How to Start a Dog Day Care Business

Popular pure bred and hybrid dogs with associated higher costs have elevated the investment and willingness of owners to protect and care for these high-end family members. As our work day hours lengthen, the willingness to leave our family pet alone for extended periods shrinks. Now is a great time to start a dog day care business.

This article discusses the basics to getting started and how to take the first steps to a successful dog day care business.


The first step to any successful business plan is to identify your customers and their number. If you have enough customers willing to pay you for your time and expenses, the first question has been answered. Amazingly, most would be owners do not ask nor answer these questions and are puzzled to learn that they can’t keep afloat financially by just hanging out a sign.

Seek clients through brief appointments with pet store owners, pet doctors and even travel agents who cater to commercial accounts with frequent business travelers. Ask if they feel there is a need, the frequency that they are asked about available dog day care in your market, what features or services seem to be in the highest demand and if they’d be willing to refer potential clients to your business. Ask how many patients/clients/customers they see daily who own dogs and of that amount, the percentage that they feel would be interested in your service.

While you won’t be able to see every referral source, you can take their answers, multiply it by the number of available referral source and then divide that number by 10. That is realistically the number of clients you can expect to attain in your first year of business.


Will you be providing services on site or in other’s homes? If you are providing the services on site, you can accommodate more customers saving travel time and fuel but you will likely have higher liability costs. Additionally, you will need to provide food, cleaning supplies and possibly grooming materials. You will want to have a filing system to keep track of proof of proper vaccinations, any special licensing you’ll need to obtain and be prepared to invest in necessary services and supplies to combat parasites and illness that might find their way on to your site.


You will need to cover your expenses and pay yourself a reasonable fee. The adage that people feel a service is valuable if they’ve paid for it is very true. While you might need to have a few sentinel customers that get a price break while you establish references, don’t sell yourself short or potential customers will mistakenly believe you must not be very good if you’re willingly to give away your services.


There will always be competition. Perhaps they won’t be there when you start your business but they’ll join you if you launch a good service. Be prepared to have a niche service unequaled in your market perhaps you walk dogs, you’ve completed dog obedience instructor training or you can clip toenails. Provide something your competition doesn’t.

The key to any good business is providing service as advertised in a consistent and fair manner, and Dog Day Care is no different.

Edward Dean is an accomplished website developer and author. To learn more about How to Start a Dog Day Care Business [] visit Sports Bar Franchising [] for current articles and discussions.
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