute saps when it comes to their favorite humans. This doggos love aggressively and it’s all too easy to love them right back.These dogs usually take their excellent sniffing abilities from their Beagle parent, so expect them to always follow their nose wherever it should take them.OriginDesigner dogs are a fairly new and recent phenomenon, but they’ve taken the world by the storm. These dogs are 50/50 mixes of two different purebred dogs and have been specially developed to display certain characteristics or reduce some traits in the existing parental breeds – for example, combining the genes of a hypoallergenic dog to make a certain breed more suited to people with mild dog allergies, and so on. However, while hybrids are quite popular, not many of them have a well-documented history, including Beaglier. After all, it’s difficult to say when such a mix first occurred, when there has probably been a fair share of Beagle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mixes throughout history – albeit not intentional, but rather accidental.Even so, knowing what we know about designer dogs in general, we can, fairly confidently ,assume that the Beaglier was also first developed as a breed sometime in the 1990s or early 2000s when most crossbreeds came to be. Some sources indicate that it was first developed in Australia, but that is yet to be confirmed.What’s clear is the idea behind developing the Beaglier breed. Breeders were probably looking for a small and energetic dog who had a less active scent drive than the Beagle. So they decided to cross-breed a Beagle with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (because they are known to be well-mannered, even-tempered dogs). Since then, their popularity has grown and they can be found throughout North America and Europe. These dogs keep spreading around the world because they are such incredible companions in almost any environment.Pedigree

Belgian Shepherd

Belgian Shepherd

Belgian Shepherd Basics Also known as the Belgian Sheepdog, the Belgian Shepherd is a beautiful, long-coated breed that comes in a variety of colors. With their athletic build and superb stamina, these dogs excel in herding as well as various dog sports. Not only that, but their friendly temperament makes them an excellent choice for family life as well. If you’re looking for a highly trainable, medium- to large-sized breed, the Belgian Shepherd is certainly one to consider. Also known as the Belgian Sheepdog, the Belgian Shepherd is a beautiful, long-coated breed that comes in a variety of colors. Origin

Saint Berdoodle

Saint Berdoodle

Saint Berdoodle Basics Some big dogs a giant and intimidating creatures destined for protection. Others are lovable lugs who act more like a big, furry, lovable, and huggable roommate. The Berdoole falls into the second category. This is a dog destined to be bring nothing by smiles and cuddles into your life, despite their massive frame. Smart, social, and affectionate, the Saint Berdoodle is a gentle giant that will charm you in an instant. These friendly dogs have quickly gained popularity, mostly owing to their fluffy teddy bear looks and wonderful personality. They are intelligent, people-oriented, and make good therapy or service dogs, but it’s mostly the role of companionship that they were bred from. These are designer dogs bred for their affection and companionship. To say they deliver on those qualities would be an understatement. Saint Berdoodles inspire joy everywhere they go. As a mixed breed dog that comes from crossbreeding a Standard Poodle with a Saint Bernard, this hybrid will inherit traits from both of his parents. Needless to say, this unusual combination of breeds is attractive to many, mostly because of the potential for the combo of low-shedding coat and intelligence from the Poodle parent, as well as the calmness and sweetness of Saint Bernard. The breed might be too rare and recent to make definite conclusions, but it does seem that the breeders managed to create a new hybrid that inherits some fantastic traits from both mom and dad. The hybrid offers a winning canine combination for any owner. While loving and good natured, the Saint Berdoodle comes in a large size, which means he may not be a good fit for families with extremely young children (it’s far easier to train children to play gently with small and fragile dogs than the other way around). That said, he does do well with other dogs and family pets and his social nature means he loves to be the center of attention. He will not appreciate any other animals stealing away the attention of his owner. Because of this intense need for human interaction, he would do best in a household where he is not left on his own for extended periods of time because he has a destructive side that may surface. Does this designer breed sound like the right dog for you? Read on to find out more about the quirks and needs of the Saint Berdoodle before you adopt one of these big teddy bears. They are wonderful pets to be sure, but whether or not they will fit into your home is another question entirely. So keep your eyes glued to this page and scroll away to find out if the Saint Berdoodle will be coming home with you sometime soon. The Saint Berdoodle does well with other dogs and family pets and his social nature means he loves to be the center of attention. Origin Just like most designer dogs, the origin of the Saint Berdoodle remains unclear. No one knows with certainty when people started intentionally breeding Poodle and Saint Bernard mixes. The key word in that sentence being intentionally. There have probably been accidental crosses of the two breeds throughout history, but they weren’t recognized as a designer dog breed until recently. It’s highly likely that this hybrid was first developed during the 1980s, when designer dog craze first started. Breeders started crossing Poodles with various different breeds to get a new ‘doodle’ mix that would combine the best of both worlds. The Saint Berdoodle was one of the many designer dogs to result from this trend. This hybrid originated in the U.S and while it is a relatively need breed, the Saint Berdoodle’s lineage dates back to 1885 when the St. Bernard was first inducted into the American Kennel Club. Described as patient, friendly and outgoing, this wonderful family dog also shares some genes with the Standard Poodle, which joined the AKC in 1887 but has been around since the 17th century where he was used as a working dog in the military. Just like every other designer dog, the AKC sadly does not recognize the Saint Berdoodle. Pedigree

How to start a dog walking business

Our experts, written and reviewed by:.

Key areas to consider when starting an eBay business are:

  • 01 | Opportunities
  • 02 | Skills required
  • 03 | Rules and regulations
  • 05 | Industry tips
  • 06 | Useful associations

Dog walking business opportunities

It's often said that Britain is a nation of animal lovers, but in credit crunching and belt tightening times, animal care is, err, going to the dogs, as owners put longer and longer hours in at the office in an attempt to pay off their debts.

There's no doubt, then, that Britain's dogs are crying out – pining, even – for attention, and if you're an animal lover with an entrepreneurial streak who empathises with these oft-overlooked victims of the economic downturn, then starting a dog walking business could be right up your alley.

Despite reports that dog walkers have suffered from the effects of the credit crunch, a report by insurance company Insurantz.com, found that with 6.5 million dogs in the UK, dog walkers can earn up to £8 per hour per dog from time-strapped workers.

Marilyn Lewis from the National Association of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers, or NarpsUK says: “Pet owners are now more aware that it is unfair for a dog to be left for long periods with no company or exercise. More owners are now employing dog walkers to visit and walk their dogs during the day, usually with other dogs, so they get their time out of the house.

Pet sitting and dog walking is one of the fastest growing industries in the UK and can provide a respectable income, adds Lewis. To demonstrate this, NarpsUK provides an income calculator so anybody interested in starting a dog walking or pet sitting business can estimate how much they might earn.

“Many of our members left their jobs in the city for a calmer life,” adds Lewis. “They started on their own walking dogs and running pop-in services but now have staff working for them or even run an agency which brings them a higher income than their previous jobs.”

Skills required: who is dog walking suited to?

Dog walking is a very flexible business to go into. Although a background working with animals is preferable, it's not essential, and as long as you are confident around dogs, it shouldn't be a problem.

But Marilyn Lewis, from the National Association of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers (NarpsUK) says: “Having some kind of experience with dogs is essential, even if this is only through owning a dog, you can also get experience of handling dogs by volunteering at your local kennels or rescue centre.

“To get the most out of running a pet sitting or dog walking business, it is essential to be an animal lover,” she continues. “A business of this kind should not just be seen as an easy way to earn some extra cash.

“There are many responsibilities in looking after someone's pets and their homes. Most pet sitters will hold keys for their client's properties, so being responsible and putting your client's mind at ease is essential.”

NarpsUK runs several courses to help potential pet sitters to get started, covering areas such as how to run a pet sitting business, first aid for pets, animal healthcare, and animal law.

The Kennel Club's guidelines for people working with dogs advises “strong interpersonal and communication skills”, as well as “a high level of fitness” and, naturally, “an affinity with, and understanding of dogs”.

You will also need all the usual entrepreneurial skills – from a being able to balance your books and fill in your self-assessment tax return to a basic knowledge of marketing and an ability to network and negotiate with people in your local animal industry.

How much will it cost to run a dog walking business?

Start-up costs are relatively low for dog walking businesses. Your major expenditures at the beginning will be:

  • Public liability insurance – covers you in case a member of the public makes a claim against you if they are injured. This will probably cost you between £80-£150 per year.
  • A police CRB check – Not compulsory but recommended to reassure your clients you are reliable. This will set you back just over £30.
  • Flyers and business cards – flyering is still one of the most effective ways to target clients in your local area. You should be able to get 5,000 flyers printed for around £100.

Membership of the National Association of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers (NarpsUK) requires a joining fee of £144, followed by a subscription of £8 a month.

Bearing in mind you can charge between £10 and £20 per hour for walking a dog, which is somewhat dependent on location and demand, there's good money to be made.

Customers will almost certainly want to know how credible your business is, so being a member of an organisation that provides certification for courses undertaken, criminal record checks, and insurance, will reassure them that their pet is in good hands. It can also help you justify charging a premium over competitors.

To help itemise the costs you need in your dog walking business plan you may find it useful to download our free business plan template .

Tips and advice for the dog walking industry

  • Join NarpsUK  “Giving your business credibility provides your customers with confidence” says NarpsUK's Marilyn Lewis. “We can provide you with everything you need to get started including business plans, accounts packages, flyers and marketing advice, business management software, and a members' forum.” The site also offers a postcode searchable database of members.
  • Research your competitors “Find out whether there are people operating in your area and what prices are being charges. This will give you an idea of demand and also how much you can earn.”
  • Enrol on a course  NarpsUK runs a selection of pet sitting and dog walking courses costing from £25.”

Useful business contacts

  • National Association of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers (NarpsUK) PO Box 206, Erith, DA8 9FX
  • The Kennel Club 1-5 Clarges Street Piccadilly London W1J 8AB http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/ 0870 606 6750
  • RSPCA Wilberforce Way Southwater Horsham West Sussex RH13 9RS http://www.rspca.org.uk/ 0300 1234 555
  • Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Sir Frank Whittle Way Blackpool Business Park Blackpool FY4 2FE http://www.fsb.org.uk/ 01253 336000

Photograph courtesy of Christine592

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How to Write a Dog Boarding Business Plan

You love dogs and want to open a dog boarding business, but you aren't sure where to begin. Unfortunately, running a successful dog kennel takes more than just a love of dogs. Before you can turn your passion into a thriving and profitable enterprise, you will need to know how to write a dog boarding business plan that's solid .

A proper business plan is vital in starting any business, as well as the #1 tool for gathering investors. Before you even consider taking a single dog into your care, you must research and map out a proper strategy. This strategy will be the guide that outlines your goals and brings your vision to life.

There are business plan templates available online to help you, or you can come up with your own. There are a lot of variables when planning a business, so everyone's business plans will look a little different, but they will all state the details of the business, the scope of the business, how the owner will get the business started, and what the owners' plans are for the near future.

How to Write a Dog Boarding Business Plan

You may be thinking that your dog boarding business is going to be a small operation run from your home and you'll be tending to the dogs of your friends, family, and neighbors.

So, why would you need a business plan?

No matter how small your business, you're going to have some kind of startup costs. Granted, your business may not need much, but you'll still need some basic supplies and possibly a slight remodel of the intended location. Your also going to need some amount of advertising and you'll have insurance and legal issues to work out as well.

Don't think for a second that you can get away with not having a business plan. If you're serious about your business you need a solid plan that will help you start it, build it up, and run it for years to come. Think of your business plan as a road map for the next 5+ years of your business's existence.

The scope of your business will vary from other dog boarding businesses, which will effect the details of your business plan, but this will give you a general idea of the parts of a business plan, why they are all important, and what to include in your plan.

RELATED: 10 Great Dog Business Ideas for Petreneurs

Before you get started you need to make sure that there is a need for your business in your area. Every pet owner travels at some time or another or has to board their dog for any number of other reasons. Unless there are other similar businesses in your area, you should be good to go.

However, don't count your idea out just because there is another boarding business in your local area. Is there a need for another one?  Maybe you live in an urban area and the local dog boarding facility is full most of the time with a wait list for cancellations. In that case you could probably open your business up next door and still get customers.

Do some research to find out what your local competition will be and whether or not this type of business is needed in your area. Once you've established a need, you can move on with creating your business plan.

State the Goals of Your Dog Boarding Business

The first part of any business plan is a brief overview of what you have in mind for your particular business. Investors and bankers know what a dog boarding business is, but what are the specific details of your operation.

Here is an example: I will start my dog boarding business, Forever Friends Kennel and Boarding, in my home. I will convert my existing two car garage into a kenneling facility. If things go well, there is room for expansion in a few years. I will not take anymore than 6 dogs at a time. I will provide doggy daycare services as well.

It is also necessary to list all related experience you and your staff will bring to the venture when writing a business plan for your dog kennel. Care of an owner's pets can be both complicated and emotional, and the more experience you bring to the table, the more peace-of-mind your clients will have.

How to Write a Dog Boarding Business Plan

This section should state your dog-related accomplishments, relevant pet care experience, credentials and all other pertinent qualifications. This part is brief, but it shows the reader exactly what your intentions are.

Be honest in your business plan. Investors aren't necessarily looking to back a business that has intentions on growing into a franchise, they just want to see that you have a plan to make your business, however big or small it may be, successful.

Executive Summary

Write a thorough but brief summary of your dog boarding business and how you plan for its success. Be sure to add a full list of the services that your boarding facility will offer. Some dog kennels operate full boarding facilities and even offer dog training for the animals and their owners while others provide day services only. Supply as complete a picture as you can of your new business.

Your executive summary should be written last, after you have done all the groundwork in preparing your business plan – it is, after all, meant to be a summary of everything in your plan. This is the page that needs to grab the interest of potential investors and clients and should include when the investors can expect to see a return on their investment.

RELATED: How to Start a Pet Business with Dogs

Your executive summary should include your officers and employees and all major leading players who are going to assist in managing the business and generating the returns for the investors. It should also discuss any business partners (silent or working) that you may have, and what type of entity your business is going to be (sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation, etc…)

Financial Summary

If you don't have sufficient cash, you may need outside sources to help with funding. A proper dog boarding business plan gives possible investors and banks the tools they need to analyze your business. You need to provide a projected cash-flow statement to show how your proposed business will make a profit.

How much money you will need to start up, and how you intend to repay it, should be a significant portion of your business plan. It may take months for your business to grow so be realistic about your projected cash flow. A good rule of thumb to follow is to make sure that you plan to have enough startup money in the bank to run your business for 3 months without any cash flow and an additional 3 months with only enough income to pay half your bills.

How to Write a Dog Boarding Business Plan

Start by indicating that you will open both a business checking and savings account. List your projected expenses including salary along with credit cards that you will use for equipment, office furniture, leashes, collars, dog food , and other supplies. Make a list of all the equipment for boarding dogs, such as sanitation, flooring, crates and fencing.

RELATED: How to Write a Dog Walking Business Plan

You don't have to get exact figures for the cost of all your supplies, but check around and make an accurate estimation. In this case it would be better to overestimate than underestimate. When it comes time to start purchasing equipment you don't want to run out of money.

This section is crucial, even if you plan to fund your business yourself. You still need a plan for what you'll be spending your money on and when you'll be able to see a return on your investment. Your business plan is not set in stone, but it will keep you on track. It will keep you from going way over budget and prevent you from forgetting some important supplies too.

Marketing Analysis Summary and Advertising

Once you have completed the demographics for your kennel and completed your market research, these statistics should be included in your dog boarding business plan. Do a market analysis of other similar facilities in the area, and explain what you will do differently if you find that other dog boarding facilities have failed.

This is the section where you will explain how you will make your center a success. Provide as much information as you can, including your pricing and media strategy and outline of the marketing efforts you have planned for the future. Be as detailed as you can when explaining how you will market your business . Don't just say you'll hang up flyers. Explain where you'll hang your flyers and why you chose those locations.

Your boarding business will need publicity and an advertising strategy. List your plans for any advertisements you plan on putting in pet-care magazines, the internet, or local newspapers. Include information on how you plan to implement your strategic vision. If you plan to offer coupons and promotions to your new customers, put your ideas in this section.

