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For many people, caring for dogs as a day job sounds like a dream come true. While there's plenty of joy in long walks and belly rubs to be had, running a dog boarding business takes some careful planning.
We will guide you through the requirements for setting up a dog boarding business and what you need to do to give it the best chance of succeeding. From legal templates to business plans, read on to find out more.
A dog boarding business is a service which offers short-term accommodation for dogs while their owners are away. The dogs are provided with food, exercise, care and shelter in the form of kennels, private homes or, at the upscale end, pet hotels.
There's a lot to consider when starting a business, but breaking the process down into steps can make it less overwhelming. Check out this step-by-step guide on how to proceed:
While you don't need any formal training to run a dog boarding business, experience handling a wide range of dog breeds and a passion for animals will hold you in good stead.
Some skills you may want to consider to run your dog boarding business successfully include:
Though prior experience and qualifications in the world of animal care or veterinarian studies is a great thing to have, it is not a legal requirement for a dog boarding business.
If you have a passion for caring for dogs but lack the know-how, there are a number of informal online courses on dog care that can set you on the right path. These courses cost around $400-$700, but the vital information you gain from them will be indispensable in a dog boarding environment.
Read more about online courses if you're looking to start a new line of work.
Equipment is one of the biggest expenditures you'll need to fork out for initially. Some equipment will be a one-off purchase, whereas others will require constant renewing.
Here is a key equipment list for setting up your dog boarding business:
To help run your business efficiently, you'll need some basic computer equipment, but you may also want to consider some software to help with administrative tasks.
For a dog boarding business, there are a number of streamlined, all-in-one software programs that will manage everything from your bookings and payments to pet birthday tracking and photo management. Some options include:
Before you register your dog boarding business, you need to decide on a business structure. This will depend on your longer-term vision for your venture. Your business structure determines how you'll pay taxes and who is responsible for debts and losses. The following are common business models that you may want to consider for your dog boarding business:
When you are starting any type of business, it is essential to have all legal documentation in place, both to protect you and to prove you're qualified to offer this service. When setting up a dog boarding business, a number of essential documents are needed. These typically include:
There are many different ways to build up your customer base, from modern approaches like social media channels to more traditional methods such as word of mouth.
Along with your own website, you can utilise online marketplace platforms to promote your business and bring new customers straight to you. These marketplaces include:
Getting your business listed on business directories is another way of building your potential customer base. Top sites include True Local, Yellow Pages and White Pages.
Dog boarding is usually charged by the day and by the numbers of dogs boarding at one time. Let's take a look at current rate examples:
Pricing up your services can be a difficult task for any startup business, yet taking a few factors into consideration will help you come up with a viable number. These factors include:
Can I make money from boarding dogs?
Though it is possible to make money from boarding dogs, like any business it will take a lot of investment and time before you turn a profit. Money must be spent on licences, facilities and promotion before a dollar is made. Dog boarding can be profitable, but it is not quick cash.
Is dog boarding a good business?
Dog boarding is a great business for the right person. It's important to start the business with a love of dogs in mind, not just the intention of purely making money. Although a business exists to sell itself, a dog boarding business will only succeed if it is run with the welfare of the dogs as a priority.Back to top
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