Starting Your Own
Dog Home Boarding Business

Love dogs? Wish you could be your own boss? Dog boarding could be the career for you.

Home boarders offer dogs the opportunity to stay in a family home, with lots of love and attention, whilst their owners are away. For many boarders it's a dream job.

However, there is much more to running a boarding business than cuddling puppies. This book guides you through the practical aspects of becoming a boarder with examples and worksheets to help you plan your business.

Just £12.99 including FREE p&p

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Paperback: 156 pages; ISBN: 978-0954350031

This book will help you avoid the common pitfalls facing new boarders and build a successful boarding business providing great care for dogs and an amazing job for you.


Ten easy to use worksheets to help you plan your business including:

  • Setting Prices
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Boarding Policies

Tips From Boarders

Successful boarders share their personal experience including:

  • Licence applications
  • Meeting with clients
  • When to turn a dog down


Example documents you can adapt for your business including:

  • Booking agreement
  • Dog Records
  • Risk Assessments

Five essential things you'll learn

  • How to apply for a boarding licence; because operating without one can land you with a £500 fine and get your business closed down.
  • Where to set your prices; don't under value your services you can make a profit and attract new clients.
  • How to keep track of your finances; work out your costs and plan ahead so you don't end up with a nasty surprise when tax is due.
  • How to market you business; there is more to success than offering a great service - you need to let people know about it.
  • When to say no to dogs; when you start out it's tempting to say yes to everyone but not every dog is one you want to share your home with.

Sample Pages (Click to enlarge)

Chapter 2: To operate as a home boarder you are legally required to have an animal boarding licence and public liability insurance.

Chapter 7: The goal of most business owners is to make a profit, and if you want to succeed at that you need to plan your finances carefully from the start.

Chapter 4: In this section we'll consider who the clients for your business could be and what they want from a boarding service.

Chapter 10: Having run a successful marketing campaign, your phone is, hopefully, buzzing with potential clients.


  1. Starting a Boarding Business

    Is Dog Boarding the Business for You; How much will you earn; Restrictions on Using Your Home as a Business; Writing a Business Plan.

  2. Legal Requirements

    Animal Boarding Licensing; Business Insurance; Dog Legislation.

  3. Skills & Training

    Qualifications; Hands-on Experience; Trade Associations; Skills Check up

  4. Market Analysis

    Your Potential Customers; What Your Clients Want; Analysing Your Competitors; Unique Selling Points.

  5. Deciding on Your Policies

    What services will you offer; What breeds of dog will you board; Unneutered dogs; Puppies; Special needs; Number of dogs; off-lead exercise; pre-stay visits.

  6. Preparing Your Home & Garden

    Your Home; Your Garden; Disposing of Waste; Risk Assessment; Emergency Precautions; Purchasing Equipment.

  7. Financial Planning

    Start-up Costs; Setting prices; Keeping Accounts; Tax and National Insurance; Planning for the Future.

  8. Business Documents

    Dog Information Form; Consent Forms; Boarding Agreement; Attendance Register; Medication Records; Availability Calendar.

  9. Marketing Your Business

    Branding; Naming Your Business; Reaching Your Potential Clients; Adverts; Press Releases; Word of Mouth; Online Marketing.

  10. Taking Bookings

    Initial Enquiries; Meeting Prospective Clients; Taking a Booking; Payment; Pre-Stay Visits; Turning Down Clients; Being Turned Down.

  11. Boarding Your First Dog

    Drop Off; Settling In; Dog Welfare; Home Time; Improving Your Service.

A note from the author

For the past decade I've run Find Pet Boarding, the biggest directory of boarding providers in the UK. I've spoken with thousands of boarders about their businesses and found many encountering the same issues. They run afoul of licensing agencies because they weren't aware of the legislation that they have to comply with, they set their prices too low and don't make enough profit to cover their expenses or they encounter problems with clients that could have been prevented with clear terms and conditions.

I found myself writing giant emails and answering phone questions, trying to help boarders who weren't sure where else to turn to for advice. Now I've collated everything I think a boarder might need to know into Starting Your Own Dog Home Boarding Business. It covers all the stuff that can seem a bit daunting when you are starting out - legal requirements, setting prices, accounts, marketing, and taking bookings. Everything you need to become a professional boarder - one that not only provides high quality care for dogs but also runs a successful (and profitable!) business.

-Tamsin Stone