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How To Start a Dog Daycare Business: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Free Dog Daycare Business Plan Template

December 20, 2023

9 Min Read

start a dog daycare business
Table of Contents
Writing a business plan?

So apparently your love for dogs is much more than a fuzzy admiration. You love being around them so much that you don’t mind turning that love into a full-time professional career. Well, welcome aboard.

Keeping aside the love and passion, you need to figure out a lot many things operationally, financially, and legally to set up your dog daycare business. But, hey nothing too difficult for you.

Now that you have made up your mind to start a dog daycare, let us help you answer the HOW.

With this curated step-by-step guide we offer an answer to your biggest concern-how to start a dog daycare business.

Well, read through and you will have most of it figured out by the end.

What is a Dog daycare?

A dog daycare is a safe place for dogs where they can play, nap, walk, and enjoy their routine while their human parents are away working or occupied with something.

However, this is not it. Many dog care offers advanced diversified services such as grooming services, behavior training, and specialized care as well.

Simply put, dog daycare is a professional care and supervising unit, especially for dogs.

Wondering if your love and passion for dogs can turn into a profitable business venture? Let’s see if there are any benefits to starting a dog daycare:

  • Dog daycare business can be started with little capital and resources right from your home. It is comparatively easier to manage funding for such businesses.
  • The US pet daycare market is 1.12 billion dollars large. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% by 2030 making it a thriving marketplace for pet enthusiasts.
  • Owners of dog daycare businesses can enjoy the flexibility of working only a few hours when they start small.
  • You can expect a consistent stream of revenue by retaining the existing clientele with satisfactory customer service.
  • It is easy to scale your existing dog daycare business as and when you get an opportunity for growth.

Safe to say, that there is enough scope for your passion to turn into a profitable venture. Now, let’s see if you require any certificate training to get started.

Do you need dog training or a course to get started?

No, you don’t require any formal legal training or certification to start a dog daycare business. However, getting trained and certified can enhance your credibility amongst the target market, thereby increasing your chances of running a successful dog daycare.

So how do you get trained?

Well, you can explore a variety of canine care programs online and offline to upscale yourself. Not only that, you can volunteer in different pet rescue programs and with vets to get first-hand experience working with the dogs.

Despite not being a compulsion, it is ideal to have a dog trainer certificate before starting a dog daycare.

Now, that you know whether you require a certificate or not, let’s decode our guide to open a dog daycare facility.

From market research to acquiring essential equipment, registering, and marketing- let’s uncover this step-by-step guide to starting a dog daycare business.

1. Research the dog daycare market

Starting a business without any foundational research is a total waste of time. And you won’t base your business idea on a total fluke. Right?

Begin by analyzing the state of the pet daycare industry. Then narrow down your research to more specifics and details by doing some groundwork research.

To form a solid foundation of market research, ensure that you have relevant information on the following topics:

  • The direct and indirect competitors of your dog daycare services.
  • The market demand for daycare services in your chosen locality.
  • The target market and ideal customer profile for your daycare business.
  • The competitive edge of your dog daycare business.
  • Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) of your dog daycare facility.

Always gather your data from highly authorized websites, industrial publications, and local studies to ensure the efficacy of your market research.

2. Prepare a business plan

Get a dog daycare sample business plan template and start writing your business plan. Make this the most important task, especially if you are planning to acquire some funds from investors and banks.

Writing a business plan is one great way to bring clarity to your business idea. Moreover, the need for detailing in a business plan compels you to address the overlooked areas of business planning. This will help you fix the loopholes in business planning even before you invest the first penny.

From defining your business objectives to making marketing strategies, and determining your daycare operations and finances- ensure that your daycare plan is actionable and realistic.

Writing a comprehensive and actionable business plan is not an easy ft. It is time-consuming and requires the utmost attention to detail.

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3. Find the right location

It is important to find a suitable and progressive location for your dog daycare facility. Location does largely influence the success of your dog daycare business.

At this stage, you need to make various considerations like whether to rent or buy a commercial place. You also need to determine the space required after considering the type and concept of your doggy daycare business.

