5 Strategies for Starting a Dog Daycare Business [Business Plan]

Editorial Team

5 Strategies for Starting a Dog Daycare Business

Starting a dog daycare business has been on your mind for a while, but you’re finally ready to make it a reality. There’s no doubt you picked a good time — the pet industry is booming, spending an estimated $99 billion on pets last year, according to recent trends. 

Getting your dog daycare started is probably on your mind, but before you start, you should know a few things. 

For animal lovers, opening a dog daycare can be an extremely rewarding career path. You can achieve anything with your new business by following these tips. Let’s jump in!

Financial Considerations For Starting A Dog Daycare

The first few questions you probably have when considering starting your dog daycare are probably related to the financial aspects of the business. Here are a few most commonly overlooked financial considerations.



How Much Can You Earn From A Dog Daycare?

Several factors will determine the profitability of your dog daycare, including:

  • Your ability to reach your target audience
  • The services you offer (daycare, overnight care, training, etc.) 
  • Your pricing policy
  • Once you’re up and running, how do you manage your money
  • Your community’s demand for your services
  • Business costs, both fixed and variable

The same unique combination of factors and fluctuating market conditions will determine how much you can earn from your dog daycare business.

How Costly Is It To Open A Dog Daycare? 

The following costs will be necessary to get your dog daycare business started:

  • To succeed in a daycare business, you must have a physical facility where your canine guests can play and sleep. 
    • Additionally, you will need care-related devices, i.e., cages, kennels, dog beds, leashes,  food and water bowls, treats, and cleaning supplies.
    • There will likely be a need to hire staff to help out, so employee wages will be one of your costs.
    • Investing in high-quality equipment upfront will add to your startup costs, but it will save you from constantly replacing items as they wear out. In addition, when you use state-of-the-art equipment, your customers will be impressed immediately.

What Would Be The Business Model Of A Dog Daycare?

For dog daycares to remain profitable, it is very cost-effective to secure the loyalty of repeat customers rather than constantly soliciting short-term clients. 

Several options exist for managing your dog daycare business model to ensure customer satisfaction: 

  • For instance, many customers love dropping their dogs off at daycare while they are at work. Prepaid packages offer customers the option of purchasing convenient packages. Customer experience will be streamlined since they won’t have to pay every time they pick up their pup. Daycare services can be offered in three, four, and five-day prepaid packages.
  • Offer your customers discounts when they sign up for your exclusive loyalty rewards program and a continuous discount on daycare services. 
  • You can add training and grooming services to your daycare that are not normally available at other daycares. 
  • Your new daycare business plan should include which of these business models you are interested in pursuing. For instance, hire a groomer or trainer if you want to offer special services.

How Do You Price Dog Daycare Services?

  • It will help if you put efforts into targeting the right customers. 
    • Customers will be worried that their precious pups won’t get the best care if they go too low. If you charge heavily, you will have to justify it by offering top-quality services that customers can’t find anywhere else (which can be extremely expensive for this business). Moreover, if your costing models are too complicated, it will turn off prospective clients and make them look for daycare services elsewhere. Make sure your business’ prices are within the ballpark of other dog daycare facilities in your area by conducting careful market research. Offer recurring customers discounted memberships or loyalty programs and justify price increases with enhanced services. 
    • Your pricing communicates the quality of service your business will provide, so making a good first impression is necessary.

Doggy Daycare Rules And Regulations To Know

New doggy daycare owners are not uncommonly concerned about legal requirements and financial considerations. Before starting your daycare business, be sure you are conducting a legitimate operation adhering to all rules and regulations.

Legal Requirements For Starting A Dog Daycare

To start your business, you’ll need to determine a few things. First, decide how you’ll structure your company. Several options are available to you: 

You can choose to maintain your business as a sole proprietorship, especially if you are the only one who runs it. It is the easiest business structure to form, as all business activities will be under your name. You are, however, personally liable for your business’s debts if they fail.

As a partnership, you and your partners share responsibility if you have one or more business partners. 

