Opening a dog kennel business

Update: January 2, 2024

By: Tom Macken

How to open up a dog kennel business

The market for pet boarding globally reached a value of $19.5 billion in 2021, and it is projected to surge to nearly $36 billion by 2031. This growth is primarily fueled by the increasing number of pet owners and their demand for top-notch care and accommodation for their beloved dogs. Learn how you can establish your own dog kennel business.


What is a dog kennel business?
8 tips for opening a dog kennel business
Training needed to open a dog kennel business?
Regulations for opening a dog kennel business

What is a dog kennel business?

A dog boarding business involves providing temporary accommodation and care for dogs. These facilities can vary in size, from small-scale operations based in homes to larger establishments capable of housing numerous dogs simultaneously.

The primary objective of a dog boarding business is to offer a secure and comfortable environment where dogs can stay when their owners are away on vacation, business trips, or unable to care for them. Additional services such as grooming, training, and socialization may also be provided by some kennels.

Individuals or larger entities like animal shelters or pet stores can operate dog boarding businesses. Certain kennels may specialize in specific dog breeds or cater to dogs with specific needs, while others may offer comprehensive services for dogs of all types.

Running a successful dog boarding business necessitates a genuine love for dogs, extensive knowledge of dog behavior and care, and a strong work ethic. Understanding the legal and regulatory obligations associated with operating such a business, including licensing, zoning, and insurance, is also vital.

8 tips for starting a dog kennel business

1. Form your Legal Business

When setting up a dog kennel business, you’ll need to think about what business structure will work best, including registering your company with the appropriate authorities, both locally and nationally. 

Many would-be company owners struggle to make sense of the differences among an LLC, a sole proprietorship, a partnership, and other business structures, much alone settling on one. 

A company incorporation service can help you determine the best business structure for your  company based on factors like the level of liability protection you require, the laws of the state in which your company will operate, tax filings requirements and the type of license you will need to legally sell your service and products. 

In the case of dog kennel businesses, we advise you to choose one of these legal forms:

  • An LLC might have a single owner or several owners.
  • A corporation

In the U.S, limited liability companies (LLCs) are favored over sole proprietorships because their owners are shielded from personal liability for corporate debts and obligations.

Naming your dog kennel business

The process of naming your dog kennel enterprise may be a lot of fun. Create a list of terms that best describe your company’s values and goals. Then, put those words to use in creating new, meaningful two-word and three-word combinations. 

Try mixing and matching words that signify the same thing to hear what you come up with. Last but not least, check online to see whether the company name you want to use has already been taken.

2. Setup your Business Bank Account 

Depending on your needs and the amount of money you want to deposit, there are different kinds of business accounts you can setup for your dog kennel business including:

  • Checking Accounts: The most typical form of business bank account. Opening a company checking account is simple and provides a number of advantages. Having a bank account means you may quickly and simply add or remove funds as your needs change. You may use your checking account to pay bills and vendors by writing checks.
  • Savings account: With the return you may receive on your savings, it’s a terrific way to build up a rainy-day fund for your dog kennel company. Savings accounts, on the other hand, may have withdrawal restrictions and provide lower interest rates than checking accounts.

Before deciding on a bank account, it’s a good idea to do a comparison of different business banks for features and fees, including FinTech banks with very competitive benefits of no monthly fees, no minimum balances and an unlimited number of transactions compared to traditional high street bank offerings. 

3. Organize Your Accounting, Taxes & Credit Card reader


Setting up a reliable accounting system will allow dog kennel business owners to keep tabs on all kinds of financial transactions from sales (income & invoicing), purchases (expenditure), liabilities (bank loan funding) to taxes due to the IRS or similar. 

The books for your dog kennel business can be organized in a few ways:

If you choose to handle things on your own, pick a system that is intuitive and simple to use. When your accounting system is ready, you can begin recording your earnings and spending. If you want to save money, you can now see exactly where it’s being spent meaning future budgeting is simplified as a result.

Spice business owners should be careful to maintain a consistent schedule of accounting maintenance. This calls for putting time in your calendar on a regular basis to check your books and make any necessary changes. While this may appear to be a lot of extra effort, it will ultimately save you time and energy.


Before you can start your own company, you have to get yourself registered for a number of different taxes, both federal and state, first. Your business has to submit an application for an EIN (Employer Identification Number), which is a simple process and is free of charge. Doing so will allow you to register for taxes.

