How To Start A Doggy Daycare Business

Ryan O'Connell

By Ryan O'Connell

Last updated:

The thought of starting a dog daycare in their neighborhood looks like a dream come true for dog lovers! Imagine getting to watch cuddly, cute puppies run, leap, smell, and play in a friendly, secure atmosphere every single day! Now, you want to build your own business? But do you know how to open a dog daycare center? 

Start A Dog Walking Business

The desire to start a dog daycare from the beginning undoubtedly requires a certain amount of tolerance, enthusiasm, and commitment. Still, with a lot of effort and persistence, you can make your dream business come true. 

Dog Daycare Requirements

If you’re thinking about opening your own dog daycare, there are some essential standards you need to follow to guarantee our four-legged companions a fun and comfortable environment.

General Requirements

Ensuring the safety and welfare of the dogs under your care necessitates adhering to a number of rules when starting a dog daycare. These laws differ based on where you live and the particular services you provide, but generally speaking, you should be aware of the following.

  • Business license: Any company doing business inside a certain jurisdiction must comply with this. Additionally, you might have to register your company with the federal or state authorities.
  • Zoning laws: Verify that the doggy site you have selected is approved for commercial use and that you have the authorizations required to run a company there.
  • Insurance: It is essential for every organization since it safeguards both you and your enterprise in the event of mishaps or injuries. Insurance for the pets under your care is also a smart idea in case of unforeseen medical problems.

Facility Requirements

Besides the broad guidelines, the facility where your doggy daycare center will be situated is subject to certain laws and restrictions.

  • Building codes: All applicable building codes, such as those about accessibility, hygienic practices, and safety, must be met by your establishment.
  • Animal welfare: The building needs to be planned and kept up to date to give the pups in your daycare facility a secure and pleasant space. This can include the needs for food and clean water, as well as those related to ventilation, temperature, and illumination.
  • Staffing: There might be strict guidelines regarding the number of employees on duty at all times, depending on your boarding facility’s size and the number of dogs in your charge.

Operational Requirements

Lastly, there are rules that deal with the daily running of your business model.

  • Vaccinations: All dogs under your care must have current vaccination records, and you might need to present documentation of each dog’s immunizations.
  • Regular health screenings: You could be expected to inspect the dogs under your care for fleas, parasites, and other indications of disease or illness.
  • Socialization and exercise: It’s important to provide the dogs under your care with regular opportunities for exercise and canine companionship. The specific laws and regulations governing this might change based on where you live and the caring services you provide.
  • Keep the records: You need to maintain thorough records for every dog under your care, including details on vaccinations, examinations, and any accidents or injuries that may arise.

How To Start A Doggy Daycare Business: Step By Step

Suppose you have set the goal to launch your own business. Now, let’s dissect the process of opening a dog daycare into manageable phases to guarantee a seamless transition from concept to reality.

Dog care

Step 1: Research Your Market

Understanding the need for dog daycare services in your community is essential to starting a doggie daycare business effectively. Find out through market research how many pet owners in your neighborhood require pet boarding services.

Plus, study your competitors as well. What services do the dog care centers that are currently in your neighborhood offer? How many are there? What advantages and disadvantages do they have? You may use the data to develop a more competitive company strategy.

Step 2: Create A Plan For Your Business

Like any other business, a dog daycare must have a business strategy. It ought to contain your objectives, target market, projected financials, and a thorough rundown of your intended business operations.

A strategy that details your approach to drawing in and keeping clients should be included in your daycare business plan. If necessary, a comprehensive and well-written business plan will assist you in obtaining funds and drawing in investors.

Step 3: Acquire The Relevant Licenses And Permits

See what permissions and licenses are necessary to run a dog daycare by contacting your local authority. It takes the right licenses and permits to open a pet daycare center. The following are a few licenses and permissions that you might require.