While cost is an important factor, don’t make it the only factor that influences your decision. Give importance to factors such as proximity to the target audience, demand for your services, the concept of daycare, and federal and local rules before weighing your decision.

You may consult some specialists to help you pick a better deal.

4. Register your business

Registering is very crucial as this will give your business a legal entity pass.

The business registration process involves a variety of tasks from choosing your business structure to registering it with the state, getting a tax ID number, and much more.

However, before anything else, brainstorm and finalize your doggy daycare business name. If you wish to operate with a name different than your registration name, then choose your DBA (Doing Business Name) as well.

Also, determine if you want to operate the doggie daycare business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or C.Corp. Remember that the entity you choose will determine your tax structure. Therefore, check the business entity of other dog daycares in your area before making this decision.

Don’t forget to get your EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) portal.

5. Learn about licensing and Insurance

To operate your doggie daycare as a legally compliant business unit, acquire essential licenses, permits, and insurance.

The need for licenses varies from state to state, however, you need to get a general business license mandatorily.

Further, you will require a zoning permit to operate a business in a specific location. Local government in certain states also requires you to get an animal boarding and animal transfer license, so check that.

As for insurance, get business insurance and general liability insurance to get protection against property damage, physical injuries, and many other business aspects. However, here are a few other insurances, you must consider getting:

  • Property damage insurance
  • Worker’s compensation fund
  • Professional liability insurance

6. Get dog daycare equipment & supplies

Create a checklist of equipment you will require to run your business. The list may include,

  • Dog beds
  • Leashes
  • Crates
  • Collars
  • Kennels
  • Playing tools
  • Food and water bowls
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Waste bags
  • refrigerator

Further, you will also require a few technologies and dog daycare software like CRM, pet management, etc. Apart from this, you also need fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and other mandatory equipment to keep your premises safe and secured.

Invest in high-quality materials safe for dogs and other pets. After all, you want the dog owners to trust in your ability to run an expert doggy daycare.

7. Hire daycare staff

Consider a variety of factors such as the size of your doggy daycare, the services you will be offering, and the number of dogs you will be catering to at a time to determine the staff needs.

Before hiring a dog daycare staff for full-time, ensure that their ideologies meet the company’s core values. Since you are catering to a care service market, the employees need to have an empathetic, kind, loving approach to dealing with animals and pet owners.

As for positions, you will need dog attendants, dog trainers, dog walkers, vets, cleaning staff, and people in administration. Determine if you will require full-time or part-time employees and lay out your hiring plan.

Lastly, ensure that your doggy daycare is well-staffed for you to offer premium quality services to the dog owners.

8. Launch and market your dog daycare

Now before launching your business amongst pet owners, ensure that your dog daycare facilities are up and ready to start offering services. Once ready, decide if you need a soft or hard launch. Ideally, a hard launch with some sort of party for pet parents can work wonders.

Your marketing strategy should cover marketing plans for both online and offline channels. From website marketing to social media marketing and traditional print marketing through flyers and posters- create a healthy marketing mix for your business.

Work on your retention strategies to win your existing clients over and over again. Happy and satisfied clients will bring new customers through word-of-mouth marketing.

Employ some tracking methods to monitor and analyze the results of your marketing strategies.

And that’s pretty much all you need to know to get started with your dog daycare business.

Bottom line

Ready to get started? By now you must have a rough clarity regarding how to start your dog daycare business. So let’s take the first step and get you started on writing your perfect business plan.

Upmetrics AI-assisted business planning tool helps you write your pitch-perfect business plan easily in no time. Explore from our list of 400+ sample business plan examples and use them to build your unique plan.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning now.

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About the Author


Vinay Kevadiya

Vinay Kevadiya is the founder and CEO of Upmetrics, the #1 business planning software. His ultimate goal with Upmetrics is to revolutionize how entrepreneurs create, manage, and execute their business plans. He enjoys sharing his insights on business planning and other relevant topics through his articles and blog posts. Read more


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