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How to Open a Dog Kennel

If a dog-sitting venture has grown by leaps and bounds, this guide will take you to the next step with a business built around your love of canine companionship.


  • Step 1: Crunch the numbers Crunch the numbers to see if you have the $10,000 to $50,000 in start-up capital to open your own kennel. Factor in additional cash to cover personal expenses for 3 to 6 months.
  • TIP: Consider applying for a bank loan to come up with the cash.
  • Step 2: Do your homework Research your state's licensing and permit requirements as well as all regulations and statutes on opening a pet kennel. Read everything you can to become an expert on the subject.
  • TIP: Get in the habit of exceeding requirements and expectations to ensure compliance and to build a successful business.
  • Step 3: Find a location Find a prime location that offers good traffic and visual appeal from the street. Study the interior layout carefully to assess if the configuration will satisfy your needs.
  • TIP: Remember to calculate the cost of renovating and adapting an existing structure into your budget.
  • Step 4: Consider other services Consider offering other services such as grooming, walking, pet supplies, and obedience classes. Diversifying your business will expand your client list and maximize profits.
  • Step 5: Hire a staff Conduct interviews and hire a knowledgeable staff with the same high standards you set for yourself. Research the needed health insurance requirements for an employee-based business.
  • Step 6: Gain accreditation Gain accreditation from the American Kennel Club or the Pet Care Services Association for added protection against lawsuits, as well as customer confidence. Once you've followed these steps, you can feel confident as you embark on your pet-based business.
  • FACT: According to the American Kennel Club, as of 2010, the cocker spaniel has been the most popular breed over the past century, claiming the top spot for a combined 25 years.

You Will Need

  • Start-up money
  • State licenses and permits
  • Prime location
  • Staff
  • Accreditation

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