Our local dog kennels provide a safe haven for our canines when we have to go out of town. Starting a dog kennel business does require a love for animals, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The safety and health of the animals must be considered, as well as the legal responsibilities of caring for others loved ones. Below we discuss some dog kennel regulations and other factors that need to be considered when starting your own boarding business.
Getting Started: Certifications & Legality
Kennel owners should have a lot of experience with dogs before venturing into their own business. Kennel business owners are not held to any certification requirements, however, it would be beneficial to take a certificate program in small animal care. Volunteering at a local animal shelter is also recommended.
Kennel owners should also form a relationship with a local veterinarian who provides emergency medical care, in case one of your client’s dogs requires medical attention while boarded at your facility.
Zoning and Insurance
Contact your local zoning board and inquire if there are any special zoning laws in play in regards to your kennel business. Pet boarding may not be allowed in certain areas. You will also need to contact your local town hall to confirm if any special licensing is required to start your business.
You will need to take out an insurance policy on your kennel business to protect yourself from liability if any dog gets sick or injured during your care. You will also want to have coverage on your facility from any damage the dogs cause. When choosing a policy, make sure to pay attention to the policy’s exclusions. Some providers will not cover certain breeds of dogs. You will need to find a provider that will cover all breeds.
Kennel Facilities & Equipment
It may be necessary to build a new facility from scratch if you can’t find an existing kennel for sale. Choose a location with room both indoors and outdoors. Your facility will require room for multiple crates indoors, and enough of an exercise area outdoors to meet the dogs activity needs. The facility should also require several small rooms for office space and a separation area for the dogs.
Splash pools and agility courses are becoming popular features at boarding facilities across the country. Some high-end facilities offer suites featuring human beds and 24 hour access webcams so owners can check in on their furry friends from anywhere.
Environment & Air Quality
Kennels are required to be heated and air conditioned to maintain a comfortable temperature. The facility and crates must be continually cleaned. Dog toys, dog bowls for food and water, and at least one bag of dog food for each crate should also be purchased.
Proper ventilation is a big factor in running a successful dog kennel business. Your dogs’ health and safety is the backbone of your business. Be sure to invest in high-quality kennel ventilation equipment to ensure that dogs will remain happy and healthy while staying at your facility. Osborne’s Agri-Aide ventilation systems offer a variety of equipment options to meet all your kennel’s ventilation requirements.
Pricing & Services
Some kennels offer strictly boarding services, and some kennels will offer additional services such as grooming and washing. Once you have defined your services, you must figure out the proper pricing structure. The best way to do this is to call your competition and get a feel for what other businesses are charging. Factor in the location of your business and services offered in your pricing structure.
Create a boarding agreement for all of your clients who will be using your kennel service. This should include information on feeding, play and sleep schedules and what you are liable for as the owner. This should also include what you expect from the dog owner, including a record of up to date immunizations.
Advertising & Employment
The best way to advertise your business is through a website and social media pages. Flyers and coupons are also effective locally. Most boarding facilities require multiple employees. Keep in mind you will need employees to service the office/customer service aspect, as well as attendees for the dogs. Most kennels provide 24 hour supervision of the dogs, so the facility must be adequately staffed.
The task of pursuing a new kennel business can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! When it comes to designing your facilities and integrating proper ventilation systems to keep your building up to code, contact the experts as Osborne. We specialize in kennel ventilation and will be glad to help you select a system that fits your requirements and budget.