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Working with Animals Banner

Working at a Kennel

If you love the company of animals, are skilled at marketing and have management experience, you may be a good fit for dog kennel jobs.

The position description is much like that of an animal day care provider, but with the caveat that you'll have your clients overnight and, most likely, for days at a time.

More than likely, your city or county will have ordinances in place prohibiting you from running a boarding/kennel operation out of your home, so the first thing you will need is another location in which to work, one that provides both indoor and outdoor space for as many animals as you'd care to look after at any given time. It's best to think it terms of square footage per animal, with room for each dog or cat to also have their own crate.

You must also get a business license in the city in which you will be operating, as well as the proper insurance to protect yourself, your facility and any employees if you hire them.

The best way to decide if becoming a pet boarder or kennel operator is the career choice for you is to work and/or volunteer at a kennel or boarding facility to see the behind the scenes work involved, such as cleaning up after the animals, dealing with stressed out humans who may or may not be happy about dropping off their pets, and the general work involved to keep a boarding/kennel facility afloat.

Most boarding and kennel operations may have business hours, but the expectation is that you (or one of your employees) will be on hand 24 hours a day, as long as you have boarders staying at your facility.

In addition, the more flexible your drop off and pick up hours are, the more likelihood that you will reach a larger client base.

While some pet boarders and kennel operators offer additional services such as grooming, one-on-one play time and walks, which can add to the bottom line, so it's up to you to decide how much or little extra you're willing to offer. As you will most likely have pets staying for days at a stretch, it's also in your best interest to get comfortable with administering medications to animals and offering that service either for a fee or inclusive in your stay package.

Most boarding/kennel facilities charge by the stay (rates vary, but generally range from $30 to $50 per night), with some working off of a 24 hour clock, and others by the day. You must also consider the fact that you will be providing meals for your boardees, and whether or not you prefer your clients to bring their own meals, or if you will provide the food.