Nancy Kirubi is Managing Director of Zewal Kennels which she runs alongside her husband.
Nancy ventured into the dog business after realizing its potential money-wise and the fact that the market was not flooded.
After consulting her husband, the couple ventured into the business and started with three German Shepherd dogs.
Before venturing into the dog business, Nancy and her hubby were initially in the printing business which was doing well.
However, in the long run, Nancy thought of trying a new business and after doing a visibility study, she settled for the dog business.
“I talked to my husband and told her that I was interested in the dog business, he bought the idea and we started looking for dogs,” she said.
Nancy bought three German Shepherd dogs for breeding but they died later due to a bacterial infection.
“It was very discouraging but we kept moving. A long the way, we started bringing in other breed but German Shepherds have been key in our business,” Nancy added.
The entrepreneur also pointed out a number of measures that she takes to ensure smooth flow of business.
“I don’t cross-breed, I ensure that I give pedigree dogs and I ensure my dogs are fully-vaccinated for good flow of business and having a good clientele base,” she said.
Nancy noted that most of her clients are interested in German Shepherds more than other breeds.
“Most Kenyans love dogs, most people buy dogs for their own security, while others are simply dog lovers; they keep it in their homes
“When you have the right breeds and breed the dogs very well, they will be easier to train them. A dog of this nature will be easier to train and understand,” she explained.
Breeds and pricing
In her kennels, Nancy rears German Shepherds, Saint Bernard, Belgian Shepherds, the Russian Mountain dogs.
In terms of prices, a two-months old German Shepherd puppy goes for Ksh 50,000, while a Belgian Shepherd goes for Ksh 100,000 for a two-months old puppy
On the other hand, a Russian Mountain puppy costs Ksh 150,000, while a Saint Bernard puppy goes for Ksh 200,000.
“The reason why the prices vary is, for example, the German Shepherd and the Belgian Shepherd are direct imports. We bought our dogs from Holland
“When I buy such puppies I’ll have to bring it, rear it and it costs quite a good amount of money, so I’ll have to value my dogs depending on where I sourced my dogs from,” Nancy said.
Nancy said that she experiences challenges when it comes to the staff, who sometimes are not available despite the attention that the business needs.
“You have to wake up in the morning, do the cleaning, brush their hair and walked around. If you don’t have enough staff, at times you have to step in and do it yourself,” she said.
The other challenge they face is the issue of feeds.