Fees and Legalities

Once you are done your market research you should have a good sense of what other boarding facilities in your area charge. Keep in mind that you don't have the experience or reputation that these other facilities may have, so you may not be able to charge the same rates.

On the other hand, you may be able to charge more for your services if you offer something that no other facility in your area offers or if you have special qualifications and training . It is always best to start off on the lower end so you don't drive potential customers away with high prices. Once your business gets established and your reputation grows you can slowly raise your fees over time.

How to Write a Dog Boarding Business Plan

After your prices are set you must draft a contract for all your clients. If you're offering doggy daycare and grooming services along with boarding, you will need a separate contract for each service. Even if you live in a small community and you'll be doing business with family and friends, EVERYONE needs to sign a contract.

These contracts will not only protect you and your business assets, but also your customers, their pets, and your employees. It is important to make sure that your contracts cover as much as possible, so you may want to work with a legal professional to draft them.

If a lawyer isn't in your budget, you can find sample contracts on numerous websites, including:

  • 4 Paws Resort and Spa
  • SamTheDogTrainer

You're ready to get started…

Once your business plan is complete you can begin looking for investors and get your business started. Even if you don't need outside financing, taking the time to make sure your dog boarding business plan is as thorough as possible will make things much easier for you in the long run.

The more time you put into the planning of your business, the less surprises you will have as you begin to get it up and running. The more thorough your plan is, the better it will look to investors as well. Think of your business plan as your business's first impression, and make sure it is a good one.

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Dog Daycare Business Plan: The 2022 Getting Started Guide

BUSINESS  |   3/13/20 2:30 AM  |  by Gingr

So, you’ve decided to start a doggy daycare. Maybe you’re a huge “dog person,” or maybe you’ve noticed a need in your community and are ready to fill that space with what will hopefully be a profitable venture.

Regardless of what’s landed you here, there are quite a few steps between choosing to open a dog daycare business and actually welcoming your first furry guest. This guide will provide an overview of everything you need to get started with your dog daycare business plan. After reading it, you’ll hopefully have a good foundation to begin brainstorming for your new venture.

While this guide dives into the basics, there’s still a decent amount of information to dive into. Feel free to navigate to a specific section of this guide if you know what you’re looking for. If not, continue reading to get started.

How to Start a Doggy Daycare: FAQs

How do you start a dog daycare business.

Before you begin accepting reservations and purchasing every dog toy you can get your hands on, there are a ton of business considerations to work through for your dog daycare.

Creating a dog business plan is the first place to start. In your business plan, you’ll define:

  • An objective and mission for your business.
  • Your cohesive brand and marketing strategy.
  • Your competition and how you’ll stand out from the crowd.
  • The facilities you’re going to utilize.
  • How you’ll remain profitable, addressing costs and revenue.

You’ll need to decide where your business will be located, who you’ll be working with, which services you’ll offer, and which tools and software you need to offer those services. You’ll need to decide all of this— as well as how you’ll fund the venture overall— before actually putting any of these plans into action.

Do I need a license to start my dog daycare?

You will likely need specific licensing to start your dog daycare facility.

For starters, you’ll need to obtain the proper business licenses required of any start-up. While some businesses will need federal licenses (ex: restaurants selling alcohol), your doggy daycare licenses will probably be handled on the state and local levels.

Each state and locality handles this licensing differently, from which types of licenses are required to the requirements needed to fulfill such licenses. For example, some states require different permits and licenses for dog daycares versus dog kennels , with the key difference being dog kennels also house animals overnight. Other states might l have stricter zoning and size requirements for businesses looking after animals.

Because of that, your best bet is to contact your state and local licensing bodies for definite answers. While it might be frustrating digging into your region’s laws, remember these requirements are aimed at keeping the animals in your care as safe and healthy as possible.

How much can you earn owning a dog daycare?

When it comes to the earning potential of a dog daycare, the answer will vary depending on your specific circumstances.

There are a ton of factors that go into how much you can earn owning a dog daycare, including:

  • The services you provide (daily dog care, grooming services, overnight care, etc.).
  • How you price services.
  • How money-savvy you are once operational.
  • The need for such a business in your community.

Every aspect is unique to your personal situation, including your initial investment, the pricing of licenses and permits in your area, and even the cost of daily operations.

As you continue reading, you’re going to explore various profit equations. Use those equations to predict the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly profitability of your dog daycare under certain estimated circumstances.

Profitability of a Dog Daycare Business: Key Considerations

While we’d love to say your dog daycare business can sustain itself on a love for dogs alone , that’s just not the case. To open your dream business and keep it open, you have to stay profitable throughout the process.

As you’ll see, this requires your revenue to outweigh your costs. This means the payments you’re receiving from customers have to (collectively) be more than the cost of providing those services. The costs include rent, staff wages, utilities, and dog-care specifics such as pet-care management software, animal-friendly cleaning products, dog treats and food, and any other costs of operation.

There are a ton of variables to juggle to ensure your dog daycare is profitable. Use the following equations and considerations to help make sense of it all.

The Profit Equation

No surprise here— but keeping the doors open to your doggy daycare requires keeping the business profitable overall. This requires ensuring your incoming revenue is higher than your outgoing costs, which is where the profit equation comes into play.

The profit equation is a key part of any dog daycare business.

First, let’s look at a few key terms in this equation:

  • Revenue: This refers to the price you’re charging for services multiplied by the number of services you deliver by that price. So, for example, if you charge $25 per day for daycare services, and care for 50 dogs on a given day, your revenue is $1,250 for that day.
  • Variable Costs: This refers to the business operation costs that change day-to-day, varying with how busy you are at any given moment. This includes hourly staff wages, providing food to animals (if you do so for free), or cleaning services linked to the number of animals in your care at any moment.
  • Fixed Costs: This refers to your operational costs that have little variation. For example, monthly rent and insurance payments are a fixed cost.
  • X: The “X” refers to the unknown variable that affects how your revenue or variable costs are changed (multiplied) for the number of dogs in your care. So, how much revenue you’re making with X number of dogs and how high your variable costs are with X number of dogs.

Essentially, to successfully operate a doggy daycare, your profit has to be positive. This is a large overview calculation, and now we’ll break it down into more specific considerations.

Gross Profit

Gross profit refers to the profit your dog daycare business makes after you deduct the costs associated with providing your services. Specifically, this looks at the money you make with one particular transaction compared to the cost of providing that service.

Explore how the gross profit equation relates to your dog daycare business.

Let’s define a few key terms:

  • Revenue: In this equation, revenue refers to the profit brought in per dog cared for. For example, $25 for one dog, one day.
  • Cost of Goods/Services Sold: This variable refers to the cost of providing dog daycare services for one dog. This includes hourly wages represented in that dog’s stay, the cost of receiving and processing payments, and any other costs related to managing one sale of your services.

This equation adds specificity to the original profit equation by telling you the profit your daycare makes from each and every dog in your care. Essentially, the equation gives you a variable profit multiplier— a number to multiply by the number of dogs in your care at any given time to calculate that day’s profit.

Net Operating Profit

Net operating profit expands upon the gross profit equation, adding fixed costs to your considerations. Rather than looking at one transaction (ex: one dog cared for on one day of operations), this equation looks at your total revenue and operating costs over a time period.

Learn how net operating profit factors in to your dog daycare business plan.

The goal of this equation is to see how much of your revenue will translate to profit. Because it is an equation looking at finances over time, it’s essential that you keep time units consistent across the board.

  • Net Profit: This number is a representation of your gross profit (refer to the previous section) over time. Essentially, the net profit equation looks like this: Net Profit = (Gross Profit Per Dog x Number of Dogs) x Number of Days in Time Period
  • Total Fixed Expenses: This represents your fixed costs across a time period. For example, $10,000 per month.

This is similar to the general profit equation from the first section. The key difference is that net operating profit combines the Revenue and Variable Costs sections into one overall Net Profit variable.

Pricing as Branding

While it’s essential that each of these equations results in a positive profit for your dog daycare to stay afloat, there are other important considerations to make when setting your business’s prices.

How you choose to price your services sends a strong message to your customers, and setting these limits too low (or high!) can give a negative first impression.

This pricing tells potential customers where your business lies in the market of doggy daycare services. If your pricing is too low, customers may fear you’re providing sub-par services to provide discount pricing. On the other hand, if your pricing is particularly high, you’ll have to make a strong case for the investment. If your pricing is too complicated , you’re likely to deter customers as well.

Many dog daycare businesses have found success in providing higher-quality service (for example, a lower dog-to-staff ratio) paired with a slightly higher price point. In that case, it’s essential that you support your pricing with a strong branding strategy, great first impressions, and a positive customer experience reputation.

If all of these equations and considerations seem a bit overwhelming, don’t fret— Gingr has put a lot of thought into dog daycare profitability. Check out our Doggy Daycare Profitability Model Spreadsheet to begin your profit analysis.

Elements of a Winning Dog Daycare Business Plan

A serious love for animals and a knowledge of profit equations aren’t enough to build and grow your future dog daycare business— there are a few other elements that are necessary for any successful dog kennel business plan.

With that, let’s explore the essential elements of a successful dog daycare business plan:

Define Your Brand

Dogs are often cherished as family members themselves, so for their human counterparts to feel comfortable leaving them in your care is a huge decision. Branding your dog daycare or kennel effectively is how you show these owners that you’re the right fit for their four-legged friend.

There are two steps to this— defining your brand and communicating that brand.

When defining your brand, consider what makes your dog daycare stand out from the others in your community. What makes you and your staff so passionate about caring for pets? What makes your approach to pet-care superior to others in your field?

For example, maybe your daycare specializes in providing care to senior dogs, centering your branding around a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere. Or, maybe your key selling point is the expertise of your staff, who have advanced experience in puppy etiquette and training. Find your key selling point and brand accordingly.

From there, it’s essential that this brand is consistent across all communications you have with potential and current customers. Your facility itself, your website, your social network profiles, and any advertisements and direct communications you send out should convey this consistent branding.  

Know Your Competition

This is where you get into the nitty-gritty of what makes your doggy daycare better than others in your community. We know that competition is increasing in the dog daycare realm, both in more traditional daycare settings and newer home pet-care camera technology.

Research other local facilities and popular options to ensure you’re offering features that make you stand out from the crowd. Some ways to truly make your mark as the premier dog daycare facility in your community are:

  • Set competitive pricing compared to others in your area providing similar services. Don’t make the mistake of setting your pricing significantly higher or lower than your competition, as you’ll stand out for all of the wrong reasons.
  • Offer a peek into your operations. Streaming video from inside your facility (ex: in a dog play yard) and sending home a doggy report card reassure owners that your daycare is a safe, fun space for their pets.
  • Leverage convenient, customer-oriented software tools. Manage your operations using software made for dog daycare businesses, with convenient online booking and payment, one-click check-in, and easily managed recurring services.

If branding is the key to making customers feel emotionally comfortable sending their dogs to your daycare, standing out from your competition is the key to making them logically comfortable.

Choose the Right Facilities

To successfully open a dog daycare or kennel, you also have to invest in superb facilities. Choosing your space is often a balance of two desires:

  • Having enough space (and maybe even built-out facilities) to provide the best care possible to your customers.
  • Being within your budget to not diminish the profitability of your business overall.

Because choosing a facility is an investment, you’ll want to really do your research before settling into one location.

Remember that each state and locality will have different statutes and zoning laws playing into your facilities as well. From where in the community you’re allowed to set up shop, to how large your facilities need to be— there’s a decent chance your state and local government have an opinion on what’s acceptable as well. 

Leverage Effective Software

You’ll soon realize that analog methods of managing your business will be ineffective as it expands and grows. Your best bet is to invest in the right dog daycare software from the start , allowing it to scale with the business as it grows.

However, if you’re new to the dog daycare business (or simply looking to improve operations), you may not be familiar with this type of software. Start by evaluating what your customers and staffers are looking for in a software solution. Popular features to look for in a pet-care software solution are:

  • Client and pet management features. This includes unlimited client profiles with photos, paperless waivers and other signed agreements, hidden internal staff notes for specific clients, and easy access to vaccination records, to name a few.
  • Online booking and customer portal. This should be mobile-friendly, allow for digital signing of waivers and uploading of vet records, have the ability to collect deposits online, and even let customers view photos and videos of their pets. Plus, you should be able to customize the services, features, and forms available through online booking.
  • Reservation management features. Look for easy customization of reservation types and viewing of availability, both for your staff and customers. Further, look for simple check-in/check-out procedures that still ensure you have all of the information needed to provide a safe stay.
  • Communications features. Your customers will appreciate automatic communications for reservation confirmations and reminders, vaccination reminders, and report cards. Your staff will appreciate it when they don’t have to waste time manually sending these communications.
  • Retail features. The ability to use your software as a point-of-sale system and offer add-on services and retail products will increase the profitability of your business.
  • Marketing features. Top software can send SMS and email marketing communications quickly and easily. Further, you should be able to easily filter your customers and customize communications to them accordingly.
  • Staff management features. Features to manage your staff, such as personalized to-do lists, commission tracking, a time-clock with associated reports, and even specialist scheduling (groomer, trainer) will drastically improve your internal processes.

Choosing the right software from the start will set your business up for success going forward. You’ll cut down on staff costs, lessen the risk of error, and stand out from the crowd with customer-facing features.

At Gingr, we’ve been working to create the best pet-care software platform possible for business owners like yourself. Contact us today for more information on our solutions.

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Pet Boarding Service Small Business Idea and Business Plan

Starting your own small business in the UK isn’t easy but having a properly developed business plan will help you achieve success.

To start a Pet Boarding Service business in the UK, take the time and explain the idea via a business plan.

Understanding all of the aspects of the business idea will be the key to getting the Pet Boarding Service business running like a well-oiled machine. The business plan you develop will help you organize the elements needed into a strategy that you can actually use to startup, by paving a clear road map as to what you need to follow for the lifespan of your business.

Starting a Pet Boarding Service business isn’t easy, but when done right, it can lead to a lot of success.

To help you get started, you can use the free business plan builder tool to develop your own Pet Boarding Service business plan.

The business plan template is very easy to use, is interactive and will quickly and easily help you create your business plan just by answering the needed questions about your small business idea.

Create your own Pet Boarding Service business plan for free using the Business Plan Builder

The free business plan template builder is divided into a few easy to follow steps.

The free business plan builder template is provided by UKStartups.org to help you develop your own business plan. For step by step guidance, see the 5 steps below.

Once completed, the result will be a clean, professional plan that will help you start your own Pet Boarding Service small business in the UK.

When you have completed your Pet Boarding Service business plan, the next step will be to find available funding that will help, or to speak with a funding adviser who will assist you each step of the way to securing the needed funds to make your Pet Boarding Service business startup.

If you are looking to limit your startup costs when starting up a Pet Boarding Service small business in the UK, this free business plan builder tool will be it.

Starting a Pet Boarding Service business is only one of the ways others have used this free business plan tool. There are hundreds of different ideas you can start, and if you need guidance, do reach out to a UKStartups expert to get the needed assistance and guidance.

Step 1. Your business information

To develop a proper Pet Boarding Service business plan with the free business plan builder template, it is important to answer each of the questions about your business to the best of your abilities.

What is your business? What are the products/services you provide? Who are your customers? What are your goals…etc?

Having a clear explanation will help you create a in-depth business plan that you can actually use to start the Pet Boarding Service business and to apply for needed funding to cover your startup costs.

Step 2. Projecting your revenues/income

The Pet Boarding Service industry can have great results. Planning and projecting the financial figures to approximate what you will make each year is crucial to building a strong business plan.

What do you think your business will make from each of its products/services? Simply list your products/services, enter the appropriate financial figures (costs and expenses).

If you don’t have the figures, in many cases it is recommended to do a a bit more research on other Pet Boarding Service businesses locally and within your own region to get an idea of potential revenue. You can do your best to estimate the figures and growth potential.

If you need assistance in projecting, you can always contact UK Startups funding experts for the help.

Step 3. Your business market

As a Pet Boarding Service business, having a clear explanation of the market and industry that you are in will help you plan for the figure and will ensure you can take the business to the next level.

Explain your location of business, share specifics about your customers, showcase your competition and explain the advantages you have over your competition.

