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Advice about doggie daycare business

October 22nd, 2004, 06:56 AM

any of you owners of doggie daycares? I have had long time aspirations to open my own doggie daycare. My plans are to open one probably in the next 5 to 10 years, in Vaughan. Any tips on opening a business?

October 22nd, 2004, 09:07 AM
I don't have any tips for you, but I think that it is a great idea.

There are a two opening up in my area and they already have a waiting list.

Good luck with your venture.

October 22nd, 2004, 09:51 AM
My advice is really research the area you plan on opening in and the size of the dogs, how many per household. What people are looking for in a daycare for their pets? I suggest opening on weekends if it would benefit the area dog owners. This is one thing that I find none of the ones around me are open on weekends and if we shoot weekends I like the option of daycare for him.

October 22nd, 2004, 12:02 PM
You know karsalis, I was almost considering the same thing yesterday. I've been really frusterated that there are no dog walkers or doggy day cares in Brampton!! There is this great building that is renting out spaces right beside the go train station! It would be perfect!!

I don't have any tips for you though, sorry

October 22nd, 2004, 12:18 PM
I don't know anything about doggie daycares.... other then what my own personal needs are. I would love to have an early opening daycare with later/extended hours. I work shift work, and 12 hour shifts, and I can't find any place that will take my Pup from 6am- 8pm... on the few occasssions (2 X/mnth) that Hubby and I work the same shift. We have hired a dog sitter to come in for 3 one hr. periods a day, and it is costing about as much as putting him in day care!! I don't mind spending more money for extended hrs, especially knowing my doggie would be having a great time, socializing, and being played with!!
An idea for a unique doggie day care would be to find out what ppl want in a Daycare, and is currently not available. That would put your buisness ahead of the all the others..... offer unique sevices/hours then you lessen competition.

October 22nd, 2004, 12:43 PM
Thats fabulous feedback everyone!

espcially Sheriffmom's advice "find out what ppl want in a Daycare, and is currently not available. That would put your buisness ahead of the all the others..... offer unique sevices/hours then you lessen competition."

So what do pet owners want in a daycare? what would you like to see? what services would you like offered and prices would you be willing to pay?

October 22nd, 2004, 01:01 PM
Hey Karsalis,

I was also thinking of opening a doggy daycare but I'm going back to school instead..Here's what I can suggest:

-Firstly, do market research to make sure there's a demand for this service in your area (whereever you plan to set up shop)

-Also research other doggy daycares in the area...(You'd be surprised how many you might come across :eek: )
-Here's an example of a doggy daycare in QC, you can see what services they offer, pricing, etc.

-Then if you're going to need help with start-up costs (ie. Financing) You MUST draw up a business plan...sounds easy but it can be pretty time consuming HOWEVER no financial institution will give you $$$ without a good business plan.
Example business plans-(Its for pet photography but it'll give you the idea)

Hope it Helps!!! :D
Let me know if you need anything else!


October 22nd, 2004, 01:21 PM
You could always contact ppl in Emerg. services (police, Ambulance,Fire) as we have such weird hours.... if you offered a slight discount to 9-1-1 employees, and offered hours that would benefit them You'd probably have a huge turnout!! (I know at 9-1-1 nights we have here, a lot of us talk about our pets, and lack of services when we are on shift :) )
We just had Sheriff at the Canine College club in Manotick (near Ottawa) it was great. A large bungalow converted entirely into a dog house!!
Another thing might be a line of "bakery" goods, or a very high quality pet food (you might even get a kick back from the company) sold through your day care.
Another thing for me is I want a one-stop shop whenever possible. Like a groomer to do the basics, and make sure after a hard days play my puppy is a least somewhat clean (when we got Sheriff back from CCC he was FILTHY... not totally their fault, as their groomer was injured and was unable to bath him.)
In Vaughn you probably could also have a high income clientel if you market it right. Maybe Dog Day Care Spa. Or all day Spa kind of thing. You could groom, and dog-sit. Make it more exclusive, only X # of Dogs a day etc...

