How to Start a Pet Hotel

How to Start a Pet Hotel. A pet hotel is a place for owners to board their pets when they go out of town. For a fee, they can board their cats and dogs (and other animals, if you choose to allow it) for your staff to take care of while the owners are away.

Find a location for your pet hotel. Check with your local zoning office to make sure you choose a place with the proper zoning. Consider the amount of space you'll need, which will depend on what type and how many animals you choose to provide shelter for. Also, take into account that dogs will need outdoor runs for exercise, so consider the size of the yard as well as the building itself.

Start constructing the interior walls in your building; at the very least, you need a room for dogs, a room for cats, a storage room and a lobby. You might want to set up an exam room for emergency vet services as well.

Buy kennels for the dog and cat rooms. You'll need different sizes of stackable metal crates. You'll also need other furnishings like cat trees and litter boxes; build dog runs out in the back of the property.

Determine your hours of operation. You need to let adult dogs out every 8 hours and puppies every 4 hours. Hire your employees accordingly. You need a receptionist, a supervisor and kennel techs. Train all of your employees on your policies and procedures. Set your prices after you have calculated your break-even point.

Stock any supplies you need. You may be able to buy dog and cat food in bulk; you'll also need dog and cat treats, leashes, bedding, blankets, food and water dishes, toys, balls and office and cleaning supplies.


  • Consider adding other services, like grooming, training, doggie day care or swimming time. This can definitely boost your bottom line. Offer the same boarding package to all owners. For example, the dogs will be let out to go to the bathroom twice a day and they will also get 15 minutes of "play time" outside each day. That will be your standard, but you can also offer extra playtime for a small additional fee. This is a great way to make some extra money. For cats, perhaps you can design a kitty playroom; this is harder, though, since cats are very suspicious of cats they don't know.


  • Talk to your county animal control office about vaccination requirements. Generally, they will recommend that dogs have a bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine and require that all dogs have their rabies shots.

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