Dog parks are becoming increasingly popular. As pet owners begin to realize the importance of socializing their dogs, they are searching for dog-friendly environments that encourage such activities. Dog parks provide dogs with an outlet for exercise that allows them to run freely without being confined to a leash. If you are a dog lover and have thought about opening your own business, running a dog park may be the perfect opportunity for you.
Learn as much as you can about the dog park industry. Research online informational websites, scope out dog parks in other areas and browse through dog magazines and periodicals.
Investigate to determine the level of interest for a dog park in your proposed area. Attend local pet expos, contact local veterinarians and visit local pet supply stores. Speak with personnel, management and customers in the store.
Visit dog parks in other areas if possible. Inquire about the day to day operation of the park, and speak with the owner if possible to obtain any business tips and advice that can assist with the planning of your dog park.
Research what other dog park owners are charging and what additional services they offer. Use this as a base to develop your rates.
Contact your local town hall or city parks office and inquire about regulations for running a dog park. Obtain any necessary licenses or permits that are required by the town. Inquire about any town ordinances or noise restrictions that may apply to barking dogs.
Locate a specific area where you would like to construct your dog park. Search for a location that includes a large outdoor space with a small building unit to serve as the office. Find a property that is away from busy roads, industrial buildings and high-traffic areas if possible.
Develop your business plan and include all aspects of a dog park, including startup costs, length of time necessary to prepare the grounds, proposed rates, turnaround time for profits, marketing strategies, health regulations and guidelines.
Develop business materials to distribute to the community. Include business cards, pamphlets, fliers, etc. Distribute materials to local veterinarians, dog groomers, pet photographers, pet supply stores, animal hospitals, etc.
Construct a professional website for your dog park. Include date of opening, contact information, what the park will offer, hours of operation, rates and fees for service. Include photos of the park.
Visit online message boards and become a member of local online pet associations. Inquire about advertising your dog park business on their webpages.
Advertise in local newspapers, pet periodicals, libraries and community centers, schools, churches, stores, restaurants, doctor’s offices--anywhere where you can reach people. Get your dog park information out into the community in any way possible.
Hire employees to help run the dog park. Depending on the size of the park, you may require anywhere from two to six employees at first. Hire enough staff to help with overseeing dogs, speaking with dog owners, collecting fees, maintaining the grounds, clean up, waste removal and office work.