Fido's Day Out: Special Considerations For Starting A Doggy Day Care

Posted on: 9 November 2015

To many people, nothing is more important than their pets. According to Forbes, the pet boarding industry is growing and pet expenditures continue to rise, despite national financial downturns. In addition to veterinary care, grooming, and training, pets also require daily, continuous care from their owners. There are many situations that may force an owner to be away from home; many responsible pet owners will seek out a specialized boarding facility when they need to be away. If you love animals, this growing industry may be for you. Here are some things to think about when starting your very own dog boarding business.

Vaccination and Health Concerns

Kennels, shelters, and boarding facilities can be a breeding ground for many potentially deadly animal illnesses, so limiting the spread of infectious disease should be a top priority. Ensure that all boarders are up to date on vaccines and in generally good health before admittance. Spay/neuter records should also be on file, as well. Accidents can still happen, even under the most ideal circumstances.

In addition to overall health, it's important to ask about any ongoing health concerns. A dog who requires a special diet or daily medications doesn't necessarily need to be turned away, but for the safety of each dog, this information needs to be gathered.

Behavior and Aggression

No owner would want to board their pets in an unsafe environment and no handlers would want to be exposed to aggressive animals. While animal behavior can often be unpredictable, it's very important to meet each potential boarder and ensure that there are no behavioral "red flags" and, if possible, obtain records of any prior aggressive incidents. In addition to limiting admittance to well-mannered dogs, all staff should be trained in basic animal psychology and behavior to further minimize the potential for aggression.

Personal Care and Individual Attention

All animals need socialization and daily care. In addition to feeding and providing water, each pet should have some attention, both from staff and other animals, if possible. Clients may also have special requests for grooming practices while their pets are boarded, such as bathing, clipping, or regular brushing. Since they can vary, the staff should be aware of any specific grooming requirements for several different breeds.

Emergencies and Veterinary Attention

Possibly the biggest concern for pet parents when leaving their animals in someone else's care is what will happen in the event of an emergency. Having a clearly outlined and detailed plan for emergencies can be one of the most important steps in outlining the policies of your new pet boarding practice. You'll need to have a list of area vet clinics and information on 24-hour or emergency visits; it may also be useful to reach out to some of these businesses to inquire about any possible contract arrangements. Keep in mind, also, that most pet parents will have a preferred vet clinic that already has access to their dog's records, so think about allowing for preference in your emergency visit policy.

Pet boarding facilities can be like a home away from home for pets. Ensuring their comfort and security is important for both the animals' health and the well-being (and continued patronage) of their owners. There are many things to consider when starting a dog boarding agency, but keeping health and safety, behavior, daily care requirements, and potential emergency situations in mind can help to make the rest of the business flow much more smoothly.

For more information about dog boarding, contact the professionals at Daily Wag.