In Home Dog Daycare

The Ultimate Guide to Starting A Dog Daycare At Home

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Are you wanting to set up your own dog daycare but have no idea where to start? Look here for a list of questions and answers to help you set up a successful business.

Is it worth starting your own dog daycare? I’m often asked this question, and the answer is yes, absolutely! But before you get started, there are a few things to consider.

In today’s article, we’ll look at some of the questions you may ask yourself before setting up your own dog daycare.

We’ll also give you some pointers on how to set up a successful dog daycare.

How to Start a Dog Daycare at Home

Have you ever been at work and wondered how your fur baby was doing at home? 

Have you ever wished you could stay home with them all day long? 

Do you love playing, lots of cuddles, and going on walks? 

Well, then maybe owning a dog daycare is for you. In this Ultimate Guide, we will show you how to set up a dog daycare at home. 

Really, A Dog Daycare?

I started my dog daycare business at home because I wanted to play with my pups all day. I also wanted to make sure that they were being taken care of. 

Many people asked me if I could open my own facility, and I was always looking for an opportunity to do so. Finally, summer came around, and I decided I wanted to see if there was a need for others dogs to be watched.

I quickly found out there is definitely a need! 

I have been in business for many years and love looking after my babies! I have also had a lot of success, and clients from all over have become my loyal customers. 

Why Open A Dog Daycare

Opening a dog daycare gives your dog the opportunity to get some much-needed attention, play with other dogs, and build sociability. But it can also be a bit challenging if you don't know where to begin.

That's why we have compiled this guide to help you launch your own dog daycare service at home. Not only will operating your own dog daycare save you money on boarding fees and other pet care expenses, but it will also give you more time with your pet and a chance to spend more quality one-on-one time together.

Let's take a look at how you can start a dog daycare service at home.

What is a Dog Daycare?

Multi Dog Dogwalk
When going on walks with multiple dogs it is easier to have the same sized leashes.

Dog daycare is a service where people care for dogs during the day. There are a few different types of dog daycare that you can offer.

  • Boarding is where you watch other dogs in your home overnight. 
  • Pet Sitting is where you go to someone's home and care for their dogs while they are away. This may be for a few hours or for a few days. 
  • Daycare is where you watch dogs in your home for a few hours during the day. 
  • Dog Walks take place when you go to someone's home and take their dogs out on a walk. These can happen when you are boarding, pet sitting, or during daycare. However, dog walks can also be a career all its own. 

Dog Walks and Pet Sitting

Dog walks and pet sitting are great if you cannot have a dog daycare in your home. You may often find that many people provide this type of service. 

Dog Boarding and Daycare

Dog Boarding and Daycare are amazing options if you have the space in your home. If you have room, it can be easy to supplement your income with a side business that can help your family and your pets live a better life. Who knows, it may even become your primary career! 

Decide What Services You Will Be Offering

The first thing to do is consider the type of dog business you want to start. You may wish only to offer daycare or boarding. As you grow, you may decide you want to provide both types of services.


You may want to start with daycare because it is easier to set up than a boarding service. Daycare is typically more manageable because you are awake during the day and can easily care for the needs of the dogs. 


With a boarding service, you will need to have spots for each dog to sleep. These may be different rooms or even different kennels. Not all dogs get along, so make sure they each have their own space at night so you can sleep. 

Register with the local authorities

You'll need to register legally with your local authorities to operate a dog daycare service.

This is usually done using a Regulated Activity Authorisation (RAA). Depending on your service model, there are a few different types of RAA you may need to apply for. Make sure to talk to your City and County in order to learn what you need to operate your business legally.

You'll also want to make sure you have liability insurance in place. If the fur baby gets hurt in your home, you may be held liable for their damages, and if they are not insured, you could be responsible for paying them.

While we can't cover every scenario, having a pet insurance policy will help protect you in an emergency. 

