Steps to Start a Doggie Daycare

Once you’ve made a decision to open a doggie daycare, you’ll probably desire to be operational at the earliest opportunity. The promise of new furry friends is hard to wait for!

However, there are very a few steps between choosing to start a daycare and actually accepting reservations. From finding facilities and employing staff to establishing standards ensuring safe dog play, there are decisions to make.

At Gingr, we focus on answers to improve pet care business management. We’ve noticed several common necessities as it pertains to starting a dog daycare, and compiled them in the following steps:

Understand the business enterprise model of a dog daycare.
Secure your facilities.
Hire qualified workers.
Price your services.
Create a system for pet animal evaluation.
Mitigate risk for your business.
Are you ready to start your doggie Pet Boarding? Let’s begin.

1. Understand the business enterprise model of your dog daycare.
Before opening your dog daycare, you will need to develop a specific understanding of the particular model because of this kind of business entails.

Much unique of other service market sectors, dog daycare businesses rely on repeat business- something you’ll have to take into account in most areas of your operations.

This is generated by:

Memberships. For particularly regular clients, like the ones that will be returning weekly, would reap the benefits of memberships at the discounted rate or with additional services and benefits thrown in.
Punch cards. This identifies reselling packages of services (ex: 12 stays at your pet daycare) to clients in bulk for a low price.
Additional services. Whether grooming or training, additional services enable you to provide more value to customers and hold on to their business beyond yet another stay.
When starting your pet daycare, incorporate these facets into the planning. This may mean building out grooming facilities, employing a qualified dog trainer to your staff, or creating discounted bulk pricing.

Because you navigate through the steps third , one, achieve this task with repeat business at heart.

2. Secure your facilities.
Once you’ve truly evaluated your own preference to open your dog daycare, you can commence to actually build the business enterprise. If you’re heading from the bottom up, protecting facilities comes first.

A couple of two main ways to secure physical facilities for your pet daycare:

leasing an area
building/buying an area
The first option is generally more accessible for businesses without huge startup funding available (buying/building facilities is amazingly expensive!).

However, leasing a space means you will need to discover a pet-friendly center (or one you’re allowed to make changes to) and likely an insurance policy listing your landlord as yet another insured party.

When evaluating your facilities options, consider the following:

Location
Location can play an enormous role in the facilities you select. Often, location plays an enormous role in the purchase price and kind of facility you’re in a position to secure.

When you may feel tempted to follow a prime storefront space, recognize that commercial and mixed-use spaces can be as successful as far as location is concerned.

Zoning Regulations
Explore zoning regulations in your area to ensure you’re operating a location that you’re legally permitted to. There tend to be regulations around where businesses, and much more so businesses with family pets, can be located.

Physical Premises
Explore the premises through the eyes of an animal. Is there space to explore just like a fenced-in play garden? Is the flooring acceptable as far as disease-control and slip-resistance standards? Will there be plumbing to aid baths and deep facilities cleaning?

3. Hire qualified staff members.
For pet parents to leave their pups in your care, they have to trust that you’re having a competent staff of dog care experts. There are many key characteristics you should look for in your internal hiring processes, as well as a few that will make you stick out to external customers considering your services.

When hiring staffers, look for the following characteristics:

A love for puppies. This goes without saying- if someone is more of an cat person or has an awful dog allergy, they’re not the right fit for your business.
A number of specialties. Consider employing staff members across a number of specialties, such as grooming and dog training. This will allow you to comfortably give you a wider selection of services, rather than MacGuyver-ing solutions when the necessity arises.
Basic training and certification. Dog daycare workers should have a knowledge of canine CPR and other basic medical necessities. Consider looking for official dog or cat care certification, such as that provided through PACCC.
Ability to adapt. Every day in petcare can look different. Hire staff members with an ability to adapt to changing conditions, like the incorporation of new dog daycare management software or new responsibilities in the event of unexpected circumstances (like the current COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the U.S.)
Mindful hiring right away will prevent disastrous issues down the road, so being specifically careful when choosing associates is a good decision.

4. Price your services.
How you choose to price your services can have a huge impact on your businesses overall. When pricing your services, keep carefully the following in mind:

Mindful Pricing
While your business must be profitable (attracting more earnings than your costs of procedure), arranging your pricing is more complicated than that basic fact.

