About 50% of the households in the United States currently own at least one pet, which means there are 45 million homes where there is at least one dog presently enjoying life. Revenue in the pet industry reached over $60 billion for 2016, with growth averaging 5.4% going back to 2002. There have been 20 consecutive years of growth for the industry. Even employment growth is above average at 11%.
The dog day care industry falls into the general category of pet care services, which includes about 16,000 firms in the United States. These companies generate combined annual revenues of approximately $4.5 billion each year.
This figure does not include any day care services which are offered by local veterinarians through boarding services, as that is classified under the professional services segment.
37% of all homes own at least one dog, which is five percentage points higher than the households which own a cat. The number of pets in the United States increased by 2% in 2016, with significant growth experienced in two-person households. The average family owns 1.6 dogs.
Essential Dog Day Care Industry Statistics
#1. The average cost to start a dog day care business in the United States ranges from $2,000 to $10,000, although there are franchises available which may spike this startup price to over $300,000. (Entrepreneur Magazine)
#2. About $6 billion is spent in the United States on boarding and grooming services for dogs, with some providers offering services for as little as $25. (CNBC)
#3. Over half of all pet owners will take their dogs along with them when they travel. The average cost of day care for these trips is about $327. (Entrepreneur Magazine)
#4. There are currently more than 115,000 business operating within the pet care and dog day care industries, with annual growth rates averaging 6.8% since 2013. More than 211,000 people are employed by these firms, including sole proprietorships which operate their business out of their home. (IBIS World)
#5. 40% of the customers who engage with dog day care businesses are between the ages of 30 to 49. 75% of Americans who are in the thirty-something age bracket have at least one dog at home. (Inc.)
#6. Between 2012-2016, almost $500 million of investments in the global pet tech sector covered 172 venture capital deals, creating new opportunities for the dog day care industry to provide innovative services to pet owners. (CB Insights)
#7. Households in the U.S. West are the most likely to own a dog, with 81% of homes saying that they had at least one. Only 35% of homeowners in the West said that they owned a cat. (Joybird)
#8. Women are more likely to own a pet (58%) compared to men (49%). (Joybird)
#9. 77% of owners say that they allow their dog to have free-roaming privileges around their home. Just 9% say that they restrict movement to a few rooms, while 7% say that they keep their pet outside exclusively. (Joybird)
#10. Around 6.5 million companion animals receive entry to a U.S. shelter each year, with 3.3 million of them being dogs. About 1.5 million of these shelter animals are euthanized each year, including 672,000 dogs. (ASPCA)
#11. About 620,000 dogs who enter a shelter in the United States are eventually returned to their owners each year. (ASPCA)
#12. High-income households represent 60% of the spending which occurs in the dog day care industry on an annual basis. (Entrepreneur Magazine)
#13. 60% of pet owners say that they consider their dogs to be an additional member of the family. (Mintel)
#14. The health benefits of having a happy dog at home contribute $11.7 billion in savings within the healthcare system of the United States because of the rise in overall pet ownership. (Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation)
#15. 41% of dog owners use the Internet to find information on local pet care services, including options for dog day care. (Packaged Facts)
#16. 25% of the highest-earning dog day care franchises in the United States generate revenues of over $1.2 million. The average for all locations within the Camp Bowwow franchise was over $840,000. That means the discretionary income for the average owner in the top 25% was over $238,000, while the median average was $160,000 for businesses open for at least 12 months. (Camp Bowwow)
#17. Dog owners say that they’ve had at least one pet in their home for the last 18 years – or they self-identify as being an owner if there isn’t a pet present in their own at the time. (APPA)
#18. 25% of dog owners say that they obtained their pet from an animal farm or a breeder, which is the same as the number who got their dog from either a friend or relative. (APPA)
#19. 46% of dog owners say that they found their pet because of word-of-mouth marketing, compared to the 33% who say that they used the Internet to find their dog. (APPA)
#20. The average dog visits the veterinarian 2.7 times per year, which is the highest rate of any pet except birds, which visit 3.1 times per year. (APPA)
#21. 68% of dog owners go to the vet for a routine physical, while 58% say that routine vaccines are the leading cause for their visit. 48% of dog owners say that the primary reason why they went to the veterinarian’s office was to receive a rabies vaccination. Only 4% of owners work with their vet for their dog day care needs. (APPA)
#22. 10% of dog owners in the United States say that they have healthcare insurance for their pets, which equates to about 9 million dogs. The average cost of a policy is between $250 to $500 per year. (APPA)
#23. There are at least 4,000 exclusive doggy day care facilities which provide no other services operating in the United States right now. (CBS News)
#24. Colorado laws regarding dog day care require one human supervisor for every 15 dogs that are currently on facility grounds. (CBS News)
#25. 40% of the revenues earned from the pet care services industry comes from dog boarding or dog day care services. (IBPSA)
#26. Payroll costs account for 50% of the revenue that the dog day care industry earns each day. (IBPSA)
#27. The average occupancy rate for a dog day care facility or boarding house is 48% or 60% respectively. Grooming providers operate at a utilization rate of 73% for the average community. (IBPSA)
#28. Compensation for business owners involved in the care of dogs from an independent company (not affiliated with a franchise) averaged $57,000 in the past year. About 8% of dog day care owners do not receive a salary from their business. (IBPSA)
#29. The annual expenses a dog owner faces during their first year of ownership depends on the size of the animal. Small dogs cost $1,314, while medium dogs cost $1,580, and large dogs cost $1,843 during the first year. (Smart Asset)
#30. Spending on over-the-counter items for dogs increased by 73% since the year 2000, with the average household spending about $500 each year on their pets. That means about 1% of total HHI spending involves a pet. (Smart Asset)
#31. In 2011, households in the United States spent more on their pets than they did on alcohol, landline phones, and even men’s clothing. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Dog Day Care Industry Trends and Analysis
Dogs can become easily bored if their owners are away from home all the time. Instead of trying to find a new place for their furry family member to live, these households are seeking the services of a local dog day care to help them maintain the structure of their family. It is an industry which offers pet owners a place that is safe and constructive for their dogs to play while being around people who are passionate about them.
There are several benefits to consider when choosing a dog day care, since it keeps your pet physically active and mentally stimulated. That means fewer destructive incidents happen at home. Walks go better in the evening, there is more time to cuddle, and there are healthy opportunities to socialize.
Little federal oversight for the industry occurs in the United States, which is the biggest knock against this industry at the moment. Dog owners consider their pets to be family, but the court systems treat the animals as property. If a tragic incident occurs at the facility, then the liability of the owner is one that involves property restoration – not family restoration.
Although there is always a risk when choosing this industry, since some providers can be overcrowded or offer a chaotic environment, the benefits often outweigh the negatives. That’s why the dog day care industry continues to grow.
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