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Old 27.01.2011, 12:17
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pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

Hello,

Is there anyone who has experience or who would be interested in setting up a pet care center (dont know what is the right word) in CH? It could be just a day care for dogs or a place where people can take their dogs or/and cats when they go for a holiday. Besides dog walking, it could also provide other services like trimming, massage, cleaning. Or some other business (online?) related to pets...

Any ideas and contacts are very welcome!

I live in Zurich, but can consider moving elsewhere, especially the French part of CH. I am over 40 years old and have been thinking about a "career change" for several years.
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Old 27.01.2011, 12:48
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

you need certifications to be able to do that sort of thing here, the mrs will be along later, she knows a lot more about it as she works for a boarding kennels. send me a pm and she'll answer
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Old 27.01.2011, 18:17
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

MariV,

What is lacking in the market are qualified people - that is, people who both meet the TschV requirements as well as have the necessary hands-on experience, working legally, who can provide individual care, in the client's home when requested, who are willing to work with dogs who have exceptional medical or behavioral needs.

Seriously - since my sainted sitter retired, there is no one offering this service in all of Switzerland. I've been looking for well over a year now - trust me, you have an open niche market crying out to be filled.

(There are lots of people already offering services limited to 'perfect' dogs. That market is actually over-crowded. There are also lots of people who are working illegally - and thus putting their clients at risk. Please don't go that route. )


The right person, with the right qualifications, experience, philosophy, and who approaches this with professionalism and an understanding of the level of responsibility one is taking on - well, that person can charge an absolute fortune.

Heck, if I could find the right person, I might even put him/her on retainer.


Good luck!


ETA:

Just be sure you understand what the TschV requires when working with dogs. Here is a quick overview, scroll down to "Auch die professionelle Betreuung von Hunden wird reglementiert":

http://www.kipp-kvniederamt.ch/hinte...vorgaben_d.pdf


Full text of the TschV is here:

http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/4/455.1.de.pdf
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Old 18.03.2011, 20:45
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

Hi,
I would be interested in discussing this with you, please can you PM me a contact number?
JES
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Old 22.03.2011, 01:33
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

Thank you so much for your comments, Meloncollie! It would be a loooong way for me to get to that point and think it is too hard for me here in CH because my German is not fluent and dont know how to handle the life without income for so many years.
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Old 22.03.2011, 01:51
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

Mari, have you thought of hiring or partnering with someone who holds the necessary qualifications? That might be one way to get your business off the ground.

Do speak to the BVet or the cantonal Veterinäramt to learn exactly what would be required for the business you envision. I know that the BVet is happy to answer questions in English, I'd imagine the ZH cantonal veterinary office would be as well.

(FYI, caring for cats in a small way (i.e. a limited number of animals) may not require qualifications - the rules are stricter for commercial dog care.)
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Old 21.04.2011, 17:48
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

Hi MariV!

I have read only now your message. I would be interested a lot in your idea. I am a Biologist and I have studied animal behaviour (although not specifically in relation to pets). I may deal with soem behavioural problems of cats and dogs for example.

Please post me if your are still interested.
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Old 26.04.2011, 23:31
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

Hello,

Yes, i am still interested although i have woken up from my dream now into reality. I send you a PM then.
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Old 03.05.2011, 00:24
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

I've also given thought to quitting the computer world for a while and doing dog training or something, but I'd definitely need to do research into what it takes to get certified. (Switzerland and its damned certs for EVERYTHING!… ::grumble:: )

I miss having a dog. I miss my dog.
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Old 03.05.2011, 12:05
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

Tooki,

Disclaimer: I am not a trainer, nor any kind of dog professional. I'm just an amateur with a keen interest in canine behavior and rehabilitation, owned by a herd of reprobate mutts, who spends a lot of time in the Hundeschule.

As I understand it, there isn't a protected title 'Dog Trainer' with a specific qualification route, rather there are several roads you could take to becoming 'someone who trains dogs'. It very much depends on what you envision doing. Are you considering opening a training school offering puppy play groups, or offering basic obedience or family dog courses, are you considering becoming a behaviorist (Verhaltungsberater) or perhaps a sport trainer?

