Looking to start a pet business? Because North Americans are so willing to put their money where their hearts are, a pet business can be a very profitable small business.
In 2008, for instance, Canadian households spent an average of $420 on pet expenses (Spending Patterns in Canada: 2009, Statistics Canada).
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), Americans spent $50.96 billion on their pets in 2011 and it's estimated that they will spend $52.87 billion in 2012. The pet services segment, including grooming, boarding, pet hotels, pet sitting, day care and other services, has been the fastest-growing category, expanding by 7.9 percent from 2010 to 2011 and the APPA expects pet services to lead growth in 2012 as well, with a projected growth rate of 8.4 percent.
So how might you get into the pet business? This article presents eighteen pet business ideas that might appeal to you. The pet business ideas below range from pet-based products through providing pet services that involve working with animals, but you won't find any pet business ideas on the list that involve the retail breeding and selling of animals. As a long-time Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals supporter, this is something I'm vehemently opposed to.
Pet Business Ideas
1) Pet Sitting Business Idea
Pet sitting make the top of my pet business ideas list because a) there's an almost universal need for it and b) it's a very flexible business. For instance, if you live in a suitable place out of town, you can run a pet sitting business as a kennel operation with people bringing their pets to you and dropping them off. But that doesn't have to be the case; you can also operate a pet sitting business where you go to people’s homes and look after their pets' needs. Or, you can combine a pet sitting business with a house sitting business and look after people's homes as well when they're away.
2) Pet Boarding Business Idea
This pet business idea is a riff on the pet sitting business idea, basically the version where you have a facility set up where dogs and /or cats can be dropped off and looked after while their owners are gone. The main problem with this idea, as I allude to in my discussion of a pet sitting business, is zoning. You may simply not be able to do it where you are.
3) Doggie Daycare Pet Business Idea
Another pet business idea on the same theme, the Doggie Daycare has very similar pros and cons. There is an increasing need for this kind of pet service as more working people are discovering that dogs left alone day after day while the owner works can bark and be destructive. On the con side, though, you may find this a difficult business to locate because of zoning regulations and municipal bylaws.
4) Dog Training/Obedience Pet Business Idea
If you can actually do this and do it well, you can probably write your own ticket. There are an awful lot of people out there who don't have enough time or skill or both to train a dog properly - but for some reason, have bought one anyway and now need someone to train it. Venue is not necessarily a problem; facilities to run dog training classes can be rented.
5)Pet Training Pet Business Idea
If you're a really skilled animal trainer, and have an interest in media, maybe a pet business specializing in training animals for film and TV is for you. Remember Morris the cat? Lobo? Moose, the Jack Russell terrier on the TV show Frasier? Some animals become huge stars. Hollywood Paws (based in Los Angeles) is an example of a business that trains animals and their owners to work in the entertainment industry.
6) Pet Finding Business
Are you the kind of person who enjoys solving puzzles? Maybe you've even thought of being a detective at some point. If so, you might put your sleuthing skills to work running a Pet Finding business. You can help distraught pet owners get their loved ones back and make money too. Tracker dogs join growing industry to help owners find lost pets (Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, February 15, 2010) profiles one such business, Pure Gold Pet Trackers, that uses the tracking skills of a golden retriever named Sasha to find people's lost pets.
7) Dog Walking Pet Business Idea
Another dog-related service that busy pet owners need is to have their dogs walked regularly. The key to success with this pet business idea, I would think, would be time management. You'd definitely want to have enough clients so you could take x number of dogs out for a walk at a time, rather than just walking one and then returning it to its owner.
8)Dog Grooming Pet Business Idea
Dog grooming is another very popular pet business as its one of those chores related to dog ownership that many people would rather pay someone else to do rather than do themselves. Another reason for its popularity is that, like pet sitting, it's quite a flexible business idea. You could operate a dog grooming business as a mobile service or run it out of a retail shop, for example.
9) Pooper Scooper Pet Business
While we're on the subject of chores related to dog ownership that many people would rather pay someone else to do rather than do themselves, don't forget poop scooping. This pet business involves visiting customers' properties on a weekly or monthly basis and collecting and disposing of dog feces. Yes, it's dirty, messy work but so are lots of things that people do to make money. On the pro side, there's no special training or equipment needed and you can easily operate this business from home.
Continue on to the next page to read nine more pet business ideas...