Sit down and decide exactly what you want to get out of this. Are you looking to do this full time or just make a little extra cash each month? Do you want the dogs to be able to stay overnight and, if so, for how long? Will you provide the dog food or is that the owner's responsibility? Decide on the maximum number of dogs you will allow in your home at once and a fair price to charge.
On average, $25-$75 per night per dog is what you can expect to make. The amount of attention you plan on giving the dogs, the size of your backyard and your experience with pets will all help determine what's most realistic for you to charge. If you're only planning on dog-sitting during the day and not overnight, $15-$20 is a good amount. Setting prices too high can scare away customers, so you want to make sure you're being fair yet competitive. Of course, as you get more experience and gain regulars, you can adjust your prices as needed.
Now that you've come up with a specific plan, it's time to start advertising. Make fliers and business cards to get your name out there. Craigslist is a great option as it reaches thousands of people in your area and is free. Leave business cards at vet's offices and in local coffee shops, and put fliers on your neighbors' doors or mailboxes. After you get a good clientele going (which could take years, so don't get discouraged), you'll hopefully be working strictly off of referrals and be busy.
Even if you have dogs of your own, watching others' can be a lot more demanding. Invest in a few baby gates to block off certain rooms, especially rooms with carpet and/or nice furniture. Make sure your yard is securely fenced to prevent any of the dogs from escaping. Lastly, provide an ample amount of toys for the pets to keep them entertained.
Running a doggie day care business will take some time to get used to, but it can be a lot of fun once you start having regulars and earning money. Once you've mastered the day care, consider adding training courses for the dogs that you can do from home. Most of all, have fun and remember, “it's a dog's life!”
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