One area that is strictly regulated, though, is who may offer the SKN courses, the theory course required of new dog owners and practical course required of all dog owners. The certification to become qualified to offer these courses is discussed on the BVet website:

http://www.bvet.admin.ch/tsp/02222/0...x.html?lang=de

(As the classes are mandatory, SKN courses are a nice income stream - so it probably behooves a trainer to become qualified to offer them. Also, as a client if I see that a trainer is not qualified to offer the SKN, I tend to wonder 'why not?'.)

Yes, there are numpties out there who say 'Hey - I had a dog once, I'm a trainer!' and hang out a shingle. Worse, there are those who say "Hey - I've watched a few programs on telly, I'm a dog trainer!' and hand out a shingle. Thankfully, many dog owners can see that such folks have no place training, but sadly some inexperienced owners have been duped by unqualified trainers. Unqualified (as in woefully lacking in behavioral knowledge and practical skill, let alone pieces of paper) and unethical trainers have done a lot of damage to many family pets - damage which can take years to rehabilitate.

Which courses you choose should depend on your philosophy of training; you should choose an organization whose ideas and methods mesh with your own, as you would have a very hard time if you were trying to swim upstream.

(Certainly as a client, a trainer's philosophy and methodology is the first thing I look at...)

---

FYI, my trainer - who I very much respect - went through Certodog for her qualifications.

http://www.certodog.ch/kursedet.php?knr=347

She continues to do further education seminars and classes from various institutions all the time. Bythe way, she often has assistants who are doing a Praktikum towards their own certification helping with the classes; I don't know if all programs require a Praktikum, or not.

There are several training institutions you could look at, just google 'Hundeausbildner', 'Hundeverhaltungsberatung' 'Hundeinstruktor' or similar.

How's your German/French/Italian? If not quite up to classes (and, as I understand from my trainers, some of the courses are heavy on science), you might also look at doing some courses or seminars in other countries.


ETA:

While educational certification and a good grounding in the science of canine behavior are very important, the fundamental qualification must be: a deep, true love of dogs, an inate understanding of what makes them tick, and practical hands-on experience. Surprisingly, I've come across trainers with impressive paper qualifications who lack those basics. IMO, the 'School of Life' is where a truly great dog trainer earns his/her real qualifications.

You should probably spend some time talking to established trainers in your area, ask their opinions on how best to get started.

Good luck!

Last edited by meloncollie; 03.05.2011 at 12:33.
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Old 05.05.2011, 21:51
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

Wow, thanks for the detailed and thoughtful reply!

I definitely have the love of dogs, and I think I understand them pretty well and they seem to understand me*, but definitely lack the training to even dream of doing it professionally. (I do have the German to do the coursework, though I'd prefer English, all else held equal.)

Regardless, I'm not going to jump into this, it needs a lot of thought. I wish I had a car so I could volunteer at a shelter or something in the meantime.

Cheers,
Antonio


*Edit: I remember once as a teen, I was with my uncle and we stopped by his boss's house. The boss's wife bred vizslas, but there was a sign on the door warning visitors "Do not extend your hand to the male dog, you WILL be bitten!" So I didn't. Suffice it to say that by the time we left an hour or two later, the male dog was sleeping on my feet. The wife said he never did that with anyone but her! Anyhow, I've had similar experiences with other dogs, too. (And cats for that matter.)
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Old 06.05.2011, 09:25
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

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(As the classes are mandatory, SKN courses are a nice income stream - so it probably behooves a trainer to become qualified to offer them. Also, as a client if I see that a trainer is not qualified to offer the SKN, I tend to wonder 'why not?'.)
Completely OT but I want to congratulate you on using the word behooves. Flipping brilliant .
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Old 06.05.2011, 11:36
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

MariV, Totally understand the getting older and thinking of a career change view point.

Any chance of working less than full time in your current job, and getting some hands on experience/training while still earning?

There is an interesting business model here in Lausanne. A vet practice here has an associated Doggy Day Care service, which also provides 'Toliettage' (dog grooming) services. It costs CHF50 per day for the Doggy Day Care Service (which I think is pricey!).
I was wondering if such a model might be better business-wise, in terms of less risk than setting up, say, just a toilettage service?? Maybe another vet practices would consider such an add-on service if they were approached by the right person? Maybe check out if any vets in the area would be interested in starting such a venture (if you were qualified/experienced, etc.)?

