So you want to start boarding dogs in your home?
Thats wonderful! Opening up your life and your home to a dog is a great way to create income for yourself and to share in the joy of loving a dog. If you are already dog walking and you are looking to expand your business into the boarding sector- Bravo!
Rover.com is an ever growing service and is one of the largest worldwide pet service businesses around. While this platform is a great way to get yourself out there, you are responsible for keeping that business and cornering a piece of the market. Part of that is ensuring your guests have a great stay with you and that means you need to be prepared for your guests.
Now if you're just starting out investing in your new business may feel impossible so this is a budget friendly shopping guide to get you prepped and ready for your first four legged guest. I did this entire basic starter kit for under $100 and I am pretty excited about everything I got!
1. A dog bed: $20
Now if you currently own a dog (or 2) and have a dog bed, thats great! However, just like your dog(s) have their own bed, your guests should have a bed too. I try to have several nooks available for my guest to snuggle into and hide out in. Also, it's a huge help to your clients if they don't need to lug around ALL of their pet's belongings for a simply weekend getaway. Having a Dog bed shows, you're prepared for wherever the stay might take you, even if that's just a cuddle fest on your couch. I found this Orthopedic Dog bed at Marshalls for just $20! I love it because the cover is removable making washing so much easier.
2. Enzymatic Urine Cleaner: $4
If you are going to have guest over you are going to need some enzyme cleaner because more than likely there might be an accident or two. This is for many reasons. One being that your home is a new environment and the rules may not necessarily apply here. Another reason is that some dogs, especially shy or nervous dogs, may urinate or have a bowel movement due to stress. Whatever the reason, you want to be ready! I like to keep two on hand, one specifically to target my hard services and another that is carpet/ upholstery safe. I found this fantastic cleaner at Marshalls, it smells great too!
3. Allergy Safe Treats: $10
A lot of dogs have food allergies. Before giving treats to a dog be sure in inquire with their owner regarding any food allergies they may have. I actually have this as a questions on my profile under " Additional information Sylvia would like to know..." In the meantime you can be prepared with some treats that eliminate some of the big ones. Avoid treats with "chicken", "grain" and even "peanut butter". While most dogs can eat peanut butter just fine, other dogs will get bad diarrhea from it. A large portion of the doggy population is developing a chicken allergy so I try to avoid it as a protein. I got all three of these bags of treats for just $10 at Marshalls.
Buyer Beware: Read the ingredients, even though a treat may be "salmon" or "duck" jerky many times it will contain chicken or chicken fat as one of the main ingredients. Pro tip: Baked sweet potatoes make a tasty and wonderfully safe treat for your guest.
4. Extra Equipment: $17
Sometimes your client will forget to leave their dog's leash or maybe they use on of those retractable leashes. I strongly recommend against using retractable leashes even if provided by the client. They can be dangerous and bulky and easy to drop. When they do fall on the ground they are so loud they can easily frighten even the most stoic of dogs and the more they run the louder the sound of the leash dragging behind them. I try to keep around extra flat leashes at different lengths for my boarders. I also am sure to keep my house fully stocked with poopy bags. You don't want to become everyones worst nightmare in your neighborhood. I order this box of Eco friendly poop bags on Amazon for just $14.50. Try checking your local Dollar store for basic flat leashes for a budget friendly way to stay safe and prepared.
5. Toys: $14
I keep a bag of guest toys separate from my dogs toys too! This is so my dogs don't feel like the guests are taking their things and that helps keeps all the resources neutral and owned by no one! While owners might opt to bring their dogs favorite toy, I always recommend against it. This is so their dogs favorite toy doesn't get destroyed by another guest and to keep the dog from being protective over their precious possession from home. I will often grab toys from the dollar store too so that I can easily send them home with the dog if they seemed to really love it (clients appreciate it too!). I found these great toys at Marshall's that fit my usual toy criteria: Hard to destroy, stuffing free (to avoid choking hazards) and fun!
6. Basic Grooming Supplies: $8
At the end of the day, dogs will be dogs and you never know what they might get into. Having a pack of pet wipes is essential. You never know when a pup might have a runny poop that gets hung up on their toosh hairs or step in something gross (like their own pee). It's a good idea to have some pet wipes handy for those simple messes. I also recommend having a pet shampoo handy for those "just in case" or "over the top service" moments. I found these great products at Marshall's for a great price! I Found both of these great products at Marshalls.
Grand total for the shopping spree was just $73! I did see larger beds at the store for just $5 dollars more so if you are planning on boarding larger dogs it would still fall well within your budget range.