The first wave of prospective franchisees are currently being interviewed by Pet Carers, a business originally launched in 2004 offering pet boarding, dog walking, feeding and other services for dogs, cats and various small pets.

The concept has been developed over three years by founder Caroline Kelly and her business partner Sue Pitcher as an alternative to the traditional concept of kennels by providing dog boarding in individual homes, in conjunction with dog walking and pet visits.

'According to official figures there are now well over 11 million dog or cat owners in the UK and the number is increasing every year,' says Caroline. 'Pet Carers is all about providing proper care for our four-legged friends while their owners are away. It is very much a life-style franchise which can be developed to suit the franchisee's own aspirations. At first, the dog walking side of the business can usually be handled by the franchisee but to develop the dog boarding side of the business a number of Home Boarders will need to be recruited. The Home Boarders look after dogs in their own homes and, in return, they retain 50 per cent of the Pet Carers boarding fee. At a later stage it may be necessary to recruit additional staff for dog walking, either on a full-time or part-time basis.'

Pet Carers has put a professional franchise package together with the assistance of Franchise Development Services Franchise Consultant Ken Young, and Caroline and Sue are inviting animal lovers to discuss becoming part of the company's launch wave of franchisees. 'The franchise model for Pet Carers is based on the marketing, administration and operating methods which have already worked very successfully at our Cheltenham operation,' adds Sue. 'Pet Carers is far more than just an enjoyable life-style franchise - it is also a very exciting business opportunity!'