Gone are the days when people asked “What’s dog daycare?” or “Why would I bring my dog here to play with other dogs?” The dog daycare industry is a couple decades old and daycare has moved from being viewed as a frivolous activity for a pet to a much needed social outlet for a beloved family member. Daycares are popping up everywhere and the competition for daycare dogs (and dollars) has never been higher. How do you compete in this type of market? It’s no longer good enough to simply “do daycare”. It’s time to look at Daycare 2.0!
It used to be unique to drop your dog off for a day long play session with other dogs. Now everyone is doing it. This is a non-regulated industry and lots of folks see it as an easy way to make money working with dogs. So they open a daycare, or start one in their home with little overhead and high expectations. Dogs come in to play all day long and go home too exhausted to do anything with their own families.
Those of us who have been around the industry since it started now see four long term problems with this model of doing daycare:
- It’s no longer unique. Everyone is doing it so it’s hard to set yourself apart
- It’s not financially profitable if you are keeping all the dogs safe
- It’s not scalable…in order to add more dogs you have to add more space
- It’s not actually healthy for dogs because dogs need more breaks
It’s time to change the mold, be more financially sound, and keep the dogs healthier by looking at a new way to run your daycare.
Consider ways you can make your daycare program more enrichment-based, more engaging, and offer more individualized attention for the dogs. You might make the groups smaller and do more scheduled activities. You may even consider a membership component.
Transition your daycare into a new standard of care that allows you to make more money, do more with the dogs and set yourself apart…all without increasing the size of your facility or dramatically increasing the number of dogs in your care.
Need help? Check out our Daycare 2.0 Toolkit.