Setting prices too much will be exclusionary to customers unwilling to pay such extravagant prices, while preparing prices too low can make your services appear sub-par by connection. Aim to arranged prices that reflect your services, so if you’re pricing things higher, make sure you’re truly providing that value to customers.

Further, remember that a straightforward pricing structure will always win out- neither you nor your visitors benefit from an elaborate pricing structure.

Accepting Deposits
The capability to accept deposits is particularly important when it comes to scheduling for family pet care businesses.

Consider incorporating deposits into your pricing structure (finding a percentage of the payment beforehand) to ensure that customers that produce reservations continue.

Recurring Payments
For daytime dog daycares, it’s common for owners to bring their dogs to the facility on a regular basis. This could be every day of the week, a couple of days of the week on a normal schedule, or even once weekly on a single day.

Consider supplying a recurring payment framework to prospects customers, so they don’t have to keep in mind to pay each and every time. For instance, offering day packages (similar in notion to punch cards), allows owners to get multiple days of care with one transaction.

Ideas to Staff
Accepting tricks for dog daycare service is somewhat controversial on the market, so it’s your decision to choose whether to encourage them or not.

Similarly, some pet care customers resent being asked to tip for the service- particularly if they’re regular customers and paying an increased cost range to get started with.

However, there can definitely be personal relationships forged between pet care workers and animals, and customers might want the opportunity to express their gratitude via tip. Precisely the same rule pertains to tipping dog groomers too!

Think about your pricing overall and decide whether accepting tips would be a positive decision. For more information about pricing and profit, check out this guide to building a dog daycare business plan.

5. Create a system for dog evaluation.
Earlier we stated that customers need to trust your workers to be able to entrust their pet dogs to your care. However, there’s another aspect compared to that thought- the other pet dogs at your facility.

While workers can be instructed and managed, that may be a lttle bit harder to do with animals, particularly if they’re somewhat unruly to start with.

It’s essential that you evaluate each canine which will be in your care to ensure that your workers and the other animals in your center will be safe across the newcomer. That is true over the board for just about any job which involves working with pups – and also other pets!

Here are some tips when evaluating dog clients:

Complete a short evaluation. Just like a customer must trust your staff prior to booking, you will need to trust their dog or cat. Create an initial evaluation that’s standard across all family pets that come into your care, and prevent accepting any family pets that fail this primary check.
Make sure your staff members acknowledge the signs of dog aggression. Whenever your staff members feel safe recognizing the early signs of distress in dogs in your care, they can respond and record the interaction appropriately.
Maintain a continuing conversation. Evaluation should be an ongoing process, as there’s always the opportunity a dog’s temperament can change. If you’re dealing with family pet care software, staffers may easily leave notes and notifications for other workers to see before interacting with a dog.
The safety of your staff members and clients is a crucial consideration for just about any dog daycare business. Adding thought in to the evaluation process in early stages can help prevent mishaps going forward.

6. Mitigate risk for your business.
Finally, just as with any other business venture, early on understanding and mitigation of potential risk is crucial. In fact, because you’re going to be dealing with live, and sometimes, unpredictable family pets, this is particularly important!

There are a few different factors that play into this:

Insurance
Insurance is exactly what will protect your pet care business in the event of the worst-case scenario- whether it’s covering legal fees, funding essential repairs, or even covering lost revenue.

While you’ll want to purchase common business insurance options, such as commercial and professional liability and property coverage, there’s also pet business-specific coverage types.

This includes animal bailee insurance and even lost key coverage.

Software
Technology is going for a variety of establishments by storm, from nonprofits tracking period to events heading to the digital sphere. In the pet care industry, there are software answers to help your pet daycare mitigate risk as well.

With reservations, arranging, and payments online, your business will have a picture of what’s to be likely at every point of your businesses. This oversight ensures you’re never over-booked to the idea of danger.

Further, many of these solutions enable easy communication of alerts and notes. Which means each staff member knows a dog’s history in your care. Any behavior conflicts will be quickly communicated.

Disaster Preparations
Inside the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic currently sweeping the U.S., businesses large and small are noticing how essential proactive thinking is.

Consider how your business could be afflicted by this or similar conflicts, and try to create an idea of action for when these issues strike.

Have you any idea how you’d look after animals in longer-term (perhaps weekly) boarding care? Have you got pet food available? Have you contemplated how your staff will be cared for and compensated? Try to have answers to these questions before you truly need them.