  • Corporations: They let you publish and maintain your business as a separate legal entity. As a result, your business is responsible for debts and lawsuits rather than you personally. These structures, however, are generally used for large businesses as they are more complicated.
    • LLCs are limited liability companies that protect your personal assets from lawsuits or business debts. LLCs can be formed by you, your partner, or a group of people. 
    • When choosing a structure for your doggy daycare, consider your long-term business goals. To figure out the legal details of your business, register it with your state’s government and consult a lawyer.

When opening an animal-related business, you must check state and local laws for specific licensing and permitting requirements. Every state has different requirements for opening a business.

Dog Daycare Insurance

Business insurance protects your business against liability if an accident or injury occurs while caring for puppy pals and their caregivers.

If you are planning a grand opening for your pet business, you will need three types of insurance: commercial liability, property insurance, and professional liability.

If an accident occurs during the day-to-day operation of your dog daycare, this insurance will cover your business. A customer may slip and get injured in your daycare, or a pipe may burst in your facility, causing damage to nearby businesses. 

In the event of a natural disaster, robbery, or fire, your daycare facilities, and equipment are covered by property insurance. 

Your dog daycare’s professional liability insurance covers any accidents or injuries resulting from your business’s activities. For instance, two dogs may fight, or a dog could run away. It is possible for your business and you to be protected from liability in these situations if you have professional liability insurance. 

While you’ll do everything possible to keep your customers, employees, and pups safe, accidents still happen. You’d be smart to prepare ahead of time.

Common Dog Daycare Rules

Before you open your business, you’ll want to set some ground rules so customers know what to expect and what they need to do before their dogs can visit. In addition to mitigating risk, these rules protect your business from liability. The following are common dog daycare rules:

  • The age restriction for your dog daycare should be at least five months, as extremely young puppies can be at risk. 
    • A rule should state that canine guests cannot have an aggression history toward other dogs or people at your daycare. You can’t put other dogs at risk. 
    • All dogs playing at your dog daycare should have up-to-date vaccinations. 
    • It will become increasingly difficult to organize and maintain all your visitor records as your client base grows. A good dog daycare software program can be invaluable for collecting client information, which you can refer to and update as needed. It will keep your records organized, save time and hassle, and save all the important details in one place.

Some Essential Steps To Starting A Doggy Daycare

After we’ve laid out a few foundational considerations, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of planning. Start your daycare business by following these steps:

1. Create A Business Plan. 

You can use your dog daycare business plan as a guiding document when making strategic decisions or as a presentation to prospective investors.

It’s important to examine the daycare’s state in your local area, identify key competitors, and determine how you can business serve existing requirements to reach an untapped market when writing your business plan. 

It is important to define your niche—the unique offerings that make your business stands out from the competition. You might offer daycare customers training or grooming services or have the biggest puppy playground in town with a splash pad. Your business will stand out and attract more customers if you define and market your niche services.

It’s recommended to provide a detailed description of how you plan to excel from others and get your services in front of prospective customers in your business plan. When you describe your business plan to prospective investors, a well-structured strategy will give you a stronger argument.

2. Choose A Facility

The next step is to find the perfect facility for your dog daycare business. Here are some things to consider when you’re searching for a facility.

When looking for a facility, ensure you stay within your budget. You’ll have little left for equipment or employee salaries if you spend all your funds on leasing or paying off your facility costs.

If you are too far from your target market, no one will be interested in your products or services. Select a location that is convenient for your customers.

A proper dog daycare facility requires lots of outdoor availability to fit dog playground equipment. You will also need plenty of indoor areas to store cages and kennels for overnight guests and an indoor play area in case of bad weather. There should be enough space for your employees to carry out their duties and space for your dogs to lounge and play comfortably.

It is important to find a space that can accommodate all of these considerations and give you room to grow. The more space, the more doggy daycare customers one can perfectly manage and accommodate simultaneously.