Step 4. The future plan

Starting your own Pet Boarding Service business and getting it off the ground is important to you.

No matter if you’re planning on applying for government funding for your Pet Boarding Service business or not, it is important to plan out the future and provide an explanation of how you will grow the business. This means explaining your marketing plan, your sales strategy and clearly outlining a growth plan for the next few years.

Be sure to break this down step by step to show how you intend on making sure your Pet Boarding Service business can grow each year.

Keep in mind that often business plans are focused on key people. Be sure to discuss yourself, your role and any other key figures in the business as well.

Step 5. The financials

In the end, it all comes down to the financials. If you are seeking funding, or not – the business plan you develop needs to have clearly defined financials or projections. The business plan builder tool makes it easy to develop your financial charts by simply entering your expected revenues per month and year. If you don’t have the figures as it’s a new business be sure to project the figures based on your expectations. If you need help with this, ask the UK Startups experts .

A clear breakdown of your funding needs is also recommended in case you are seeking funding and this free business plan template will help you with exactly that. When developing your Pet Boarding Service business plan using this free template, the above 5 steps are recommended in order to succeed. While there are other key points that will assist you in starting your business, finding funding...etc, the free template will help put you on the right path

Be sure to request a professional to review your business plan , to answer any questions you may have and to help you with the funding search once you’ve done the initial free template. You can request this directly via UKStartups.org and through the Small Business Startup Platform as a member.

If starting a Pet Boarding Service business is just one of your ideas, perhaps considering other options, here are some popular small business’s others have chosen to startup

  • Ferry Service
  • Dry Cleaner

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How to Start a $60K/Month Dog Boarding Business (2024)

  • 3 years ago

Do you love dogs? What if you could harness your affection for animals to provide a fun and safe place for pets to hang out while their owners go about their routines, vacations, and unexpected events?

According to the latest statistics, Americans recently adopted new pets at a staggering rate, especially dogs. Rover.com reports that 49% of Americans adopted a new dog during the early COVID pandemic. 

If you ever thought about working with dogs, here’s your cue to secure the rewarding livelihood that a dog boarding business can provide.

We interviewed Larry Fosnick Davis and his wife. They conditioned their Seattle-based dog daycare and boarding business, Metro Dog Seattle , for continued success.

With all the great insight Larry offered, we were able to compile this step-by-step guide to help you start your very own boarding business. Keep reading to find out if opening a dog daycare is the right business for you.

Step 1: Learn more about pet boarding

Let’s start with an overall view of the pet care services industry.

What is dog boarding?

Simply put, dog boarding is the act of caring for dogs while their owners are away. Boarding facilities charge a set fee to pet owners for an agreed-upon length of stay.

The goal is to provide a safe and fun place for animals to lodge when pet owners have obligations to attend to or want their animals to socialize. Simple, right?

Learn the lingo

Learn the “dog words” associated with this business by checking out this glossary published by the American Kennel Club (AKC), a leading authority on dogs in the United States.

Study other terminology sources, such as this grooming glossary provided by Petco.  

Trade organizations

The good news is that there are wonderful organizations that set standards for the doggy care industry. Here are a few notable ones.

The AKC is a respected, 130-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to canine pets. Turn to them for expert advice on breeds, behavior, products, and services.

The Cat Fanciers’ Association ( CFA ) and Alley Cat Allies provide information for feline pets.

Other international and national organizations

Related trade organizations for animal lodging and care include:

  • The International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA)
  • National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS)
  • National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA)

Last time we checked, organizations like these are an excellent place to dig up some research. So be sure to go out and do it.

Publications

Pick up a copy of Pet Boarding and Daycare magazine and leap into this list of other pet-related publications .

Certification

Research if Professional Pet Boarding Certification ( PPBC ) might help you achieve credibility in your desired market.

Other certification programs are available through the IBPSA , NAPPS , and NDGAA .

After all, earning a certificate from a respected organization could be a good selling point to set you apart from the local competition. It makes sense, right?

Step 2: Pick up some training and experience

You’ll want to fetch some training and experience. There’s a lot that goes into caring for dogs, so you’ll need to be sure you have what it takes to keep both them and their owners happy. Let’s get into it.

Now let’s go over some skills you’ll need to operate a boarding business confidently. Technical abilities are a must.

Of equal importance is nurturing the soft skills furry four-legged friends need to feel safe and secure. Let me explain.

Technical abilities

Complete a course on pet handling techniques like low-stress and fear-free . According to Larry, these skills—along with pet first-aid—are essential to pet owners.

The public as a whole started to realize how important it was that their hired caregivers have the same sort of qualifications that you might find in a human daycare provider.

Pursue additional training in the following areas:

  • Pet safe cleaning and sanitation to limit the spread of disease
  • Breed knowledge to understand their various needs
  • Grooming, such as nail clipping, brushing, and bathing

Soft skills

OK, I know what you’re thinking: what about those soft skills? Here are some tips on techniques to learn and practice:

  • Clear communication because owners love their pets and want to talk about them!
  • Patience because you will need to learn and adapt to many personalities, both human and pet.
  • Empathy because you’ll be caring for someone’s best buddy, often considered a family member.

In truth, treating each pet as your own will be the key to success in this business.

Reference material

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) maintains an engaging library on dog care that I recommend you review and save to your favorites list to reference as needed.

Gain experience by jumping at the chance to:

  • Work for a boarding business.
  • Walk dogs or pet sit with apps like Rover.com or Wag .
  • Work in a related field, such as for a veterinarian, groomer, or animal shelter.
  • Watch pets for friends and family.
  • Take a pet first-aid class, like the one offered by Metro Dog .

Pets at home are OK, but not enough

Prior experience with pets, not just the ones at home, is highly recommended because you will need to determine if you can:

  • Physically handle different breeds and sizes of dogs.
  • Deal with various personalities and behaviors.
  • Properly feed, medicate, and groom them.
  • Know how to recognize issues that require you to call a veterinarian or the owner.

The best part is that experience is easily accessible and, in many cases, requires no formal education or training.

Step 3: Decide what type of animal boarding business is right for you

When you think of the ubiquitousness of pets and how much people love them, the number of pet business ideas from which you can profit is wide open and very promising.

As such, boarding kennels can trail off into several different directions, so you’ll want to know which is best for you.

Prepare yourself for this important decision by taking IBPSA’s complimentary webinar on business models . The following sections offer some specific points to consider. Keep reading.

At-home kennels

There are two types of home-based kennels: at the customer’s home or in your home. And here’s a fun fact: Experts feel this is a wonderful option for anxious dogs .

If you offer this arrangement, be transparent about other pets and pet guests in the home and the conditions of the house. Consider setting up a meet-and-greet with prospective customers.

Before trotting off in this direction, check local laws and ordinances , especially if you’re a renter.

Pet sitting and dog walking

Larry and his wife started small. Initially, they sat pets and walked dogs for extra income. Two decades later, they invested $700k to open a larger location to serve as a local “community center for pets.”

Please keep it simple by registering with a service like Rover.com, a bookings portal for sitters and dog walkers. Also, read this article on how to start a  pet sitting business .

Housesitting

Don’t snooze on offering dog sitting as part of housesitting as these services are often combined and allow you to travel to exciting destinations. 

Like pet sitting and dog walking, housesitting is an excellent way to begin your business with limited start-up funds.

Investigate how to start a dog kennel

Kennel-based animal care facilities might be what most people think of for boarding. There are crated and private room facilities, like The Doggy Dorm . There are even crate-free layouts, like at Dogs Unleashed .

If you’ve got the resources to make it happen, consider opening a brick-and-mortar location. Big or small, physical space will provide the most freedom to allow you to accept more furry guests than doing it at home.

Start a doggy daycare at a veterinarian’s office

If you are a veterinarian, then assess how to offer kenneling as an additional service. Pets with age-related or health issues usually benefit from this amenity.

Include cats and other pets

Tips for boarding other types of pets are available on petinsurance.com.

Larry and his wife diversified their services to include daycare, boarding, pet sitting, walking, first-aid training, and more, made possible by their years of experience in the industry.

Some providers endorse and sell products, such as personalized tags and collars, shampoos, and collapsible dog dens .

Larry says retail is new for his business and, while speaking about Metro Dog’s new location, mentions: 

In addition:

So, don’t be afraid to add on products and services related to pets.

Step 4: Write a dog boarding business plan

You’re super excited about the idea of making tons of fluffy friends, right?

So, let’s document a plan to put this idea in motion. A business plan is crucial, and we have advice and resources to help.

Sniff out the market

Before drafting your business plan, it’s best to analyze the market. Tease out your target audience and local options for pet lodging. Here’s the magic: you’ll land in a better position to make intelligent decisions.

Be specific

No matter the type of business, the sections of a business plan are the same. Make it a practical, living document by delving into specifics within each area.

Specific items to highlight in your kennel business plan are:

  • Additional services you might provide
  • Answering the question, “Are there kennels in my area?”
  • The best location for starting a dog kennel 
  • Financial projections and costs, especially as the business grows
  • Pet boarding kennel insurance to provide adequate coverage
  • Regulations for being a pet boarding business owner
  • The unique competitive advantage of your professional dog kennel

When you’re ready to play ball, use our in-depth guide that comes with a free business plan template.

Be flexible

We’ve all done it: create a beautiful plan on paper only to realize that bringing it to life requires adjustments.

Larry says:

When we did our original business plan, it looked great on paper. But in practice, many of the ideas were not as great as we thought and required a change in paradigm.

The bottom line is that while you need to go through the exercise of writing a business plan, it’s not a static document. Just remember to be flexible and embrace change, and everything will work out.

Step 5: Choose the right name for your pet care business

After figuring out your boarding business model, devise a memorable and playful name. Let me show you how.

Have fun, but leave some wiggle room

Make sure the name is easy to spell, pronounceable, and gives strangers some idea of what your business does. 

For instance, Room & Bark Boarding Services is light and easy to say, and there’s no guessing what the enterprise offers. 

Are you not sold on cute and quirky names? Then try sleek and elegant or something that includes your location, like South Austin Pet Lounge or Metro Dog Seattle.

Try to ensure it won’t need changing in the future because that can be troublesome and expensive.

Hang a tag with a brand

Remember branding when choosing a name because it’s like a shiny label your business wears to distinguish itself from others. 

Ask yourself how your name will look on a logo or graphics and an image you might incorporate that complements your selected moniker. Learn more in the sales and marketing section (Step 13) of this guide.

Gobble up a dot com

Check to see if your business name is available as a  dot com . Using one for your website will give you an established look and make your virtual address easier to remember. 

Search for available domain names and dig into UpFlip’s guide on creating a website . Give it a go!

What if I buy an existing business?

In most cases, boarding kennels that are “for sale by owner” already have a name. Research the business’ reputation to decide if you want to keep the name or rebrand with a new one.

Chew on a bit of feedback

Run your name through Google Trends and seek your friends’ and family members’ feedback.

Google Trends will tell you what searches are trending on the Internet, while your friends and family will just tell you their opinions. 

After that, you decide, but it can’t hurt to hear what others think, especially if they’re looking out for your best interests.

Registration

If all looks good and you’re ready to make it official, then register your business name with the government.

Step 6: What is legally required to start a dog daycare business?

Selecting a  legal structure is like placing your doggie daycare in the right-sized crate. The truth is, this step is usually beyond the expertise of many entrepreneurs.

So, expect to incur costs engaging the services of an accountant, attorney, and tax professional. The best part is, many of these professionals make excellent business coaches !

Licenses and permits

Figure out what licenses, permits, and tax forms you’ll need . It all depends on your location and the services offered. For example, your city might have a barking ordinance. It’s understandable.

Evaluate how to set up your business as one of the following:

Regulations

As expected, dealing with live animals and their byproducts merits a figurative collar and leash to control the effects on the facility, community, and environment. Learn about regulations in your locale and comply with them.

For example, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency ( OhioEPA ) has precise rules about animal waste. Non-compliance can result in serious penalties. Don’t let this be you.

Step 7: Select a location

Larry and his wife found a dog daycare location in 2001. He says:

We found a suitable location in August 2001 and signed the lease a month later. We opened for business November of that year.

The location you can have or access goes paw-in-paw with the type of boarding business you can own. Let me explain.

How much does it cost to build a dog boarding facility?

A brick-and-mortar location requires you to investigate the feasibility of building a new facility, leasing a space, or buying an existing building.

While investigating, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can I find a dog boarding business for sale in the area where I want to do business?
  • Is there commercial leasing for a pet boarding business near me?
  • What’s the proximity to similar boarding facilities?
  • What are the area’s demographics, and how do they compare to my targeted customer base?

Dig a little deeper by making these inquiries:

  • Is this location the right size for the services I want to offer?
  • Should I buy a  business for sale ?
  • What utilities and infrastructure are needed?
  • What are the zoning laws for my type of business?

A quick note about leasing a commercial property

Investigate the condition of the property to ensure business disruptions will be minimal. At least make sure the building passed its code inspections.

Nevertheless, some things are unavoidable, like when Larry’s landlord closed his whole building for two weeks —r ight in the middle of the busy summer boarding season — to upgrade the electrical system.

Designing a kennel or at-home location

The right location and design will elevate you to alpha status in this business.

The Barkleigh Store (cute name) sells a book on how to design a kennel . Information for an at-home operation is also available in Upflip’s guide on starting a  pet sitting business .

No matter your location, zoning is super-important. Learn as much as you can so that you don’t bark up the wrong tree with local authorities, especially the public health department.

Step 8: Hire the right people

Now let’s consider your labor options. Like Larry and his wife, you could start on your own or with a partner, at least until business picks up.

Limiting staff keeps costs down without worrying about whether you can pay employees fairly and keep them around. It’s a perfect option if you plan to start with walking and sitting gigs rather than a full-on boarding facility.

However, hiring someone who has experience could get things off the ground sooner rather than later if you have the money to do it.

Just be sure that whomever you hire has the same level of passion for pet care as you and that they’re comfortable and confident working with dogs of all breeds and sizes.

For inspiration, view this kennel attendant job description and interview questions .

If you bring on some helping hands, use the following checklist to comply with employment laws:

  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
  • Keep employment tax records per this guide provided by the IRS.
  • Pay federal unemployment tax.
  • Hang Workplace Posters in a visible spot.

Step 9: Stock your boarding facility with equipment and supplies

However you decide to outfit your boarding business, just remember that cleanliness and organization are your keys to success. Now let’s go over the equipment and supplies you’ll need.

If you’re planning to start small like Larry and his wife, only basic supplies and equipment are needed. 

It should include the following:

  • Hands-free leash and waist pack
  • Pet first-aid kit
  • Treats and water

For an extensive list of pet-sitting supplies, have a look at this guide from Pet Sitters International.

Brick-and-mortar

For those opening a brick-and-mortar boarding business, there’s quite a bit more to consider. 

Most importantly, the days of crated dog care are on their way out, as many dog owners now prefer cage-free environments for their precious companions.

Overnight boarding

Have some crates and large kennels for overnight care. 

To keep up with the progression of daytime dog care, customers prefer open areas where dogs can socialize and play.

Indoor and outdoor spaces

Cutting-edge boarding facilities include indoor and outdoor spaces, so you’ll want to consider materials for outfitting both if that’s the route you take. The Home Depot offers a delightful collection of dog playground equipment .

Cleaning and sanitizing

Once you build a safe and secure space for your four-legged guests, you’ll need plenty of cleaning supplies to keep everything sanitized. 

Pick up basic grooming supplies, like bathing stations , soaps, shampoos, plenty of towels, and nail trimmers.

There are so many whimsical and clever ways to decorate a pet-focused business. Take advantage of the possibilities and be creative! 

Larry says this about his new facility, “It’s also bright on colors and lighting. Even during the public health inspection, the inspector commented on how nice and bright it is.”

If you’re looking for inspiration, then check out what Amazon.com has to offer.

Step 10: Incorporate safety protocols for boarding kennels

The most important part of dog boarding is keeping your furry guests safe and healthy. After all, that’s why their owners brought them to you. The safety of you and your staff is also a top priority.

As we mentioned earlier, you and your employees will need training in first aid for dogs. Keep contact information for each pup’s veterinarian on file.

