One of the hottest trends in animal care is pet resorts, upscale facilities that take traditional boarding options and turn them up a notch. The pet industry market is booming – American owners spent $103.6 billion on their furry friends in 2020 alone – and the demand for high-end animal services is growing. In fact, the pet grooming and boarding industry is one of the few established industries to report consistently strong gains over the past decade, as an increasing number of pet owners begin to treat their animals more and more like family. If you’re interested in expanding your business to meet your clients’ growing needs, then opening a pet resort could be the right choice for you.
Below we’ve included things you need to know about pet resorts that will help you determine whether or not entering the luxury animal boarding market is the best strategy for your business.
The vast majority of pet resorts not only house animals, but pamper and educate them as well. They offer a range of services, including boarding, daycare, grooming, training, spas, and entertainment, among others. A quality pet resort will keep experienced groomers and trainers on their roster in order to provide the high-end services that clients expect, which can include massages, aromatherapy treatments, facials, behavioral therapy, and more. The most lauded pet resorts have knowledgeable staff certified in animal first aid, post-secondary training, and other animal-related fields. What that means for you as a potential owner is that you’ll need to find animal enthusiasts versed not only in how to teach a dog to sit, but also how to give them a relaxing blueberry facial to exfoliate their skin.
As with any business, there are a number of factors specific to each market that will affect your pet resorts’ start-up costs, such as location, local laws and regulations, and regional wages. Unless you plan to build your resort onto an existing facility, you’ll need to consider the cost of leasing or buying the property for your business, along with any additional features you might need to add. You’ll want to put together a solid business plan. To do some “what if” calculations, check out our online calculator to get loan payment estimates for your business.
Pet resorts charge clients for each night their pets are boarded, along with whatever additional activities and services they may choose for their four-legged friend. The clientele for these services will likely be nearby pet owners who travel frequently and use dog daycare several times a week to manage their busy lifestyles. These clients have the resources to provide top-notch care to their animals and the pet is an integral part of their family. Research shows that Americans spend about $126.19 on their pets every month, though spending by state varies significantly. For example, Delaware owners spend an average of $311.90 per month on their animals, while Idaho pet parents spend only $20. Take a look at this state-by-state survey of most spoiled pets to see where your state ranks and to help you determine if your clients are likely to splurge on your pet resort.
Good marketing is key for every business to announce to the world (and potential customers) the services it has to offer. A strategic marketing plan involves research into local demographics relevant to your industry, which in the pet resort business includes consumers with disposable income, proximity to airports, and statistics on pet ownership, to name a few. You’ll also need to be aware of competing businesses in the area in order to distinguish your own services and avoid market oversaturation. You’ll want to factor in the time, energy, and costs associated with advertising and outreach, which are essential to gain new customers. We recommend doing a deep dive into what a robust marketing strategy entails before moving forward with any growth plans.
Pet industry trends and projections suggest that consumer spending on animals will continue to soar, including on pet resorts. These optimistic forecasts mean that there’s an increasing opportunity for your veterinary practice to expand to better meet the demands of its animal and human clients, but you’ll need to be informed in order to execute a successful pet resort. Knowledge is power, so be sure to do your research to determine if expanding is the right choice for you and your business.