How to set up a doggy daycare

Written by tara mihalech
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How to set up a doggy daycare
Doggy day cares are a booming industry in today's market. (dog biscuits image by Greg Pickens from

A doggy day care is an ideal employment opportunity for a business-minded animal enthusiast. "Entrepreneur" has listed a doggy day care as one of the top 10 pet businesses to start today. Doggy day cares require space, commitment and animal expertise; the right set-up can be a profitable and enjoyable endeavour.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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  1. 1

    Find a space to operate your doggy day care. You may have ideal day care conditions at home. A warehouse space may be the best option for urban day cares. The day care must have ample space for dogs to play and rest, as well as an available option of separating dogs by size or temperament.

  2. 2

    Check with your local bylaws and state regulations to ensure that you are complying with zoning restrictions. If you need to apply for a permit or an exception to a bylaw, it is important to complete that before you open for business.

  3. 3

    Obtain insurance. Working with unpredictable clients -- the dogs -- can lead to situations that may require a veterinarian or repairs to the day care space.

  4. 4

    Create your business identity. Come up with a catchy name and secure a business license. To be legitimate, you must be licensed and pay appropriate taxes.

  5. 5

    Optimise your space. Flooring must be able to be easily cleaned without retaining stains or smells. Doggy day cares must be well-ventilated. Fencing should be kept in good repair and unable to allow a small dog to escape.

  6. 6

    Acquire the necessary equipment. Be sure to have a variety of leashes, collars and toys on hand. Choose appropriate enzyme-neutralising cleaners and supplies; there will be accidents.

  7. 7

    Hire competent staff. Despite how society views them, dogs are animals. It is important that your staff is comfortable and confident while handling large groups of dogs. A background in training and dog behaviour is beneficial.

  8. 8

    Set a standard. Dogs should meet certain health and behaviour guidelines. Ask for evidence of vaccinations upon registration. Furthermore, be upfront with customers about your policies regarding aggressive or fearful dogs.

  9. 9

    Offer special services. Owners love to spoil their pets, and the option of having their pets groomed or trained will appeal to them. Create packages that involve extra walks or grooming; this will allow you to earn additional profits.

  10. 10

    Set a schedule. By maintaining a schedule that involves playtime, rest, meals and individual services, your business will run smoothly and consistently.

  11. 11

    Determine the fees. Day cares are typically open from the beginning to the end of the workday. Decide on full-time and part-time rates. Discounts can be offered for loyal clients.

  12. 12

    Advertise your business in the appropriate spaces. Hang flyers and leave brochures with local veterinarians and pet food stores. Online classifieds are also a good way to reach many people who are looking for animal care.

Tips and warnings

  • Try to make connections with local breeders and trainers. They can be an excellent source of referrals to your doggy day care.

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