As we become more connected to each other online, so too does the need to keep in touch with our loved ones while we travel (and that includes our pet family, too). Many kennels are now offering live streaming services for their boarding clients via webcams that can be used in browsers or through dedicated phone apps. These services have not only added extra income to their businesses but have also added brand loyalty to their customer base thanks to the peace-of-mind pet owners feel knowing they can check in on their furry friend while away.
While it may seem like an easy service to implement, there are a few considerations any kennel owner should be aware of before making that decision. Here are a few tips and ideas to keep in mind:
Things to Consider When Adding Webcams to Pet Boarding Services
- Additional Costs – Starting a streaming service for your kennel can be an incredible source for new revenue, whether it’s an a la carte service or is folded into your base pricing, but there are additional costs that need to be taken into account before launch. In addition to the hardware, you’ll also need to account for the app service which delivers your webcam streams to the pet owners, as well as a potential increase in internet costs to account for the additional data usage.
- Where should they be installed? – We’ve had the pleasure of seeing many different ways our commercial kennel clients like to utilize live streaming services for their boarders, so we know a few different avenues for successful live streaming that you can use in your kennel, too.Our kennel clients have had the most success adding webcams to communal dog play areas where pet owners can watch their dogs interact with others and receive engagement activities. Dog runs are also popular places, as the dogs will often be full of energy and playfulness while in their run. Sleeping spaces and food areas tend to be less popular as these can be stressful events for pups who aren’t used to being away from home so we don’t recommend incorporating webcams into these areas.
- Privacy – In addition to your kennel workers’ privacy, it’s important to take into account the privacy of your furry guests. Make sure that your live stream is secure and accessible in a limited amount of ways. We’ve seen clients use dedicated apps like Online Doggy or Gingr App which include password-protected access and can log streaming activity to ensure that no pets are susceptible to prying eyes.
- Maintenance – Remember that your webcam will be running regularly, so it’s important that regular maintenance is incorporated into your kennel worker’s routines. Make sure the lenses are clean and free of debris and that the viewing angle hasn’t drifted away. Also, be sure to test your connection regularly to ensure that pet owners can log on during viewing hours easily.
- Marketing Opportunities – Lastly, don’t forget to consider the marketing opportunities that live streaming can offer for your business! Some brands will partner with kennels to post ads or heavily feature their products in a live stream to a captive audience like pet owners. You can also use short captures of streams from different activities to promote your services on social media apps like Tik Tok or Instagram Reels.
Updating your service offerings to include live streaming can be a profitable addition to your boarding business, but it’s important to consider what factors your team will need to address during the initial set up and the ongoing needs the webcams will have. But if you see the marketing and customer service benefit live streaming can offer your business then you’ll be well on your way to increasing your revenue and customer loyalty.