It wouldn’t hurt to have a working relationship with a local vet’s office, just to be safe. Being up to speed on basic human first-aid will also be helpful in the case of a  bite or other injuries.

Meet and greet

Require a “ trial day ” to help prevent incidents. During the evaluation, closely monitor new dogs to get to know them. 

Be sure you and your staff can accommodate and address any anxiety and behavioral issues your pet guest presents.

Require all clients to provide vaccination records for their dogs to limit the spread of illness and disease. All dogs should also be spayed and neutered.

In addition, discuss these areas in your safety plan:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance
  • General things that can go wrong and how to handle them
  • Regular inspections for safety issues
  • Working conditions per Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements

Step 11: Get the right insurance

I’ve been there, thinking there’s insurance for everything nowadays. You’re probably asking if you need to take on that extra expense. The short answer is a resounding yes.

Insurance protects your business if something happens to a dog, you, or your property. General liability insurance is a must because it covers bodily injury, property damage, and medical payments — all-important for a pet business.

On average, kennels spend $300 to $700 for every $1m in coverage, which is about what other types of businesses spend on this type of insurance policy.

Other types of coverage to consider are:

  • Commercial property insurance
  • Commercial umbrella insurance
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Home-based business insurance

Make it a priority to spend some time reading more about insurance for kennels .

Step 12: Handle your kenneling costs and revenue with a sound financial plan

It’s time to talk finances. Ambling in this area will prevent your kennel business from covering the ground it needs to succeed. Let me explain.

Bank account

Accounting, taxes, and money flow are easier to manage in one location, such as a business bank account for all your business transactions. Some businesses even set up a separate account for payroll .

A well-thought-out budget is like a dog gate to secure your finances by keeping them where you want them to be.

If numbers aren’t your thing, explore affordable budgeting courses from Udemy.com and Coursera . 

Manage your budget with an application like Xero or QuickBooks.

Ways to acquire funds for your new business include the following:

  • Angel investor or venture capitalist
  • Credit cards
  • Crowdfunding
  • Government programs
  • Home equity loan
  • Partnership
  • Personal funding
  • Loans from friends or family
  • Loans from a lending institution
  • Rollover for business startups (ROBS)

Each option has its pros and cons . Take a look at this SBA guide for an introduction to business funding to learn more.

Pricing is a mysterious obstacle faced by many business owners. Take control of it by determining the value of your service. Start by researching your market and competition.

Refer to the market analysis section of your business plan, check the prices in that market, and then use the information to determine your value proposition on the price of kenneling dogs or cats.

How much is dog boarding?

Most boarding businesses charge by the day, with the option for add-on services like grooming.

The American Pet Products Association ( APPA ) publishes market research every other year, informing what consumers spend and other significant data. Give it a chance.

Keep in mind that you might need to increase prices annually to keep up with minimum wage increases and inflation.

You might be wondering how much a dog boarding business makes. 

For Metro Dog Seattle’s first two years, the salary from Larry’s full-time job supported the business. After the start-up period, however, revenues grew enough to employ Larry and his wife full-time.

Although Larry and his wife opened the doors in 2001, weathering economic and global events over the years, within the last five years, his revenue increased from $660k to over $800k annually. Not bad.

Cuddle up to this dog daycare cash flow . See what the average consumer spends annually on pet ownership — including boarding costs — on Investopedia.com .

Step 13: Kick-off a sales and marketing campaign

Marketing attracts customers, and sales bring in revenue. Be the leader of the pack by following the advice in the sections below.

Know your customer

Here’s the magic: Tapping into the pet care services market won’t be difficult as consumers are already spending tons of money on pet hotel costs.

In fact, according to recent Economic Census statistics , consumer spending on pet care services totaled $5.8bn. Think about that for a minute.

Figure out what your ideal customer looks like by creating a  customer avatar . Keep reading.

Partnerships and Specials

Build relationships with other entrepreneurs. Veterinarians, pet stores, and groomers might be open to exchanging service promotions.

For instance, “Buds N Suds” grooming can provide their customers a unique promotional code to redeem with your business for 10% off your services—or vice versa.

At Metro Dogs, Larry offers special deals for foster and service dogs. Think about what this could mean for your business.

Establish a logo and brand identity

DIY or hire a graphic designer to develop a simple and effective logo and brand identity. Branding is your visual introduction to the public, so be sure to do the work required. 

While you’re at it, follow Forbes’ expert advice for small businesses. It provides excellent guidance for establishing your:

  • Tone – Are you professional, casual, or funny?
  • Values – What’s important, and how will you communicate it?
  • Blog – Because 81% of readers trust the information.

You can DIY your logo and brand identity, but if it’s too time-consuming, then consider hiring a freelancer to assist.

Digital marketing

The digital age all but demands a strong strategy for online marketing. You’ll fare much better if you set up a website, social media profiles, and email newsletter subscriptions.

If you’re interested in going further, buy digital ads, try search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, and set up a digital business card with Popl .

A fun fact is that featured snippets can establish you as a dog-boarding authority. It’s worth your time to learn how to optimize for these in your web-based content.

Printed marketing collateral

Include printed materials in your marketing strategies, such as brochures, car magnets, flyers, door hangers, t-shirts, and other printed items. Take advantage of the robust templates and graphics-editing tools on Canva.com .

Direct contact

Direct contact can be effective. Visit dog parks or even try cold calls to fetch initial clients.

Professional appearance as a walking advertisement for your business

Sales and marketing tactics are super important, but what reigns supreme is your level of service and how you represent your business.

Maintain a clean and organized facility. Provide efficient and friendly service to match. Implement neat uniforms, even if it’s simply a branded polo shirt .

Proactively seek reviews and respond to negative reviews professionally.

Take it from Larry, who says:

The achievements we’re most proud of are what our clients have to say about us.

Media outlets

Don’t leave traditional media outlets out of your marketing plan because they can still provide great exposure for your business.

Television talk shows interviewed Larry and his wife, and he’s written articles about pet safety. The Seattle Times quoted him about safety hikes with dogs, and the couple demonstrates pet first aid at events. 

Step 14: Establish sound business processes for daily operations

Business process maps might seem like something giant corporations pay consultants tens of thousands of dollars to create. 

However, they’re a simple tool that any entrepreneur can use to:

  • Establish operational processes.
  • Create customer-facing materials.
  • Deploy new products and services.
  • Work through the ideal and alternative paths of daily processes.

LucidChart has several excellent tutorials , videos , and a free cloud-based application to get you started.

Well-thought-out processes will also give you a better idea of which tasks to delegate to staff. Use them as a starting point for a   policies and procedures manual .

Key processes to document

Here are a few ideas of process diagrams you can create to document your business operations:

  • Acclimating new pet guests
  • Answering pet parents’ questions and concerns
  • Handling incidents
  • Laying out the facility
  • Keeping people and pets separate and secure
  • Processing payments and reconciling accounts
  • Running the back office and providing administrative support
  • Sanitizing on a schedule and performing the related activities
  • Scheduling exercise, feeding, and grooming

Refer to this article by AKC Pet Insurance to guide you to the kinds of processes you might need.

After mapping your processes, set expectations of acceptable and prohibited behavior (by staff and customers) with clearly written policies centered around topics such as:

  • Emergencies
  • Hours of operation
  • Health conditions and medications
  • Pick up and drop off
  • Weather events
  • Vaccinations

Check out the policy and procedure templates available on Smartsheet.com and Template.net.

People will always need pet care, so go out and do it!

The three pillars of Metro Dog Seattle’s success are tenacity, knowledge, and flexibility. As Larry says:

You always keep your options open and never ever give up.

Now that you know what it will take to open your very own dog boarding business, what’s your next step?

At this point, there’s not much standing between you and a room full of loveable furballs!

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I the right person to own a pet boarding business?
  • Do I have what it takes to handle customers and their concerns?
  • How can I ensure my facility is profitable?
  • Do I still want to be a dog daycare business owner?

Learn even more by watching our video on how to start a business . Now go out and do it!

Donna C. Arceneaux

Donna C. Arceneaux has over 20 years of experience in technical, governance, and content writing for corporations, small businesses, and the public sector. She received her MBA in Telecommunications Management from UD and BA in French from TAMU.

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Great article. But “bussiness plan?”

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7 Tips For Great Pet Boarding Business Management

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Pet boarding is a great business opportunity for animal lovers.  There are numerous organizations available to help novice pet boarders grow their business from a home-based hobby into one that produces a sizeable income.  Not only that, it’s an opportunity to make a living doing something that you love—which can never be underestimated.

Try these 7 tips to help you start the pet boarding business of your dreams.

1. Treat Your Business as a Business

Many budding pet boarding business owners begin their practices because they’re pet lovers.  They know how much keeping a beloved animal safe means to the proud pet owners, but don’t always see the business as a profit-making operation—which is a crucial mistake.  The Paws Dog Day Care website shows that start-up costs for a pet boarding business can run anywhere from $24,000 to $81,000 depending on the size of the business, the geographical location, and local legislation/regulation.

The bottom line is, no matter how much you love animals and how much of a humanitarian you are, you have to be a little bit ruthless when it comes to running a business— or else you won’t be running it for very long.  That doesn’t mean you have to be a mercenary and charge outrageous rates, but it does mean you have to be smart about money, staffing, insurance, expenses, etc.—you have to manage your business like a business and not like a hobby.

2. Track Time and Focus on Income-Production

As a small business owner, time is money.  You hear that a lot but do you really understand the implications?  If you spend the majority of your time doing things that don’t actively contribute to your bottom line (how long does the employee schedule take you?) you may squeak by every year but you’ll never grow your business into true profitability.  Moneymaking activities include:

  • Marketing your business
  • Improving efficiency
  • Reinvesting in your facility
  • Mining existing clients for additional income (upselling grooming services or cross-selling complimentary products such as toys, treats, and other supplies).

Invest in time clock software . Keep track of everything you do and how long it takes you to do it.  That includes bookkeeping, meeting with clients, caring for the animals, dealing with staff issues, etc. Review your notes and see how much time you spend doing what.  There’s a very good chance that you’ll spot huge opportunities to improve your effectiveness and efficiency.

3. Know When (and What) to Delegate

You may start out as a one-man (or one-woman) show, but as your business grows you’ll need to become more comfortable with depending on others. Whether that means hiring staff members or relying on relatives, one thing is for certain: you must delegate wisely. Think of it as outsourcing within your own company!

One of the golden rules of outsourcing is to do what you do best and let somebody else do the rest.  To do that, you have to evaluate your own skills first.  For example, if you really know how to “close the deal” when talking to potential clients, you should be handling all the inquiries, not leaving it up to your receptionist.  On the other hand, if a staff member has the “Midas Touch” when it comes to grooming, let them get their hands dirty.

4. Grow Your Savings

Breaking even just isn’t good enough.  You need to accumulate savings (even as little as $20 per week) in order to run a sustainable business over time.  That savings will help cushion you in the event of a disaster (plumbing problems, leaking roof, etc.), and will give you the capital you need to expand in the future.

A solid business plan is a good place to start, but you should also set (and do your darndest to hit) monthly financial goals.  And those financial goals should grow over time.  Doing so will force you to get better at the business of your business.  You’ll find ways to be more efficient, be more effective, and build profit centers that you’d otherwise ignore.  Yes, it sounds like work, but if you want your boarding business to succeed, you have to do more than just play fetch with your tenants.

5. Get Insurance

Cesar Milan (the Dog Whisperer) recommends that any budding boarders invest in insurance.  The basic minimum should be $2,000 of coverage per animal under your care.  However, if you can afford it, buy a better plan.  The average cost of emergency pet surgery (the kind you’re most likely to run into) is $2,000.  If an animal suffers something more devastating such as a broken limb, your liability could shoot as high as $5,000 .

A general rule of thumb when buying any type of insurance is to purchase just a little more than you think you need.  It’s better to be covered and never need the insurance than need it and not have it.

6. Ramp Up Your Marketing… Constantly!

If you’re serious about growing your business, you should constantly be ramping up your marketing efforts.  You may start out posting fliers on publically accessible bulletin boards, but you should move on to getting referrals from veterinarians, cultivating customer referrals, placing ads in local publications (not always newspapers), and getting your business online.

The key to effective marketing is thinking like your clients.  What TV programs do they watch?  What newspaper sections do they read?  Where do they congregate?  What pet-oriented activities do they engage in?  Are there local events (pet parades, dog park Olympics, talent shows) that they attend?  Find these outlets and use them to your advantage.

7. Hire the Best Staff Possible (and Keep Them)

Of course you should hire animal lovers.  But you should also screen applicants for prior experience, personality types, and how well they mesh with your existing team.  Unlike other more “structured” businesses, pet boarding facilities often operate like small families.

Once you have a solid staff, you should do everything you can to keep them.  This may include using technology to entice them (the next generation of workers wants their schedule on their phone ), offering performance incentives (extra days off), working around their personal lives (following a  schedule template they filled out), or just showing your appreciation (buying coffee for the clan or giving out an employee appreciation award ).

Put Your Passion for Pets On Display

Above all, the thing that’s going to set your boarding business above the competition is your passion. Pet owners put the happiness and health of their furry friends high on their list of priorities and they’re not going to board their extended family with just anyone.

You have to let potential clients know that their animal means as much to you as your own.  That dedication has to show in everything from your marketing to your facilities and especially your face-to-face consultations.  When you lead with passion, your pet business will be far more likely to take off!

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Advice and Ideas for UK Small Businesses and SMEs

dog boarding business plan uk

How to start a dog walking business

dog boarding business plan uk

A dog walking business is a great way to get outdoors

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For those who love pooches and want to set up a dog walking business, check out this guide to learn more about how to do it

Starting a dog walking business sounds appealing: fresh air, loads of pups, socialising with other dog owners.

Could it be for you? Let’s find out.

Why should I start a dog walking business?

If you love dogs, there’s nothing more idyllic than spending your day with them while getting to know lots of other doggos (and their owners) in the neighbourhood.

It’s great for fitness too. Walks tend to be 60 minutes long and with around three or four walks a day, that’s a fair amount of ground covered, plus a cracking workout.

As you can call your own hours, a dog walking business is easy to fit into your schedule if you have a part-time job, are a student or have caring responsibilities. What’s more, it can add a sense of purpose to your life, doing something that you love.

>See also: 6 best small business ideas for 2023

Any drawbacks?

Though you can set your own hours, you’re likely to have to work around your clients’ schedules which could mean some early morning starts as well as evenings.

It’s a lot of exercise, but that means you need to be in decent shape from the off. Depending on how many walks you do and how long they are, they could be more demanding than you think.

How much can I earn with a dog walking business?

Directline research says you could earn £22,044 a year but if you’re reasonably busy you can earn as much as £26,000 a year.

As for how much you should charge for an average walk, take a look at what others in your area are charging. It can be £25 per walk in affluent areas, but more likely £5-£25 in a town or city. All in all, it’ll sit somewhere around the £11 mark.

Small Business Pro is the ideal tool for you when you’re starting your business. It will help with the heavy lifting of managing customers, taking payments, insurance, finance and HR, plus you’ll get a host of personal wellbeing benefits.

You can find out more about Small Business Pro here .

What do I need?

Registering your business with HMRC is essential, of course. Find out more at the Government website. If you haven’t already, sort out your branding first. Create a memorable name and logo.

You don’t need any formal qualifications to be a dog walker, but there are courses you can do to build confidence in your clientele and potentially charge them more.  

In England, City and Guilds delivers the following courses:

  • Level 2 Certificate of Technical Competence in Dog Walking
  • Level 2 Certificate of Technical Competence in Pet Sitting
  • Level 2 Certificate of Technical Competence in Animal Health, Husbandry and Handling
  • Level 3 Certificate of Technical Competence in Animal Nutrition

There are no equivalents in Scotland and Wales, but the National Association of Pet Sitters & Dog Owners (Narps) has some of its own courses. Even becoming a member can help boost the credibility of your business.   

It’s worth learning animal first aid and going more in-depth to learn about dog behaviour to make life easier on the job.

On top of that, a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check will give clients some relief about your background and reassure them that you’re trustworthy. Some organisations include a DBS check as part of their membership and, if the time ever comes to hire employees, it’s worth doing a DBS check for them.

dog walking business

Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business. More by Anna Jordan

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How to Start a Dog Boarding Business

start a dog boarding business

Starting a dog boarding business can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful dog boarding business.

