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18 Pet Business Ideas

Part 2: More Pet Business Ideas

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Washing, grooming and walking required!

Image (c) Dave Mcleod

If you're interested in starting a pet business, you'll also want to think about these business ideas:

10) Dog Bathing

Having bathed dogs before, I can definitely see why some people don't want to do this in their own homes; wet and messy only begins to describe it. A dog bathing business could be operated as a standalone business or as an adjunct to a pet grooming business. Or you could run this as a do-it-yourself business, where all you provide is the facilities and the equipment.

11) Pet Massage Therapy

So far I've written about pet services related to pets' basic needs. But there's a whole growing sector of pet businesses related to pets' not-so-basic needs, as pet owners look for more ways to help their pets lead longer and healthier lives. Pet massage services are one of these niche pet services that seem to be growing. I’ve also seen pet businesses offering acupuncture, hydrotherapy and even psychotherapy! In many of these fields, there is specific pet-related training required to become a practitioner.

12) Pet Restaurant

And speaking of up-scale pet services, I've also heard of restaurants devoted to dogs. No, not just restaurants that allow you to bring dogs with you, but restaurants where the dogs are the diners. See this Doggy Style Deli in Edmonton, for instance. Is this a pet business that would be allowed where you are? You'd definitely need to check both health regulations and municipal bylaws before you did anything else.

13) Pet Food

Just as with the food they put into their own bodies, pet owners have become increasingly concerned about the quality of the food their pets eat, and are continually on the lookout for pet foods that they feel have additional health benefits. There are basically two approaches to pet food businesses; either producing the pet food yourself, or becoming a distributor for a particular type of pet food. Dog bakeries, home-made healthy dog treats, raw foods, gourmet foods – any of these could be extremely lucrative, if the pets (and the owners) like what's on offer.

14) Pooch Couture

Pets, children – the difference between them has blurred considerably in the eyes of many pet owners. So many dog owners like to dress up their pets, creating all kinds of pet business opportunities to supply dogs with fashionable, good looking gear. (Cat owners know that they'll be lucky to get away with putting a collar on little Tiger, let alone anything else, so the opportunities for creating and selling cat gear are much more limited.) Once again, you can create the couture yourself or distribute someone else's.

15) Pet Supply Store

All kinds of pets need supplies and gear, and pet owners seem to like the convenience of being able to "one-stop" shop. This kind of pet business seems to be dominated by franchises, but it is still possible to start your own business from scratch. Such a business could also supply pet-related services as well, such as dog grooming. (Picture an in-house "dog spa", for example, surrounded by products.)

16) Pet Business Marketing

The key to success for many small businesses is to find and fill a niche market. Pet business marketing is an example of this. There are so many pet businesses now that it's possible to run a successful marketing business that caters to the needs of pet business owners exclusively. Fetching Communications, for instance, provides everything from blogging placement and social media through trade show campaigns exclusively for pet businesses since 2003.  If you have the marketing expertise, pet marketing might be the business you’ve been looking for.

17) Pet Portrait Business

And if you have artistic talent and love animals, you might start a pet business painting portraits of people's pets. Along these same lines, you might start a pet photography business if that's where your talents lie. I would think you would need a lot of patience during the sittings needed when you were working to portray an animal, too. Be that as it may, as people give their pets more and more importance in their lives, they seem to have an increasing need to commemorate them.

18) Veterinarian

Being a veterinarian is the original pet business. And nowadays, veterinarians are able to make good livings specializing in treating pets such as dogs and cats. The downside is that this is a business that requires years of training and, like being a human doctor, has strict accreditation and licensing requirements. How to Become a Veterinarian in Canada explains the details. If you’re interested in becoming a veterinarian, you may enjoy taking this Should You Become a Veterinarian Quiz (About.com Career Planning).

Is a Pet Business the Right Business for You?

To run a successful pet business, you have to love and be knowledgeable about the animals you're going to be working with, and in some cases, as you see from the descriptions of the businesses above, that involves years of specialized training.

But you also have to bear in mind that even that isn't enough. A pet business is just like any other small business; the key to success is choosing the right business for the right time and place. You may be a wonderful dog groomer, but if you live in a small town and there are already three dog grooming businesses operating there, you're going to have a tough time of it.

What Type of Business Should You Start? provides an easy-to-use guide to figuring out what kind of business is best for you.

And before you start a pet business, do the research and work through a business plan, just as you would for any other new business venture. My Business Plan Outline will lead you through the process.

Where to From Here

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