3. Acquire Equipment And Pet Business Software. 

Your new business should include the following items, regardless of whether you offer special services.

  • Playground types of equipment
  • Playpen(s)
  • Balls and toys
  • Crates and kennels
  • Water  and food bowls
  • Leashes
  • Poop bags and scoopers
  • Cleaning supplies
  • First aid kits for employees and dogs
  • Laundry supplies
  • Washer/dryers

Your dog daycare business will also need quality software to handle scheduling, client relationships, and other aspects. There are many benefits to having a good dog daycare business software, including: 

  • Reduces the amount of time spent. It will save you hours searching through client information and payment slips. One central location stores all important data.
    • Schedules are managed. Your software system allows you to schedule employee appointments and book customer appointments. 
    • Ensures customer retention. Dog daycare software allows you to communicate with customers and provide updates on their pets. 
    • Marketing efforts are facilitated. With your daycare software, you can create and send automated messages to inform your customers and prospective clients about upcoming changes or promotions. 

By combining top-of-the-line equipment with an easy-to-use, convenient software system, you’ll be on your way to welcoming pets.

4. Hire Dog Daycare Staff.

When hiring new employees for your dog daycare, ensure they have specific qualifications that will enable them to be knowledgeable, dependable, and valuable.

Search for candidates with experience caring for dogs and canine first aid training. Having employees with experience in working with dogs can help create a safe environment where dogs can mingle and play regardless of their backgrounds

To give your company a unique service offering, you might consider hiring staff members with a broad range of experiences, such as training and grooming backgrounds. 

It’s important to hire employees who are flexible and adaptable to change. As your daycare grows, you’ll need team members who can adapt quickly and effectively to new processes.

5. Evaluate Attitude To Keep Pets And Staff Safe.

It’s important to conduct temperament tests before taking on new canine clients. Although temperament tests aren’t required by law, they’re a great way to keep your dogs safe and avoid scuffles and injuries. 

To assign dogs to playgroups, temperament tests involve interviewing pet parents, conducting evaluations, and taking notes. If a dog acts aggressively or displays behavioral issues during the evaluation phase, stop the test and tell the owner that their dog isn’t suitable for your daycare. 

You should also train your staff on recognizing and responding to dog behavior changes. Employees can keep dogs and themselves safe by recognizing signs of illness and observing changes in body language. In addition, your customers will appreciate the attention and care you put into keeping their pets healthy, happy, and safe.

6. Market Your Daycare Services To Pet Owners. 

Finding new customers is the final piece of the puzzle to grow your dog daycare business. A comprehensive marketing methodology is a key to connecting with prospective customers.

Multichannel marketing is the best way to reach your target audience without overwhelming them with one platform alone. 

  • Build your doggy daycare’s social media following by creating a business page on Facebook and Instagram and connecting with other dog daycare businesses and owners in your area. Promote/viral your business directly to your target audience by purchasing social media ads. 
  • Use your social media pages to promote newsletter sign-ups. Customers can respond directly to emails and be reached directly by them. 
  • One can use direct mail or flyers to reach your target audience. Include your location, operating hours, website, phone number, and social media public handles on your mailers and flyers. 
  • Give your business a friendly face by placing an ad on local radio or TV to introduce yourself and your staff. 
  • Ensure your marketing materials are branded with your company’s logo and colors to give your audience a professional impression. We all love puppies and dogs, so make sure your daycare shows off the playful side of your business.

7. Provide Us With A Great Experience And Watch Your Business Grow.

If you plan your business strategy well and emphasize safety at every step, your business will flourish. You can depend on your business plan to guide you through tough times. 

To foster a positive, supportive business culture, prioritize proper management practices and treat your employees respectfully. As long as you maintain a cheerful, fun environment, you’ll be able to retain the cooperation of your staff during times of challenges.

Conclusion

A dog daycare business is not easy, as it requires lots of effort and investment. We have listed the ways and strategies to start a dog daycare business. You can seek help from the steps mentioned above to avoid any issues, especially if you are a startup.