By Aurus Sy
Published: 10/19/2022, edited: 10/19/2022
Thinking of starting a dog boarding business on the Wag! platform? If you’re a dog lover, the idea of getting paid to stay at home and take care of dogs sounds like a dream job. And while being a boarder can be very rewarding, it’s not all fun and games, especially if you’re just starting out.
So how can you set yourself apart as a dog boarder when there are so many experienced Pet Caregivers out there? Keep reading for tips on how to get more Wag! clients and grow your dog boarding business!
Your Wag! Pet Caregiver profile is the first thing a Pet Parent sees when they’re searching for a boarder, so take the time to write your bio. Show potential clients that you’re trustworthy, competent, and passionate about dogs.
Establish credibility by mentioning your pet care experience, special skills, and qualifications. Maybe you were previously employed at a doggy daycare or you volunteer every week at an animal shelter. Perhaps you have extensive experience working with senior dogs. Be sure to include those!
It’s also a good idea to talk a little bit about yourself and let your personality shine through. This will help create a personal connection with the Pet Parent who’s reading your profile. If you need a little help from other winning Pet Caregivers, check out these pawsome profiles!
No one’s going to come knocking on your door, at least, not at first, unless you promote your dog boarding business! There are several ways to spread the word. Here are a few ideas:
Promote your Wag! Pet Caregiver profile and make sure it’s set to public. From the main menu in the app, tap “My Profile,” then tap “Promote” to share your profile directly to social platforms or tap "Copy link to your profile" to get a shareable link.
Post on neighborhood apps like NextDoor or create a Google My Business profile to advertise your services.
Print out and put up flyers around your neighborhood. Don’t forget your local dog park’s bulletin board!
Attend local dog-friendly events, which offer opportunities to meet pup parents who may need to board their pooches in the future.
While there are no specific qualifications required to become a dog boarder, having qualifications in certain areas can help you stand out from the pack.
Pet Parents will feel more comfortable entrusting their pup to someone who has completed a course in pet first aid or dog body language. Courses can be taken in-person or online, and some can even be completed within a day. Online learning options include:
Knowing pet first aid is important for obvious reasons, while having a good grasp of canine communication allows you to better understand and accommodate your four-legged clients.
Sometimes, Pet Parents will include pick-up and drop-off as part of their Boarding request. Take note of the schedule and plan to be on time. This way you’re not rushing and scrambling to pick up or drop off your furry client. Being punctual also helps you earn that coveted 5-star review!
In addition to being on time, it’s important to have a professional appearance. Make an effort to look presentable even if you’re in casual clothes, and keep your car clean. While the Pet Parent is responsible for providing the equipment for the transportation of their pup, you have to ensure that there’s adequate room for a crate, so avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle.
Your clothes and car say a lot about you and can help you make a good impression on your clients!
Pet Parents love getting updates on their pup. Whether they’re away on business or taking a much-needed break, you can bet that their furbaby is still constantly on their mind.
Communicating with your clients is easy with the Wag! app. You can share updates via direct message, photo, or video and with pins for walks, feeding, and playtime. To add pins, open the ongoing Overnight Care service and tap the orange icon with the plus sign.
Your clients will appreciate being kept in the loop and receiving adorable photos and videos of their pooch. Plus it shows that you’re reliable and can be trusted with caring for companion animals, increasing your chances of repeat bookings.
Provide a 5-star boarding experience by setting up a safe and cozy environment for your four-legged guests.
First, dog-proof your home if you haven’t already. Store potentially dangerous items such as medications, household chemicals, and batteries out of reach. Lock your trash cans and block off any areas that are off-limits. If you have plants, make sure they’re not toxic to canines. If you have a yard, see to it that the fence and gate are secure.
Prepare toys, activities, snacks, treats, beds, pillows, and blankets before a dog is scheduled to arrive. If possible, have a few comfy spots around the house where they can relax, take naps, and spend some alone time.
Showing Pet Parents that you really care about their furbabies will help your dog boarding business grow quickly. Once a booking has been confirmed, it’s a good idea to reach out to the Pet Parent and ask questions about your canine client so that you can provide personalized care. Some questions to ask are:
Once a dog is in your care, make sure they get enough attention, cuddles, and playtime. Be with them as much as possible and avoid leaving them for too long. If a dog is staying with you on their birthday or a holiday, consider spoiling them with special activities, with the Pet Parent’s permission, of course!
For more tips on dog boarding, check out these furbulous guides!
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