Dog Service Providers

Rover is an excellent service for anyone looking to start caring for pets. Anyone who uses their services is provided with insurance and protection. They charge an upfront fee to both the animal owner and the caretaker, but this fee can cover many unforeseen expenses if the situation arises. Rover is also a great way to find clients. They also have a great booking system where both you and the client can have peace of mind knowing that everything is set up correctly.

Wag! is also a great company for new animal caretakers. They also offer insurance and have an easy-to-use app to help you find clients. The best thing about working with Wag! is that they're always looking for the best and brightest animal caretakers, so there's no better way to get started than by joining the company's network of animal lovers. 

Set up your daycare space

Sleeping on the bed
When setting up your space make sure you have enough beds for all of the dogs.

Once you know what services you'll be offering, it's time to set up your daycare space. This will help your customers feel safe and comfortable placing their dogs in your care. And it will also help you manage your dog friends as well.

While several factors will impact your daycare space, there are a few main factors you'll want to think about. These include the following:

  • Accessibility: Will your daycare space be accessible from the street? If not, will your other entrances allow for unannounced visits?
  • Safety: What is the condition of the building? Is there fencing? Is there a gate? Can the gate be easily opened by the dogs? (yes, this one has happened before).
  • Cleanliness: What are the conditions of the building? Is it regularly cleaned? Is it easily cleaned?
  • Management: Who will be managing your daycare space? What experience do they have? What type of management style do they use? This is important to consider if you hire someone to help you care for the pets. 
  • Where will the dogs be staying? How will you keep them separated if they do not get along? Where will they be sleeping at night? 

Choose your service model.

When you are deciding on the services you'll offer, it's helpful to think about how you can monetize them.

This will help you decide whether you want to offer daycare services, boarding services, or both. When deciding on your service model, think about how you can monetize your daycare services.

Daycare services are often much cheaper to run than boarding services, so one way to make money is to offer discounted rates for daycare.

Another option is to offer a membership program for people who want to have access to daycare. This may look like a punch card such as coffee shops offer. 

You may want to have add-ons such as providing food to the pets for an extra fee. Another add-on might be taking the dog on extra walks. There is an endless amount of add-ons that you could have. 

List the benefits of your dog daycare service.

The best way to attract clients to your dog daycare service is to list its benefits of it.

You can do this by creating a website or other marketing materials that highlight the following benefits:

  • Safety: The most obvious benefit of a dog daycare service is letting owners know that their dog will be cared for in a safe and supervised environment.
  • Responsiveness: Another great benefit of your dog daycare could be that you respond to your dogs' needs quickly and efficiently. 
  • Interactions: Another benefit could be that the dogs will be able to interact with other dogs that are in your home. These interactions can be play, socialization, or training.
  • Homework: Another benefit of your dog daycare is that it allows dogs to work on their homework, such as learning manners or learning tricks.
  • Exercise: Letting the owner know that your dog daycare will have their fur baby coming home tired at the end of the day will make them very happy. 

When coming up with benefits, think about what makes you feel comfortable with others watching your dogs and provide that service at your home. 

Set up your payment and booking systems

You'll need to set up your payment and booking systems when opening your dog daycare service. If you are using services such as Rover or Wag!, they will have a built-in payment system.

However, if you are building your own business, you will need to have a way to collect payments from your clients.

You will want to collect payment from customers for the services provided. 

This can be done in various ways, including cash, direct debit, or credit card. Some online methods to pay are Venmo, PayPal, and cash app. 

You will also need to keep track of your bookings and ensure everyone gets the services they asked for. 

Get Out There and Set Up Your Dog Daycare

Dog daycare can be a great option for extra income and staying home with your pets and other pets. The amount of cuddles and love you get is definitely worth it.

However, handling a dog daycare business requires lots of time, energy, and patience. Not only will you need to care for others' pets, but you will also need to keep a clean home, and you will also need to clean up after the pets. 

If you have any other questions about pet sitting or dog daycare, feel free to ask them in the comment section below! 

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