  • General business license
  • Daycare license
  • USDA license
  • Animal transfer license
  • Seller’s permit

These might include health department inspections, permits for pet care facilities, and company licenses. To prevent any legal problems later on, make sure you abide by all legal requirements.

Step 4: Choose Your Location

The location of a dog daycare center is important. It should be conveniently located for your potential clients and provide plenty of room for the pups to run about and play.

Choose a place with lots of traffic flow and excellent visibility. When selecting a location, you should also take the direct cost of utilities, rent, and other expenditures into account.

Step 5: Hire Daycare Staff

Your dog daycare’s success depends on hiring knowledgeable and experienced employees. Seek out those with a strong interest in working with dogs and the knowledge and expertise to provide them with the care they require. You should prioritize hiring personnel who can function effectively in a team and can withstand the physical requirements of the position.

Moreover, choose staff members who can adjust to changing circumstances. As your company expands, you need team members who can swiftly learn new procedures and efficiently implement your daycare’s vision. In case you hire someone with less experience, take the time to train your employees. 

Step 6: Get Your Business Insurance

Getting liability insurance is crucial for any kind of business, and dog daycares are no exception. It can shield your company from any potential mishaps or injuries. When choosing an insurance carrier, it’s critical to do your homework and evaluate the rates and coverage of each one.

We recommend you to at least get the following.

  • Property insurance: It covers your equipment and facility, protecting your property from robbery, fire outbreaks, natural disasters, etc.
  • Insurance for general liability: This protects you against mishaps during regular business activities.
  • Professional liability insurance: It provides coverage for incidents that are specifically related to the activities at your dog daycare, for instance, a dog biting another dog.

Step 7: Create Procedures And Policies

It is crucial to have your own set of procedures and policies. These rules ought to cover nutrition, physical activity, and behavior control. They have to provide instructions on handling crises and other unforeseen circumstances.

Step 8: Purchase Furniture And Equipment

When launching a doggy daycare, it is imperative to invest in essential items, including grooming tools, play equipment, waste bags, and dog beds. Other mandatory safety items, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, are also needed.

For the size of the canines you will be taking care of, this equipment must be suitable, long-lasting, and simple to maintain and clean.

Step 9: Market The Services And Benefits

Developing a website, making a social media presence, and employing conventional marketing strategies and techniques are crucial for advertising your dog daycare company. This will support consumer attraction and the development of a devoted clientele.

Here’s our advice: Ensure your website is both informational, easy to use, and mobile-friendly. Offering unique discounts or promotions is another thing you need to do to draw in potential customers.

Step 10: Keep Your Business’s Records

Maintaining thorough records of your earnings and outlays is crucial for handling the financial aspects of your company and making expansion plans. 

To keep track of your financial information and provide thorough financial reports more easily, we recommend you use accounting software. This can assist you in planning for future growth and identifying areas where business might reduce expenses.

How Much Can You Make From A Doggy Daycare Business?

dog sitter service

Now that we know opening a pet daycare might be a profitable venture, subject to a few conditions. Let’s examine the potential revenue stream from starting a pet daycare.

Before getting into the average price that business owners might earn, we want to remind you of this. The fact that there is no “one-size-fits-all” revenue for dog daycare operators should not be forgotten. Numerous variables, like your location, business size, and hours worked, may affect your income.

Daycare Rates

For dogs, daycare costs can vary between $12 and $38 or even more per day. Thus, if your care center is caring for 15 dogs a day, you may earn from $180 – $570 a day or $5,400 – $17,100 per month.

However, if you can take care of 25 dogs every day, you may earn $300 – $950 daily or $9,000 – $28,500 monthly. Sounds pretty good, right?

Overnight Rates

Overnight boarding has the potential to generate much more revenue, with fees ranging from $45 to $75 per night. Ten dogs may bring in an additional $1,350 to $2,250 a month.

Cost Of Starting A Dog Daycare

The size and breadth of your enterprise will determine how much it costs to start a dog daycare. For instance, the startup costs for a small home-based firm will be far cheaper than those for a major facility launch.

