Vacations are important to many people as they provide time to relax and get away from the daily grind of work and school. Some people choose to travel to exotic locations while others prefer to get together with family or friends. Although a dog might be considered part of the family, they usually don't get to take part in the vacation. Instead many are boarded at kennels for the duration of the trip. You can cash in on this profitable segment of the pet market by learning how to start your own dog kennel.

Things You Will Need

Large indoor and outdoor play areas
Separate kennel areas for each dog
Play toys
Liability Release Forms
Permits from local government (if necessary)

Step 1

Start caring for dogs in your home. Most kennel owners choose to start small with their dog kennel business by only housing one or two dogs at a time in their home. As the demand for their boarding services and their profits increase they slowly expand.

Step 2

Register your business. Your business needs to be registered with the IRS and possibly with your state government's department of revenue if you are required to collect sales tax on the services you provide. You also need to check with your city or county government to determine if you need a special permit for your kennel since many cities and counties have ordinances governing the number of animals housed in one location.

Step 3

Partner with a licensed veterinarian. Unfortunately dogs may become sick or injured while staying at your dog kennel, and it's your responsibility to ensure they receive appropriate treatment while their owners are away. Most dog kennel owners partner with a local veterinarian whom they go to when any of the dogs in their care need medical attention.

Step 4

Determine your fees. One of the benefits of opening your own dog kennel is the fact that you can set your rates for boarding a dog. You need set the rate for one animal as well as determine if you will provide a slight discount for pet owners with two or more dogs. In addition, if you offer services at your kennel such as grooming or bathing you need to set the rates for these as well.

Step 5

Draft liability release forms. While you don't want bad things to happen to the dogs when under your care, the reality is that dogs can get sick or injured. It's important that you protect yourself and your business by having pet owners sign liability release forms. They should give you consent to take their dog to the veterinarian you've partnered with if the animal requires medical attention.

Step 6

Obtain insurance for your dog kennel business. Your homeowner's policy may protect you in the event you have an accident caring for the dogs in your home, but you want to make sure of this before you commit to boarding a dog for someone. If it doesn't cover you or you decide to expand your dog kennel business to a location away from your home, you need to purchase professional liability or business insurance to cover you.

Step 7

Establish references. Dog owners want to know how their pets will be treated while in your care, and one of the best ways for them to find out is by contacting other dog owners who have used your services before. This is why it's critical that you find three or four different people to serve as references for your business. They should give you consent to give out their phone number or email address as well as be willing to respond to inquiries from strangers.

Step 8

Lease or purchase a facility to board dogs. As you make money keeping dogs in your home, you can begin looking for a facility to lease or buy to serve as your kennel. It should have a large play area inside as well as fenced play area outside which gives the dogs plenty of room to run. In addition there should be individualized kennels inside where the dogs eat, sleep and take a break from the stimulation provided by the other dogs. This area can also be used to separate a dog who is acting aggressively.

Step 9

Employ staff for the dog kennel as it grows. Operating a dog kennel business can become time consuming if you house dogs every day each week. You want to make sure that you have time to relax and spend time away from work as this helps prevent you from getting burned out. Hiring staff to come in one or two days per week to feed and care for the dogs can give you the break you need.

Step 10

Advertise and market your dog boarding business. Getting the word out about your dog kennel business helps it to expand and grow as more people learn about the services you provide. There are a number of different ways to advertise and market your services including flyers, newspaper ads, announcements on the radio or a website. Since your kennel specifically caters to dogs, consider advertising avenues that cater specifically to dog owners such as pet stores, veterinarians, obedience clubs and dog parks.

Step 11

Hire a business manager if necessary. Even though the majority of your time running your dog kennel business will be spent interacting with the dogs, there are still business-related tasks that must be completed. This includes managing the business finances, paying bills and taxes, collecting payment from pet owners that use your services, ordering supplies and ensuring you have all the permits and licenses required by your local government. If you don't have the business skills or experience needed to manage that part of your kennel, hire someone else to do it. This gives you more time to focus on the parts of the business you love.

Owning and operating a dog kennel can be a rewarding experience, especially if you enjoy working with dogs. While other people trudge to an office they detest each day to spend time in a cubicle, you can reap the benefits and rewards of doing what you love as well as managing your own business. Starting your own dog kennel is possible if you just follow these easy steps.

Tips & Warnings