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You turned your love for animals into a business venture—a pet boarding kennel, a pet care clinic, or a pet grooming center. But do daily administrative tasks such as making appointments, keeping written records of visitors, and tracking food inventory tire you?
Kennel software is your best bet to overcome these challenges. The software helps manage bookings, track food stock levels, and record and store details related to pets and their owners. It also automates various other tasks such as billing and invoicing, collecting payments, and engaging with clients through regular emails or messages.
We’ve put together this buyers guide to provide all the information you’ll need to choose a kennel software solution that’s right for your pet business.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is kennel software?
- Common features of kennel software
- What type of buyer are you?
- Benefits of kennel software
- Key considerations when selecting kennel software
- Market trends to understand
What is kennel software?
Kennel software is a pet care management tool that helps pet boarding kennels, pet daycare centers, and pet grooming and training centers monitor pet health and activities, manage appointments, track food inventory, accept payments from clients, and more. The tool also offers marketing, calendar management, and document storage features.
Kennel management software helps automate administrative tasks, such as tracking pending payments, sending payment reminders, maintaining pet grooming and vaccination schedules, and informing clients about promotions or business updates.
Common features of kennel software
In this section, we’ve listed features common to kennel management software.
|Appointment scheduling||View the schedule of upcoming appointments, get details about each appointment, and prevent any overlapping bookings.|
|Online booking portal||Accept online bookings from customers, and accommodate additional service requests such as grooming or vet checkups.|
|Marketing||Advertise your services online, inform customers about promotions and discounts, and invite them to join your loyalty and referral programs.|
|Billing and invoicing||Create invoices for the services availed by customers. Add relevant taxes as well as discounts to these invoices.|
|Data storage||Store the details of pets, such as records of availed services, food preferences, medical conditions, vaccination schedules, and photos, at a centralized location.|
|Payment processing||Receive payments from customers via net banking, credit and debit cards, or e-wallet transfers.|
|Reminders/notifications||Send SMS and push notifications to alert pet owners or pet professionals about upcoming vaccination dates, meal schedules, or pickup and drop-off time.|
What type of buyer are you?
The type of kennel software you should purchase solely depends on your requirements. Let’s look at the different types of buyers in the market.
- Individual pet owners: Individual pet owners use the software to manage their pets’ routine—food and exercise schedules, vaccination dates, doctor visits, and more. Kennel software available as a mobile app would best suit the needs of these buyers. Calendar management, notifications/reminders, and community forums to ask general questions are some other suggested features. These buyers can also look for a free mobile-friendly kennel management solution.
- Pet stores: Pet stores use kennel software to maintain digital records of the pets in their shop. They capture details such as birthday, lineage, grooming needs, food habits, and purchase price. They also send marketing emails and reminders to clients about new pet arrivals, latest products, and upcoming events. Marketing, data management and storage, and billing and invoicing are some key features suggested for these buyers.
- Pet daycare and boarding centers: Pet daycare centers and boarding facilities use the software to manage bookings; maintain records of pets, pet owners, and their visits; and process payments for the services provided. They also track the food and accessory inventory, client appointments, and any special client requests. These buyers should select a kennel software solution that offers online booking, payment processing, appointment tracking, reminders, and marketing, among other features.
Benefits of kennel software
Understanding the benefits of kennel software will help you assess its usability in your line of business. Here are the key benefits of kennel management software:
- More time-saving: When running a pet business, you’ll have to take care of daily admin tasks, such as managing appointments, sending invoices, tracking inventory, and engaging with clients. This can leave you with very little time to focus on pet care. Kennel software can automate most of these daily recurring tasks to free up your time, so you can attend to pets and come up with innovative pet care ideas.
- High customer satisfaction: Kennel software offers many capabilities to keep pets as well as their owners happy. You can keep customers engaged by sharing regular updates on their pets, photos of their pets, details about the latest products, and any promotional offers or discounts. Kennel software also makes it easier for your customers to make bookings, inquiries, and track their pets’ routines online.
Key considerations when selecting kennel software
In addition to features, you should also consider the below points when planning to buy a kennel software solution.
- Integration: The kennel software you choose must integrate well with your existing software solutions, such as email, social media, point-of-sale (POS), accounting, marketing, and Office applications. Software integration will help you seamlessly share data between various applications and remove the need for manual data input.
- Cloud-based versus on-premise software: Kennel software can be purchased via SaaS subscriptions or on-premise licenses. Cloud-based tools usually have a monthly subscription fee and allow you to manage bookings and other tasks from any device. On the other hand, on-premise tools are a one-time investment and can be used only on the system they’re installed on. However, these tools can be easily customized per your needs, which is difficult to achieve with cloud-based solutions. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both tools, and choose the one that best fits the requirements of your kennel business.
- Budget: Look for a kennel solution that provides the features you need and supports your required number of users without exceeding your budget. Get price quotes from multiple vendors to get the most value for your money. You can also take free trials or try freemium versions before zeroing in on any software.
- Mobile app: Kennel software with mobile accessibility will allow you to attend to tasks even when you’re on the go. Check with vendors about mobile app availability, both for Android and iOS platforms, the features available on the mobile app, and its limitations.
Market trends to understand
Here are some latest trends related to the kennel software market.
- Adoption of pets is driving the use of kennel software: An increasing number of pet owners are tech-savvy millennials who want easy online interactions with pet care businesses. They are also more inclined to use technology tools to track their pets’ health and development. With millennials and Gen Z adopting more pets, the market for pet care software, including kennel software, is growing.
- Cloud-based kennel software is gaining market traction: Buyers are exhibiting a higher preference for cloud-based kennel tools, as they allow both pet owners and the staff at pet boarding kennels to access the system simultaneously. Cloud-based software also supports access from any device, including cellphones.
Note: The applications selected in this article is an example to show a feature in context and is not intended as an endorsement or a recommendation. It has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.