Dog Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys! So. I am a dog owner who recently had an idea for a business and I could use as much help as I can get. I'm trying to get a feel for whether or not the general dog owner would use my service or not, so please be completely honest with your answer!

The idea was a one stop pampering stop. By that, I mean it would be a doggy- day care center, groomer, extended stay hotel, obedience trainer, and even a shelter!
What I believe would make this different is that I would accept ALL breeds.

My personal dogs are pitbulls and great danes. Although they are the sweetest dogs on the planet, most groomers and pet hotels refused them because of their size and "reputation". So, I wanted a place that not only did everything, but never turned anyone away...and for an affordable price, too!

What do you think? Would you use this for your dog? Or, would you rather have everything separate?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,178 Posts
We have a Doggy Daycare in our area. They also bath dogs or you can do it yourself and they supply the soap, conditioner, high velocity dryer and clean up after you. I have used both. I have also boarded at the Doggy Daycare. They take the dogs home with them at night and they are in the daycare during the day. Worked out great for my Doberman when I had to leave her somewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,177 Posts
I don't think it would be a bad idea. I also have a few places in my area that are doggy day care/training/grooming/boarding or mixes there of, even one that offers courses (for humans) in dog training and grooming. There's also a local pet store that has a self service dog wash (like the one Kyllobernese mentioned). If its something your interested in I think there's definitely a market. I haven't used any yet especially because I have a fear reactive dog, but they are something I'm looking into.
By hotel do you mean extended stay for dogs or an something along the lines of a hotel that allows dogs?
I would just say keep starting a rescue/shelter very separate from the other things. Running a rescue is a very different animal compared to dog/pet related services so to speak. Personally if you wanted to add that route I would do something like Petco and have some shelter animals on site and or host some adoption events.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
I will second the fact that this is not a new idea. There's a place by me that's a huge animal shelter and they also have a daycare, training facility and a small store. However, it's a good idea! I think the inclusion of bully breeds and other banned breeds is great.

However I have to say that as someone who has seen a lot of dog play, you DO have to be careful with bully breeds. While you may very easily have a pack of 6 who get along great and are great dogs, if they get into a fight, their fights are often harder to break up. I think that all daycares and things like that should always match dogs that have similar sizes and play styles. Many bully breeds also have a very rough and tumble play style that angers other dogs (like mine), who don't see body slamming as playful, but more of an attack. I think a good idea for a business like this would be a trial day to see how the dog behaves and plays with helpers dogs while being monitored by a trainer. This can weed out dogs of any breed who might not be suitable for the dog play, and also not be prejudicial to any specific breeds.

I also think that having a rescue with a dog daycare/kennel with dog play is a great idea. This will give great socialization and exercise opportunities for the shelter dogs that many shelter dogs do not get. You might also be able to get some dogs adopted by making friends with boarded dogs, because their owners see how much fun they have playing together. Even if you don't "mix" the shelter dogs and owned dogs, you will have the facilities for them to have that exercise and play with each other which will be very beneficial.

All in all I think this is a great idea, but I think it would be an expensive venture. You should do a lot of research both about business, non-profits, merging the two, and a lot about dogs in general. What's your background in dogs by the way?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sabina88

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
Offer remedial training for dogs who just need a bit of help to thrive in that environment and maybe quieter spaces or just walks for dogs who are less social.
It is fine accepting all dogs, as long as you temperament test before throwing them all in together, and have a few different rooms to separate by play-style.

My daycare provider also provides grooming and is learning to be a trainer. She does doggie adventures for social group play dogs, and individual walks for less adventurous creatures. She has a dogmobile (converted minivan) for road trips, and her home outfitted for play when the weather is less desirable. She also has a lot of ways to segment for boarding. It seems to be doing pretty well, but its not a big operation, more like someone who LOVES dogs, making it her job. I don't think shes in it for the money, more like do what she loves and any extra cash is a bonus.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
My vague answer would have to be: it depends. I would need to absolutely LOVE the groomer, and the daycare staff, and the trainer, and the facilities.

Truthfully I don't really like to leave my pets at hotels/boarding facilities. I much prefer to "board" them in someone's house, but I do love taking my dogs for training and getting them the occasional groom.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sabina88

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,800 Posts
Yep, I work at one of these places- daycare, boarding, grooming, training, dog walks, and in home boarding.

I guess if including all breeds makes your place different that would depend on the area you're in. I've worked at two daycares/boarding facilities. There are tons of multi purpose daycares in VT and as far as I know, none of them have any limitations on breed or size. In fact, pit bulls are probably the second most popular breed/mix at work after labs.

So not a new idea, but one that has been proven to be successful.

You will make a lot of money in the long run, BUT it will take a lot of money, time, energy, and knowledge to start up- you need to know about dog behavior, health, training, care as well as owning/managing a business and everything that entails from accounting to customer service. Also a lot of thought will need to go into the design of the facility- air filters, layout, sanitation, storage, yards, indoor areas, kennels, etc. This is something people don't think of but make sure you have a time out pen in each play area. There's usually only one or two dogs jacking up the energy of the group, and sometimes you need to separate one to calm the rest of the group down before you can work with that one crazy dog.

Put some thought into how you want your employees to handle groups of dogs. Some places are very aversive, some are very positive, some let the dogs "work it out" (horrible idea), some are a mix. Decide which handling techniques you think are the most humane and effective. Figure out how you'll train staff to use them and ensure that staff aren't using techniques that are unethical or ineffective.

You should interview incoming dogs to make sure they get along with other dogs and don't have any serious behavioral problems if they want to play with other dogs in daycare groups. You don't have to turn away aggressive dogs if you have a training program that can work with them- but I wouldn't let them play with other clients dogs for safety and liability reasons.

As for the shelter part- I think that should be completely separate from the customers' section. There's a daycare around here that used to also be a rescue and there'd be so much disease spread from the rescue dogs to the daycare dogs. Also a liability not knowing the shelter dogs' histories and letting them play with customer dogs. But you could have playgroups and playmates of shelter dogs so they can play with each other.

Unless you have experience in this field (and it looks like it would be multiple fields- daycare/boarding, grooming, and training!) I would suggest looking for partners to work with that do have experience, taking classes or seminars to gain the knowledge you need, and/or working or volunteering at similar businesses to learn the skills required to take care of these dogs! It's a great idea but it will be a big undertaking!
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top