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Get Your Property Ready for Animal Boarding

Get Your Property Ready for Animal Boarding

For landowners, farmers, and ranchers looking to diversify their enterprises, animal boarding can be a profitable, yet often overlooked, option. From hobbyists with a desire to care for animals to business-minded individuals seeking additional income, the path to successful animal boarding is paved with careful preparation.

A wide variety of animals can be accommodated on a sizable property, catering to different clientele. Traditionally, horses are common candidates for boarding, especially on farms and ranches with ample grazing land. However, opportunities extend beyond equine boarding to include smaller pets like dogs and cats, which require less space but more indoor areas for sleeping and play.

For those with the right facilities, boarding exotic pets such as reptiles or birds presents a niche market. Additionally, farm animals such as goats, pigs, and sheep can also be boarded, especially for clients looking for short-term care during travel or for educational programs. Each type of animal boarding presents its own set of requirements for space, facilities, and care expertise.

Assessing Your Property

The first step in preparing your property for animal boarding is to conduct a thorough assessment. You need to ensure your space meets the basic needs of the animals and their owners. Here’s what you should be looking at.

Fencing Requirements

Good fences make good neighbors, and in the animal boarding business, they also make for safe and secure environments. Depending on the types of animals you plan to board, you'll need to invest in appropriate fencing. For horses, for instance, perimeter fencing should be robust, with no sharp edges or protrusions that could cause injury. Electric fencing might not be the best choice for animals unaccustomed to it, while mesh or wooden constructs can offer a more visible boundary.

For smaller animals, like cats or dogs, the fencing should be escape-proof and high enough to prevent climbers. Remember that the type of animals you expect to board could determine whether you need to partition off different areas within the overall property.

Shelter Considerations

Animals will need protection from the elements, so suitable shelters should be conveniently placed throughout your boarding area. These could range from sturdy stables for horses to dedicated enclosures for smaller pets. Shelters should be well-ventilated, watertight, and insulated as necessary for the climate.

Think about the capacity, privacy, and how easy it will be to clean and maintain these shelters. Consider that some animals might be kept in groups or must be separated from others for safety or health reasons.

Water and Food Availability

A reliable supply of clean water is non-negotiable. Ensure regular access to fresh drinking water from troughs, buckets, or automatic systems. Food supplies should also be secure from pests and spoilage. For livestock, a regimen of multiple daily feedings could be required, and you may need to adjust fittings and access points accordingly.

This resourceful assessment phase will help you define what changes or additions your property will need. It's also an opportunity to scope out your competition, learning from the best features of nearby animal boarding facilities.

Safety Measures for Animal Boarding

The well-being of the animals under your care is paramount. Implementing robust safety measures can help prevent accidents and ensure a quick, effective response in the event of an emergency. Start with a vigilant inspection to identify and mitigate potential hazards. This includes removing toxic plants, securing loose wires, and patching holes in structures. 

All potentially harmful equipment, tools, and chemicals should be stored in a properly designated area, inaccessible to animals. Develop a routine of regular property checks to ensure that everything remains in a safe condition. Engage with veterinarians to understand what specific hazards are relevant to the animals you plan to board. 

Even with meticulous planning, emergencies can arise. Have a clear plan in place for evacuations, and ensure there are accessible routes for both animals and caretakers. Designate assembly points for different types of animals and equip these areas with first aid kits specific to their needs. Staying current with animal first-aid training and having a readily available contact list for local emergency services and veterinarians are crucial. Consider investing in safety equipment like fire extinguishers or temperature monitoring systems for enclosed spaces.

Regulatory Compliance

Before you can open your property to boarders, you'll need to ensure you comply with local regulations. These could cover a wide array of areas, from zoning to animal welfare protocols.

  • Zoning Regulations: Contact your local planning department to understand the zoning laws that pertain to animal boarding. There may be restrictions on the number and type of animals you can board, as well as the types of structures and enclosures permitted. Zoning laws can also dictate any noise, odor, or waste management provisions you need to make.

  • Understanding and adhering to these regulations will not only keep you on the right side of the law but also demonstrate to your clients that you are a responsible operator.

  • Permits and Licenses: The next step is to secure all the necessary permits and licenses for operating an animal boarding business. These might include business permits, health certificates for the animals in your care, and possibly even certifications for you or your staff in animal care. You may also need to register your business with local or state animal control agencies.

  • Compliance with these administrative requirements is a key component of building your boarding business's reputation for trustworthiness and professionalism.

Interested in Listing Your Property for Lease?

Preparing your property for animal boarding requires a combination of empathy, business acumen, and practical skills. By investing time in assessing your land, safeguarding it, and navigating the regulatory landscape, you are laying the groundwork for a successful enterprise that provides a valuable service to both animals and their owners.

Remember, the dedication you show in preparing your property for boarding is a reflection of the quality of care you intend to provide. It builds the trust of your clients and establishes your reputation in the community.

LandGate provides landowners with the opportunity to list their property for free on an online marketplace that provides a buyer and lessor audience that cannot be found elsewhere. Property owners are not obligated to accept any offers received. 


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