Importantly, a critical step in starting a dog boarding business is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here .

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here

14 Steps To Start a Dog Boarding Business :

  • Choose the Name for Your Dog Boarding Business
  • Develop Your Dog Boarding Business Plan
  • Choose the Legal Structure for Your Dog Boarding Business
  • Secure Startup Funding for Your Dog Boarding Business (If Needed)
  • Secure a Location for Your Business
  • Register Your Dog Boarding Business with the IRS
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get a Business Credit Card
  • Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
  • Get Business Insurance for Your Dog Boarding Business
  • Buy or Lease the Right Dog Boarding Business Equipment
  • Develop Your Dog Boarding Business Marketing Materials
  • Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Dog Boarding Business
  • Open for Business

1. Choose the Name for Your Dog Boarding Business

The first step to starting a dog boarding facility is to choose your business’ name.  

This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your dog boarding business:

  • Make sure the name is available . Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
  • Keep it simple . The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
  • Think about marketing . Come up with a name that reflects the desired brand and/or focus of your dog boarding business.

2. Develop Your Dog Boarding Business Plan

One of the most important steps in starting a dog boarding business is to develop your dog boarding business plan . The process of creating your plan ensures that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.

Your business plan should include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your dog boarding business.
  • Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your dog boarding business and what type of dog boarding business you operate. For example, are you a traditional boarding kennel, an in-home dog boarding service, or a pet hotel?
  • Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the pet industry. Conduct market research and document how big the pet care industry is and what trends are affecting it.
  • Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or target market are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when purchasing services like the ones you will offer?
  • Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
  • Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
  • Product : Determine and document what products/services you will offer 
  • Prices : Document the prices of your products/services
  • Place : Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
  • Promotions : What promotional methods will you use to attract customers to your dog boarding business? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
  • Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
  • Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
  • Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
  • What startup costs will you incur?
  • How will your dog boarding business make money?
  • What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
  • Do you need to raise funding to launch your own business?

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

3. choose the legal structure for your dog boarding business.

Next you need to choose a legal structure for your dog boarding business and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.

Below are the five most common legal structures:

1) Sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the pet boarding business owner and the business are the same legal person. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.

2) Partnerships

A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small businesses. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start a dog boarding business together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business. 

The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.

3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for a dog boarding business include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.

4) C Corporation

A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for a dog boarding business is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.

5) S Corporation

An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.

Once you register your dog boarding business, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.

Incorporate Your Business at the Guaranteed Lowest Price

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Not only does BusinessRocket have a 4.9 out of 5 rating on TrustPilot (with over 1,000 reviews) because of their amazing quality…but they also guarantee the most affordable incorporation packages and the fastest processing time in the industry.

4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Dog Boarding Business (If Needed)

In developing your dog boarding business plan , you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business. 

If so, the main sources of funding for a dog boarding business to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in a dog boarding business that they believe has high potential for growth.

5. Secure a Location for Your Business

To find a location for your dog boarding business, you’ll need to do some market research to determine the best place to set up shop. Look at the area’s demographics – is it a family-friendly neighborhood with lots of dog-owners? Is the population-dense enough that you’ll have a steady flow of customers? Once you’ve narrowed down your options, take a look at the competition and make sure you can offer a unique service that sets you apart.

6. Register Your Dog Boarding Business with the IRS

Next, you need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.

Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.

7. Open a Business Bank Account

It is important to establish a bank account in your kennel business’ name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:

  • Identify and contact the bank you want to use
  • Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
  • Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
  • Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them

8. Get a Business Credit Card

You should get a business credit card for your dog daycare business to help you separate personal and business expenses.

You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.

When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.

Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.

9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits

To start a dog boarding business, you will need to obtain a business license and a pet boarding permit. These requirements vary depending on whether your business is indoors or outdoors.

Indoor kennel businesses require a permit from the Department of Animal Care & Control. Outdoor animal boarding facilities require a permit from the City Planning Commission and Building & Safety.

10. Get Business Insurance for Your Dog Boarding Business

There are various types of insurance that are necessary to operate an animal shelter business.

Some business insurance policies you should consider for your dog boarding business include:

  • General liability insurance : This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
  • Auto insurance : If a vehicle is used in your business, this type of insurance will cover if a vehicle is damaged or stolen.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance : If you have employees, this type of policy works with your general liability policy to protect against workplace injuries and accidents. It also covers medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Commercial property insurance : This covers damage to your property caused by fire, theft, or vandalism.
  • Business interruption insurance : This covers lost income and expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered event.
  • Professional liability insurance : This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.

Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs. 

11. Buy or Lease the Right Dog Boarding Business Equipment

To start a dog boarding business, you will need a lot of equipment. This includes boarding kennels, food, water dishes, toys, leashes, and collars. 

12. Develop Your Dog Boarding Business Marketing Materials

Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your dog boarding business.

The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:

  • Logo : Spend some time developing a good logo for your dog boarding business. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your brand.
  • Website : Likewise, a professional dog boarding business website provides potential customers with information about the services you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your website will affect how customers perceive you.
  • Social Media Accounts : establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media networks will help customers and others find and interact with your dog boarding business.

13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Dog Boarding Business

To run a dog boarding business, you will need software to manage reservations, payments, and customers. You may also need software to help track your inventory of dog food and supplies. 

14. Open for Business

You are now ready to open your dog boarding business. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.

How to Finish Your Ultimate Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your dog boarding business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

How to Start a Dog Boarding Business FAQs

Is it hard to start a dog boarding business.

Starting a dog boarding business can be difficult, as you'll need to ensure that your property is secure and safe for dogs, as well as find responsible dog-sitters. However, if you're passionate about dogs and have the right space, it can be a rewarding business venture.

How can I start a dog boarding business with no experience?

There are a few things you can do to get started in the dog boarding business with no experience. You can start by doing some research on the industry and learning about the different aspects of running a boarding business. Additionally, you can reach out to experienced dog boarding business owners for advice and mentorship. Finally, you can start small and gradually grow your business as you gain experience.

What type of dog boarding business is most profitable?

The most profitable type of dog boarding business is a facility that offers pet services for both short-term and long-term boarding. This is because you can charge long-term boarding fees for overnight stays as well as short-term fees for half-day and full-day stays. 

How much does it cost to start a dog boarding business?

It typically costs between $10,000 and $30,000 to start a dog boarding business. The startup costs involved with this business are similar to most businesses in the service industry. The following is a list of potential costs involved with starting a boarding kennel:

  • Initial advertising 
  • Building or buying a facility
  • Office furniture and equipment
  • Kennel equipment (metal runs, food and water bowls, beds)

What are the ongoing expenses for a dog boarding business?

The ongoing expenses for a dog boarding business include things like rent, utilities, employee salaries, dog food and supplies, and marketing costs.

How does a dog boarding business make money?

A dog boarding business makes money by charging dog owners a fee for keeping their dog for a certain amount of time. This fee can be based on the size of the dog, the number of dogs being boarded, or by how many nights the dog will be staying. Boarding businesses may also offer add-on services such as daycare, walking, or bathing.

Is owning a dog boarding business profitable?

There are a number of reasons owning a dog boarding business can be profitable. One reason is the growing number of dog owners. This means that there is a large market for dog boarding services, as people are often looking for safe and reliable places to leave their pets while they are at work or traveling. 

Additionally, dog boarding businesses can be relatively low-cost to start up, which makes them an attractive investment opportunity. Pet owners often look for dog boarding businesses that offer flexibility in the services they provide.

Finally, dog boarding businesses typically have high margins, meaning that they can be quite profitable with relatively small amounts of revenue.

Here are a few things that you can do to make your pet business more profitable, such as:

- Offering additional daycare services, such as dog walking, bathing, and grooming

- Charging a premium for grooming services during busy times, such as holidays and weekends

- Offering discounts to regular customers

- Investing in quality equipment and supplies

- Educating yourself on the latest trends in pet care

Why do dog boarding businesses fail?

One of the most common reasons most pet boarding businesses fail is a lack of marketing. Without a strong marketing strategy it can be difficult to attract new customers, and without new customers, the business will eventually fail. 

Additionally, some dog boarding businesses fail because they are not run efficiently or their pet sitters do not offer good customer service. If the business is not able to meet the needs of their customers, they will likely lose them to a competitor. 

Finally, dog boarding businesses fail due to financial difficulties.

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Business Plan Template & Guide For Small Businesses

ProfitableVenture

Dog Boarding Business Plan [Sample Template]

By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero

Home » Business Plans » Pet Sector

Dog Boarding Business

Are you about starting a dog boarding company? If YES, here is a complete sample dog boarding business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE .

Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a dog boarding business. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample dog boarding service marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for dog boarding businesses. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.

Why Start a Dog Boarding Business?

If you are interested in starting a business of your own and you have what it takes to take proper care of dogs and other pets, then you should look towards starting a dog care business. It is a business that is rapidly gaining momentum in the united states and Canada and you can join the party.

Dog boarding business is a business that involves taking care of clients dogs when they are away; it involves grooming the dogs and at the same time keeping them out of trouble because the owners are not around.

So if you have made up your mind to start a dog boarding business, then you should ensure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and also market survey.

This will enable you properly locate the business in an ideal location and then hit the ground running. Below is a sample dog boarding business plan template that can help you to successfully write your own with little or no hassle.

A Sample Dog Boarding Business Plan Template

1. industry overview.

Dog boarding business is a business that is a subset of the Pet Grooming and Boarding industry. In the United States, this industry has proven over the years to be one of the very few established industries to publish consistently strong gains over the past decade, virtually doubling in size and growing even in the midst of recession as consumers purchase a wider array of luxury services for their pets.

The growing pet grooming and boarding industry has benefited greatly from the ever changing consumer attitudes, which increased demand for a variety of new luxury pet services such as dog boarding.

Going forward, this trend is expected to gain further momentum as pet / dog ownership rises and owners use their increasing disposable income on services such as dog boarding services for their dogs whenever they are away from town.

According to the American Pet Product Association (APPA), even though Americans loved pets, those who owned dogs were at 18.9 percent, third on the pet scale.

It gave results that the annual growth for this industry is at 3.1 percent from 2009 to 2014, bringing in combined revenue – with other dog services – of $907million as at 2014.

As also as at 2014, there were 22,787 people employed by dog related businesses or as independent contractors, and there were 18,144 dog service businesses in the United States of America.

Dog boarding services have increased in from 2009 to 2014, and will still increase till 2019 despite the poor economic outlook. This is due to the fact that customers have more disposable income to spend on their dogs, and that dogs are considered part of the family.

According to a report, Fetch Pet Care franchises all over barely made above 1.0 percent of the total industry revenue. This is due to the fact that dog boarding services is tailor made for immediate localities and neighborhoods, and will have clients seeking to use the services of those who lived around as they believed that these ones were likely to provide a personalized care to their dogs when they have to travel out of town or too busy to take care of their dog for the period in time.

The dog boarding services business cum the Pet Grooming and Boarding industry is indeed a thriving business in the United States of America and Canada.

Statistics has it that The Pet grooming and boarding industry in the United States of America, is worth $7bn, with an estimated growth rate of 6.6 percent.

There are about 106,319 registered and licensed Pet Grooming and Boarding businesses in the United States and they are responsible for employing about 195,070 people. No company can boast of dominating the market; every player in the industry can comfortably compete for the available market in the industry.

Over and above, this is still an industry that is still at its infancy stage, and is projected as a growing industry with more people thinking of investing in dog cum pet boarding business; especially as existing dog boarding centers are minute as compared against the population.

Due to the growth of the population of baby boomers, young children, young couples, and the elderly; one can say that this industry will be on a continuous growth especially as people view a dog as a man’s best friend.

2. Executive Summary

Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC is a standard and licensed dog boarding care center and one stop pet company that will be located in the heart of Jefferson City – Missouri in a neatly renovated and highly secured and ideal housing facility for pets; an organization that will carry out all round services as it relates to dogs and other pets.

We will provide pet care services, such as animal shelters, obedience training services, guard dog training services, pet boarding and animal grooming services

Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC is a business that believe in helping pets / dog owners take care of their pets when they are out of town and in  giving dogs and other pets the right treatment they need to enable them perform their roles as defined by the owner.

We will ensure that any dog or pet under our custody are well taken care of and in the pursuit of excellence and financial success with uncompromising services and integrity which is why we have decided to venture into dog boarding business.

We are certain that our values will help us drive the business to enviable heights and also help us attract the numbers of clients that are needed per time to grow our business.

At Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC, our clients’ overall best interest would always come first, and everything we do will be guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hire professional dog (pet) handlers / trainers and vet doctors et al that are well experienced and passionate in taking care and imparting knowledge and skills to dogs at various learning ladder.

Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a doggie day care services business, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible.

We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our clients’ needs precisely and completely. We will cultivate a working environment that provides a human, sustainable approach to earning a living, and living in our world, for our partners, employees and for our clients.

Our overall business goal is to position our dog boarding services business to become the leading dog boarding services brand in the pet industry in the whole of Jefferson City – Missouri, United States of America, and also to be amongst the top 5 dog boarding companies in the United States of America within the first 5 years of operations.

This might look too tall a dream but we are optimistic that this will surely come to pass because we have done our market research and feasibility studies and we are enthusiastic and confident that Jefferson City is the right place to launch our dog boarding company and pet related business.

Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC is owned and managed by Bruno Pearson and his immediate family members. Bruno Pearson is a renowned and licensed dog handler / trainer. He has well over 10 years of experience as a dog handler/ trainer working for some of the leading pet services companies in the United States of America.

3. Our Products and Services

Away from dog boarding services, Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC is going to offer varieties of pet related services (dog walking and dog training services inclusive) within the scope of the pet industry in the United States of America.

Our intention of starting our dog boarding services and pet related business is to provide a safe facility for owners of dogs / pets to keep their pets whenever they are not in town and also to help in developing our client’s dogs and pets in any skills and knowledge of their choice as it relates to specific useful competencies they want their dogs or pet to possess.

We want to help our clients develop their pets and dogs capability, capacity, productivity and performance and of course to also make profits from The Pet Grooming and Boarding industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in the US to achieve our aim and business goal. Our products and service offerings are listed below;

  • Boarding dogs and other pets
  • Pet grooming
  • Operating pet shelters
  • Operating dog pounds
  • Guard dog training
  • Obedience training
  • Pet sitting
  • Pet training
  • General merchandize of pet related products (pet foods, shampoos, dog tie, dog chains, and pet clothes et al)

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to build a highly successful, competitive and effective dog boarding business that will become the number one choice for both individuals and corporate organizations in Jefferson City – Missouri.
  • Our mission is to position Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC to become one of the leading dog boarding cum pet services brand in the industry in the whole of Jefferson City – Missouri, and also to be amongst the top 5 dog boarding cum pet services brand in the United States of America within the first 5 years of starting the business.

Our Business Structure

It is a known fact that the success of any business is to a larger extent dependent on the business structure of the organization and the people who occupy the available role. Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC will build a solid business structure that can support the growth we envisage for our dog boarding services and pet related business. We will ensure that we hire competent hands to help us build the business of our dream.

The fact that we want to become one of the leading dog boarding services business brand in the industry in the whole of the United States of America makes it highly necessary for our organization to deliberately build a well – structured business from the onset.

We will work hard to ensure that we only attract people with the right mindset to help us achieve our business goals and objectives in record time. In view of that, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Principal Partner / Chief Executive Officer
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager
  • Dog Handlers / Pet Trainers for Various Skill Sets
  • Accountant / Bursar
  • Marketing and Sale Executive

Client Service Executive

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Principal Partner / Chief Executive Office:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions; providing educational opportunities.
  • Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Reports to the board

Vet Doctor:

  • Responsible for handling the overall operations in the vet clinics
  • Handles the treatment of pets
  • Gives medical advises and recommendations as it relates to the health and welfare of pets

Human Resources and Admin Manager 

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Designs job descriptions with KPI to drive performance management for dog walkers and pet trainers
  • Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders (clients and member of the organizations’ board) to review the effectiveness of the organizations’ Policies, Procedures and Processes
  • Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carries out staff induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
  • Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations.
  • Oversee the smooth running of the daily activities of the organization.

