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Dog Boarding Software: Occupancy Management for Kennels

Running a dog boarding and kennel business means creating a safe and fun environment for your client's fur babies while they are away. In order to manage safety, it's vital to stay on top of your scheduling to avoid overbooking. That is where kennel software with occupancy management features can come in very handy. 

Kennel software helps with the planning and scheduling of your dog boarding facility. From scheduling enough staff to enforcing occupancy limits, kennel software can avoid costly and dangerous mistakes.

Why is occupancy management important to pet boarding facilities?

Running a pet boarding facility, you know managing the scheduling is important to ensure you don't overbook. After all, taking care of too many dogs can be overwhelming. Managing occupancy can easily get out of hand without the right tools and understanding.

Most pet businesses can benefit from effective occupancy management because it helps to ensure that pet and employee safety is in balance with profitability. It allows you to maximize revenue whilst maintaining a safe environment.

Dog boarding facility requirements.

Occupancy management ensures your pet kennels are following the dog boarding facility requirements stipulated by your local government. These requirements help to prevent injury, revenue loss, and in worse cases, legal action. Too many dogs = a higher chance of dog fights.

Dog boarding facility requirements will vary depending on your business location but for the most part, include:

  • Space requirements for dogs. This stipulates how many dogs you can have in your facility at one time. 
  • Having a fenced outdoor area large enough for the set occupancy. 
  • Having an indoor area with cages large enough for dogs to comfortably stand up, turn around, and lie down in.
  • Construction requirements for your facility. This usually includes having a structurally sound, water-resistant, non-toxic, and enclosed space to prevent escape.
  • Suitable shelter to protect the animals from excessive heat, cold temperatures, sunlight, rain, snow, and other elements.
  • Enough food and water that is easily accessible to your clients' dogs and free from contamination.

Running a dog boarding business requires you to stay on top of these requirements. You can evaluate your space, ensure the facility is consistently cleaned, and house enough dogs to maximize revenue whilst minimizing overcrowding.

Planning for seasonal fluctuations.

Occupancy management also includes planning for seasonal fluctuations. In most pet care businesses, on and off-seasons are inevitable. Busy seasons usually include the summer months and winter vacations, but can also include times of the year specific to your business’s location. 

Understanding your pet care business’s typical seasonal fluctuations can help you to:

  • Have enough staff in the on-season and avoid unnecessary staff in the off-season
  • Get your facility ready with deep cleans, restocking of food, and equipment upgrades prior to the start of busy seasons
  • Send out marketing materials at specific times of the year to drum up business for the upcoming season
  • Maximize profits with reduced hours in the off-season
  • Focus on pet grooming or dog daycare services in the off-season for a continued revenue stream

Knowing your business’s seasonal fluctuations.

Reviewing your business's analytics can give you a good idea of when your on and off seasons are. Review data over the last few months or compare trends for similar months in previous years. This data can give you a good idea of what to expect and allow you to plan accordingly. 

If you're new to the business and you don't have previous data or trends to look over, you can use market research.

Using market research can help you to:

  • Analyze trends and make predictions on when you will be busy. 
  • Reach out to other pet care businesses to learn about their experiences. 
  • Research your local community to learn about trends, and when people like to go on vacation. Perhaps there is one weekend of the year when people in your local community travel to a neighboring town for an event and require a dog border.

Seasonal fluctuations are never an exact science, but by knowing when your busy seasons are, you can ensure your facility is ready for maximum occupancy to make the most revenue possible.

multiple dogs with dog trainer for the 'Dog Boarding Software for Occupancy Management' article
Source: Hero Images

Benefits of kennel software for occupancy management.

Utilizing software for occupancy management can help you maintain a safe and healthy environment for your employees and your client's pets. By using a cloud-based kennel software, you and your staff will know exactly where each dog is within your facility at all times.