There are other things to consider, including where you want to be and the type of services you want to provide. Overall, a dog daycare service typically needs to invest at least $80,000 to get off the ground, covering fees like insurance, construction, equipment, commercial lease, license, ads, and so on.

We know this sounds like tons of money. Still, remember that this is only an average. You may start a doggy daycare business on a tighter budget if you have a strong business strategy and are frugal with your expenditures!

How To Determine Your Service Price

Dog daycares must develop a devoted clientele to guarantee client happiness and repeat business. Retaining existing clients is a more cost-effective strategy than continuously pursuing new ones. Here’s how you can determine the price for your service.

  • Packages: Introduce the services in packages. Give clients the choice to purchase dog care service bundles in advance, for example, 10 packages for $8. Their experience is streamlined and made more convenient as a result of the system’s flawless tracking of all the credits.
  • Memberships: This program helps greatly expand the business while fostering a feeling of VIP treatment that encourages loyalty. Discounts on services are available to new members, and memberships must be renewed annually to keep their status.
  • Specialized Caring Services: Provide extras that regular daycares don’t usually provide, such as pet sitting, walking, grooming, training, pet transportation, hiking, or a little more care. Choose one of these choices to implement when starting your center.
  • Programs: Give clients the choice to enroll in a sequence of activities or group programs, including play dates with dogs or obedience training sessions. First-time customers are given a fresh experience as a result, which keeps them interested in your center.

Note: It’s crucial to strike the correct balance when determining the costs for your services and supplies to draw in a diverse clientele. 

Too high of a price might be hard to defend without providing extraordinary services, while too low of a price could lead clients to doubt the caliber of treatment. Thus, you can apply the above suggestions to make your service seem more valuable while keeping your operating budget under control.

Tips For Creating A Successful Business

Although it takes careful planning and execution, opening a dog daycare may be an enjoyable endeavor. Here are some helpful tips for starting a profitable dog daycare business to assist you as you get out on this furry journey.

  • Ensure you have a screening procedure in place before taking any dogs into your daycare. To make sure the dog is well-mannered and healthy, this should involve a behavior evaluation and health check.
  • Find yourself employees who are educated on the care and behavior of dogs. They can identify and manage any possible problems, such as altercations or urgent medical situations. This way, you can take care of the pups better and avoid unwanted health incidents.
  • Communicate and inform the pet parent about the pups’ conditions. Don’t forget to keep them informed on their dog’s activities and any potential medical or other issues.
  • Keep up with the latest trends. The dog daycare sector is always changing. Staying on top of pet industry developments, such as novel training methodologies or technology, is vital to guarantee that your institution delivers optimal patient care.
  • Take advantage of technology management systems. For example, use an online reservation system for consumer convenience. Or, you can get a platform for client management implemented.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do You Need A License To Open A Dog Daycare?

Yes. As with any startup, you will need to secure the necessary company permits. Your dog daycare licensing will likely be handled at the state and municipal levels. Check with your local regulations for the most precise requirements.

How Profitable Is A Dog Boarding Business?

The pet grooming and boarding sector, which includes dog daycares, has an average operating profit margin of around 10%. Still, profit margins in dog daycares can differ significantly based on size, location, services provided, and operational effectiveness, among other considerations.

Is The Pet Business Booming?

Yes. The sector is expanding significantly as a result of rising pet ownership and increased attention to the welfare of pets. Dog daycares, grooming, and high-end pet supplies are in great demand as more owners place a premium on their pets’ well-being.

The Bottom Line

We hope that you now have a clear manual to assist new dog daycare owners in starting and operating their businesses successfully. While this is a booming business, you should consider the upfront cost and requirements before starting off. Let’s now begin by drafting the first draft of your ideal company strategy.

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Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell is the owner of PetSitUSA - a directory of professional pet sitters, dog walkers, and dog daycares. He has been helping pet owners and pet care professionals find each other since 2012.

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