With 77.5 million dogs now living in busy American households, dog daycare has grown in popularity. Entrepreneurs hoping to get a slice of the billions of dollars owners spend annually on dog services can start a dog daycare, but start-up costs must be estimated carefully in order to launch a viable business. New daycare business owners can spend anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000, according to Pet Business Opportunity, with average costs running approximately $10,000.
Launching a dog daycare begins with a start-up budget that can be maintained on simple software purchased from an office supplies store. In addition to site permits, rental fees, insurance, payroll and advertising fees, a start-up budget should include costs for food, toys, bedding, crates and other supplies. Figures for these supplies items will depend on how many dogs will be allowed in the daycare.
Permits and Licenses
Many dog daycares are run on owner property. This approach can save a lot of money over time, as the other option is to rent space that is zoned for animals. Launching your business at home requires permits from your local municipality, which include a basic business license, and health and fire department permits, according to Doggie Daycare Tips. Licenses and permits will incur charges that vary depending on your city and county.
If you can’t launch your business on your own property, you’ll need to scout for animal-zoned rental buildings that provide both indoor and outdoor space to accommodate multiple dogs. Rental charges for this space will take a large chunk out of monthly revenue, which is why many dog daycare owners start their businesses on their own land.
You’ll likely spend several hundred dollars the first year to insure your dog daycare. Liability coverage will protect your business if a dog is injured or dies while in your daycare, and if a dog escapes and bites someone you’ll also be covered. You can shop for dog daycare insurance online.
Another area to consider is hiring. If you can handle dog daycare duties on your own, you'll save on employee costs. However, if you plan to take in more dogs than one person can reasonably supervise alone, expect to pay at least minimum wage for any employees you hire. If you bring in employees with previous dog daycare or dog services experience, expect to pay a higher hourly wage.
Advertising your new dog daycare via social media will cost nothing, and local signage posted in community areas will set you back only what it costs to make flyers at a copy shop. You can consider print advertising once your business has a stable revenue stream.
Jennifer Hicks has been writing, editing and developing content since 1992. She has covered national and international news for the business magazines "American Printer" and "Foodservice Equipment Reports," and has contributed personal finance, pet health and travel stories to eHow Money, LIVESTRONG and other sites. She also specializes in health communications. She holds a Master of Science in magazine publishing from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.