When you think of daycare, do dogs come to mind? In 2002, when we opened our first Dogtopia location in Virginia, the idea of dog daycare was still a very new concept and not something that could be easily found in communities across the US. However, over the years we honed our skills, built upon our services, and perfected our model, and we now are projected to have more than 400 locations across North America by 2024.
At the root of our success are the pet parents who consider their dog a furry member of their family. This humanization of pets is, in part, the reason the pet industry continues to grow at a significant rate, as many pet parents want to provide quality care for their pup, just like any other family member. For instance, younger generations are likely to spend more on their pet, which is expected to average approximately $1,292/month by 2025. It is no surprise then that the pet industry currently sits at approximately $120 billion, and is expected to reach $275 billion by 2030 – with no slowing down in sight.
If you come across more human daycares in your community than dog daycares, now may be an ideal time to take the next step in your career, join this booming industry, and bring a dog daycare to your town to meet the needs of local pet parents and four-legged friends alike.
Below we have outlined the importance of bringing a dog daycare, specifically a Dogtopia, to your community. If you are interested in becoming part of our franchisee family, we encourage you to check out our next steps page and fill out our online inquiry form to start the process.
WHY DOG DAYCARE?
A lot of the same reasons why one would bring their child to daycare often match why a pet parent brings their four-legged family member to dog daycare. Whether they need a dog-free house for housework, they are at work or school and don’t want to leave their pup home alone, are on a work trip or vacation, or want to socialize their dog more – dog daycare is a viable option for many different scenarios.
Here at Dogtopia, we emphasize safety and fun as we incorporate exercise, socialization, and learning into the services we offer during a day of daycare for our pups. The way we have structured our daycare allows pet parents to rest assured that their dog is in good hands with our qualified staff, and this is something we enforce at each of our franchise locations. Providing this quality care matches what pet parents are looking for, and it is something that can be expected within each community we enter.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A PURPOSE-DRIVEN COMPANY
While profit plays a major role in franchising, it is not the only thing that helps a franchise thrive – having a purpose also does. When a company is founded with a strong mission, it is reflected in the products and services it provides, which makes engaging with a purposeful company that much more significant to customers.
At Dogtopia, we have a love for dogs, and this is what strengthens our vision and fuels our purpose, which is to enhance to joy of dog parenthood and enable dogs to positively change our world through our Dogtopia Foundation. Bringing a Dogtopia to your community means you are also introducing a company with a greater purpose, which helps enrich the community you are in.
Engaging with companies with purpose has become increasingly popular among consumers, and supporting local businesses and those backed by a greater good is something that has become much more prevalent among younger generations. In fact, 41% of US consumers reported they patronized more small businesses than they did prior to the pandemic, while 51% of Millennials (born between 1981 – 1996) and 46% of Gen Z (born between 1997 – 2012) consumers say they increased spending on small businesses.
Meanwhile, a global study focused on brands with purpose found that 92% of Gen Z and 90% of Millennials say they would support a purposeful brand, while consumers in general are four times more likely to purchase from a company that has a strong purpose and 4.1 times more likely to trust the company.
Bringing a business, such as a dog daycare, that is backed by strong values into communities can be extremely beneficial, and fit right into the needs and wants consumers (especially young consumers) are looking to engage with.
DOGTOPIA’S WORK WITH COMMUNITIES
The Dogtopia Foundation focuses on three worthy causes. First, we help provide service dogs for veterans as a way to give back and honor those who have served our country. We work closely with several veteran-focused organizations and fund service dog training so that those who need this support can have it.
Next, we support youth literacy programs for elementary school children, particularly the initiatives that utilize the help of dogs. The Dogtopia Foundation supports innovative programs that incorporate registered volunteers and therapy dogs who provide encouragement, emotional support and age-appropriate books for young children to help motivate them to read. We do this to encourage a joy of reading during early childhood when children are learning to read.
Lastly, we help adults with autism find employment within our daycares. In partnership with several organizations, we aim to lower the unemployment rates that many with autism are impacted by, and offer the tools necessary to support an adult with autism in our facilities.
It is through this work in various areas that we can help make the biggest impact and create a better world for our dogs, starting in each community we open in.
This sense of purpose is also found within the walls of our Dogtopia locations, as we have worked hard to create a space that pet parents can trust. From our in-store teams and Canine Coaches to our passionate franchise owners, we strive to make this more than a just place dogs can stay while their pet parent is away. Having a dog daycare where pups can go to build upon their wellness through exercise, socialization, and learning is important to us. A happy dog = a happy pet parent = a happier community.
ENFORCING A SENSE OF TOGETHERNESS IN EACH DOG DAYCARE
Many franchisees have stepped into their role after making a major career switch. And while they may have entered the franchise industry for different reasons, many want to experience a new way of working.
For instance, take our numerous family-owned Dogtopia locations. Several of our franchisees choose to open a daycare with their family members, which is something that may never have seemed like a viable opportunity in the past. Rather than spending the day at work away from loved ones, everyone is involved in making a difference in their community. This is just one of the great things about franchising with Dogtopia – you can approach franchising in a way that fits your dynamic and where you want your career to head.
Having a family-owned dog daycare brings a sense of togetherness and teamwork, which is not always seen in business. But even those who may enter into this franchise opportunity by themselves can still prosper in this sense of togetherness thanks to the values we express at Dogtopia.
One of our values is “Stay” – we stay loyal to our pack and community. While our franchisees are a team in itself, each franchise owner works with their staff to also serve each community they are located in. This is something that our franchisees hold close and is one of the reasons why having a dog daycare that enforces these types of qualities can make such a difference to the community and the members (both humans and dogs) within it.
MEET THE NEEDS OF PET PARENTS IN YOUR COMMUNITY
As with any business, meeting the needs of customers is paramount, but when it comes to dog daycare, these needs may differ from what franchisees in other industries may need to consider. After all, pet parents put their trust in you to care for their four-legged family member, which makes addressing their concerns and providing services that can benefit them (and their pup) important.
Many of our locations offer early drop-off and late pickup options for busy commuters. This is something that can be very beneficial for pet parents because it allows them to take advantage of the benefits daycare has for their dog, without needing to adjust their schedule.
During the pandemic, many of our locations also offered discounted daycare to pet parents who are essential workers, first responders, and healthcare workers. This helps highlight how in-tune a dog daycare can be in their communities, while also honoring and supporting those who help make the area what it is. Similarly, some locations offer discounts for teachers. Again, this is something that franchise owners can implement in their location to acknowledge the pet parents in their community – something that is extremely important for the success of a franchise location.
Many of our locations also partner with local businesses and pet-related organizations. For example, some locations have partnered with local veterinarians, while others have donated to animal charities, including local shelters. When you bring a dog daycare to a community, it becomes a space to enforce an even greater sense of community and togetherness that pet parents are looking for.
FRANCHISE WITH DOGTOPIA
If you are open to franchising with a company that is motivated by a greater purpose and that enforces togetherness within communities, Dogtopia may be for you. Check out our Ideal Franchisee page for details on the business models we support and our extensive FAQ page to help answer your franchise-related questions.