Dog Handlers / Pet Trainers

  • Handles general dog and pet walking / grooming services
  • Operates pet shelters
  • Boarding pets
  • Effectively training dogs and pets in specific skills (hunting skills, security skills, running errands and circus skills et al)
  • Evaluates and document the progress of dogs / pets under his or her care
  • Receives complaints from clients and channel it to the appropriate quarters
  • Handles any other duty as assigned by the HR and Admin Manager.

Marketing and Sales Executive

  • Handles general merchandize of pet related products (pet foods, shampoos, dog tie, dog chains, and pet clothes et al)
  • Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new clients, and business opportunities et al
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of development projects.
  • Writing winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with organizations’ policy
  • Responsible for handling business research, market surveys and feasibility studies for clients
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding increase sales
  • Documents all customer contact and information
  • Represents Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC in strategic meetings
  • Helps to increase sales and growth for Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC.
  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC
  • Serves as internal auditor for Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC.
  • Welcomes / receive clients and their pets by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the HR and Admin Manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries
  • Receives parcels / documents for Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC
  • Distributes mails in the organization
  • Handles any other duties as assigned by the Human Resources and Admin Manager.

6. SWOT Analysis

Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC engaged the services of a core professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist our organization in building a well – structured dog boarding services and pet related business that can favorably compete in the highly competitive Pet Grooming and Boarding industry in the United States and the world at large.

Part of what the team of business consultant did was to work with the management of our organization in conducting a SWOT analysis for Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC;

Our core strength lies in the power of our team; our workforce. We have a team that are considered experts in the Pet Grooming and Boarding industry, a team with excellent qualifications and experience in dog boarding and pet related services including veterinary medicine.

Aside from the synergy that exist in our carefully selected workforce, Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC is well positioned in a community with the right demography; loads of people who own pets. With that we know we will attract loads of clients from the first day we open our doors for business.

As a new dog boarding and pet related services company in Jefferson City – Missouri, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and gain acceptance especially from top profile clients in the already saturated Pet Grooming and Boarding industry; that is perhaps our major weakness. Other perceived weakness is that, we may not have the required capital to pump into publicity and advertisement as we would love to do.

  • Opportunities:

Beyond every reasonable doubt, the opportunities available in the Pet Grooming and Boarding industry is massive considering the number of individuals and corporate organizations who own dogs and other pets who would want to drop them off in dog boarding facility or want them to acquire new skill sets and to perform excellently well in their jobs or who would want to bring their pets for treatment or to purchase pet supplies. As a standard dog boarding services and pet related business, we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.

Every business faces a threat or challenge at any part of the life cycle of the business. These threats can be external or internal. This shows the importance of a business plan, because most threats or challenges are to be anticipated and plans put in place to cushion what effect they might bring to the business.

Some of the threats that we are likely going to face as a dog boarding company and pet related business operating in the United States of America are unfavorable government policies that might affect business such as ours, the arrival of a competitor within our location of operations and global economic downturn which usually affects spending / purchasing power. There is hardly anything we can do as regards these threats other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for our good.

7. MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

Over the years, the Pet Grooming and Boarding industry is one of the very few established industries to publish consistently strong gains over the past decade, virtually doubling in size and growing even in the midst of recession as consumers purchase a wider array of luxury services for their pets.

The growing industry has benefited from changing consumer attitudes, which increased demand for a variety of new luxury pet services such as dog boarding services. Going forward, this trend is expected to gain further momentum as pet ownership rises and owners use their increasing disposable income on services such as dog boarding for their dogs.

One thing is certain, the trend in the Pet Grooming and Boarding industry is such that if you want to be ahead of your competitors, you should be able to be highly creative, simplify your processes and you should be able to have loads of testimonies from your clients. The truth is that, if your clients noticed tremendous changes in their pets as a result of your input, then they will be compelled to help promote your organization.

Lastly, in the bid to maximizing profits and staying afloat in this industry, a good number of dog boarding companies ensure that they add other related services. It is easier to find dog boarding companies also offering services such as    pet grooming, operating pet shelters, operating dog pounds, guard dog training, obedience training, pet sitting, pet training and general merchandize of pet related products (pet foods, shampoos, dog tie, dog chains, and pet clothes et al).

8. Our Target Market

Before starting our dog boarding services and pet related business, we are certain that there is a wide range of both corporate and individual clients who would definitely need our services. We will ensure that we develop strategic pacts with communities and corporate organizations especially dog owners who are always out of town. This will give us several options to generate revenue for our company.

In view of that, we have created strategies that will enable us reach out to various corporate organizations (security agencies) and individual (pet owners) who we know can’t afford to do without our services. We have conducted our market research and survey and we will ensure that our dog boarding Services Company is well accepted in the market place. Below is a list of the people and organizations that we have specifically market our products and services to;

  • Corporate organizations (especially security agencies)
  • Business people who own dogs
  • Busy corporate executives who own dogs
  • Households who own pets
  • Dog breeders
  • The Government (Public Sector)

Our competitive advantage

Even though, this is basically a new area of business that doesn’t have stiff major competitors, there are still competitors all the same. The competition available is most likely those within the same locality, and anyone looking to stay above competition would have to consider improving and customizing the services offered to dog owners.

Even so, local dog boarding facilities that are serious with the business can comfortably compete with franchises that are located in the same neighborhood. We are quite aware that to be highly competitive in the Pet Grooming and Boarding industry means that you should be able to deliver consistent quality service and you should be able to meet the expectations of your clients at all times.

Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC might be new Jefferson City – Missouri, our competitive advantage lies in the power of our team; our workforce. We have a team that are considered experts in the Pet Grooming and Boarding industry, a team with excellent qualifications and experience in dog walking and pet related services including veterinary medicine.

Lastly, our employees ( dog handlers / pet trainers, and vet doctors ) will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category ( startups dog boarding centers and pet related businesses in the United States ) in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.

9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

  • Sources of Income

Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the Pet Grooming and Boarding industry and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis. We will generate income by offering the following products and services;

10. Sales Forecast

One thing is certain, there would always be corporate organization and individual / household pet owners who would need people to take proper care of their dogs or that extra coaching or grooming for their dogs and other pets. This is the major reason why the services of dog boarding services will always be needed.

We are well positioned to take on the available market in Jefferson City – Missouri and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income / profits from the first six month of operations and grow our clientele base.

We have been able to critically examine the Pet Grooming and Boarding industry and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projections are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to similar startups in Jefferson City – Missouri.

Below is the sales projection for Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC, it is based on the location of our dog boarding facility and of course the wide range of pet related services and products that we will be offering;

  • First Fiscal Year-: $200,000
  • Second Fiscal Year-: $350,000
  • Third Fiscal Year-: $750,000

N.B : This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same additional services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

We are mindful of the fact that there are stiffer competitions amongst dog boarding services and pet related businesses in the United States of America; hence we have been able to hire some of the best marketing experts to handle our sales and marketing.

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC.

We will also ensure that our clients’ pets are well taken care of and they become experts with the skills they acquire; we want to build a standard and first – class doggie day care center and pet related business that will leverage on word of mouth advertisement from satisfied clients (both individuals and corporate organizations).

Our goal is to grow Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC to become one of the top 5 dog boarding facilities in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategy that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with not only in Jefferson City – Missouri but also in other cities in the United States of America.

Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;

  • Introduce our dog boarding and pet related business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to corporate organizations, households and key stake holders in pet industry in Jefferson City – Missouri
  • Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities and train stations et al.
  • Use friends and family to spread word about our dog boarding services and pet related business
  • Post information about our dog boarding services and pet related business on bulletin boards in places like schools, libraries, and local coffee shops.
  • Placing a small or classified advertisement in the newspaper, or local publication about our business
  • Attend relevant pet related expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
  • Engage direct marketing approach
  • Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients.

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

We have been able to work with our brand and publicity consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to become the number one choice for both corporate clients and private clients in the whole of Jefferson City – Missouri which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our dog boarding services and pet related business.

Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC;

  • Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events / programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook , twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our brand
  • Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations all around Jefferson City – Missouri
  • Engage in road show from time to time in targeted neighborhoods
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Contact corporate organizations and households by calling them up and informing them of Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC and the services we offer
  • List our dog boarding services and pet related business on local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise our dog boarding services and pet related business in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site.
  • Ensure that all our dog handlers / pet trainers, vet doctors and staff members wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are well branded with our organizations’ logo et al.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

Generally for dog boarding services and dog walking services business both per hour billing and flat fees on a weekly or monthly basis applies. As a result of this, Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC will charge our clients flat fees except for few occasions where there will be need for us to charge special clients on hourly basis.

At Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC we will keep our fees below the average market rate for all of our clients by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance.  In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to all our loyal clients at regular intervals.

We are aware that there are some clients that would need special assistance for their pets, we will offer flat rate for such services that will be tailored to take care of such clients’ needs.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.

Here are the payment options that Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards / Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines)
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
  • Payment via bank draft

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for farm produces purchase without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials to clients who may want to deposit cash or make online transfer for our services.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

In setting up a dog boarding services and pet related business, the amount or cost will depend on the approach and scale you want to undertake. If you intend to go big by renting a place, then you would need a higher amount of capital as you would need to ensure that your employees are well taken care of, and that your office environment is conducive enough for clients and their pets.

The materials and equipment that will be used are nearly the same cost everywhere, and any difference in prices would be minimal and can be overlooked. As for the detailed cost analysis for starting a dog boarding services and pet related business; it might differ in other countries due to the value of their money.

However, this is what it would cost us to launch Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC in the United of America;

  • Business incorporating fees in the United States of America will cost – $750.
  • The budget for Liability insurance, permits and license will cost – $3,500
  • Acquiring a facility or apartment for at least 6 months (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) will cost – $35,000.
  • Equipping the dog boarding facility (dryers, tables, tubs, floor grills and trays, faucets and often ramps for pets. Additionally, pet-boarding operators must purchase bowls, bedding and cleaning materials, computers, printers, dog tie, dog chains, start – up inventories, furniture, telephones, filing cabinets, and electronics et al) will cost – $50,000
  • The cost for Start-up inventory (stocking with a wide range of pet foods, shampoos, dog tie, dog chains, and pet clothes et al)  – $5,000
  • Launching an official Website will cost – $500
  • Amount need to pay bills and staff members for at least 2 to 3 months – $70,000
  • Additional Expenditure such as Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions will cost – $5,000

Going by the report from detailed research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need an average of $200,000 to start a small scale but standard limousine rental services business in the United States of America.

Generating Funds / Startup Capital for Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC

Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC is a family business that will be owned and managed by Bruno Pearson and his immediate family members. They are the sole financial of the business which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the start – up capital for the business to just three major sources.

These are the areas we intend generating our start – up capital;

  • Generate part of the start – up capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks
  • Generate part of the start – up capital from friends and other extended family members
  • Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility).

N.B: We have been able to generate about $50,000 (Personal savings $35,000 and soft loan from family members $15,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $200,000 from our bank. All the papers and document has been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the numbers of loyal customers that they have the capacity and competence of the employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.

One of our major goals of starting Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.

We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer our dog boarding services and pet related business a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are well prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.

Bruno Pearson Dog Boarding Services®, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re – training of our workforce is at the top burner of our business strategy.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more as determined by the board of the organization. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List / Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Incorporation: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts various banks in the United States: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of All form of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Secure a standard facility for the dog boarding services plus reconstruction of the facility: Completed.
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating part of the start – up capital from the founders: Completed
  • writing of business plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
  • Design of Logo for the school: Completed
  • Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the Needed furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the business: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business in Smethport – Pennsylvania: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors and key players in various industries: In Progress.

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Dog and Cat Kennel Business Plan

Start your own dog and cat kennel business plan

Executive Summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. It describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">

Noah’s Arf is a full-service animal care facility dedicated to consistently providing high customer satisfaction by rendering excellent service, quality pet care, and furnishing a fun, clean, enjoyable atmosphere at an acceptable price. We will maintain a friendly creative work environment which respects diversity, ideas, and hard work.

The timing is right for starting this new venture. Animals are playing a larger role in our lives, and working people are choosing to provide them with a good life. Loving families with active pets and an active conscience are in search of better lives for their pets and peace of mind for themselves, causing busy animal lovers to flock to an ever-growing number of animal day care facilities across the nation. For customer convenience, in addition to day care, Noah’s Arf will include overnight care, in-home care, wash your own, pet grooming, animal behavior, pet portraits, gift and pet specialty products, 24 hour service, and special requests, all at one facility.

Kris Price, owner, has worked at a high paced, customer service oriented profession at a growing company for twenty-three years. She has earned the respect of her colleagues through hard work and dedication. Her daughter is a graduate from veterinarian technical college and will join the staff in the fall of Year 1. Kris cares for pets of friends often, and at any given time there have been one or more animals living in her home. From business colleagues to friends surveyed, Kris has what it takes to make this venture extremely successful. She will count on her reputation to exceed expectations while continuously establishing an active client base.

To achieve our objectives, Noah’s Arf is seeking a long-term commercial loan. This loan will be paid back from the cash flow of the business within seven years, collateralized by the assets of the company, backed by personal integrity, experience and a contractual guarantee from the owner. Start-up costs will be used to purchase fixed assets, supplies, advertising, and opening cash on hand.

Dog and cat kennel business plan, executive summary chart image

1.1 Objectives

  • Monthly sales increasing steadily throughout FY 1.
  • Gross margin higher than 50% on pet products.
  • Full capacity by year end FY 2.
  • Expansion of services by FY 3.

1.2 Mission

To provide excellent animal care in a pet friendly atmosphere while ensuring our customers, both pet and owner, receive excellent service in a playful safe environment.

1.3 Keys to Success

The keys to success in our business are:

  • Superior Customer Service : 24 hour high-quality care and service.
  • Environment : provide a clean, upscale, odor free, enjoyable environment conducive to giving professional trusting service.
  • Convenience : offering clients a wide range of services in one environment.
  • Location : provide an easily accessible location for customer convenience.
  • Reputation : credibility, integrity, and 100% dedication from 23+ years employment at current workplace.

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Company summary company overview ) is an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure.">.

Noah’s Arf is a new company that will provide high-level animal care and customer service in the following categories:

  • Overnight care.
  • In-home care.
  • Wash your own pet.
  • Pet grooming.
  • Animal behavior classes.
  • Pet portraits.
  • Special events.
  • Special requests.
  • 24 hour service.

What will set Noah’s Arf apart from the competition is our commitment to provide these services in one convenient location that is not limited to dogs and cats.

2.1 Company Ownership

Noah’s Arf will be created as a Oregon Limited Liability Company (LLC) based in Multnomah County, privately owned by its principal operator.

2.2 Start-up Summary

Total start-up requirements include legal costs, logo design, stationery and related expenses. The start-up costs are to be financed partially by the direct owner investment and long-term loan financing. The details are included in the following table and chart.

Dog and cat kennel business plan, company summary chart image

2.3 Company Locations and Facilities

This facility will be established in an upscale, growing area in Northwest Portland described as the Pearl District. We will service the growing condominium area, the West Hills area, while capturing the Beaverton area for those customers coming into the Downtown Portland and airport areas. The facility is zoned EXD, which will allow day and overnight care.

Products and Services

Noah’s Arf wants to set itself apart from other animal service facilities that may offer only one or two types of services. While talking to several pet owners, I have come to realize they desire the services I am proposing, but are frustrated because they must go to several different businesses. The focus of Noah’s Arf is day care and overnight care. However, the services we provide will be above and beyond what our competition can offer.

Our business atmosphere will be clean, friendly and upscale where customers will be comfortable leaving their pets. We will offer a personal touch, such as birthday cards and a daily report card for each pet that is registered with Noah’s Arf.

Our business will offer 24 hour service, a unique concept in this type of industry.

