I frequently encounter new dog daycare business owners either at seminars, workshops, on Facebook or through email. When folks are first starting their own pet care business, they have many questions (and rightly so…staring your own business is not for the faint of heart!). One of the most commonly asked questions has to deal with how much space you need and how many employees you need for your doggie daycare.
Here is my typical response.
How much space do you need for the best dog to dog interactions? I would plan on 40-100 square feet per dog. Ultimately it depends on the size of the dogs and the activities they are doing. The 40-100 square feet planning would be for dogs that are playing off-leash together.
If you have a tiny dog room you might be able to go down to an estimate of 40 square feet per dog. But for larger dogs, plan at least 70 square feet. So, while looking for locations let’s say you need 25 dogs per day at a cost of $35 per dog in order to break even…you would estimate the need for 1000-2500 square feet of play area (depending on the size of the dogs). If you find a space that is 3000 square feet you could estimate that you could have 30-75 dogs in there (again, depending on the size of the dogs). Remember that this calculation is only for the play area of the dogs and won’t include the rest of your building (storage, lobby, bathroom, etc).