How to Open Your Own Pet Boarding Service

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

A pet boarding kennel is a service that provides accommodations for pets. Think of it as a hotel specifically for your furry friends! The kennel features little rooms for animals to play or sleep in. Professional pet sitters and walkers take care of the pet, presenting lots of activities to enjoy. The pet services industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the US. And if you want to profit from this venture, you need to follow these simple steps:

Gain Experience

You simply cannot invest money, time, and effort in an industry with zero experience. You need to gain experience running a business and handling animals. You need to learn about animal behavior, animal health, and facility maintenance. You also need to work on your social skills when interacting with patrons. If you want to hire people to handle the animals, go for highly qualified people who have the skills set for it. We recommend sitters and walkers who worked for an animal shelter or those who are shelter volunteers.

Learn the Business

You want to speak to your attorney or accountant to determine the pros and cons of developing a business as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or other entity.  You have to call your local government officials to inquire about the regulations, permits, licenses, etc. necessary to operate a legitimate business. Also, take out a liability insurance policy in case of an emergency.

Choosing a Facility

You can build a facility from scratch, purchase an existing business, or turn a rental space into a kennel. What you want to consider is the location of the facility. It should be accessible and spacious enough for pets to roam around, play, and exercise. You want to add splash pools, agility courses, and other extras to make your pet hotel as relaxing as possible. You can add suites or deluxe rooms complete with large beds, TVs, etc.

Pet kennels are expected to have a comfortable temperature so make sure the facility has a heater or an air conditioner.  Cleanliness is also an important factor. The enclosures must be kept clean at all times.

Hiring Employees

If your business is starting out, there’s no need to hire a kennel manager. But you want to hire a groomer, pet sitters, pet walkers, and pet trainers. All employees should be experienced in terms of handling animals, administering medication, and providing general care. Make sure the facility is well-staffed for continuous supervision of the animals!

Define the Services

In terms of services, most kennels offer services for cats and dogs. But some kennels also offer services that cater to smaller animals, like lizards, birds, etc. Generally, the basic services you offer are accommodations for pets, grooming, bathing, and training services. You can offer a daycare service too.

The rates should be competitive. Most boarding services cost between $20 and $40 per day. The cost will vary according to the length of the stay, the type of enclosure requested, and the specific services needed to care for the animal. Premium services, such as suites, professional grooming, training, etc., are available at additional cost.