A dog-boarding kennel is a safe and enjoyable place to mingle with other dogs. It is like running a high-end hotel; your guests must come first, since a happy dog means a delighted owner. Remember this is a business that needs much attention and dedication. Concentrate on advertising, online marketing and other parts of the business.
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Select a name and logo that reaches out and says come let your dog stay here. A catchy name or it could be a perky phrase. Pick a logo that reflects kindness, caring and it must catch your eye immediately. The name and logo must be one you see and instantly remember, this way any time they need a kennel or dog care products, it is yours they think of first.
Organise the front lobby and front desk so it is very inviting and uncluttered. The lighting should be bright but relaxing, with a few floor lamps or table lamps to add to the atmosphere. The front lobby is the first thing they see, it must give the impression like an upper scale hotel would. This will make them feel better about spending so much money.
Set up a special area for marketing your products, and give it a personal touch that really looks sophisticated. It can follow your decor, or maybe with a plush rug in front to cushion their feet while they choose dog food, snacks, grooming and spa products. They need to be top of the line and snacks should be so irresistible their dog will not stop asking for them. These products add valuable money to your business.
Make sure the vaccine records are up to date on all dogs entering the kennel. It is preferable that a vet check has also been done, to limit the chance of sickness such as rabies, conjunctivitis, and bordatella the bacteria that causes kennel cough, from being brought to your boarding kennel.
Choose two Veterinarians so you never have a time without a veterinarian on call. They will not be part of your staff this will save you money, but you will be able to call them if needed. Treat the veterinarians and their staff very well, let them both know you have chosen them for your kennels care. Let patrons know they are the veterinarians you will call if and emergency arises.
Train your employees on the basic rules, dress code, sanitation & safety, caring for the dogs, customer service and dog grooming. They need to know the proper way to handle dogs and the most sanitary way to clean up after them. Front desk will have more training on cash, computer, and boarding kennel software. Without proper training your kennel cannot function properly.
Order kennel and office supplies every week or two weeks depending on the season. This way you will always know what you have in stock and what you need to restock. Try to stay green when ordering supplies, this creates less of a footprint on our earth. Document everything exact on the computer program, because you will need them for everyday kennel business and tax time.
Install a webcam system or surveillance cameras for all areas of the kennel. You could charge extra for doggy cams so the owner can watch their pet while being boarded. They also make your kennel more secure, which should save you money on your insurance.
Call insurance companies to get the best rate for insurance on the facility, employees, clients and their dogs. As with car or home insurance, it varies a lot based on your needs. You must have enough insurance to cover any problems.
Put a schedule in place for feeding and exercising the dogs. Keep good records of what the dogs eat; if the dog is a picky eater the owner can bring their special diet. Record any meds and the times the dog needs to take them. Mark any special instructions to be followed exactly.
Teach dog obedience training, if you are or have a dog trainer. This will bring in extra money for the down season. Have a play area that is big enough for them to run without getting hurt. Add a pool for hot days so the dogs can cool down. Plan walks for the dogs with structured exercise and lots of one on one.
Clean everything and keep it clean. Develop a schedule to clean each part of the dog kennel. The areas where the dogs are kept need to be cleaned a few times a day. This will keep sickness and bad bacteria away from the animals.
Tips and warnings
- Always ask permission to teach obedience training when the owner is not going to be with the dog.
- Train all employees to never hit or yell at the dogs.
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