You love dogs and have decided to open a day care service for people's canine companions. Doggie day cares have become a popular service with the busy young professionals that don't want to leave their pets home alone. To be a successful operation, there are a few ways you'll need to prepare yourself and your facility to impress the savvy dog owner:

Become a Canine Expert

You'll need to show your customers that you understand dogs and can work with them in your day care setting. Through experience or education you'll want to let your customers know that you are fully competent in:

  • canine individually and pack behavior
  • canine dispute resolution
  • canine CPR and emergency first aid

Your customers want to feel that their dog will be safe when left with you.

Have Your Support Structure in Place

Create a business relationship with a local veterinarian or animal hospital that specializes in dog care. You'll want to have a vet available who can come to your facility, or who has a pick up service so you can stay with the other dogs while the sick animal is being treated.

If you are starting your business as the only employee, you'll need a backup person to cover for you if you have to step out for a few moments. Consider hiring a few part-time dog walkers that work for you a couple of hours each day. One of these people can act as your backup while you go to the pet food store to restock.

Protect Yourself Legally

Don't open your doors until you have your business insurance and legal forms in place. The legal release forms explain how you will manage a customer's dog should it become injured on your property or while out walking it. It will state your rights to have your emergency vet work with the animal without getting the customer's prior consent. This protects you and your ability to get the dog medical attention should you be unable to  get in touch with the customer.

Plan Out Your Facility

To compete with other modern doggie day care facilities, visit a few and see what they offer. Today's pet day cares offer a number of features such as:

  • a "cage free" environment that allows the animals to live and play in groups
  • a way to separate puppies and adult dogs during play time
  • special areas for feeding the animals
  • a "time out" area for dogs that need a quiet space in which to rest
  • splash pools for use in warmer weather
  • temperature-controlled spaces
  • streaming web cams to allow owners to look in on their pets

Be prepared for the demanding role of a doggie day care operator. You'll meet and interact with a variety of dog personalities, as well as the customers who own them. To learn more, contact a company like Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns you have.