3.1 Product and Service Description

Noah’s Arf will be considered an upscale, full-service animal care facility. We will offer a wide range of services, not limited to dogs or cats. Services are as follows:

  • Overnight Care : Leave your pet for as long as necessary for 24 hour care and attention. 26 large dog runs and eight kitty condos.
  • Day Care : Provide 3,000 sq. ft. for a fun, safe atmosphere for pets to spend the day exercising and enjoying the company of other pets.
  • In-home Animal Care : Staff will go to homes to feed, walk, play, and check on pets as often as requested. Mail will be picked up and plants watered if requested.
  • Wash Your Own Pet : Provide four tubs, brushes, environmentally safe shampoo, dryers and aprons for clients who bring their pets in to wash.
  • Pet Grooming : Provide on-site professional pet grooming services.
  • Animal Behavior Courses : Provide certified animal training courses for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
  • Pet Portraits : On-site portrait opportunities.
  • Gift Shop : Provide specialty pet-related gifts and products.
  • Special Events : Coordinate pet birthday parties or any other special occasions on-site or at a location of choice.
  • Special Requests : Provide service for pets with special needs including administering medication, assisting with recovery from surgery, handicaps, etc.

3.2 Competitive Comparison

The competition comes in several forms. There are several organizations that offer one or two services at their location.

Day care is a new business, offered currently only to dogs. There are eight dog day care facilities in the Portland area:

  • Urban Fauna in Northwest.
  • Lucky Dog Day Care in Tigard.
  • Happy Go Lucky Dog Training and Playcare in N. E. Portland.
  • Day Care for Doggy in N. E. Portland.
  • Doggone Fun! in Tualatin/Sherwood.
  • Kountry Kanine in Gresham.
  • No Bonz About It N. E. in Portland.
  • See Spot Play in S. E. Portland.

None of these facilities offer 24 hour care making it inconvenient for clients to pick up their pet by a specified time.

Noah’s Arf will service all domestic animals within reason. We will not be limited to dogs only.

There are seven wash your own dog facilities in the Portland area:

  • Beauty For the Beast in N. E. Portland.
  • Rub-A-Dub Dog Wash in S. E. Portland.
  • The Dog Wash in Beaverton.
  • Bowsers Bath in Tigard.
  • Connie’s U Wash Dog Wash.
  • Aqua Dog in Beaverton.
  • Pups & Cups in N. E. Portland.

There are 73 grooming and boarding combined facilities and 18 dog training and obedience combined facilities in the Portland area. Noah’s Arf offers complete and total services at one location. One-stop high-quality pet care for customer convenience.

3.3 Sales Literature

This business will begin with a general corporate brochure establishing offered services. This brochure will be developed as part of the start-up expenses and distributed to large businesses, restaurants, local veterinarians, pet stores, real estate agencies, fire departments, The Humane Society, and the Washington Park Zoo. There will be a direct mailing to registered pet owners and a website created.

Literature and mailing for the initial market forums will be very important, with the need to establish a high-quality look and feel in order to create a trusting sense of professionalism.

3.4 Technology

Noah’s Arf will maintain the latest Windows and Internet capabilities including complete email capabilities on the Internet to work directly with clients for reservations, purchasing products online, asking questions, providing information, etc., as well as a Web page will provide information and maximum exposure of available services.

3.5 Future Products and Services

ONE YEAR GROWTH PLAN

  • Veterinarian technician on staff to administer vaccinations on specified days and tend to any unforeseen emergencies.
  • Internet access to watch your pet online.
  • Monthly newsletter.
  • Weekly play hour.
  • Espresso and juice bar.
  • Expand the number of overnight kennels by 10.
  • Mobil pet wash–will go to pet owners home to wash their pets.
  • Sell and distribute gifts and products online.
  • Add an exercise pool.
  • Combine facility with a local veterinarian.

Market Analysis Summary how to do a market analysis for your business plan.">

Noah’s Arf will focus on dual-income, traveling professional families with hectic schedules. Those trying to strike a balance between the demands of their careers, personal lives and their pets. Our most important group of customers are those who do not have as much time as they desire to invest in their pets and are willing to seek additional help regardless of costs.

Two years ago, doggie day care did not exist in Portland. Today, there are eight such centers complete with entrance requirements and waiting lists.

4.1 Target Market Segment Strategy

We will not be successful waiting for the customer to come to us. Instead, we must focus on the specific market segments whose needs match our offerings. Focusing on targeted segments is the key to our future.

Therefore, our focus and marketing message will be the services offered. We will develop our message, communicate it, and fulfill our commitment to excellence.

4.2 Market Needs

Our target customers are pet owners, not restricted to only one pet per household. They are working professionals that need reliable, trusting and convenient pet care available to them to keep up with the demands of their hectic schedules. There is a need for one-stop convenience.

4.2.1 Market Trends

Today’s trend consists of professionals having their families later in life or deciding not to have children at all. Pet owners are increasingly treating their pets as they would their children. Pets aren’t just part of the family anymore. In some cases they are the family. They are willing to invest dollars to have them cared for in an environment that would mirror their home surroundings.

Another important workplace trend is working longer hours and more days. There is also the traveling professional. Professionals are looking for help to care for their pets in a loving playful daycare. There is a need to have pets cared for over long periods of time while their owners are away on business trips. Downtown and condominium living has also become very popular for professionals. This creates the need to provide a daily exercise and a playful environment for their pets.

In 1998, the amount of money Americans spend on dog food totaled $5.9 billion. America’s hottest new publication is The Bark , a monthly publication for dog owners. Portland has their own publication, Dog Nose News . Hotel chains are encouraging pet owners to bring their pets to stay in their hotels.

4.2.2 Market Growth

The benefits of sharing our lives with our pets offers owners affection, companionship and security. For busy families, professionals and single pet owners, Noah’s Arf offers a peace of mind alternative to leaving their pets home alone. Over 350,000 Portland Metro households have dogs, according to the Dog Nose News . The nation’s 58 million pet owners spent an estimated 22.7 billion on their pets in 1999 according to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

A 1998 American Animal Hospital Association survey of pet owners who took their animals to a vet, found that nearly one-third said they spend more time with their pets than with their friends. Animals are playing a larger role in our lives and working people are choosing to provide them with a good life, according to the director of community programs at the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Pet owners can be confident that their pets are in the best of hands at Noah’s Arf. Pets can socialize with buddies, revel in attention from expert care givers, and enjoy play activities.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

The animal care service industry consists of many small individual facilities. Noah’s Arf direction is to establish itself as a full-service, 24-hour facility, creating customer convenience.

4.3.1 Business Participants

The animal care industry is made up of many small participants that are function-specific. These businesses offer one or two services. There are no businesses that offer full care, including day care, overnight care and in-home care for 24 hours a day. Current facilities have limited hours, causing a great inconvenience for the customer. Noah’s Arf will change these trends and offer “one stop convenience” for all their pet needs.

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Emphasize Customer Service

Noah’s Arf will differentiate themselves from other animal care facilities. We will establish our business offering as a clear and viable alternative for our target market.

Build a Relationship-Oriented Business

Build long-term relationships with clients, not just an occasional visit. Let them become dependent on Noah’s Arf to help out in many situations. Make them understand the value of the relationship.

Focus on Target Markets

We need to focus our offerings on the busy professionals, who want to save time to enjoy convenience, multiple services, and total satisfaction of services.

Differentiate and Fulfill the Promise

We can’t just market and sell service and products, we must actually deliver as well. We need to make sure we have the knowledge-intensive business and service-intensive business we claim to have.

5.1 Competitive Edge

Noah’s Arf starts with a critical competitive edge: There is no competitor that can claim several multiple services, 24 hour care, and customer convenience at one location.

5.1.1 Pricing Strategy

Noah’s Arf will be priced at the upper edge of what the market will bear, competing with similar types of services in the area.

5.1.2 Promotion Strategy

We will host an open house with a business card drawing for one free service. We will offer discounts after a specified number of visits for the first six months to establish a client base.

  • 10 wash your own = one free day visit gift certificate.
  • 10 day care visits = one free overnight visit gift certificate.
  • 10 overnight visits = one free wash your own gift certificate.
  • 20 visits = $10.00 discount.
  • Three referrals = one free day care visit gift certificate.
  • Monthly business card drawing = one free visit.
  • Create specified packages = one day, one night, one wash for a special discount price.
  • Multiple pets from the same family = family discount rate.
  • Use promotional items such as frisbees, collars, coffee mugs, etc. with Noah’s Arf logo imprinted.

5.1.3 Marketing Strategy

Our marketing strategy is a simple one: satisfied customers are our best marketing tool. When a customer leaves our business with a happy pet knowing that it has had a fulfilled day, our name and service will stand on its own. We have talked with many friends, and associates who are excited about our plans and are anxious to use our services.

In addition, we will distribute advertising brochures to large businesses for bulletin boards, (Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Fred Meyer, Epson, Intel, Planar, etc.) offering a 10% discount for a limited time to build a client base.

Local TV news shows (AM Northwest, Good Day Oregon) will be contacted to feature our business as a new service to the community. Direct mail will be sent to registered pet owners in the Portland Metro area. Brochures will be distributed to hotels, restaurants, condominiums, pet stores, coffee shops, Washington Park Zoo, local veterinarians, etc. Create a Noah’s Arf Web Page. Advertise in the Oregonian, Willamette Weekly, Portland Tribune, and Dog Nose News newspapers.

5.2 Sales Forecast

The following table and charts present the sales forecast for Noah’s Arf.

Dog and cat kennel business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

Management Summary management summary will include information about who's on your team and why they're the right people for the job, as well as your future hiring plans.">

Noah’s Arf will be organized and managed in a creative, innovative fashion to generate very high levels of customer satisfaction. We will create a working climate conducive to a high degree of personal development and satisfaction for employees.

A policy manual will be developed and implemented. Job descriptions will be developed to identify necessary competencies and skill sets. Team oriented professionals with common goals will be hired.

We will conduct weekly staff meetings to discuss ideas, suggestions, and operations. An annual motivational seminar will be held and we will develop an employee recognition program. As the business grows, the company will offer an employee benefit package to include health and vacation benefits for everyone.

6.1 Personnel Plan

The personnel plan will be as follows:

  • One manager to oversee and fill-in for all areas.
  • Two front desk reception to greet customers, receive payments for services/products, set appointments, answer phones, check-in pets, distribute wash your own supplies and maintain files of clients with data entry.
  • Four playground supervisors will feed and water pets, keep area clean, walk and exercise, collect pets at check-out time. Two will be on staff full time and two will work part time.

Contract Employees:

  • One pet groomer.
  • One behavioral trainer.

In the first year, assumptions are that there will be only one receptionist, four playground supervisors, and the manager will serve as part time receptionist and night personal until the business can build. The groomer and trainer will work on contract. In the second year, a second receptionist, two playground supervisors and a groomer will be added to the payroll.

6.2 Management Team

Kris Price: Owner and Operations Manager

Nike, Inc. – 1979 to present:

***Owner resume has been omitted for confidentiality.***

Classes and Seminars:

Financial Plan investor-ready personnel plan .">

The following is Noah’s Arf’s financial plan.

7.1 Important Assumptions

The following table summarizes key financial assumptions, including payment for services in cash or credit card. We assume fast-growth and large demands in this new specialized service.

7.2 Key Financial Indicators

The benchmark comparison chart highlights our ambitious plan. We feel this is a new fast growing service offered to the community. The opportunity to expand services is endless.

Dog and cat kennel business plan, financial plan chart image

7.3 Break-even Analysis

For our break-even analysis, we assume monthly costs which include our full payroll, rent, and utilities, and an estimation of other running expenses.

Dog and cat kennel business plan, financial plan chart image

7.4 Projected Profit and Loss

Month-by-month forecasts for profit and loss are included in the appendix.

Dog and cat kennel business plan, financial plan chart image

7.5 Projected Cash Flow

The following chart and table show the project cash flow for Noah’s Arf.

Dog and cat kennel business plan, financial plan chart image

7.6 Projected Balance Sheet

The Projected Balance Sheet is quite solid. We do not project any real trouble meeting our debt obligations–as long as we can achieve our specific objectives.

7.7 Business Ratios

The table follows with our main business ratios. We intend to improve gross margins and inventory turnover. Industry profile ratios based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code 0752, Animal Specialty Services, nec., are shown for comparison.

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Dog Kennel Business Plan

MAR.02, 2021

Dog Kennel Business Plan

Do you want to start dog kennel business plan?

Do you want to start a dog kennel business? Well, the business is quite profitable because many people cannot provide the required care and maintenance to their pet animals. Primarily due to their busy routines. A dog kennel provides shelter, space, and professional care to pet dogs for a short and long time.

While the business is profitable, it is extremely demanding too. To make sure that your startup becomes your success, you’ll have to manage the land, resources, and finances to the full.

If you are looking for how to open dog kennels business you are on the right site. In this blog we will be providing all the details and business plan for dog kennel startup, Jake’s Kennel Club.

Executive Summary

2.1 the business.

Jake’s Kennel Club will be a dog kennel facility based in Detroit. The registered, licensed and insured business will aim at providing all the services relevant to dog care and maintenance. To assist people who might not be able to take care of their dogs for any reason, we will provide a wide range of services from bathing their dogs to letting them exercise.

2.2 Management of Dog Kennel Business

Management of a dog kennel is not an easy task. When you are searching for how to set up a dog boarding business you must keep in mind that you’ll require to hire persons who are specialized in dog care and training. Moreover, you will be needing some vets, a lot of cleaners, and resource and finance management staff for starting a dog boarding business at home or any commercial building.

In this blog on how to start your own dog boarding business plan , we’ll provide all details of the personnel plan, financial plan, and all management-related strategies of Jake’s Kennel Club.

2.3 Customers of Dog Kennel Business

Our major customers will be adults and youngsters who cannot afford to care for their pets due to their job routines. Children and teens and senior citizens will also be availing of our services frequently.

2.4 Business Target

Our major targets are:

  • To achieve a repeat purchase rate of 90% by the end of the first six months.
  • To maintain a CSAT score of above 95% throughout our service years.
  • To earn a net profit margin of $26.7k per month by the end of the third year.

Dog Kennel Business Plan - 3 Years Profit Forecast

Company Summary

3.1 company owner.

Jake’s Kennel Club will be started by Jake Frost. Jake is an MBA with an extreme passion for pet care. Throughout his life, he has kept several animals just because he loves helping nature.

3.2 Why the dog kennel business is being started

Jake wanted to start some different and newer sort of business. After analyzing his passion and interests he decided to start a dog kennel. The major reason behind this decision was his passion. He wanted to earn by doing what he loved the most.

3.3 How the dog kennel business will be started

Step1: Plan Everything

The first step is to study dog kennel business plan examples to understand what others are doing in this business domain. After analyzing several running a dog kennel business plans you should start developing a business plan for your startup. To help you in identifying the major components of a business plan, we are providing dog kennel business plan sample for Jake’s Kennel Club, free of cost.

Step2: Define the Brand

The second step is to acquire the licenses and registration and start working on defining the company’s values, targets, customer care policies, and services. Through these things, your customers will know who you are and how you are different than your competitors.

Step3: Establish Physical and Web Presence

The next you have to do is establishing your dog kennel. For that, you will have to recondition your land for providing activities, sleeping, and bathing spaces for dogs.

Moreover, to let your customers have an insight into your care and maintenance operations, you should launch your website. Through that, you will also be able to get online orders and payments.

Step4: Promote and Market

The last thing to finalize your launch is to develop and execute your sales strategy. It is only through influencing advertising that you will be able to attract more and more customers to your site.

Dog Kennel Business Plan - Startup Cost

By owning a dog kennel business you have the freedom to decide on any type of services. You may choose to provide general pet sitting services and you can also offer the services for just dog breeds.

Jake decided to offer services specifically restricted to just dogs. The services he’ll offer are listed here in this dog kennel business plan template.

  • Dog Daycare & Grooming: Our primary service will be providing a daycare facility for dogs. This service will last for 6 to 15 hours a day, according to the clients’ requirements. In this, we’ll be responsible for feeding, grooming, cleaning, and engaging your dog till the time you’re busy with other tasks. This service will include
  • Dog Grooming
  • Dog Walking Business
  • Dog Cleaning/ Washing/ Bathing
  • Dog Feeding
  • Dog Training: We’ll also provide dog training services business . In this, we’ll train your newly petted dogs to make them behave as you want.
  • Dog Boarding Service: In this service, we’ll provide dog daycare service on a long-term basis with night care and sleeping arrangements incorporated too. We will offer several packages for full-time dog care for multiple days to several weeks and months.
  • Dog Shuttle Service: To facilitate our customers we will offer dog shuttle services. In this, we will provide pick and drop services to their dogs. So that they don’t have to come to us to pick their pet animals.

