Dogs are like children for many people. Many pet owners who work full-time will place their dogs in daycare or even leave them overnight for special care. Opening a dog kennel and daycare will provide your clients with a safe place to turn when their pets need care.

Step 1.

Consider where your facility will be located. Look at commercial warehouses and large commercial buildings spacious enough for kennels, runs and storage of supplies and that can be fenced so dogs can run around.

Step 2.

Your start-up budget will likely include the cost of kennels, dog food, treats, bowls, leashes and pooper-scoopers. You'll need a computer with a database program for scheduling and holding client profiles, and accounting software to track income and expenses, employee wages and liability insurance. You'll need to pay fees for registering and licensing your business, as well as those for joining professional organizations, such as the Pet Care Services Association.

Step 3.

Offer other services, such as dog grooming, obedience training, pet sitting for small animals like birds and hamsters, pet portraits and photography, and classes on dog education and first aid, as well as those that teach dog owners how to properly administer medication to their pets.

Step 4.

Write a business plan that outlines the specifics of your business, including how you plan to raise money. For help drafting your business plan, contact the Small Business Administration.

Step 5.

Consult with a business lawyer to draft a contract for clients who need their dogs to stay overnight at the kennel or who want to enroll them in your daycare. Your contract should include eligibility criteria--including that dogs must be up to date on their shots and altered--as well as payment terms, rates, drop-off and pickup times, and the terms of administering required medications.

Step 6.

Research your competition so you can set competitive rates. Decide on your hours of operation.

Step 7.

Ensure that all outside and inside areas are secure.

Step 8.

Consider setting up a storefront in your dog kennel and daycare where you can sell dog products like dog shampoo and toys.

Step 9.

Place a help-wanted ad in your local newspaper and hang fliers in offices of veterinarians, groomers and pet stores stating your need for qualified workers.

Step 10.

Advertise your business by placing ads in local pet magazines and posting fliers around your community. Host an open house that allows prospective clients and their dogs to check out your facilities and meet your staff.


Offer discounts for clients who board their dogs for an extended period and for regular doggy daycare clients.

Forge joint ventures with other professionals in your area. For example, you may want to partner with dog groomers by recommending their services and vice-versa.