How to Start a Doggie Daycare From Home

Last Updated: April 3, 2024 • Visit Blog Homepage


Have you ever imagined starting a doggie daycare from the comfort of your home? You're already a pet lover and maybe you have some extra space in the house. Perhaps you'd like to put a little extra money in the bank each month as well? For many people, the idea of opening an in-home doggie daycare has gone from a dream to reality. It's not the simplest business to get started, but once you're on your way and get the kinks worked out, it's smooth sailing. You get to run a business from the comfort of your house and you don’t need to rent out a business space. Rent tends to be one of the largest expenses for small businesses, so you're already doing great! It's an ideal situation for homeowners that have an extra garage or some other area that they're currently not using.

If you're the classic American with a gigantic garage that you hardly use, why not convert it into a small business that can generate a lot of money for your family? You're most likely not going to become rich running an in-home dog daycare, but based on historic earnings, it's not hard to imagine that you could put away enough for a couple extra nice vacations per year.

However, before you dive into starting your business, there are some questions you should ask yourself before you try to start a doggie daycare from your home.

Do Zoning Regulations Permit Doggie Daycares in Residential Buildings?

It’s all fun and games to imagine running a doggie daycare from the comforts of your house, but you’ll need to make sure that you’re doing everything legally. One of the most important issues is contacting your local city government and asking them how zoning rules work in your city. Most cities don’t let you run a commercial business from a residentially-zoned property. Therefore, you’ll either need to get your property re-zoned as a dual commercial/residential property, or you’ll need to get an allowance from the city to run a business from your home. Zoning restrictions are normally put in place so that businesses don't set up shop next to residential areas. The last thing you want is a tire factory getting built down the block from your house. However, this also means businesses like dog daycares. There's a chance that your neighbors aren't going to like barking dogs a few blocks down. However, if you're zone correctly, you're all good.

Will my Homeowner’s Insurance be Affected by my Doggie Daycare?

Once you’ve figured out the zoning issues with starting a doggie daycare from your home, it’s time to look into your homeowner’s insurance policy and figure out what will happen once you start a business. You might get lucky and your homeowners insurance will cover your business. However, the more common situation is that you will need to buy commercial business insurance for your doggie daycare. This will cover any injuries that the pets might cause, as well as any accidents that occur on your property. There are numerous stories of people that have damages happen while doing AirBnb, and then, after the fact, they find out that their homeowners insurance doesn't cover damages caused by AirBnB-ing. Make sure the same thing doesn't happen to you when you start your dog daycare business.

Am I Ready to Bring my Work Life into my Home Life?

It sounds great to have a business that you can run from your home, but you also need to realize that you’ll be mixing your social life with your business life. When your business is connected to your house, it’s hard to “unplug” from work, because work is always right around the corner. Make sure you figure out how you’ll create the work/life balance necessary to keep yourself sane. There's also the idea that it's best to keep your hobby a hobby and not turn it into a job. If you like crocheting and you take pleasure in doing it, there's no way to quicker to destroy that hobby than by trying to make a living by selling crochet pieces. You're going to stress yourself out and what used to be a nice past time is going to be a stressor. The same could be said about dogs. Maybe you like the idea of taking care of dogs, since you like taking care of your own dogs. However, it might not be the same when you have 5-10 other dogs in your house and you're not even able to enjoy it anymore. Something to think about.

Are My Neighbors Going to Complain About Having Dogs on my Property?

Last but not least, if you’re located in a city, you’re going to need to make sure your neighbors are okay with you starting a doggie daycare from your home. There are going to be dogs barking at all hours of the day and if your neighbors get upset, they can complain to the city and you might have to shut down your business. Perhaps it would be wise to invest in a pole-shed where your can let the dogs outside and if they bark, the sound is contained. Just make sure to keep your neighbors happy, because there is nothing worse for a business than angry neighbors. We talked about zoning above and how you might be legally allowed to have your dog daycare. However, if you have neighbors that are going to complain on a daily or weekly basis to the city, it might not be the best idea. Bad neighbors can make or break a business, so try to keep good relations with them. Maybe offer them a discount if they have a dog, so that they're happy?

If you already own a doggie daycare and need a way to keep track of your clients and pets, check out DoggieDashboard. It's online software to keep track of appointments, pet vaccine records, owner documents and more. It's $40/month, but if you mention this article, you can get a $5 discount and only pay $35/month. Nice!

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