Gingr vs Kennel Connection: Best Dog Boarding Software 2024

Owning a pet care business is a mixed bag. On one hand, you get to indulge in your passion for animals and enjoy the company of a diverse array of dogs and cats. However, it also demands immense effort and extended hours. One of the greatest hurdles is sourcing, retaining, and nurturing excellent pet care staff.

Yet, this challenge isn’t insurmountable. By establishing effective procedures, fostering a positive company culture, attracting suitable clientele, and providing thorough training for your staff, you can join the ranks of successful pet care business owners who not only pursue their passion but also turn a substantial profit.

Kennel Connection Dog Boarding Software

Kennel Connection has been around for 30 years as one of the first dog boarding software solutions and currently offers two different software solutions.  Both pet care softwares provide an all-in-one solution for dog daycare, cat and dog boarding, pet grooming, dog training, pick-up, and drop-off as well as all the enrichment services you can think of.  

Kennel Connection has a hybrid option that allows business owners who have bad internet to have an installed software on a computer at the facility while also giving them the ability to log in from anywhere at any time to check on the business using a cloud interface. 

The second Kennel Connection software option is a cloud-only product and was built in 2023 it has a modern interface, amazingly simple usability, and includes phone support, unlimited staff training, and a full data transfer from most existing dog boarding software solutions. 

Gingr Dog Boarding Software

Gingr has been a software company since 2015.  They provide software that supports daycare, boarding, grooming, and training.  In 2017, the original founders (Lee & Aaron ) sold Gingr to a Private Equity group called Togetherwork and it has since changed hands several times and is currently under management by GI Partners still operating under the Togetherwork umbrella.  

What is Dog Boarding Software for Pet Care Businesses? 

When it comes to pet care businesses, having reliable dog boarding software is crucial. It should serve as a comprehensive solution to handle every aspect of your business efficiently. Dog Boarding Software is designed to manage client and pet data, including pet notes, vaccination records, and appointment history. Moreover, it helps cut down on labor costs by streamlining pet care operations.

Additionally, dog boarding software enhances the customer experience by offering convenient online booking processes, digital report cards, and text reminders. It even doubles as a marketing platform, allowing you to convert dog daycare evaluations into package purchases and providing valuable insights into your pet business’s financials and key performance indicators.

By investing in the right dog boarding software, you’ll not only optimize your operations but also elevate your marketing efforts to attract more clients for dog daycare and boarding services. When exploring your options, you’ll notice that the top three solutions share around 65% of their functionalities, making it easier to identify the best fit for your business needs.

Common Features in Dog Boarding Software

As you look to evaluate dog boarding software; Kennel Connection and Gingr are two of the leading platforms that you will find with the following features appearing across both platforms. 

Unlimited Client and Pet Records

Store contact info, signed waivers, vaccination records, feedings, medications, and pet notes all at your fingertips

Booking Workflow to Schedule Daycare, Boarding, Grooming, and Training

Where dog boarding software solutions will differ is in how well they handle booking two pets from the same family into separate rooms and/or booking during a busy season when you are required to book the dog in multiple runs because you are near capacity

New Feature Updates

Kennel Connection does weekly releases of new features which are all included in your monthly subscription. 

Integrated Credit Card Processing

Look for a solution that manages PCI compliance for you, stores cards on file, and sends out text messages for clients to pay invoices.

Employee Management with Commission Tracking & Time Clocks

Because many employees need different access to different information you want to have a system that will allow you granular control over access rights.  Some employees will need access to financial information to balance the books out nightly, but most won’t.  Some staff you may not want to respond directly to customer texts and emails. You should evaluate the configuration options. 

Retail Inventory Management

Can you be alerted when you need to re-order, manage a list of vendors so you can be most efficient when ordering products, understand your mark-up % on each item, etc.