There are multiple benefits to using kennel software for occupancy management, including:

  • Reducing costs: You can review your business’s data and trends to keep supplies stocked appropriately without overspending. 
  • Employee management: Knowing the number of dogs you have means you can schedule employees accordingly and reduce the risk of having too many employees on payroll during one day.  
  • Improved planning: You can customize kennel software to reflect your facility specifically. If you have 5 rooms with a max capacity of 10 dogs each, dog boarding software can ensure you don’t move a dog into a space that is full.
  • Increased collaboration: Kennel software has integrated communication features built in. The communication features allow you and your employees to stay on top of what's going on in the facility. You can send messages in real time to provide updates and review any updates from your employees. The ability to communicate increases collaboration within the facility to maintain occupancy and pet safety.
  • Improve safety: Booking too many pets at once can create an unsafe environment. Managing your occupancy efficiently can prevent you from booking too many pets on any given day. You can restrict your built-in calendar features to prevent clients from booking on days when you are full. 

7 PetExec occupancy management features for dog boarders. 

Managing your occupancy is made easy with PetExec's occupancy management features built right into your operations suite.

1. Calendar features. 

PetExec’s calendar features are created with both customer and employee scheduling in mind. You can easily view the daily schedule to see the incoming dogs for the day. Or look ahead to the future to plan weeks or months in advance. 

The calendar also prevents your clients from booking dates online when your facility is at maximum capacity. This prevents overbooking and removes the stress of being overcrowded. 

2. Play area manager. 

Playtime is vital for kennels. You don't want to keep the dogs cooped up all day. You can stay up to date on playtime activities from your connected devices at any time, anywhere. 

PetExec allows you to move dogs around your facility electronically and move employees to play areas that are short-staffed. You can see in an instant which dogs are where and whether there are enough staff to look after them.

3. Employee management. 

Occupancy management is vital for your employees as well. The employee management feature allows you to set and schedule your employees, assign employee locations, schedule breaks and lunches, and more. You'll be able to stay on top of your occupancy to make sure you have enough coverage without overscheduling. You can also schedule your employees to perform additional services such as pet grooming and dog walking with ease.

4. Reporting and analytics.

Reviewing trends, schedules, services, and more can help you to grow your business. The in-depth reports can also show you when your off-season is so you can ramp up and ramp down your operations at specific points in the year. 

5. Quick check-in.

PetExec integrates with Vanguard ID Systems to make checking in and out dogs easy and convenient for your clients. You can easily keep track of dogs coming in and out of your facility. If a client is late picking up their dog, it could put you at risk of going over your occupancy. With the check-in feature, you'll know immediately who's been in and out throughout the day. 

6. Marketing features.

PetExec allows you to send emails at specific times of the year to drum up business for the busy seasons. You can set up your personalized email marketing campaign during your quiet off-season so you don’t have to worry about it during your busy on-season. 

7. Continued cash flow.

Having a seasonal-based business takes extra organization to keep the cash flowing all year round. You can set up PetExec to only allow customers to book dates after they have paid a deposit. This allows you to keep the cash flowing in the off-season to cover all your overhead expenses. PetExec also sends out automatic appointment reminders to your clients so even if they book months in advance, you can avoid having lots of annoying no-shows.

dog with dog trainer for the 'Dog Boarding Software for Occupancy Management' article
Source: 3bugsmom

Final thoughts.

Keeping track of how many dogs are in your pet boarding kennels can be difficult, especially as you scale your business. A kennel management software such as PetExec can make this process a lot more streamlined with its occupancy management features. 

From avoiding overbooking to collecting deposits all year round, PetExec can be the best investment you can make this year. To learn more about how PetExec can handle all your pet business needs, book a free demo today!

Commonly asked questions. 

How to start a dog boarding business?

Starting a dog boarding business requires, at the minimum, some experience working with dogs. To open a business, research your state's legal requirements, apply for permits and business licenses, choose a location, purchase dog daycare insurance, hire employees, and market your dog daycare.

How do I manage dog playtime at my boarding facility?

Managing dog playtime and activities at a boarding facility requires an understanding of each dog's temperament and training to prevent dog fights. Managing your occupancy is vital when it comes to playtime at a boarding facility to ensure you don't overbook and always have enough employees on hand.

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