Doggie daycare or similar dog style business - how many have considered this?
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Thread: Doggie daycare or similar dog style business - how many have considered this?

  1. #1
    kromulok's Avatar
    kromulok is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultDoggie daycare or similar dog style business - how many have considered this?

    For the longest time I have thought about how great it would be to work with dogs all day in a doggie daycare type facility. As in owning it myself. Being able to provide different services such as grooming, boarding indoor/outdoor play areas, etc. I hate working in I.T. anymore but I have no idea about a personal business, the demand of such places (there already are some in this metro area) and the risks of failure.

    Anyone ever take that risk and do this? Or ever think about doing it?

    Just curious

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    tkeizer is offline Senior Member
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    As a person who uses the services of a doggie daycare - I would say go for it. However, do you have any training / obedience background, grooming background, etc. The owner of the daycare that I use runs the business out of her home - she has a huge piece of property. She has taken courses on Pet First Aid; obedience training; and grooming. So I am completely confident that a) if there were a medical emergency, she would know what to do and b) she knows how to deal with a variety of dogs with all types of personalities and she disciplines / corrects the same way I would (with commands - no physical discipline). Also, she saved the day when my two brats got skunked at 5 AM and I had no time to wash them -- I took them to her and she very graciously gave both of them a good de-skunking wash so that they were at least bareable to be around when we picked them at night.

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    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    before I would let my dog go to a doggy daycare I would want to know that the people working there KNOW dogs. I mean really know dogs. The average "dog person" doesn't REALLY know and understand dogs all that well so I mean someone with experience beyond "I have owned dogs and trained them myself". I would want the place to temperament test the dogs (and have someone knowledgable that does this) before allowing them in. I would want a place that forces dogs to take breaks (separating them for the rest) and doesn't have too many dogs in one area at a time and where there is always supervision.

    Then you need to look at zoning issues when finding a place and insurance. Depending where you live this part can be difficult (I have friends that looked into it). The outdoor area needs to be SUPER well fenced (like 10ft fence that goes underground) and have appropriate "ground".

    You need to have a good deal of policy and procedures. Example - if a dog starts to cough what is your protocol (kennel cough) and what shots you require before a dog can come. How do you handle intact dogs (or do you even allow them - if not as of what age do you stop allowing them?). how old are they allowed to start coming. what are allowable offences and what are not.

    It's very complicated, more than just "I love dogs so come bring me your dog and I'll let them have fun".

    ETA: so I never actually addressed your question! It is worthwhile but tons of work. you need to start with market research - is this something people in your area want? What are they willing to pay for? would they use it?
    Last edited by Tanya; 05-22-2012 at 07:37 PM.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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    Diesel_Dawg is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanya View Post
    before I would let my dog go to a doggy daycare I would want to know that the people working there KNOW dogs. I mean really know dogs. The average "dog person" doesn't REALLY know and understand dogs all that well so I mean someone with experience beyond "I have owned dogs and trained them myself". I would want the place to temperament test the dogs (and have someone knowledgable that does this) before allowing them in. I would want a place that forces dogs to take breaks (separating them for the rest) and doesn't have too many dogs in one area at a time and where there is always supervision.

    Then you need to look at zoning issues when finding a place and insurance. Depending where you live this part can be difficult (I have friends that looked into it). The outdoor area needs to be SUPER well fenced (like 10ft fence that goes underground) and have appropriate "ground".

    You need to have a good deal of policy and procedures. Example - if a dog starts to cough what is your protocol (kennel cough) and what shots you require before a dog can come. How do you handle intact dogs (or do you even allow them - if not as of what age do you stop allowing them?). how old are they allowed to start coming. what are allowable offences and what are not.

    It's very complicated, more than just "I love dogs so come bring me your dog and I'll let them have fun".

    ETA: so I never actually addressed your question! It is worthwhile but tons of work. you need to start with market research - is this something people in your area want? What are they willing to pay for? would they use it?
    Very good post, Tanya, I think you summed it up nicely! It would be a ton of work & you may not actually start to enjoy yourself until it is a well oiled machine running smoothly, and that could take a long time.

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    Our Gumbo goes to a doggy day care twice a week - he loves it and I highly recommend this if a dog would be left at home all day. The place is great. We are fortunate that we live in an area with options like this. There are several well run facilities in our area of NC. You need to be in a location that will support your business and your passion if you move forward!

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    dek
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    I've often thought it would be a great business to have BUT my area is saturated with doggie daycares, plus the overhead can be pretty high. You have to have a clean, safe space. There are specific regulations in most areas if you are going to kennel as well. Insurance would be huge. And as Tanya mentioned, you have to have well-trained staff. If you have no experience running a business, are you ready to hire and fire? Be available 24/7 when staff doesn't show up or quits? Deal with the demanding dog owners?

    I think the Camp Bow Wow franchise insists that you have something like $500,000 in funding before they'll let you start one of their businesses.

    That said, I love the place I take my dog to and I'm glad the places are around



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    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    insurance is a big one. Locally we had a pet cafe open up and close because they banned pit bull dogs. I forget if it was in their lease (which they signed) that stated no to pitt bulls or if it was the insurance they had (once again, they signed knowing). they made the media and Facebook in no time when they put the no pit bull sign (before they opened) and it was not positive news. they lasted maybe a few months at best before closing.

    someone at the dog park was scouting to see if people were interested in a doggy daycare with drop off (so you can drop of your dog and watch it play while you have a coffee or even leave to run an errand). I had little faith in the people putting this together, they had no idea how they would staff it with people who actually knew dogs and while they said they would asses dogs before they let them in - would there always be someone there with time to assess (if people can just stop by and drop their dog in the play area?) What if there were too many dogs? I don't know, just seemed like it would be highly complicated. I honestly don't trust many people with my dog.
    Last edited by Tanya; 05-23-2012 at 06:18 PM.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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    kassabella is offline Senior Member
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    I thought about it as I have been told I am going to have to give up parts of my job soon. We have one here. I went through all the things mentioned above and decided not for me. I think it takes a lot of thought and planning. It would also take time before you could earn enough to rely on the income.

    I decided to have a mind a couple, walk some and see how it goes. I can take the dogs to work so works out o.k., but the barker I had yesterday will be the last time. If I was relying on this for income I could not pick and choose.

    Kassa 25/11/01 - 09/02/05 O.S Jaw cancer forever in my heart.
    Ernie 25/11/01 adopted May 05
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    Bone Cancer Dogs org.http://www.bonecancerdogs.org/
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    Labmom2Sun is offline Senior Member
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    SU and I considered it. Decided against it ultimately because we would have no life whatsoever for the first few years. Many of the reasons listed above (finances, hiring the right people) contributed to our decision as well.

    Laura, mom of Sundance, CGC
    born 1/16/06

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    I've considered it, even have a location all picked out, and a name.
    'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
    ~ Michelle Held


    Rhys, Ruby and Nola

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