October 22nd, 2004, 01:35 PM
I really don't have any major tips to share but I will share an experience I had last week which may be helpful.
A new store opened in my city and being a pet lover my son and I went to see what they had to offer. In the back of the store, the owner had a fenced in area on hardwood floors which was going to serve as a daycare. Her idea was to do dog sitting while you shopped downtown. She wasn't really sure about weekends or full days (??) She had a Bassett hound in the day care area as well as her own whippet. The Bassett had pooped on the floor and she was openly disgusted and told the Bassett if he intended on staying there he had better not do that again. :eek: There were no other customers in the store but my son and I. I asked her if she had dogs at home (not knowing the Whippet was her). "Oh yes I have 4". She insisted on burning a candle and spraying raspberry spray around the store for the smell. (I may be a tad desensitized but I smelled NOTHING). I have to tell you I was TOTALLY TURNED OFF. I wouldn't leave my groceries with this woman. What didn't work other than her was:
1. Only one person working there. Who is to take a dog out for a pee with only one person?
2. No outside area - she is right downtown.
3. Few people skills and perhaps no dog skills.
4. Not open for sitting when it is really needed.

Anyhow, if this doesn't tell you what to do it should help with the DO NOT'S!!! :)

October 22nd, 2004, 01:41 PM
Sheriffsmom you hit the nail on the head last year a girl I work with in film we were talking about a 24 hour doggy daycare that catered to the film industry but we did not even consider how many other people like you said emergency workers would benefit from it. We tabled it due to the govt. in Ontario killing the film biz between SARS and cutting the tax credits so everybody went to other provinces. But maybe we should reconsider. We always work ridiculous hours and nights and weekends.
Good points especially about spraying scents around how bad is that for animals

October 22nd, 2004, 02:17 PM
You will want to go to this site.
They have the largest indoor facility in Ontario and also give seminars etc. about opening a Doggy Daycare. Can't get much more of an expert opinion than these people.


October 23rd, 2004, 07:00 AM
Amen to the emergency services idea. I too work in emergency services working 10hr days and 14 hr nights. We're pretty fortunate, my husband is a 8-4 guy, so Bear does alright for those days, however, I find that most businesses cater to 9 to 5 workers.(try finding daycare for an 18 month old child when you're working shiftwork) Far too often, businesses forget that there are those of us who are working overnight; long weekends; Christmas, etc. You'd probably do very well with emergency services if you targeted that area.

October 23rd, 2004, 04:00 PM
This is on the website for Pet Planet re questions people should ask of a daycare for dogs:

How many dogs play together at one time? Too many dogs can be unsafe no matter how well tempered they may be.
How are the dogs categorized into playgroups? By size is not necessarily the best way.
Is the overall appearance of the daycare clean and fresh? The care paid to the facility reflects the care paid to your pet.
What’s done when dogs show aggression, growl, or play too rough with each other? Separating aggressive dogs is good, but are they crated as punishment, rather than for “down time”or naps?
Are the dogs struck at any time (with objects or the hand) as a form of discipline? This has no place in today’s society!
How often are the dogs let outside to play? If there are no outside facilities, are the dogs taken for outside walks several times a day for fresh air?
Where do the dogs go to relieve themselves? Are the dogs forming bad habits to bring home by having to learn to “go” indoors?
Can you see the washroom area, does it have good drainage and is it kept clean at all times? This is important because many common diseases and parasites are transferred in the feces of dogs.
Do the dogs get “down time”, where they may rest without being harassed by other dogs? Many dogs in the company of their playmates don’t know when to quit and easily over-exert themselves.
Can you take a tour of the daycare at any time? This will indicate how well cared for the dogs are when owners or visitors are not expected.
Are the dogs ever left unsupervised? Scuffles or injuries can happen in a matter of seconds!
Are the dog’s collars left on at naptime? Even under supervision a dog can easily become hung up by his/her collar when in a kennel, and panic, preventing anyone from helping him/her.

Perhaps you already take your dog to a daycare, and are wondering how to evaluate it?

How often is your dog in a crate or exercise pen when you pick them up? If your answer is “always” or “often”, stop in randomly to ensure he/she is getting out for enough playtime during the day.
How knowledgeable are the daycare staff? Having owned dogs is a good start, but do they have the training to be able to “read” the dogs in their care, to prevent fights or other unwanted behaviors? This takes more than just loving dogs and wanting to work with them.
Have dogs ever been injured in fights or otherwise? How did it happen, what was done to prevent it from happening? Where was the staff at the time?

When paying for daycare services, you have the right to expect the best of care at all times, and increasing your own knowledge is the best way to ensure that care is given!

October 24th, 2004, 12:47 PM
I think Carey had covered the most important point about running a doggie daycare business: It takes more than just loving dogs and wanting to work with them.

As a pet owner myself, I expect the person taking care of my dog to be knowledgeable and can handle my dog in the presence of other dogs. Sure you can pick the best location to run this business and provide all the services that you can dream of 24/7, but if you don't get the trust from your clients that you can provide the most excellent care to their beloved pets, it's all meaningless.