Online Reservations with Pet Parent Portal

Most dog boarding software solutions have online booking, but they are not all equal.  You need to think of the pet parent perspective here and how easy is it for them to book.  Does it collect all the necessary information or are you still going to have to call to get more information?  Look for a system that lets you configure which services can be booked online, what enrichment activities can be added (how they are prompted or required to add), can ask custom questions based upon the service they are booking, and/or ask questions when it’s the first time they are requesting the service, can you get a digital signature and can they upload vaccinations and update feeding information?

Cloud-based Access

99% of dog boarding software solutions are cloud-based.  The only software company that offers a hybrid solution (works with no internet connection, but can auto-sync with a cloud interface) is Kennel Connection.  If you live in an area where you have unreliable internet, in a metal building that can’t get wifi, then Kennel connection is going to be the only solution for your business. 

Two-way Text Messaging

Look for a solution that offers unlimited text messages for a flat monthly fee.  You should also evaluate what automated text messages they provide.  Can you send an automated text for appointment reminders and if they respond with NO, will the software automatically cancel the appointment and send confirmation to the pet parent?  Does the texting solution send a check-out text to prompt clients to write you a 5-star review on Google or Facebook or if their experience was less than ideal, can they provide a private feedback form?

Detailed Reporting for Pet Care Operations and Financials

Look at the feeding, medication, and activity reports to make sure you can streamline operations.  For financials, you want to be able to look at revenue by service type, and by customer and have the ability to dig into the key performance metrics for each service category (Dog Boarding, Dog Daycare, Dog Grooming & Dog Training). 

Front Desk Dashboard

This is going to be your day at a glance.  Can you search for specific pets? What information is shown on the dashboard to help ensure your clients have everything they need to check in (vaccinations, pending balances, packages on their profile, special warnings or alerts that are obvious to the staff)

Email Capabilities

You will want a way to send out a monthly newsletter to keep customers engaged and informed.  This is a great way to introduce new services, special offers, booking reminders for the holidays, new crafts or special activities, etc.  The important thing to look for here is how easy is it to create a beautiful email.  Can you embed images? Can you attach a PDF? How easy is it to format the message so it’s easily readable? 

How to Compare Dog Boarding Software?

As you do live demos and download sample accounts, you are going to want to dig a little deeper to evaluate several key features, customization, usability (how easy is it going to be for staff to learn), and support.  Below are the primary areas where you are going to see differences in dog boarding software solutions. 

Assessing Customer Support and Staff Training in Dog Boarding Software

When it comes to customer support for your dog boarding software, not every solution is equal.  Pet care businesses operate in a high-stress environment with 100’s of things going on at any given time. Unfortunately, because many of the pet care business staff are students and/or non-technical staff; employees will make more mistakes than you can fathom. 

You will need live phone support because sometimes issues are way too complex to explain using a live chat or email ticket.  

When comparing Kennel Connection to Gingr, you will notice that Kennel offers 24/7 emergency phone support and normal phone support during business hours.  Gingr does not provide phone support and relies on live chat and emails to solve any issues that arise. 

Credit Card Integration Features in Dog Boarding Software

Most dog boarding software solutions offer an integrated credit card processing option, but not all integrations are equal.  While the integrations will allow you to store cards on file, take deposits for pet parents requesting appointments online through your website, and set up recurring charges for daycare packages; there are some unique features that you can only get when using Kennel Connection. 

  1. Support for chargebacks and other questions regarding processing credit cards.  Kennel connection does its own credit card processing which is a HUGE bonus to pet business owners because you get a single point of contact for all questions related to software questions and they will even help you defend against customer chargebacks and can answer any questions regarding billing/funding for payments collected. 
  2. But even more important than having a single company to call for help with credit card processing are the rates and fees that are charged. Gingr has the highest credit card processing fees in the industry and does not offer the ability to pass those fees along to the pet parent. For the pet industry, this high processing fee will end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars per year. With Kennel Connection’s integrated processing, you benefit from highly competitive rates that help save you money. Moreover, Kennel Connection provides the convenient option to automatically apply an additional fee to all invoices, enabling you to effectively mitigate the impact of rising costs (labor, goods, processing, etc.)
  3. Kennel Connection software also offers the ability to provide “Text-To-Pay” options for pet business owners.  Through their dog boarding software, you can text a client an invoice link, where they are prompted to tip your staff (tip is offered as 10%, 15%, 20%, and custom options), and pay 1 or multiple outstanding balances.  This feature will improve the pet parent check-out experience because at pick-up they are able to spend more time chatting about how much fun their dog had and building stronger staff/customer rapport. 

