Under the right conditions, opening a dog daycare in your home is a great small business idea; one the whole family can participate in. However, just as in operating a daycare for children, there are certain conditions that must be adhered to in order to avoid a health or safety issue. Protecting your children should be number one, so follow certain guidelines and it will be a good experience for all involved.
Start Up Considerations
In order to provide the best environment for the dogs you intend to care for, you should have the appropriate amount of space available. Dogs, particularly larger ones, need to have room to roam and exercise their bodies. There is a big difference between a dog walking service where dogs are leashed and a dog daycare, where dogs should be able to run around unleashed for portions of every day.
Plan for Dog Duty/Doody
A very real health concern when operating a dog daycare is the job of cleaning up after dogs. Dogs need a place to relieve themselves that does not interfere with the family living space.
You should also have a plan for cleaning up any dog poop immediately. Dog poop that is allowed to accumulate creates obvious health concerns. This is even a job that you can engage older children in, when using the appropriate safety precautions (gloves, 'waste' bags, etc.). Be sure to water the area down frequently.
Dog Health Concerns
There are certain dog illnesses and diseases that can be easily passed from one dog to another. Therefore, it is vital that you take a health history and a copy of shot records from all potential clients. This would be to ensure the health and safety of the dogs in your care, your own pets and your children.
The Health and Safety of Your Home
Just as when providing care for little children, your home should be doggy-proofed. This means that any potentially harmful items be placed away from the area where dogs will be. Cleaning supplies and other dangerous chemicals should be placed up high. Anything that you don't want ruined should also be out of the reach of the dogs in your care. This will protect the dogs and your home.
Types of Dogs to Care for
Another big health and safety concern when caring for dogs in your home, especially when children are around, is the type of dogs you choose to care for. Size is not as important as the dogs' social history. What you should be concerned about is whether the dog has been around children or other dogs before and how the dog reacted. The last thing you want is an aggressive or harmful dog in your home.
A doggy daycare is a great service and a great option for dog lovers. Making sure you have covered all health and safety issues will ensure a more positive and lucrative experience for you and your family.