Through the Internal Revenue Service’s website, you can obtain your EIN. There are certain taxes imposed by states that might be applicable to the operation of your firm. 

Credit card readers

Dog kennels will of course need to take payment for the services and products they provide. Having access to a low-cost POS card machine is essential to ensure your business can take payment from your customers in a quick and easy manner. 

A card reader such as the Payanywhere Smart Terminal offers a simple pricing model, next day funds in your bank account, integrates with your Quickbooks accounting software and can also provide valuable data insights into sales trends, inventory management and customer behavior.

4. Launch your dog kennel website & social media

A stunning site for your fresh dog kennel company can be created very easily via:

  • DIY building the business website yourself using a Page Builder or
  • Hiring a qualified web designer to build effective landing pages that can drive new leads for your business using high-quality photos, videos, and other visual components that are in keeping with your brand’s aesthetic.

Having a slick, mobile-optimized website has numerous benefits for any business including: 

  • Attracting new customers 24/7, showcasing your services and products at any time 
  • Credibility, making it easier to attract and retain customers 
  • Online presence for Google searches actively looking for dog kennel services in your area
  • Customer engagement by helping to engage with customers regarding business info, photos, videos, feedback forms as well as contact forms
  • Branding A website can help businesses establish and reinforce their brand identity, by incorporating their logo, color scheme, and other branding elements into the design.

Marketing & Social Media

Social media including Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter are powerful tools for a dog kennel business as they can increase your business visibility, ability to engage with customers, establish and reinforce brand identity, and gather valuable data insights to improve marketing strategies.

Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook alone have billions of active users, providing a  dog kennel business with an opportunity to increase its visibility and reach a wider audience.

Direct Marketing can also be used in the form of Facebook and Google online ads on these platforms to market services and products to potential customers. dog kennel businesses can use targeted ads to reach specific demographics and interests and use the campaign data to make informed decisions about your next marketing campaigns to drive more sales.

5. Create a Brand Identity for your dog kennel

To differentiate your company from your competitors, you’ll need to take some time to prepare and concentrate on how you want your consumers to feel & develop a unique personality for your dog kennel business. From the logo’s design to the brand’s color scheme, there is a lot to think about. 

A unique and memorable logo for your business can be professionally created by a talented Graphic Designer from a Logo Design service. 

Hiring a logo design service can save a business time and money by eliminating the need to spend hours researching and creating a logo and a high-quality logo can be designed quickly and efficiently.

The steps to think about include: 

  • 1). Establish the vision and values that guide your dog kennel company. What are you hoping to accomplish with your company? When people consider your dog kennel brand, what do you want them to feel? 
  • 2). Go with a color palette that conveys who you are as a business. Colors say a lot regarding a product or service. If you’re stuck for inspiration, research competing products in your field to discover what colors they’re using.
  • 3). Create a distinctive logo for your dog kennel line. This is the first thing that customers will associate with your brand, therefore it has to be striking. Get in touch with an expert designer to develop a logo that captures the essence of your company while also looking great.
  • 4). Make sure your branding is the same across all platforms. This should include your website banners to your business cards, your logo and color palette are always consistent with your brand. As a result, your brand’s identity will be strengthened and your company’s name recognition will increase.

Making a name for your dog kennel company is unlikely to be as difficult as you would think. Creating a brand that sticks with consumers requires zeroing down on the company’s raison d’etre and core principles. A distinct identity for your dog kennel business may be developed with some forethought and imagination. 

6. Develop a Business Plan for your new dog kennel

A well-developed business plan is a crucial tool for any entrepreneur looking to start a successful business. The plan should include your dog kennel company’s mission and vision, target audience, product offerings, marketing and sales strategies, and financial projections. 

The business plan should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that the business is on track to meet its goals.

A business strategy should cover the following:

  • Market Analysis: An in-depth look at how the market for bricklayers is doing now and how it could grow.
  • Business Summary: A description of your new dog kennel business, including its purpose, goods or services, and target market.
  • Business Strategy: A thorough plan that explains how the business is going to reach its goals.
  • Financial Strategy: How much money you expect to make, spend, and need for cash.
  • Marketing Plan: How the business will sell itself and what strategies and methods will be used.
  • Operations: This is an account of the business’s working methods and practices.