Online Booking Experience for Pet Parents

One of the hardest, but most critical metrics you need to understand as a pet care business owner is Labor %.  If you create the right processes, price appropriately, make personalized enrichment recommendations, and get customers to opt-in for departure grooming services; you should have labor be 25%-35% of the revenue generated in any given month (yes, this should include owner and manager salaries).  

One key factor to achieving this KPI is having an easy self-service option for pet parents to request appointments online.  With the kennel connections online booking tool, pet care businesses can require clients to select specific services so every appointment delivers “the perfect appointment” (a perfect boarding appointment would include enrichment services + a departure bath/groom”. In addition, to booking the perfect appointment, clients would be shown expired or missing vaccinations, have the opportunity to upload a copy of their dog’s vaccinations, enter feeding instructions, answer any service-specific appointments, sign digital waivers, and pay their deposit for the appointment.  

The online booking experience for pet parents using the Kennel Connection solution is extremely configurable and has proven to improve average revenue per appointment by 25% and is simple for pet parents to create their perfect appointment. 

In contrast, Gingr users often complain about the difficulty for pet owners to book appointments and the lack of configuration options. 

Customization and Configuration Options in Dog Boarding Software

Because every pet business is different you want to make sure you drill down pretty deep into the customization options.  You want as many things as possible to be automated to reduce employee mistakes, reduce labor, and keep things operating smoothly.  

  • Can you customize the online booking experience for each type of service (boarding, daycare, grooming, and training)? Decide what information is required, what services you will prompt them to add, add your own contract, collect a deposit, etc.?
  • Do you have a check-out time and if a client checks out after that time, what fee do you charge? 
  • Do you offer a half day of daycare?  If they stay longer than the number of hours you designate for a half day, does the software automatically update it to a full-day service without employees having to track time or remember? 
  • Can you charge by the hour, by the day, by a 24-hour period? 
  • Will it automatically apply multiple pet discounts, extended stay discounts, and combined service discounts (when I book daycare maybe I want a $5 discount on a departure bath)? 
  • Can the software work offline and online?  Does it have a mobile responsive design (meaning every page will resize based on the device you are working from)? 

Dog Boarding Software User Experience

As you evaluate the different dog boarding software solutions, one simple way to determine usability is based on how many clicks to achieve the most common actions (check-in, check-out, send text messages, approve online requests, look at pet profile details, purchase a package, update vaccinations, feedings and medications, etc…). 

The most common complaint about the Gingr system is that it is too complex and more techie.  The problem with that is pet care staff are typically the opposite of tech-savvy.  This complexity leads to wasted labor hours, a difficult time training staff to be super-efficient in using the software, and introduces unwanted and unnecessary bugs in the system.

Streamline Pet Business Operations, Drive Profits, and Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences

Pet business owners who have been around for a while understand the value of a system that organizes all the information and streamlines the tasks required to provide the highest quality of pet care.  When you find the right dog boarding software for your business you are going to save 20+ hours every single week by using automation for client management, scheduling, appointment reminders, billing management, financial analysis, and customer marketing. 

With Kennel Connection, you have a true partner who is invested in your success as a small business owner.  They provide free consulting with industry veterans who speak across the US about profitability, process optimization, and techniques to expand revenue.  If you are curious about how Kennel Connection can streamline your business and improve your profitability, then sign up for a demo HERE