"Do what you love" is an adage given to budding entrepreneurs every day. For this reason, it only makes sense that a person who loves dogs and has a lot of time on his hands would consider starting a dog daycare business. Playing and caring for dogs all day long sounds like a lot of fun, but it also has its disadvantages that must be considered before opening shop.
Time and Space
Most centers, according to the Kennel Source, are open 12 hours a day on weekdays. Many centers are also located at the operator's home, which means that personal space is not available for true personal use for a majority of the day. It is also inevitable that people will run late in picking up their dogs, which can easily lengthen an already long day.
To operate a harmonious dog daycare with as little disruption and illness as possible, it is important to screen and carefully select clients--humans and dogs. Knowing that your clients will pay on time and be punctual in dropping off and picking up their dogs will make your life much easier. Selecting dogs that are well-behaved, in good health and that get along with other dogs at the center will make your days pass much easier as well. However, this selectivity can be very difficult for caregiver types and people who have problems with boundaries or saying "no."
Depending on your personal situation, you may need to rent a space for the dog daycare, which will require capital to start. If you do not have the money outright, you may need to get a loan or an investor to start the business. Do not forget that compliance with all of your state and local laws regarding business insurance, zoning and even health code restrictions are required. It is also in the best interest of the business to have any staff trained in dog health and first aid, which will require expert assistance that count into the start-up costs. Competition can also be stiff in certain areas, making it hard to get the business off the ground.
Perhaps an overlooked negative to starting a dog daycare center is the deep attachment the operator can develop for the dogs in her care. While day to day, this can prove to be a positive experience, if a dog is withdrawn from the center or dies, the loss can add stress and cause depression for the owner if the attachment was strong enough.
- the dog next door image by John Sfondilias from Fotolia.com