Marketing Analysis of Dog Kennel Business

Marketing analysis is a must before you set up dog kennel business plan. In marketing analysis, you study the target marketplace to identify previous ups and downs and forecasted market analytics. Moreover, this analysis helps you in identifying your customers so that you can also set a pricing strategy that meets their needs and incomes.

In this blog on how to write a business plan for a dog kennel, we are providing marketing analysis done for Jake’s Kennel Club, free of cost.

5.1 Market Trends

Dog kennel businesses are high in demand and will remain in demand for the next five to ten years. According to IBISWorld, over 139k pet grooming and boarding businesses are running in the United States. In the past five years i.e. from 2016 to 2021, this industry has seen a growth rate of 1.9%. And the business is expected to grow by 23.4% in the U.S. in 2021 alone. Moreover, the U.S. market size of this business is estimated to be $8.8 billion in 2021 by the same source.

All these stats suggest that there are minimum risks of failure if you enter this venture. Therefore, you should not unnecessarily delay the launch anymore.

5.2 Marketing Segmentation

Before you make a business plan for starting a dog kennel, you should explore the groups of your target customers. In-depth knowledge of your customers, their average incomes, buying capabilities, and interests help you in estimating sales. Through that, you can figure out how much to spend on your startup on a particular service while considering it from a sales point of view.

In this business plan for opening a dog kennel we’re providing the marketing segmentation done for Jake’s Kennel Club. By studying this you can have an idea of who is most likely to avail of your services.

Dog Kennel Business Plan - Marketing Segmentation

5.2.1 Working Class

Our primary customers will be the adults and youngsters who have to go for their 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. jobs. Such people can never meet the needs of their pet animals whether they are hygienic or care-related.

To help this group, we’ll take care of their dogs for a specified time every day. In our dog daycare business plan , their dogs will be groomed and fed. Moreover, they will be involved in games, and exercising activities.

5.2.2 Senior Citizens

The second group of our target customers will comprise the senior citizens living in our city. Senior people usually keep pets but find it very hard to train or groom their pets themselves – that too daily. Therefore, we will do this difficult task for them.

5.2.3 Children & Teens

Our last group of customers will be the children and teens who are fond of keeping pets. But are too irresponsible to take good care of them. Thus, they are expected to bring their dogs to us for training, grooming, and washing them.

5.3 Business Target

Very professional.

Very professional and efficient services. Highly recommended.

Our business targets are to attain a net promoter score above 60 within a year of our launch. Moreover, we aim at achieving a repeat purchase rate of 90% by the end of the first six months. And to ensure a customer satisfaction score of above 95% throughout our service years.

5.4 Product Pricing

Our prices are almost the same as that of our competitors. Moreover, due to our highly customer-oriented policies, we have priced our shuttle services at the lowest rate in the whole market. To retain our potential customers, we’ll also be providing several discounts to our repeat clients.

Marketing Strategy

After establishing your business, you should start exploring dog kennel ideas plans to figure out the most suitable advertisement strategy. In this dog kennel business plan pdf we are providing the sales strategy for Jake’s Kennel Club to help you in developing yours.

6.1 Competitive Analysis

Our competitive benefits are listed below:

  • We are highly customer care oriented. To satisfy our customers we’ll allow them to monitor their pets at any time through a video call, or our mobile app.
  • Our prices for dog shuttle services are the lowest among all of our competitors.
  • Our workers are highly collaborative and loving. They will treat your animals with utmost care and love.

6.2 Sales Strategy

  • We’ll run a social media campaign emphasizing how we can help people taking care of their animals.
  • We’ll advertise our startup through Google Local ads service, local magazines, local newspapers, and by installing posters.
  • We’ll offer a 50% discount on dog daycare services for the first month of our launch.
  • We’ll provide a 30% discount on our dog training services for the first two months.

6.3 Sales Monthly

Dog Kennel Business Plan - Sales Monthly

6.4 Sales Yearly

Dog Kennel Business Plan - Sales Yearly

6.5 Sales Forecast

Dog Kennel Business Plan - Unit Sales

Personnel plan

While you write business plan dog kennel you should also prepare a list of employees you’ll need to run your business. A good strategy for business is to also include their job descriptions and average salaries so that you can plan all aspects relevant to them.

7.1 Company Staff

Jake will be the CEO herself. For his assistance, he’ll hire:

  • 1 Co-Manager to monitor business operations
  • 1 Accountant to maintain financial records
  • 1 Dog Playground Supervisor to supervise dogs’ activities
  • 2 Pet Behavioral Trainers to train dogs
  • 4 Dog Groomers to ensure the dogs are clean and tidy
  • 2 General Dog Care Workers to take care of dogs’ health and food intake
  • 1 General Assistant
  • 1 Web Developer to manage the online presence
  • 1 Sales Executive to execute the sales strategy
  • 2 Cleaners to clean the facility
  • 1 Driver to provide shuttle service

7.2 Average Salary of Employees

Financial plan.

Setting up your business doesn’t ensure long-term success unless you have an accurate financial plan. The importance of a financial plan can never be ignored no matter how small your business is. When you are creating a business plan for a dog kennel you must include a detailed financial plan in it.

A comprehensive financial plan should contain break-even analysis, projected profit and loss tables, gross margin charts, cash flow table, and balance sheet. These analytics can help you understand how to minimize or avoid loss. Moreover, they can also help you proactively manage risks and unexpected situations.

For reference, we’re providing the financial plan developed for Jake’s Kennel Club here.

8.1 Important Assumptions

8.2 break-even analysis.

Dog Kennel Business Plan - Break-even Analysis

8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

8.3.1 profit monthly.

Dog Kennel Business Plan - Profit Monthly

8.3.2 Profit Yearly

Dog Kennel Business Plan - Profit Yearly

8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly

Dog Kennel Business Plan - Gross Margin Monthly

8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly

Dog Kennel Business Plan - Profit Yearly

8.4 Projected Cash Flow

Dog Kennel Business Plan - Projected Cash Flow

8.5 Projected Balance Sheet

8.6 business ratios.

Download Dog Kennel Business Plan Sample in pdf

OGScapital also specializes in writing business plans such as a  business plan for horse training , business plans for cleaning .

OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than $1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.

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A new coming-of-age film 'How to Have Sex' follows 3 teens on a spring break trip

Elissa

Elissa Nadworny

NPR's Elissa Nadworny asks Molly Manning Walker and Mia McKenna-Bruce about their new coming-of-age film, "How to Have Sex."

ELISSA NADWORNY, HOST:

Partying on Lake Havasu, crowding into a hotel room at Panama City Beach, Cancun or Cabo - the spring break trip, a so-called rite of passage. For 16-year-old British teens Tara, Em and Skye, it's off to Greece for a holiday of clubbing and carousing on Crete in the new movie "How To Have Sex." Molly Manning Walker wrote and directed it. Mia McKenna-Bruce stars as Tara. And both join us now. Welcome to the program.

MOLLY MANNING WALKER: Thank you so much. Hello.

MIA MCKENNA-BRUCE: Hi. Thank you for having us.

NADWORNY: Did either of you do a spring break trip like this before? Like, can you relate to this experience in the film?

WALKER: Yeah, yeah, we both did.

MCKENNA-BRUCE: For me, it was - I mean, pretty much what you see in the film.

NADWORNY: Wow.

MCKENNA-BRUCE: It's kind of - someone described it to me a couple weeks ago, and I was like, that's it. They described it as like going into battle. You go in all guns blazing.

WALKER: Yeah. I went on, like, maybe six of them between the ages of 16 and 20. Some of the memories are like the best memories of my life, and then some of them are obviously more complicated.

NADWORNY: So it's probably already clear to our listeners that we're going to be discussing things that might not be suitable for children who may be listening, but that's also, in a way, kind of what this movie is about - that middle period when people are doing adult things with bodies and brains that aren't necessarily fully formed yet.

WALKER: Yeah, totally.

NADWORNY: One of the things in the film that really struck me is the storytelling felt so realistic, that kind of drunken chaos and confusion, the head-spinning feeling of being at a frat party and kind of not knowing where your friends are. You can't think straight. There's like this emotional roller coaster of it all. I wonder if you could just talk about kind of that world-building, and especially I'm interested in the pool, Molly.

WALKER: Yeah, for sure. We hired a documentary cinematographer, so that was one of the main things. The production design or the costuming was all sort of referenced from vlogs and TikTok. And we spent a long time scouting, and I guess we sort of eventually settled on probably the most party hotel in the resort, which is, like, right next to all the clubs. It wasn't until like a later date where we were all standing on the roof for a tech recce, and we were all looking at the pool and our heads like kind of craned. And we're like, is the pool a penis shape? And turns out the pool was a penis shape.

WALKER: And I guess that says a lot about kind of the environment and the sort of expectations of the environment.

NADWORNY: Yeah, you're like, I'm spot on, actually, in making this movie.

WALKER: And we picked the right hotel, I guess. And then, like, halfway through the shoot, the line producer came to me and was like, we're kind of under budget. Like, is there anything you want? And I was like, a drone shot of the pool.

NADWORNY: (Laughter) Mia, your character Tara starts off as this ball of energy. She has these great little jokes. Can you just start by telling us about her?

MCKENNA-BRUCE: Yeah, I mean, Tara kind of embodies that period of youth, you know, where you would really think you're a lot older than what you are, and you're kind of figuring it all out. And she does have this incredible energy, but then feels like she's got to continue with this energy, you know, even when she's not feeling like she wants to. So constantly trying to live up to the expectations of what people have of her, which I think is one of the things that resonates with a lot of people when they watch this film.

NADWORNY: She's also a virgin. What's her relationship to sex in this movie?

MCKENNA-BRUCE: Yeah, so when we first meet Tara, she's a virgin, and we see the girls discussing a lot that she is going to lose her virginity on this holiday. And one of her lines is literally, I don't want to die a virgin, which is hilarious because, I mean, we're looking at young girls that are, like, 16 years old and she thinks, you know, if she doesn't lose her virginity on this holiday, that's it. That's it for her, which just goes to show, you know, we're getting pressures from from all angles without having the tools to actually talk about it and understand what, what that means.

NADWORNY: You know, without giving anything away, is it true that in workshops before filming, girls who read assault scenes from the film didn't consider what was being described as assault?

WALKER: Yeah, you know, it would say, like, very clearly in the stage directions that Tara was very uncomfortable, and they would be like, but she said yes, so that's fine. So it was, like, an interesting comparison that they were sort of drawing to that meant, you know, yes is yes, basically.

NADWORNY: One night there's the scene where Tara is drunk and dancing and all you hear is her breathing and the pounding of the music. That scene feels like a turning point for your character.

MCKENNA-BRUCE: Yeah, yeah. You know, we follow Tara very closely on her figuring out what she's feeling and why she's feeling it. And I think we do reach this moment where she's a bit like, let me try and push through this because she doesn't know how to articulate it either, or who to go to, where to turn.

NADWORNY: Mia, I'm wondering, you know, you told W Magazine that you have two younger sisters, and you'd love for them to see this. Do you want them to see this out of pride for kind of their big sister, or because you want them to kind of get the message of the film about sex and consent?

MCKENNA-BRUCE: Definitely because I want them to get the message of the film, for sure. One of my sisters is 16 and the other one is 21, and sex has never really been an open conversation in our house. So for me, it was really important that, you know, from - as soon as I read the script, I was like, this is a brilliant way to open this conversation, to give us that in, you know, and also be able to talk about sex without necessarily using, like, yourself or your own experiences, just being able to have an open conversation around sex. And they have watched the film. They watched it when it first screened in London. And that's exactly what it's done for everyone in my family - kind of really opened up these conversations. And for me, like, that's just incredible that now my younger sisters and hopefully their friends as well, are starting to have this dialogue talking about what good sex is, you know, and, like, how it feels.

NADWORNY: Molly, I think this movie reminded me so much of being young. The whole film, I wanted to just be Tara's friend and give her a hug and kind of tell her everything I know now as an adult. For you, who kind of created her character and created this world, how does that make you feel? What's your takeaway from your debut film?

WALKER: It's been amazing. Like, I guess we thought we were sort of making quite a personal, small story. And I guess what we've realized over time is that it's a really universal story, and that's both amazing and kind of heartbreaking at the same time. And to see so many women feel seen by it - yeah, it feels like the conversation's got a long way to go, and we have a lot of battles to fight, I guess.

NADWORNY: That's Molly Manning Walker and Mia McKenna-Bruce. Their new film is "How To Have Sex." Thanks for speaking with us.

WALKER: Thank you so much.

MCKENNA-BRUCE: Thank you so much. Thank you.

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Start a Dog Kennel Business

    Legal Requirements Positives of Owning a Dog Kennel Business Negatives of Owning a Dog Kennel Business Planning Your Dog Kennel Business What is a Dog Kennel Business? The UK is a nation of dog lovers, with approximately 33% of households having a pet dog. This amounts to more than 12.5 million pet dogs across the country.

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  3. Starting a dog boarding business: What you need to know

    Why now is a good time to start a dog boarding business . Owning a dog is now more popular than ever and statistics show that more than half of UK households owned at least one pet in 2020-2021, with an estimated 12 million dogs living in homes. The dog population of the UK is one of the highest in Europe.

  4. How to Start a Dog Kennel Business in 2023

    Create a Business Plan Setting up a dog kennel business properly is a costly exercise, and you'll need financial backing. A good business plan can give you, and those interested in investing, confidence that you've done your due diligence and can forecast success.

  5. How to start up a boarding kennel

    Cats are usually fed twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening; dogs are usually just fed once a day. Feeding routines are, however, a matter of personal preference. attend to any problems with new boarders. let the animals back inside and then clean the outside runs. walk/exercise dogs.

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    A well-established and successful doggy daycare business in the UK can potentially generate annual revenues ranging from £50,000 to £250,000 or more. To estimate your potential income, consider the following: Average daily rate: Determine the average rate you plan to charge per dog per day.

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    Having a business name is the beginning of the company incorporation process. 4. Registering Your Business. When starting a pet sitting business in the United Kingdom, your client will take you seriously if your business is registered. If you plan for company registration in the UK, then you'll have to register with Companies House. You can ...

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    It could cost you anywhere between $25,000 and $80,000 to get your business off the ground. In addition to the financial factors, you also need to think carefully about whether you have the time to devote to such a business.

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    Step 4: Write a dog boarding business plan. You're super excited about the idea of making tons of fluffy friends, right? So, let's document a plan to put this idea in motion. A business plan is crucial, and we have advice and resources to help. Sniff out the market. Before drafting your business plan, it's best to analyze the market.

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    Yes, it sounds like work, but if you want your boarding business to succeed, you have to do more than just play fetch with your tenants. 5. Get Insurance. Cesar Milan (the Dog Whisperer) recommends that any budding boarders invest in insurance. The basic minimum should be $2,000 of coverage per animal under your care.

  18. Kennel & Pet Boarding Business Plan Examples

    Horse Boarding Real Estate Business Plan. EquineAcres is a clean, attractive, well run resort community dedicated to horses and their owners. Create an experience that your guests can't stop barking about by opening your own kennel and pet boarding business. Get started with one of our sample business plans to make sure you have everything in ...

  19. How to start a dog walking business

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  21. Dog Boarding Business Plan [Sample Template]

    Below is a sample dog boarding business plan template that can help you to successfully write your own with little or no hassle. A Sample Dog Boarding Business Plan Template 1. Industry Overview Dog boarding business is a business that is a subset of the Pet Grooming and Boarding industry.

  22. Dog and Cat Kennel Business Plan Example

    1.2 Mission To provide excellent animal care in a pet friendly atmosphere while ensuring our customers, both pet and owner, receive excellent service in a playful safe environment. 1.3 Keys to Success The keys to success in our business are: Superior Customer Service: 24 hour high-quality care and service.

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    2.1 The Business Jake's Kennel Club will be a dog kennel facility based in Detroit. The registered, licensed and insured business will aim at providing all the services relevant to dog care and maintenance.

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