Blog By Megan Brame
Whether you’re just launching a new kennel or are upgrading and expanding, it can feel overwhelming to make a final decision on which kennel size will be right for you. What if you build a kennel that’s too small? What if it’s too big and difficult to maintain? These are both real concerns that you’ll have to balance during your build phase.
Luckily, we’re here to help! We’ve built hundreds of structures throughout North America and have seen how successful kennel businesses around the country weigh these factors. Here are a few tips for picking the right size kennel for you.
Plan for What You’ll Need
While we hope you’ll become the next Martha Stewart of kennels and create your own empire, it’s best to start out choosing a kennel size that will best accommodate your immediate surroundings.
Take into account the amount of space you’ll need not only for housing your boarding guests but also the space you’ll need for storage, your employees, and playtime for the dogs when they’re out of the kennels.
In addition, you should also take into account the demographics of the area you serve and how many clients you can realistically expect. If you live in a small town with a few hundred residents, then it’s safe to say you can stick with something like our 14x30 size. If, however, you serve a large city where you have the potential to a dozen dogs at a time, then it’s best to start with a medium-to-large size kennel like our 24x60 kennel.
Make Sure You Can Maintain Your Kennels
Wear and tear is a regular occurrence, especially when dealing with animals, so you must consider the amount of maintenance your kennel will need. It’s best to maintain a clean, professional environment so that your clients feel safe leaving their pets in your care.
When deciding on the right size kennel, make sure you understand the maintenance requirements and can keep up with the cleaning and repairs as needed. You may need to hire additional help to maintain the larger-sized kennels. If your business isn’t yet bringing in enough profit to account for those additional costs, it may be best to start on the smaller end and upgrade as your business becomes more profitable.
Decide Which Amenities You’ll Provide for Your Boarders
Giving your boarding clients a luxury experience can help set your business apart from competitors, so it’s crucial that you consider which amenities you’ll be able to provide and what sort of space they’ll require. Dog runs, a grooming area, and even a storefront that offers treats and leashes or collars can be great additions that appeal to pet owners (that also boosts your income).
Think about your strategy for setting your business apart from other kennels. What does that look like, and what sort of space will you need to make that happen? Perhaps a kennel with an office space or a receiving area is better suited for your business than a basic structure.
What Can You Reasonably Afford?
Last, but certainly not least, is factoring the capital you have to invest in a new kennel structure. Make sure that you take into account what it will cost you to create a new kennel. How quickly can you expect a return on your investment, and what prices will you need to charge to make that happen? We’ve seen clients who run the gamut when it comes to pricing; some are upscale, luxury kennel experiences, while others are more economical. It all depends on what value you can provide your clients and the demographics that you’ll be able to serve.
Special Considerations for Breeders and Dog Handlers
If you’re using kennels for temporary boarding for your breeding or dog showing business, there are a couple of extra considerations you should take into account when deciding on a kennel size:
What sort of extra space will you need to accommodate your unique business?
Breeders and dog handlers need additional amenities that would normally be optional for a boarding facility. Consider having spaces available for grooming and basic veterinary care. Having these planned in your kennel space will make it much easier for your business to run smoothly and will show your clients the extra care taken to ensure safe spaces for dogs.
How many dogs will you care for at any given time?
Many professional breeders will opt for smaller kennel facilities as they don’t require so many rooms for their dogs. Consider the average number of dogs you’ll be working with prior to dog shows or while breeding. Will you need an expansive structure or should you instead opt for something like a 5-dog kennel that is customized to your specific needs?
Ready to Get Started?
Whatever you decide, don’t let yourself get dragged down by the details. If you’re getting overwhelmed trying to determine what kennel size is right for your business, then give a few of these tips a try or talk to us as we’re always happy to help.