Dog owners represent more than half of the total American population. The same percentages true in most industrialized nations. Many households treat their dogs in the same way that parent the children. Some dog owners even referred to themselves as dog parents. This is the demographic that you will want to target if you are thinking about starting a doggy day care business.
A dog that is home by itself all day is a dog that is guaranteed to find trouble. Your day care business can provide a loving dog owners with the chance to keep their animals socially engaged and well cared for when they have professional responsibilities that need to be fulfilled.
What Is the Easiest Way to Get Started?
The fastest way to get started with a doggy day care business is to look at franchise opportunities. If you have between $200k-$500k to invest and have a reasonably high net worth when all of your assets are considered, then a franchise will give you all the tools that you need for success. That is this business model will dictate everything from interior decorations to your daycare location to even how much you can actually charge per dog.
In return, you will have an established brand name that people will instantly recognize. Many franchises also provide marketing support for a small fee of your incoming revenues. You are still a business owner and you still get to take care of local dogs, but with a franchise, you don’t have to do all of the work on your own.
What Will Be Your #1 Need?
As with any daycare business, a doggy day care business will require some extensive insurance. Dogs especially can create a unique set of problems that could make you financially bankrupt in just a few seconds. If you’ve ever watchdogs play with each other, you’ll see that biting is a common occurrence. Dogs will bite each other and dogs will bite people too. Even on the low end of a business insurance policy, the monthly cost for the comprehensive insurance that you will need is $500.
It is not uncommon to see insurance policy premiums be of above $1000 in this field of industry.
You are also going to want to have a comprehensive property insurance plan in place so that you can protect your assets from the dogs that customers are bringing to you to care for during the day. This kind of insurance will cover property damage, that, and even some limited protection from natural disasters. You can expect to pay out another $500 per month for this kind of insurance as well.
You will also have to take care of all the standard forms and applications that are required by your local jurisdiction to start a business. This includes obtaining a business license, starting a business account, and having any other supplemental licenses that may be required because you are starting an animal care business.
Your Location Is Vitally Important
The location of your doggy day care business is what will make you or break you. You need to be in a convenient location for those professionals who want to leave their dog in your care while they are at work. If your business is a 20 minute drive out into the country, then most dog owners are going to look for other options and your best would be to start a kennel business. Look at where the major employers are in your community and then look for a central location that is equidistant from those employers to be convenient for the largest possible demographic.
The size of your space is just as important as your actual location. Dogs need to have a certain amount of room in order to thrive. If they don’t have that room, behavioral issues can begin in just minutes. Smaller spaces are fine for a dog day care business, but it also means that your profitability will be limited because the amount of dogs that you can take will also be limited.
Considering your utility cost is also going to be an important part of the equation. Your dogs are going to need water, heat, and electricity in order to have a comfortable environment. You will also need effective trash disposal services because dogs create a lot of smelly waste. Most providers will charge a new business like this a large security deposit to begin services. You’ll get this deposit back over time, but it is an upfront charge that could be as much as $1,000 per utility.
Do You Have a Relationship with a Veterinarian?
When you are running an animal care business, you will need to have a veterinarian who is willing to stand by for you in case there are issues that come up with the dogs. Not every community has a veterinarian, so it is important to make sure that this resource is available before you actually start your day care business. Otherwise you will be paying large sums of money to an out-of-town veterinarian any time a dog under your care is injured for some reason.
Taking the health of the animal into consideration is also an important part of the initial application process for customers. You should only accept animals that have a certain guarantee of health. Requiring owners to have their dogs up to date with all vaccinations, including rabies and kennel cough, is pretty standard in this industry. If you accept a sick animal, you are accepting responsibility for it. That means you have to pay to care for it, and if you don’t, you could be looked at for neglect.
A doggy daycare business can be a rewarding venture, especially if you have a passion for dogs in the first. Pet owners are looking for more comprehensive care options today than ever before. You can take advantage of this fact and your love for dogs to create an amazing business today that can have you be financially successful well into the future.