A staggering two-thirds of Americans own a dog, and nearly all of them consider their dogs part of the family. That means those dogs will need a safe and secure place to stay when their owners leave town or go to work. If you’re looking to make your mark with a new business, you’ll have a ripe audience with dog owners.


Keep reading to learn how to start a dog boarding business!

Make a Dog Boarding Business Plan

With any new business, you’ll need to lay out a business plan. This is where you’ll articulate your goals as a business and your mission statement. Describe your business and what it does, and provide a market analysis to make your case.

Especially if you’re planning to seek funding from outside sources, you’ll need an airtight case for why your business will be successful. Be transparent about your existing financial status. And make financial projections based on anticipated business. 

Identify all needs, such as supplies, and employee salaries. You’ll also need to seek startup capital to buy essential supplies, like bedding, leashes, and cleaning products.

Plan on getting a refrigerator for medications or food. And you may need washing tubs plus chain link kennels to establish individual spaces for each dog.

Create a budget that accounts for a lease, utilities, and taxes. Don’t overlook marketing costs, too. And factor in other needs, like management software and insurance.

Use a table of contents to organize your business plan. And plan on revisiting it to check progress throughout the year. 

Find Your Location

To make the biggest mark, you’ll want to be in a visible location. You’ll also need plenty of space to fit the kennels and offer outdoor exercise. Further, you’ll want office space and countertops to get meals ready.

Determine how many kennels you’ll be overseeing and know your target square footage. If you’re hoping to grow in scale, make sure there’s enough room to expand. If you’re planning to start your business at home, make sure it’s allowable under your HOA. 

Consider a space that is in a more rural location or set back from the road. Potential customers will appreciate knowing their dogs have plenty of space to roam. At the same time, you’ll want to have clear signage so you’re visible from the road. 

If you do go with a suburban or urban facility, make sure it’s secure. Visible locks and a security system will give potential customers peace of mind about leaving their dogs there. You’ll need to establish protocols to keep the facility safe when you’re not around. 

Determine What Pet Services to Offer

Is there a dog boarding or doggy daycare niche you can fill in your area? Before cementing your lineup of dog care services, you’ll need to do some market research on the industry – and your competition. 

If your area is saturated with doggy daycares, you may want to focus on running a kennel with overnight stays. Or you may want to offer grooming if other kennels or daycares in the area aren’t doing that. 

Don’t overextend yourself given your skill sets and interests. But know that offering a service that provides extra value could set your business apart from the rest. 

Know what prices will keep you competitive, too. You don’t want to overcharge compared to your competition. But you don’t want to underprice yourself, either.

Over time, you’ll want to reinvest your earnings into the business so you can expand. For example, if you run a doggy daycare to start, you may want to expand into an overnight kennel. At some point, it may be wise to introduce another location, too.

Hire the Right Employees

Make training central to your employees’ onboarding. They’ll need to know about dog boarding safety and understand their expectations. They’ll also need excellent customer service skills since they’ll be representing your brand to everyone who calls or stops by. 

Employees should be able to work well with all types of breeds. They should be able to handle multiple dogs at once, too. And they should feel comfortable asking for help from coworkers or managers to avoid challenging situations. 

Depending on your local or state laws, you may need to meet regulations regarding safety. For instance, employees may need to be certified in first aid procedures. And they’ll need to disinfect areas for animals to keep conditions sanitary. 

Ultimately, you want to hire personable employees who will stick around. Pay employees a competitive wage to avoid constant turnover. Be transparent about opportunities for raises, bonuses, and extra vacation to incentivize staying. 

Plan Your Pet Boarding Marketing Strategy

When you’re hoping to build your business, people will need to know about it. Start this process by making a website that can be a one-stop shop for all pertinent information about your business. Share contact information, pictures of the facilities, and information about your experience. 

Additionally, you’ll want to make your website accessible. It should be mobile-friendly for people checking it on their phones. Make it as easy as possible to do online boarding service bookings, too.

You can drive more traffic to your website by creating a blog. Post articles about dog grooming tips or informative articles about different breeds. With the right keywords and links, you’ll generate more buzz from readers.

Invest in a social media presence, as well. Create business profiles on at least two platforms, and post regularly. Give viewers glimpses of your facilities and share customer testimonials to build trust. 

Create a memorable logo that you can put on every business card, social media page, or ad. Use paid ads to build brand visibility. And get involved in the community to create word-of-mouth interest. 

Learn How to Start a Dog Boarding Business

Knowing how to start a dog boarding business boils down to researching the industry and mapping out a business plan in your initial phases. Then determine your location and services. And develop a marketing strategy to broadcast your offerings to interested dog owners. 

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