Last Updated: February 7, 2023 • Visit Blog Homepage


You've decided that you're ready to take the dive and open up your very own pet boarding facility. Congrats! Taking the first step is always the hardest part.

What's the next hardest step, you ask? Finding the right spot. Choosing the right location for your pet boarding kennel is critical to the success of your business. The right location can help you attract customers, increase foot traffic, and build a strong reputation for your kennel. On the other hand, choosing the wrong location can lead to a host of challenges, from low visibility and low foot traffic, to high rent and high competition.

To help you choose the best location for your pet boarding kennel, here are 5 key factors to consider. Go through your doggie daycare business plan and make sure that you're addressing these issues when you go about deciding on your location.

1. Visibility and Accessibility for Foot and Vehicle Traffic

Visibility and accessibility are two of the most important factors to consider when choosing a location for your pet boarding kennel. You want a location that is easy to find and that is accessible to potential customers. Consider factors such as traffic flow, parking availability, and pedestrian foot traffic. You want a location that is visible from the street and that is easily accessible by car and by foot. As a personal anecdote, I can personally think of quite a few dog daycares and kennels that I pass on my daily commute. They have great locations along main thoroughfares and large signs out front. Continually seeing their signs has "burned" their name into my mind. Should I ever need a dog daycare, they'd come to mind first, since I'm familiar with their name and location.

2. Researching the Neighborhood and City Demographics

Demographics are important when choosing a location for your pet boarding kennel. You want to choose a location that is in a high-density area with a large number of pet owners. Consider factors such as median household income and age of the local population. Opening a dog daycare in a college town might not be the smartest since there aren't many college pet owners. You also want to consider the number of pets in the area and the type of pets that are most popular. If you're located in a small town, and there's a larger, "richer" town nearby, it might be smarter to open your business in that area. Dog boarding and daycare isn't exactly cheap, so you'll want to make sure that the people living in the area have the disposable income to afford boarding and daycare for their pets. Opening a dog daycare in downtown Chicago will allow you to charge higher rates since the population in the downtown earns more than the outer suburbs, for example, and can spend more on daycare.

3. Looking into Local Competition

Competition is another important factor to consider when choosing a location for your pet boarding kennel. You want to choose a location that is not overly saturated with pet-related businesses. Consider the number of pet daycare facilities, pet stores, and veterinary clinics in the area. You also want to consider the type of services that your competitors offer and the prices they charge. However, competition isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes, opening a new business where others already exist, gives clients the option to choose. Giving great service might help sway some of their clients to become your clients.

4. Calculating Future Rent and Operating Costs

Rent and operating costs are critical factors to consider when choosing a location for your pet boarding kennel. You want to choose a location that is affordable and that will allow you to operate your business profitably. Consider factors such as the cost of rent, utilities, taxes, and insurance. You also want to consider the cost of labor and the cost of supplies and materials. Going back to the Chicago example above, if you're in downtown Chicago, your rent will be considerably higher than if you're in an outer suburb. Use the dog daycare financial spreadsheet to play around with potential rent prices to see how it affects total revenue.

5. Local Regulations and Zoning Laws

Local regulations and zoning laws are important factors to consider when choosing a location for your pet boarding kennel. Sometimes the city you're in will vote in your favor and other times, not. You want to choose a location that is compliant with local laws and regulations, and that is zoned for commercial use. Consider factors such as the local fire code, the local building code, and local health and safety regulations. You also want to consider the local noise ordinance and the local pet licensing laws. Some cities have very strict zoning regulations, whereas others are more lenient and will allow you to propose your idea before the city council. Do your research and start asking around as to how your city works.

As you can see, choosing the right location for your pet boarding kennel is critical to the success of your business. Being in a highly-visible area will immediately increase the amount of business you do, and as a result, your revenue. By considering factors such as visibility and accessibility, demographics, competition, rent and operating costs, and local regulations and zoning laws, you can choose the best location for your pet boarding kennel. With the right location, you can build a successful and profitable pet boarding business that provides high-quality care to pets and their owners. Take your time to do the research, because the last thing you want to do is sign a lease for a place and then regret it within the year. Patience grasshopper!

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