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Buying and running a boarding kennel

If you're on the hunt to buy and run your own boarding kennels, why not consider these tips and tricks.

Prospective clients will feel more confident leaving their beloved pets in your capable hands if you're passionate about dogs. 

Hands-on kennel owners spend their days cleaning the facilities, and exercising and feeding the dogs. If this doesn't appeal to you than perhaps boarding kennels for sale aren't the right businesses for you. 

However, if the thought of looking after dogs seems more of a joy than a chore, then you're arguably capable of starting your own kennel business. 

When finding staff for your boarding kennel, make sure they share your love of animals and have experience in dealing with dogs. They should also be able to manage the dogs and be competent to deal with any unexpected circumstances.  

Once you have a good team working for you, one that you can trust to do a good job, things become a lot easier. 

There are also various organisations who can advise you on various aspects of setting up a boarding kennel, for example what type of cages to buy, the best layout and your legal and regulatory obligations. The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) and the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) are both worth contacting. 

Appraising boarding kennels for sale

Many kennel owners live near or within the grounds of their kennels are based to ensure there is always someone on hand to check on the canine lodgers. 

As with any business, you should consider the level of competition in your local area, and the breakdown of its demographics. Dogs are popular pets across social classes and a wide swathe of age groups, although much less so for the under 30s, who tend not to want the responsibility of pet ownership. Therefore an area replete with young professionals and/or students might not be such a good area for a kennel. 

For any kennels for sale, check its licences and insurance is up to date and that its staff have the necessary training

Also assess how much space each enclosure affords the animals and the bedding material, how much space there is to exercise the dogs and that the whole property is securely fenced to prevent any dog from escaping the grounds. The fencing should go several feet below the ground and be approximately eight feet high, which prevents any dog from digging beneath or jumping over the security fence.

Running a kennel

It is important to keep a record of each dog's requirements.  Take a note of owners' contact details and dogs' feeding patterns, any medical instructions and exercise requirements. It is vital all animals stay healthy and happy in your care, and if you're anything less than fastidious in keeping records then you could forget to administer crucial tablets or give the wrong food, with potentially dire consequences.

Every kennel must also ensure all dogs have had the necessary vaccinations before boarding. It's worth forming a good relationship with your local veterinarian, which will be useful should you have any medical emergencies. 

Incidentally, vet surgeries, along with pet shops, are good places to promote your kennel business. 

Forums and review websites are increasingly used to vet kennels, and one bad review could be seriously damaging. Dogs are like a member of the family, and their owners will be expecting top quality care for their companions.

Marketing, creating an online presence and advertising your business locally are all useful ways to gain more customers. However, repeat custom and word-of-mouth advertising arguably trump all other forms of marketing  so customer service and taking care of your dogs should be your paramount concern (although animal welfare should be your primary concern as an animal lover, regardless of the consequences for your business!).

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Krystena Petrakas

About the author

Krystena Petrakas read English and American Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University and graduated in July 2009. She provided content for the university magazine throughout her student years, and previously edited BusinessWings for Dynamis.

@FranchiseSales_

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