A ‘home from home’ dog boarding business that’s an alternative to traditional kennels
Petcare, Travel & Leisure
£ 7,995 Initial Investment
Wagging Tails is a ‘home from home’ dog boarding business that was launched by Lisa Suswain in 2007 in response to the demand for a higher quality experience of dog boarding by UK dog owners.
Owners looking for their own dogs to be the only house guests see their pets receive all the undivided love, exercise and attention they would get at home, rather than be one of many dogs crammed into the same space with little or no one to one attention.
Lisa decided to go down the franchise route in 2010 to meet the demand for an alternative to traditional kennels and worked closely with the British Franchise Association before becoming a member of the organisation. The franchise now boasts a network of over 20 franchisees across the country and is continuing to expand.
Franchisees with the Wagging Tails network are dog owners who build a team of local dog carers to provide boarding to local dog owners. They will only board one family’s dog or dogs at the same time to ensure a stress-free stay.
The company provides each franchisee with an exclusive territory, which allows them to develop a large and profitable business over a number of years. Territories are allocated by postcode, so that potential customers are able to clearly identify their local branch, ensuring each territory has potential for significant growth.
Wagging Tails offers a staggered payment facility to new franchisees, who only pay £7,995 up front, with the remaining cost of the franchise fee spread over the next few years.
Importantly, the franchisee matches each dog to a carer who has previous experience with the age and breed of that dog, so it’s not simply a case of putting a dog to an available carer.
The company is looking for dog owners who are self motivated and passionate about first class dog care and great customer service who would like to bring the Wagging Tails service to their postcode area.
The UK is a nation of dog lovers and 24 per cent of the UK adult population owns a dog, making an estimated canine population of around nine million pet dogs.
While kennels are still the choice for a high proportion of dog owners looking to board their dogs, dog owners typically find it difficult to leave their pets behind when they have to go away and there are an increasing number of people for whom traditional kennels is not the preferred option.
Lisa Suswain explains: “Dogs absolutely thrive on one to one attention. When I first started the business, I could see how much peace of mind it gave owners to see that attention focused solely on their much loved pet and that continues to this day to be the basis for our business - providing a truly home from home experience.”
The UK’s pet market is one of the largest in Europe, and there will always be demand for people offering services in this sector. In addition, Wagging Tails is the only pet care franchise to have achieved Trading Standards’ ‘Buy With Confidence’ status, providing extra reassurance to incoming franchisees and dog owners alike that the business is ethical, honest and legal.
Wagging Tails was also the first pet care franchise to fund its own dog charity through charity partners Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and has raised to date over £20,000 for its charity partner. All franchisees have the opportunity to get involved with the charity as much or as little as they like.
Wagging Tails’ head office is in the New Forest in the south of England.
Franchisees are provided with everything they need to be able to hit the ground running in their local area, from full training in the Wagging Tails systems and procedures to guidance on taking on carers and ensuring they are licensed and insured, through to dealing with advertising, marketing and social media.
The company provides continuous and ongoing support to ensure the long-term success of its franchisees.
As part of the price of their franchise, franchisees receive car decal and branded clothing, a day with an existing franchisee following head office training, enrollment on a first aid course and a diploma in dog behaviour.
Good communication skills, dog ownership experience, a love of dogs and motivation for joining the network are paramount to the success of the business.
Wagging Tails reports continued demand from dog owners from across the UK for its services, with some owners booking up to two years in advance to secure their dog’s carers.
Most families with a dog go on holiday regularly and only a small proportion take their pet with them, so there is always a need for dog care. And Wagging Tails always begins with a ‘sniffing out meeting’, where owners and dogs get to meet their selected carer.
“We know from over 12 years of experience that this not only helps dogs to settle in quickly when they return for their holiday, but also allows our carers to be sure it’s the right match,” Lisa explains.
“It gives owners complete transparency and peace of mind that they know who will be caring for their dog and where they will be staying.”
The Wagging Tails franchise agreement is for a five-year period, with no renewal fees.
By clicking the button below, Wagging Tails will get in touch and arrange a no obligation chat about the business, answering any questions you may have.
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