We have so many ways in this new instant economy to make money that businesses like dog boarding are sprouting up everywhere. To be honest and straightforward the answer to this questions isn’t a yes or a no.
The job of watching a pet while their parents are at work or out of town seems to be a job that anyone can do it. I have heard it all. Eight year old neighbor kids walking dogs, the person inbetween jobs, making some quick money to pay their electric bill by letting dogs come stay with her, and even some full blown businesses that have a bunch of hosts homes everywhere where the company sends the dogs to stay overnight.
There Are Big Responsibilities When Considering Dog Boarding
In home dog boarding comes with some huge responsibilities both before they start their business and after. Although, focusing on the cute and adorable dream of caring for the pets…sometimes it is neglected. One of the biggest responsibilities is finding out if they are even allowed to have a dog boarding business in their own home. It is almost implied that if you can sign up for one of these easy to use websites like rover.com, care.com, dogvacay.com etc that you very well can make money boarding dogs in your home.
But is it legal?
No one will know Bella!
Sometimes I hear, “Aw, no one cares about me Bella. I am just making a little side money. What’s wrong with that?”
Ah! But people DO know. They find out through seeing different dogs and people come to and from your home. They find out by your website advertising and your facebook page that is posting pictures.
Your neighbors can hear the dogs, they can see the dogs, and sometimes… they can SMELL the dogs.
And what is worse, is some of the people who board dogs in their home might be building a business that isn’t sustainable.
All it takes is for one person to call the zoning board to have them come knocking on your door. They did this to Kristie Glazer in Philadelphia. A neighbor reported her and they literally knocked on her door ready to nail plyboard on her window frames and board up her home.
Can you believe that?!?! You can hear the full story here
She had to stop that business and ultimately, made a huge dent in her families livelihood.
You Want To Do The Right Thing, Don’t You?
If you are going to go into business for yourself, don’t you want to know that you are doing the right thing? Don’t you want to go to bed at night knowing that you have proper training, insurance, structures, approvals, contingency plans?
If you don’t, something like what happened at Green Acres could happen and you could have 20+ dead dogs on your hands and criminal charges against you. Or what about these horrible cases that made the news:
- Dog attacked at in home boarding
- Dog Attacked and killed at in home dog boarding,no zoning.
- Dog died sparked zoning investigation.zoning investigation. The article states: “What we’re now discovering is all these boarding operations opening under the guise of pet-sitting,” said Animal Care and Control Director Dianne Sauve”
Yeah, this stuff is REAL.
You want to confidently tell your clients that your insurance covers you 100% for anything that happens.
You want to know how to properly introduce new dogs to your pack to avoid anyone getting bit in the face or have one of them injure another four legged client at your home. You want to know what happens if one gets out of an enclosure and damages your home or themselves while you are at the grocery store.
This is a very serious business.
Let’s Start With The First Check Mark You Need In Order To Be Up And Running:
Before you can even THINK of inviting dogs and cats into your home in exchange for money, you must look to see if it is even legal OR what you need to do to BE legal.
DO THIS: Contact City hall and ask if a special zoning license is needed to have a dog kennel in your residential house.
To show you what I mean, I took 30 minutes and googled for you. Here is what I came up with for some locations.
Los Angeles: You need a permit
San Diego – 7 or more pets
Ft Wayne Tx
Residential Kennel Permit $300
Commercial Kennel/Cattery Permit – (Requires Zoning Approval)
* 6-15 dogs/cats $150
* 16-25 dogs/cats $200
* 26 or more $250
* Omnibus Permit $200
4 + dogs or cats
Minnesota Cities –Very long, you should read through it.
South Bend Indiana – Read Section 5-60
Maricopa County – $328 for a permit.
Utah – no more than 3 dogs in one home.
Louisville, KY – any boarding facility needs permit.
Fairfax County, VA – Depends on square footage
A great resource for looking up your local laws and ordinances is www.municode.com.
In the end, don’t you want to know that you are operating a legal business? Don’t you want to know that you have the proper insurance? That you won’t be fined? For some, it is a risk they are willing to take, but how moral is it to be operating (knowingly) and illegal business?
No One Said It Is Easy.
In some places, you will do your best attempt and call City Hall but the person on the phone might not know. Or they might not have any laws. Some that do require laws and permits hardly ever have inspections so then all you see are the bad cases in the news when things go wrong.
As a professional pet care provider, let’s do all that we can to bring the integrity of our industry up by doing everything we need to do to operate legal businesses.
If you would like to help the integrity of this article and you locate the statute in your town or county, feel free to add it to the comments section and I will add it to the list above!