How Profitable is a Boarding Kennel for Dogs?
So how much money can you make from a boarding kennels for dogs? This is question that we get asked a lot and the last 12 months have been disastrous for many commercial kennel owners sadly.
The pandemic has been extremely challenging with many kennels having much reduced customers due to the travel restrictions resulting in low occupancy levels. However due to the successful rollout of the vaccinations there is renewed hope and confidence that life might just be returning to normality.
So, let’s be positive and assume that the worst is behind us. The pandemic however has proved one thing in that people clearly want to work from home and running a commercial dog boarding business is a dream that many people would love to realise.
What can be better than living in a nice setting and being paid to be around dogs? No commute to work, no traffic jams, no struggling with the pressures of other people and deadlines to meet. You can see the attraction to be your own boss and enjoy a more sedate lifestyle.
Our view is that a lot more people are now looking for the right opportunity and location to run a viable and rewarding dog kennel business from home.
So how much will a dog kennels business generate?
Potentially this could be extremely lucrative, but a lot depends on the area that you are in. As a general rule, the further south you go the more you can charge but there are exceptions to this rule.
Certainly, the age and condition of your kennels will play a large part in what you could potentially make from a business. The savvy owners have invested into their business and can reap the rewards and vice versa owners who have been reluctant to improve their offering will sadly slide down the earnings scale as customers are only prepared to pay amounts that are reflected in the surroundings.
So what makes a successful boarding kennels for dogs?
This might shock you but from our own research dog kennels in the UK are generally very poor with only 5% of kennels being developed to a level that provides a satisfactory environment to leave a dog.
Many of the kennels we visit are substandard with a huge 30% of kennels that are completely unfit for a dog in our opinion which is quite shocking. We have travelled to kennels regularly all over the UK over many years and we know that this is accurate, and this also is what DEFRA and the licensing authorities are trying to address.
This however is great news if you’re considering buying a dog boarding kennel as it means your competition will be quite poor in general and it should be relatively easy to position yourself in the geographical area.
All potential boarding kennel for dogs customers will be concerned with the following issues when they arrive at a potential boarding kennel to leave their dog in:
- Kerb appeal is everything, most customers make an impression of your business in just a few seconds and more than likely even before you get out of the car. Was access good? Was the drive or entrance tidy and with good parking? What does the front elevation of your kennel tell you about these kennel owners? These are all questions and opinions you will make before you open the kennel door.
- Appearance what do the buildings look like are they clean and look well cared for? As you open the door does it smell clean or of dog urine? If it smells in anyway you would be reconsidering very quickly for sure.
- Friendliness is important, how do they greet you and are they being open with you giving you the information? A reluctance to show you into the kennels is normally for a reason and after all you should want and expect to see where you are leaving your dogs. Sadly so many kennel owners try to convince you with a nice reception but may have a squalid kennel to actually keep your pet in so don’t be fooled.
- Information this is important how will they communicate with you, do they have a camera system so you can see your four legged friends if you want too. Are they keeping daily logs on feeding, exercise, dietary requirements and medication etc? A well run business should have this information and also a way to communicate with you if they need to.
- Exercise is important and you need to be reassured about walks and exercise each day, the ideal scenario is a combination of walks and daycare areas to explore.
- Cost and the reason for this being last is that it should be your least consideration before deciding to trust them with your animals.
If you present a dog kennel to the public in poor condition with low quality housing then you can only expect low incomes. However, if you invest into the buildings, the exercise areas then the sky is the limit really.
As a potential kennel owner all you really need to do is to present a nice environment with friendly and attentive staff then you can really start to command quite high fees. Some kennels are asking up to £40 per day to board a dog but those have really invested into the site.
Our research is that dog owners are prepared to pay as much as 3 times the price to leave their dog in a nice kennel environment that they know is clean, warm and efficiently run. This peace of mind is a value that most are prepared to invest in.
Its not just the kennel fees that you can generate its also all the other opportunities that are associated with a kennel business.
During the pandemic many kennel owners had to diversify to survive and the really smart ones opened up doggy daycare facilities, grooming rooms, dog walking and sitting services. These have really helped them to diversify and will stand them in good stead for the future.
Our advice would be to try to be the best in your area, invest into your boarding kennels for dogs and associated buildings so they really look efficient and well run and consider all other possible income streams you could generate. Train your staff well and develop a following and a reputation and you should be able to make a very healthy living in any location in the UK.
The pandemic has seen lots of people get puppies so now you have lots more dog owners to entice to your new kennel business.
Easy Animal are the leading manufacturers of commercial boarding kennels for dogs in the UK, we have the knowledge and experience to help you. We offer completely free and impartial advice on all aspects of designing and building kennels and buildings for your new venture. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01785 559555 for a chat.