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
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Old 06.05.2011, 13:53
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

That's an excellent idea, Lemondrizzle!
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Old 06.05.2011, 17:41
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

There is definitely a shortage around Nyon - especially groomers but for nice "dogsitting" as well. We called one grooming place that was recommended and it has a 2 month waiting list! My dog requires a hair cut every 1.5 months in the summer just to keep from overheating. And for our dog its over 100 chf a cut so there is money in it (won't know exact amount till she goes in next week).
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Old 10.05.2011, 22:26
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

Thank you so much for ideas and help, i saw them only now (i thought i would get an e-mail if i get any new comments, but i havent for some reason)!!

I met damadama and we discussed about the possible business together. I work now as an assistant and after some time i will ask if i can work part-time (i wonder what to say as a reason, because i dont have family). At the moment i am trying to find a free SW to make a survey in internet (did this already in my home country when i was studying business) after we have finished our brain storming.

I now have a friend who has a dog grooming and day care business in Zurich. It is going fine during the summer, but winter time is very quiet.
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Old 10.05.2011, 22:50
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

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MariV, Totally understand the getting older and thinking of a career change view point.

Any chance of working less than full time in your current job, and getting some hands on experience/training while still earning?

There is an interesting business model here in Lausanne. A vet practice here has an associated Doggy Day Care service, which also provides 'Toliettage' (dog grooming) services. It costs CHF50 per day for the Doggy Day Care Service (which I think is pricey!).
I was wondering if such a model might be better business-wise, in terms of less risk than setting up, say, just a toilettage service?? Maybe another vet practices would consider such an add-on service if they were approached by the right person? Maybe check out if any vets in the area would be interested in starting such a venture (if you were qualified/experienced, etc.)?

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
Hello, my husband and I just moved to Lausanne last week from the US (Boston). We are traveling the next 10 days so our beloved French bulldog, Louis, is staying with his grandparents (both sets!) in the States until we return and find a dog walker & dog sitter for him (we both travel for work). Your post piqued my interest since we've been searching, searching, endlessly for someone reputable to board him (we were spoiled by the grandparents). Could you provide the contact information for this vet and Doggie Day Care? Many thanks in advance!
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Old 14.05.2011, 19:39
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

I have many years of experience as a "dog psychologist" with excellent letters of referral from clients. I also have a a B.Sc in Psych and a M.Sc in Psych Research. I did not gain a qualification per se regarding animal behaviour; although the tenets of behaviourism as theorised in psychology are universal and 'proven' through animal studies (Pavlov rings a bell!)

I was originally certified in the states with the humane society and have since always remained active in the welfare issues of dogs, having done handling, training, etc. It was a progression from strength to strength, because as Meloncollie says, you need heart. It is a passion of mine, must have been a dog in a past life (or future??) so much so I wrote my psychological research dissertation on the natural healing gifts dogs bring to people's emotional states. Anywho, thinking once again about coming to Switzerland in the future and not sure if my life should focus on this passion for practical and obvious red tape, bureaucrazy reasons, or if I should attempt a regular day job doing research somewhere.

Sounds really tempting to work for myself, as you all seem to have identified a gap in this type of service. I would love to walk dogs for a living! what? stay fit and get paid too?? get out! but of course the dog's family would take comfort in the knowledge of my background and could potentially talk to me about other problems they may be having with their dog's behaviour..and issues...

Thanks to you all for your excellent and thoughtful contributions in this area, have learned a lot. (wish I could speak the language so I could understand what the links say-but will come back to these another time) Any additional information greatly appreciated and welcome. I never imagined I could potentially realize my passion in Switzerland, so glad I stumbled upon this thread! Will do the research on this now. Thanks again all!

Cheerio Dog lovers!
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Old 16.06.2011, 17:30
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

if the thread isn't closed and still read...tierrettung is something worthwile specializing in. there are not enough services here in switzerland. it's rescuing pets out of dangerous situations.
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Old 31.08.2011, 17:22
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Re: pet care center or other business idea related to pets?

MariV please check out this website - you could upload your profile http://petsitting24.ch/. If there are problems with the language barrier I'd gladly help.
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