Developing Dog Care Centers – A Guide for Real Estate Developers and Entrepreneurs

Developing Dog Care Centers – A Guide for Real Estate Developers and Entrepreneurs

Author: Matthew B. Jarmel AIA | MBA | NCARB

Date: April 24, 2024

If you’re a real estate developer or entrepreneur interested in getting in on this trend, developing a dog care center—or a line of dog care centers—is a solid idea. Jarmel Kizel Architects & Engineers, Inc. is poised to be your trusted partner as you explore this new business opportunity.

According to the American Kennel Club, there are over 89 million dogs in the United States, and this number is expected to grow to over 90 million by 2025. It is estimated that approximately 70% of all American Households have a pet. Considering this growing trend, it’s no surprise that dog care service demand is rising. More and more people are looking for reliable, trustworthy, and safe places to leave their fur babies while they’re at work or away on vacation, and that’s where dog care or doggie day care centers come in.

Dog care centers are businesses that provide daycare, boarding, and grooming services for dogs. Some even provide veterinarian services as well. These businesses have become increasingly popular as pet ownership has skyrocketed.

Why Develop a Dog Care Center?

There are many reasons why developing dog care centers can be lucrative. First, as mentioned above, the demand for these services is only getting higher. In addition, dog care centers tend to be relatively low-maintenance businesses. Once you’ve developed the facility and hired the necessary staff, there isn’t much else you need to do besides market your business and keep an eye on operations.

Perhaps most importantly, people are willing to spend a lot of money on their pets. Americans spent over $75 billion on their pets in 2018, which is only expected to grow.

Cost of Development

Developing a dog care center will entail the usual initial startup costs, including:

  • Business Insurance
  • Property insurance
  • Commercial lease (if operating on the leased property)
  • Construction or fit-out
  • Basic equipment for operation
  • Optional equipment (e.g., for grooming)
  • Signage
  • Advertising
  • Permitting and licenses
  • Utility deposits
  • Web site design
  • Cash reserves

Depending on the size and complexity of your dog care center, it can cost anywhere between $100,000 to $500.000 or more to start up. Operating costs can run around $10,000 a month, though this can be much lower or higher depending on your business plan.

Cost of Franchise

Are you looking to get a head start in the industry with a proven dog care center franchise? Then you can expect to pay between $300,000 to $1 million per franchise. With the industry constantly increasing in demand, you can expect an ROI within a few short years.

How We Help Develop Your Dog Care Center

Jarmel Kizel has worked with franchisors and franchisees for over 40 years. We have insider knowledge on minimizing costs and maximizing profit for all stakeholders in a franchising project, from feasibility studies and land entitlement to prototyping and construction.

Real Estate and Land Entitlement Strategy

First and foremost, you’ll need to find a suitable location. Once you’ve found a few potential options, we’ll help you do your due diligence on it. We’ll check for critical considerations, including the following:

  • Whether it’s accessible to your target customers
  • Whether it’s large enough to accommodate all your intended activities
  • Whether it’s zoned appropriately for a dog care centers (Many zones exclude the overnight keeping of animals)
  • Whether the town has any additional requirements for your development

If you’re going the franchising route, we also have you covered. We’ve worked with many dog care center franchisors in the past, helping them with their prototyping and rollout strategy.

Architectural Design and Space Planning

Once the land entitlement and rollout strategies are in place, we clearly define the specifics for your dog care center. Who is your target customer? What services will you offer?

Will your dog care center need a garden? A pool? A grooming station, perhaps? What about kennels for overnight stays? How many dogs must the facility accommodate at any given time?

Your answers to these questions will help us create a space that your furry customers, big and small, will love for years.

Engineering Design

Once we have the architectural plans ready, we’ll engineer them into reality by designing its various building systems—HVAC, electrical, plumbing, telecommunications, fire protection, and more. Careful consideration is given to acoustic and odor control. No need for you to look for project engineers—we have them all in-house.


Once the building plans are done, we’ll assist you in getting the necessary permits to start the construction. We will also help you with preparing construction, furniture, fixtures and equipment.


We are experts in construction procurement, where we assist clients in pre-qualifying contractors appropriate for their projects. We prepare requests for proposals (RFP’s) , bid on the project, level bids, and interview / descope bidders. While most architectural and engineering firms focus on the design phase of a project, we work with you to make sure your project gets built. At Jarmel Kizel, we do everything with our in-house team of experts. This allows us greater control over the project timeline, budget, and quality of work.

As your partner in your venture into the dog care industry, we’ll help you from the early steps of site evaluation to the day you open for business.

Contact Us Today

Developing a dog care center can be an excellent opportunity for real estate developers and entrepreneurs. The demand for these services is high and is only expected to grow in the coming years.

If you’re thinking about developing a dog care center of your own, or working with a franchisor to take all the guesswork away, do think of Jarmel Kizel Architects & Engineers, Inc. After all, we’ve done it all before. Give us a call at (973) 994-9669 or visit our web site and tell us about your planned dog care center.

Matthew B. Jarmel AIA | MBA | NCARB
Matthew B. Jarmel AIA | MBA | NCARB

Matthew B. Jarmel, AIA, MBA | NCARB is an American architect and real estate developer. He is managing Principal of Jarmel Kizel Architects and Engineers, Inc., located in Livingston, NJ.