7. Get Financing for your dog kennel business

For your dog kennel business, you can use personal savings or decide to use financing solutions for your new venture and you’ll have different options to consider which may work best: A bank loan, crowdfunding, investors or something different. 

A clear, detailed, and comprehensive business and financial strategy is usually expected by banks or other partners from whom you seek for funding. To launch a firm, you could require funding from a bank, credit union, or the Small firm Administration (SBA). 

The average cost to start a dog kennel business can vary widely, depending on several factors such as location, size of the kennel, and level of services offered. However, according to some estimates, the initial investment to start a small-scale dog kennel business can range from $10,000 to $50,000, while larger kennels or those with more amenities can cost upwards of $100,000 or more.

This initial investment includes the cost of property, fencing, kennel runs, dog beds, food and water dishes, licensing and permits, insurance, marketing and advertising, employee salaries and benefits, and other operating costs. The cost of property can be a significant expense, particularly in urban or suburban areas, where real estate prices can be high.

8. Business setup essentials

When establishing a dog kennel business, there are various important factors to consider, including:

Acquiring necessary licenses and permits

Obtaining the required licenses and permits is a vital step in starting a dog kennel business. It ensures compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. Specific licenses and permits may differ depending on the kennel’s location, so thorough research on the area’s requirements is crucial.

Some common licenses and permits may include a business license, animal welfare license, zoning permit, and building permit. In certain cases, kennel operators may need a special permit or certification to handle specific dog breeds or offer particular services.

Finding a suitable location

The kennel’s location should be easily accessible to customers and facilitate convenient drop-offs and pick-ups. Compliance with local zoning regulations and adequate space to accommodate the number of dogs housed are essential considerations.

Factors to assess when selecting a location include the facility’s size and layout, availability of utilities and necessary infrastructure, and the local environment, including nearby parks or trails for exercise and outdoor activities. Safety measures like proper fencing and security protocols to prevent escapes or theft should also be in place.

Considering the competition in the area is important to gauge demand for services and identify market gaps or opportunities.

Equipment and supplies

Ensuring the health and safety of dogs in your care requires essential equipment and supplies, such as:

  • Kennels: Opt for high-quality, comfortable, and secure kennels that are easy to clean and provide sufficient space for each dog.
  • Food and water dishes: Choose stainless steel or plastic bowls for feeding.
  • Grooming equipment: Have brushes, combs, clippers, and other grooming tools on hand for proper care.
  • Cleaning supplies: Stock disinfectants, paper towels, brooms, and mops to maintain cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Play equipment: Provide toys and stimulating items to promote exercise and well-being.
  • Medical equipment: Keep a first-aid kit and necessary medical supplies for any potential emergencies.

Developing policies and procedures for animal care, safety, and sanitation

Implementing comprehensive policies and procedures regarding animal care, safety, and sanitation is vital for a successful dog kennel business. Key policies and procedures include:

  • Health checks: Conduct thorough health assessments for all dogs before admission.
  • Vaccinations: Enforce up-to-date vaccination requirements to prevent disease transmission.
  • Feeding: Customize feeding according to individual dog needs and preferences.
  • Exercise: Ensure adequate exercise and playtime for dogs’ physical and mental well-being.
  • Sanitation: Maintain regular cleaning and disinfection routines to prevent germ spread.
  • Safety: Implement measures to secure kennels and eliminate hazards that could harm dogs.

Hiring and training employees as needed

A thriving dog kennel business relies on dedicated and well-trained employees. Key steps in this process include:

  • Hiring individuals passionate about working with dogs and possessing animal care experience.
  • Providing training on policies, procedures, animal handling, and customer service.
  • Setting clear expectations, offering feedback, and promoting adherence to safety protocols.

Building relationships with suppliers and service providers

Establishing strong relationships with reliable suppliers and service providers is crucial for a dog kennel business. These relationships ensure access to high-quality products and services at competitive prices. Consider the following steps:

  • Research and compare suppliers and service providers to find the best fit.
  • Establish clear expectations for product and service quality, delivery times, and pricing.
  • Maintain open communication channels to address any issues or concerns.

