starting small pet boarding?

pipthehamster Asked: starting small pet boarding?

I'm 14 (nearly 15) and live in Dublin. I have a passion for small animals and aspire to becoming a vet when finished school. I have just gotten my summer holidays and I'm looking for a way to earn some money. I was thinking that I could combine the time of year with my love of small animals and start up a small pet boarders for families with hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits etc. where they could leave their little pet for a week or two while they go on holiday. I think it's somewhat of a gap in the market because, although there are plenty of kennels and catteries, there is no where for a guinea pig or a rabbit to stay, apart from the neighbour next door or the loving relative.

It would be a temporary thing for about two months, just until the end of the summer. I was thinking of making posters with my number on them and all the details of my service, to attract pet owners. Because I'm relatively broke, I was thinking that in order to have your pet stay, you'd have to bring the housing, food and toys with you (or anything else your pet might need) so I don't have to buy the necessary equipment. I realise I'd probably have to buy some second-hand hutches for rabbits and guinea pigs, but apart from that, is it ok to ask the owner to supply everything? I would also throw in some extra "free" treats, like all the veg and some of the toys.

I have a relatively small garden, with a small patch of grass, but have a large modern shed, with insulation and a heater. I was thinking of keeping rabbits and guinea pigs in here, then keep hamsters, gerbils, mice etc. in the house. I am aware of care requirements for all the animals I have mentioned and even have my own website on hamsters! (www.thehamsterplace.com – feel free to visit!) And I'll have an adult in the house, pretty much the whole time while keeping the pets, so the actual caring of the animals isn't really an issue. I have knowledge and experience with small animals and they are a true passion of mine.

I suppose the questions I'm really asking are:
-Is any of this even possible?
-Will I need insurance or any legal documents to do this? Even if it's just for two months?
-If I do need any of the above, please specify (remember I live in ireland, so make sure it's under Irish law etc.)
-How much should I charge per night/per animal?
-Is there anything else I'd need to buy apart from a few rabbit hutches and maybe a playpen for the animals? There are plenty of rooms in my house that are safe for little critters to explore, as I let my hamsters wander around all the time.
-Is it ok to let the owner supply everything, since they have it anyway?

Answers:

Jexx Answered:
It depends on how much you ask the owner to pay – if you're asking them to bring the food/litter, you might as well just take the pet in with its own cage and everything else. If you do that, it wouldn't be fair to ask for too much a payment as all these things already came from the owner's wallet. I say ask your client yourself how much they are able to pay, but don't expect too much.

I'm not aware of you needing any documents for this, but remember to mention an adult will always be present around the house/pets.

I don't think you have to buy anything special, but remember that taking care of pets is usually a profit loss than profit gain. Just saying.



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