[Start-it-up] How to Start a Dog Boarding Business
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All segments of Indian pet industry—food, accessories, toys, boarding, grooming and breeding—are witnessing an exponential growth. Reports show that the market is growing 14 per cent annually and is expected to be worth 430 million in 2020.
The growth potential in the pet industry has opened up several business opportunities, dog boarding being one such option.
What is Dog Boarding
Dog boarding, also known as Dog daycare, is a service which allows owners to drop their dogs off for a certain period of time by paying a fee. In the boarding facility, dogs are fed, walked, and cared for by the staff, who make sure that the dogs remain healthy and happy.
Some dog boarding facilities also offer additional services such as pet day care meant for those owners who need care for their pets while they are at work or otherwise engaged. You can also set up a salon and swimming pool in the boarding to attract more customers looking for recreational activities for their dogs.
Also Read: How to Start a Mobile Pet Grooming Business
To begin with, you will need a 3,000-3,500 sq ft land for the boarding as dogs need open area for playing. As for location, we suggest that you locate the boarding in near vicinity of residential areas that have maximum households with pets.
It would be better to lease a land which at least has a small office space constructed on it as constructing everything from the scratch can cost you a bomb. Once the area is finalized, next step is to set up and furnish the boarding. You will need to construct at least 6-7 rooms or iron cages for dogs and furnish them with a bed, food bowl, fan or maybe even an AC or cooler if you live in a city like Delhi.
After rooms, it is important that you set up a play area for dogs with toys, slides and maybe even a swimming pool. If you wish to offer grooming services as well, you can either take franchise of a popular dog salon brand or set up your own salon. Taking a franchise of a popular brand can help you get customers smoothly.
Setting up a dog boarding requires one-time heavy investment on setting up the facility. Furnishing and additional construction in the facility will cost INR 4.5-5 lakh. Setting up the play area will cost around INR 20,000-25,000. Add another INR 60,000-70,000 on utility deposits, building the website, permits and other miscellaneous costs.
As for operational costs, rent of a 3000 sq ft land will be upwards of INR 1 lakh per month. Electricity and water bills can amount to about INR 20,000 per month and grocery for dog’s food will be INR 7,000-10,000 per month. Next major chunk of your operating costs will be on staffing, which will be around INR 70,000 for 2 assistants and 2 people who will handle office work. Of course, if you handle the office work yourself, you can save on this cost to a great extent. Also, you may not have to hire more than one assistant in the beginning until you start getting 5-6 dogs for daily keeping. Next expense will be on marketing, which will cost INR 12,000-15,000 per month until you get enough repeat customers.
Your source of revenue will mainly be the fees charged to dog owners. Fees will vary as per the type of room, services provided and age of dog. Charge for overnight stay for a basic non-AC room ranges from INR 600-700. This includes food and boarding. For a room with cooler in the same category you can charge around INR 800, whereas a similar AC room can fetch you upto INR 1,000. If you provide pool services, you can add another INR 200-250 to the room charge. For a small puppy or an older dog who need exclusive attention, charges can be hiked by up to INR 200.
That’s about overnight boarding charges. For day care, charges will be lower at INR 400-500 for about 10 hours. Again, depending on the size, age and temperament of the dog, you can charge higher than the regular fees.
So to give you an idea of your earning, if you get around 100 overnight boarding bookings and 50-60 day care bookings, you can book a profit of 20-25 per cent from the total revenue. A word of caution here - it can take you 8-10 months to build a sizeable customer base.