Marketing and sales strategy

Developing an effective marketing and sales strategy is essential for attracting and retaining customers. Consider the following strategies:

  • Build a strong brand identity that reflects your values and services.
  • Create a user-friendly website showcasing your offerings and amenities, including an online booking system.
  • Leverage social media platforms to expand reach and engage with your audience.
  • Develop partnerships with other pet-related businesses to broaden your customer base.
  • Set appropriate pricing strategies, including package deals, discounts for repeat customers, and additional services to increase revenue.

Website and social media presence

In today’s digital landscape, having a website and active social media presence is crucial. A well-designed website can showcase services, rates, facilities, and enable online bookings. Social media profiles on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provide opportunities for engagement, sharing educational content, and displaying dogs in your care. Regularly updating content and ensuring mobile-friendliness enhances user experience.

Liability insurance

Given the inherent risks involved, obtaining liability insurance is imperative for a dog kennel business. It safeguards against potential accidents, injuries, or illnesses, covering legal fees, settlements, or damages that may arise. Understanding the coverage, limits, and deductibles is crucial when selecting an insurance provider, with industry-specific experience being advantageous.

Building relationships with local vets and pet care professionals

Establishing strong ties with veterinarians and pet care professionals offers several benefits. They can provide referrals, enhance dog care expertise, and potentially offer complementary services. Engaging with the local community through events, direct outreach, or special promotions can foster relationships and strengthen your business’s value proposition.

Training needed to open a dog kennel business?

The guidelines and requirements for opening a dog kennel business can differ depending on the state and local jurisdiction. It is crucial to thoroughly research and adhere to all relevant regulations in your specific area. Some typical regulations for dog kennels may include:

Obtaining licenses and permits: Most states mandate a license to operate a commercial dog kennel, and additional permits or zoning approvals may be required by local jurisdictions.

  • Meeting facility standards: Regulations may outline specific criteria for the size and layout of kennel runs, fencing, ventilation, lighting, as well as requirements for sanitation, pest control, and waste disposal.
  • Ensuring staff qualifications: Regulations may stipulate requirements for staff training, qualifications, background checks, and staffing ratios based on the number of dogs boarded.
  • Adhering to animal care standards: Regulations may specify guidelines for the care and treatment of boarded dogs, encompassing aspects such as feeding, exercise, and medical care.
  • Prioritizing health and safety: Regulations may encompass disease prevention and control measures, as well as the development of emergency preparedness and response plans.
  • Securing insurance: Many states mandate dog kennels to carry liability insurance, and additional insurance requirements may exist at the local level.

Regulations for opening a dog kennel business?

Operating a dog kennel business effectively requires a blend of practical expertise and business acumen. Here are some essential training and skills necessary for running a successful dog kennel business:

  • Animal care: A comprehensive grasp of animal behavior, health, and nutrition is vital to provide top-notch care for the dogs in your kennel. Enhance your knowledge in these areas by enrolling in classes related to veterinary medicine, animal behavior, and nutrition.
  • Business management: A strong foundation in business skills, including financial management, marketing, and customer service, is crucial for the smooth operation of a dog kennel business. Consider taking business courses or seeking guidance from a business consultant to develop and refine these skills.
  • Staff management: If you plan to hire employees for your kennel, cultivating skills in employee management, such as hiring, training, and performance evaluation, becomes essential.
  • Customer service: Delivering exceptional customer service is paramount in establishing trust and fostering customer loyalty for your dog kennel business. Consider enrolling in customer service or hospitality courses to enhance your customer service skills.
  • Safety and first aid: Proficiency in basic safety protocols and first aid for dogs is critical to ensure the well-being and safety of the dogs in your care. Consider enrolling in pet first aid and CPR courses to gain the necessary knowledge and skills in this area.


How profitable is a dog kennel?

The profitability of dog kennels can vary, with typical profit margins falling between 10% and 35%. On average, the profit margin tends to hover around 20%. It’s important to note that these figures are approximations are influenced by competition levels, costs, and the level of demand.

Do you need a license to board dogs?

Commercial dog boarding businesses in the U.S. generally require a license to operate. The specific licensing criteria vary from state to state and may encompass regulations regarding facility standards, staff qualifications, and insurance obligations.

How much do I need to start a dog kennel business?

Starting costs for a dog kennel business can range from around $10,000 to $50,000 for smaller-scale kennels, while larger facilities may require an investment of $100,000 or more due to various factors, including the kennel’s location, size, and range of services provided.

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