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Starting a doggie daycare

July 31st, 2009, 08:57 AM
Hey everyone,

My name is Lindsay and I am new to this message forum but hope to spend a lot of time reading all of the good advice and seeing pictures of everyone's pets.

I am also on here to see if there is anyone that lives in the west hamilton area and is interested in starting to take their dog to doggie daycare.

I am tired of my job and have been trying to think of home business ideas to get into, and what kind of job would interest me.

I have searched for posts filled with comments about doggie daycares in general and it seems that there are a number of you that use doggie daycare services.

I have not thought about dates yet as to when/where I would open my business, and my husband and I (if we use our home) have to work on converting some of our household space into useable space for the daycare. Both my husband and I have been doing extensive research though on the logistics of starting your own, and I am currently enrolled in a dog trainer instructor course as a tool for the business.

I am wondering what you like and dislike about the doggie daycare that you take your dogs to, and am wondering what sorts of areas people are wishing for a doggie daycare to surface?

I have Charlie in a daycare that we have to drive 20-25 minutes to. How far are you willing to commute to drop your dog off?

Thanks for all of the information everyone, and I will see you around the boards.


July 31st, 2009, 10:06 AM ultimate dream! Quit my job and run a doggie daycare.....unfortunately not financially feasible for me at this point in my life.

Have you investigated liability insurance? This is one thing that popped into my head while I have been dreaming of doing this one day. The liability issue is huge and really somewhat scary!!!!

I think you need to consider what services you will offer (just 9-5, or vacation boarding?). Basic grooming? Healthy treats? Walks versus unstructured playtime for the dogs? Will you have a kennel area to seperate some dogs if there are issues amongst them?

I'm also interested to know what type of training course you are taking. Is it a positive training approach or more corrective?

I live in East Hamilton and wouldn't be willing to drive to West Hamilton on a daily basis, but that's not a service I need anyway. I would do it if going away for a weekend or something through. I would like to find something in Hamilton for sure.

Good luck in your venture! :goodvibes:

July 31st, 2009, 10:19 AM
I believe you have to be bonded. Check into this.

Love the idea of Doggie Daycare. If I could afford it - I would absolutely send my puppers there.:thumbs up

July 31st, 2009, 02:08 PM
what I love about the daycare I occasionally take my dog to is that she is a trainer (as are her 4 staff members), a dog behavioralist and a groomer, Brina gets her nails done, a daily brushing, indoor and outdoor playtime all the while being taught new commands and refreshing old ones. They have an afternoon nap (alone or curled up with a playmate) in a new heated kennel/run on a kondura (spelling?) bed, with soft music in the background. Her 2-3 acre yard is all fenced in and in this yard is another fenced yard for their outdoor play , (1/2 acre),their indoor play area is covered with a soft floor mat and is the size of a 4 car garage with floor to ceiling windows on 2 sides, the one side opens up to her grooming salon and pet supply store, for every 3 dogs there is one worker. I pay 25 I think it is for a full day.

July 31st, 2009, 03:13 PM
The shop I was trying to get a job at had a pool for rehab was kinda cool...jets...the dog is able to swim against a current had a BIG sign saying NO DIVING! LoL! That takes the fun out of it!

They also had a free run area with trees and grass (fenced of course, but big) and a narrower fenced run...depends on the requirements of the dog which they use. The holding pens were 8x4 with little beds and water and a few toys...drapes to for nap time. The indoor play area was huge and they had everything from agility courses to this is a leash-here is how to use it courses. Most daycares apparently only take altered dogs...sometimes they will offer kennel services for unaltered, but not the daycare part of it.

I think the most important thing is to get staff that REALLY want to be there and are qualified or willing to learn...I could tell from my tour which staff I would have gotten rid of.

Another vote for checking into insurance etc...that can be a deal need so much protection now days when everyone is sue happy. :sad: Also a good vet at your disposal should anything happen...

July 31st, 2009, 11:53 PM
One thing I would do, if you decide to run this daycare from your home, is make sure you aren't going to have problems with city bylaws. I know Hamilton is quite strict with animal limits (Hamilton proper allows only 3 animals per household). My understanding is that they usually don't enforce it unless someone complains, and if you neighbours aren't cool with this, they could complain and cause a lot of trouble for you.

August 1st, 2009, 05:41 AM
Hey Everyone,

Thanks for your replies.

I have started a lot of research into this project. There is a ton of insurance that I need, including liability, home business, and omissions insurance. There is also a kennels/pet shop license that I need so that I can house more than 4 animals. I also need to rezone the property for commercial use (that way I am backed up if people complain about the dogs barking).

I am thinking of using (as indoor and outdoor space) the garage and part of the backyard. The garage is about a 2.5 car in width and 1.5 in depth, I am not sure what to do in the winter though as far as heaters for the inside space to make it more comfortable for the dogs. The outside space that I would use is about 15 x 30 ft. do you think that is enough space? would you want to leave your dog in those restrictions? I am also looking into the possibility of starting bigger and renting some commercial space instead thinking people would not be comfortable leaving their dog in some person's garage.

I was also thinking about charging 20$ per day, do you think that is reasonable?

thanks for all the great ideas everyone.

August 1st, 2009, 03:31 PM
20.00$ a day is about the going rate, however it is also for over night boarding. I would drop it to 17.00$ in order to be more competitive and you will make up that 3.00$ quickly when others know the price you charge.

Depending on where you are located and the acessiblility to your facility - the price will vary. Do a comparison price with other facilities and offer more for less. You will get more dogs in then your competitor.

August 1st, 2009, 03:42 PM
will the dogs be walked or exercised during the day? 15X30 isn't a very big area especially for large dogs needing to wear off energy

August 4th, 2009, 10:59 AM
the dogs will all both be walked and played with. There will be about 30 mins to an hour worth of walks (either all in one, or split through the day). and will be played with multiple times through the day.