Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
Pet daycare and dog boarding services enable pet owners to spend time away from the home while ensuring that their pets get a good level of care. Day services are typically used by owners going out to work, while boarding services are used when families go on vacation, although they can also be used by owners during hospital stays and for other purposes.
The services are most often used by cat and dog owners but several businesses and individuals also offer similar services for other pet species, from small animals like mice and hamsters to exotic pets like lizards and snakes. During the pandemic and Covid lockdowns, when more people were at home and weren’t able to travel, these services were negatively impacted, but the return to work has seen business pick up. Many pet sitters now expect a substantial increase in business as a result of more pets having been acquired during Covid and a greater rate of owners returning to work.
Below, we have curated 17 statistics on the pet daycare and dog boarding industry.
The 17 Pet Daycare & Dog Boarding Industry Statistics
- There are nearly 80 million pet dogs in the US, in nearly 50 million households.
- 60 million pet cats live in 32 million US households.
- US households own approximately 1 million other pets.
- The global pet boarding market is worth approximately $20 billion and will grow to $36 billion by 2031.
- The pet daycare market is worth an estimated $3.7 billion a year in the US.
- Pet sitters reported a more than 50% decline in business during the pandemic.
- Doggy daycare costs an average of $35 per day.
- Dog boarding costs an average of $40 per night.
- There are more than 20,000 petcare facilities in the US.
- There are 35,000 pet sitters in the US.
- There are 9,000 boarding kennels across the US and Canada.
- Daycare accounts for about 40% of the pet-sitting market.
- 22% of owners use dog walking services and 27% use daycare.
- Cats and dogs are the pet species accommodated by most pet-sitting services.
- The pet daycare market is forecasted to rise 8% per annum until 2032.
- More than three-quarters of professional pet sitters expect an increase in business in the next year.
- 64% of owners said they would spend more time with their pets after the pandemic.
1. There are nearly 80 million pet dogs in the US, in nearly 50 million households.
330 million people in the US own a total of 80 million pet dogs, which means approximately one dog for every four people. The country’s canine population lives in 50 million households, so the average dog-owning household has 1.6 dogs.
2. 60 million pet cats live in 32 million US households.
Although not quite as popular as dogs, cats are still the second most popular pet, and owners are more likely to own multiple cats. 60 million pet cats live in just over 30 million households, which means that the average cat household has nearly 2 cats.
3. US households own approximately 1 million other pets.
As well as cats and dogs, there are approximately 1 million other pets in US homes. This includes small animals like hamsters and mice, which are usually kept in cages or enclosures. Birds, including those kept in indoor cages and outdoor aviaries, and fish, both in outdoor ponds and indoor tanks, make up a large number. Exotic pets include lizards and snakes, and the popularity of these types of animals is growing. Owners of exotic animals may need to look for daycare and boarding facilities that specialize in these types of animals.
The State of the Industry
4. The global pet boarding market is worth approximately $20 billion and will grow to $36 billion by 2031.
(Allied Market Research)
The global pet boarding market is worth an estimated $20 billion a year, and this is expected to grow by more than 6% annually to reach $36 per annum by 2031. The US has the largest market share in the industry, and Germany is the European market with the biggest expenditure. Market growth is expected as disposable income increases and as owners continue to treat their pets more like members of the family.
5. The pet daycare market is worth an estimated $3.7 billion a year in the US.
(Future Market Insights)
Pet daycare, which is dominated by doggy daycare, represents a significant portion of the pet boarding and care market. It is typically used by owners that go out to work and don’t want to leave their pets all day. Options for owners include having a friend or family come and walk their dog, paying a professional dog walker, or taking their pup to daycare. While more companies do allow dogs in the office, this is still a rarity, which means that doggy daycare facilities will remain popular.
6. Pet sitters reported a more than 50% decline in business during the pandemic.
(Grand View Research)
Pet sitters operate during the day, and in the evenings, and some offer overnight services. During the Covid pandemic, travel was prohibited, which meant vacations were not an option. And the majority of people were forced to work from home, which meant they weren’t out of the house during the day. Even in cases where people did leave the house, pet-sitting services were not considered key services, which meant that pet sitters and the businesses that employed them suffered a considerable decline in income. Approximately 85% of pet sitters said that they saw more than a 50% decrease in business during the period.
7. Doggy daycare costs an average of $35 per day.
Doggy daycare tends to offer either half or full-day services. Costs vary according to the length of stay but also the area and the quality and facilities offered. Some daycare locations offer additional services like grooming and even training, and these services do add to the total cost. On average, owners can expect to pay $35 per day for daycare services.
8. Dog boarding costs an average of $40 per night.
Dog boarding means that the dog stays at the boarding facility for a minimum of one overnight stay. These services are used when people go on vacation or when they need to be away from the house for longer than a day. Boarding costs an average of $40 per night, with lower nightly prices offered for longer stays and during quieter times.
