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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Pet Day Care


Taking care of animals can be harder than some people think, which is why you should be wary of these mistakes if you're starting a pet day care business. By avoiding these mistakes, you can give your day care business the best chance to be successful.

Mistake 1: Not Getting a License

In most areas, it is illegal to open for business without first having the proper licenses. A quick call or visit to your local small business administration can ensure you're operating under the law, no matter where you live.

Mistake 2: Not Cleaning Your House

As any pet owner can tell you, having a pet can be messy business. Dogs like to roll around and get muddy, cats shed all over carpets and upholstery, and turtles just smell strange. None of this is an excuse, however. When customers bring their pets to your home, they should find it nicely kept and smelling decent. Do your best to keep your home clean, and customers will be much more comfortable leaving their precious pets under your care.

Mistake 3: Overworking Yourself

Looking after too many animals at once can be exhausting and have messy and expensive consequences. While you're out walking the dogs, for instance, the cats may be at home shedding all over your furniture. If you're just starting your pet care business, it's a good idea to start with a few of only one species of animal, and slowly work up if you find you can handle it. Employing family members may prove helpful: if you have children who are old enough to help you, they can keep the cat off the couch while you walk the dogs.

Mistake 4: Not Getting Insurance

If a pet is harmed in any way while in your care, even if it isn't your fault, you are liable for that animal. Make sure you don't get stuck with the veterinary bills by getting business liability insurance, which will cover you if that pesky cat knocks over a vase on its head (or in all sorts of other circumstances). In some cases, your broken vase might even be covered as well.

Mistake 5: Not Recording Expenses

Having a business means you'll need to declare your profits for tax purposes in April. If you keep track of all your business-related expenses, whether it be dog food, pay for your children or liability insurance, you can declare them as 100 percent tax deductible. Keep a notebook at hand and record all the money spent on behalf of the business (even your mileage if you drop pets off at their homes in your car). All your expenses are completely tax deductible, so save as much money as possible by remembering to keep track of and deduct them.

If you are aware of these mistakes, you can more easily avoid them and make sure your business has every chance to succeed.

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