How to Manage a Dog Kennel and Cattery

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Successful management of a dog kennel and cattery means providing a haven for pets while owners are away. The key to successful management is to relieve as much stress on both pet and owner as possible. Provide excellent customer service, stay clean and organized, and clients will pour into the dog kennel and cattery.

Managing the Paperwork of a Dog Kennel and Cattery

  • Set up an easy to follow method of booking appointments. Train all employees on the booking method. It is critical that every employee book appointments in the same place to prevent over-booking. Install an easy to follow system for better time and space management at the dog kennel and cattery.

  • Manage daily book work for the dog kennel and cattery. Close out the register daily and add receipts to the deposit. Order change for the next day if necessary. Balance the drawer and log sales numbers. Make note of any shortages on cash and take the necessary action. Take a deposit to the bank or lock the money in a safe.

  • Order all supplies and pet food for boarding pets. Order inventory for the sales floor if one is available to customers. Keep track of the latest trends in pet food and supplies to stay at the front of the pack. Ask customers what they want to see. Talk to vendors about monthly specials and bulk buying. Take inventory on a regularly scheduled basis with the kennel owner.

Managing Employees at a Dog Kennel and Cattery

  • Hire an adequate amount of part-time help. Mark all holidays on a calendar to help with estimating part-time help needs. Pay special attention to Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Spring Break in your area. Mark any other holidays that fall around a weekend; these will be busy. Have part-time help do extra cleaning duties during slow times.

  • Thoroughly train all new employees to the highest standards. Have weekly or monthly meetings to go over new policies or changes. Address problems immediately with each individual employee. Keep an employee record book to document the progress of trainees or individual meetings with employees.

  • Delegate cleaning duties and playtime with boarding pets to part-time employees. Teach employees how to handle animals properly and supervise them until they are fully trained. Check dog and cat toys for safety before allowing pets to play with them. Wash all toys before they are used by a different animal, or use only each animal's own toys.

  • Teach all employees how to give medications to animals. Show the proper technique for giving oral medication, topical medication and insulin shots. Supervise all employees while giving medications until fully trained. Keep track of all medical treatments on a board in a prominent area.

Managing Pets and Owners at a Dog Kennel and Cattery

  • Establish an air of calm in the kennel and cattery. Keep dogs and cats in separate areas of the kennel to ease stress levels. Play soft music or nothing at all to ease the nerves of the boarding pets. Train employees to stay calm if an animal gets loose. Calmly get a leash or a kennel and follow the animal. Remain calm at all times in front of customers.

  • Lead by example and offer every customer above average service. Treat every pet like you would your own and don't expect less from the staff. Post signs and explain to customers that some toys or blankets may be damaged during pet boarding. Prominently display all pet boarding licensing. Teach employees the level of service that is expected. Be honest with customers if there is a service you do not provide.

  • Get required vaccination records from every pet owner. Train all employees on proper filing procedures for boarding paperwork. Get written instructions for all medications from each pet owner. Update the medication board daily, and check it throughout the day.

Tips & Warnings

  • Every night before leaving check on all boarding pets, medication schedules, and cleanliness. Provide any necessary care before locking up for the night.
  • Correct problems with employees immediately. Do not let issues get bigger before addressing them, take charge and correct the problem.
  • Don't stress customers with over-booking during high boarding times. Schedule adequate help and check boarding appointments regularly to avoid customer complaints.
  • Seek medical attention immediately for any dogs or cats that require it during the boarding stay. Get contact information and written instructions from owners of older or sick pets.
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