9. There are more than 20,000 petcare facilities in the US.
(Grand View Research)
Considering all daycare, boarding, and pet-sitting facilities, there are more than 20,000 total locations. This figure includes some houses where the petsitter offers to take in pets, but it does not include dog walkers and pet sitters that only work at the client’s address.
10. There are 35,000 pet sitters in the US.
Pet sitters may offer their services from their own homes but also those that visit the client’s home. Services range from a quick half-hour visit to let a dog out in the yard or to ensure that the food and water bowls are full and that the pet is healthy and safe. While some pet sitters may only have one or two clients, others can have dozens of regular clients a week. There are approximately 35,000 pet sitters across the country.
11. There are 9,000 boarding kennels across the US and Canada.
Boarding kennels can house anywhere from a handful of dogs and cats to several dozen. Their services and individual facilities can also be similarly varied. Some may provide internal and external space for each animal. Some may take dogs out for regular walks. Regardless of their boarding services and the type of accommodation they offer, there are 9,000 boarding kennels in the US and Canada.
12. Daycare accounts for about 40% of the pet-sitting market.
(Grand View Research)
There are different types of pet sitting services from individual pet sitters that visit a property and offer half-hour visits to full boarding services. Daycare accounts for 40% of the total petcare industry, showing that owners typically need help daily. While people work regularly throughout the week, they vacation less often.
13. 22% of owners use dog walking services and 27% use daycare.
(Global Pet Industry)
Daycare is popular with pet owners in the US and can include dog walking services. According to one survey, 27% of pet owners used daycare services within 12 months, while 22% said that they had used a dog walking service at least once during that time.
14. Cats and dogs are the pet species accommodated by most pet-sitting services.
Unsurprisingly, cats and dogs are the animals that most petcare services care for. Approximately 95% of businesses said that they could accommodate these animals, compared to 75% that care for small animals (rabbits, hamsters, etc…). 73% offer services to bird owners and 70% care for fish. Just 59% of such businesses offer their services to exotic animals and their owners.
The Future of the Industry
15. The pet daycare market is forecasted to rise 8% per annum until 2032.
(Future Market Insights)
Pet daycare services suffered during 2020 and 2021, but are bouncing back as people are returning to work. As more people bought pets during the pandemic, there is a lot of opportunity for growth in the pet daycare market and experts forecast that the market will grow by 8% per annum over the next decade.
16. More than three-quarters of professional pet sitters expect an increase in business in the next year.
The forecast is good for pet sitters, and most professional pet sitters are expecting a bumper year. When questioned, more than three-quarters of pet sitters said they expect an increase in demand for their business in the next 12 months.
17. 64% of owners said they would spend more time with their pets after the pandemic.
However, surveys also suggest that the pandemic has strengthened the bond between pets and their owners. According to one survey, nearly two-thirds of owners said that they intend to spend more time with their pets after the pandemic than they did before.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Daycare & Dog Boarding
Will Doggy Daycare Businesses Take Unneutered Dogs?
Most doggy daycare services require that dogs over the age of 6 months should be neutered. If your dog is unneutered at this age, you may have to look around to find a suitable venue or consider having somebody visit your house and provide daycare services on your property.
Can a Pet Sitter Take My Pet To the Vet?
Different pet sitters offer different services. While most doggy daycare facilities do not have the personnel to be able to take dogs to the vet, except in emergencies, a pet sitter that comes to your home may be able to offer this service. Do ensure that they have the appropriate insurance coverage, including public liability insurance.
Can a Pet Sitter Administer Medication?
In contrast, daycare facilities will usually administer prescribed medication and any supplements or other medications you want to give your pet. And pet sitters can visit your home at an allotted time to ensure that medication is given when required.
How Do I Find a Good Dog Walker?
If you know friends or family in your area that use a specific dog walker and have enjoyed a positive experience, ask for details. Alternatively, ask your vet, check cards in pet shop windows, and search online.
How Can I Advertise a Dog Walking Business?
Networking is an important part of running a dog-walking business. Your clients will let others know if you do a good job, and they will also spread the word if you do a poor job. Be professional, give out business cards, and try networking with local vets, pet shops, groomers, and other pet-related service businesses.
Pets are a major part of owners’ lives, so it is hardly surprising that the pet-sitting and boarding market is worth billions of dollars a year and expected to continue to rise over the next 10 years. Owners can benefit from one-off walks or have their pets boarded and cared for over several weeks. Additional services, such as grooming and training, may also be available in some cases.
Owners of exotic pets might have to look a little harder to find a sitter, but some people are willing and experienced in caring for all pet species.
Featured Image Credit: Ryan Brix, Shutterstock