Love animals? Interested in starting a business that caters to our furry companions? The good news is that there are plenty of great business ideas out there, and many of them are easy to start.
So, what should you choose? Well, there are mainly two types of businesses. Those involving products and those offering services. A product based business often requires more start-up capital, but a service business can be started cheaply.
If you need help pinpointing a pet business idea, then here are a few to consider.
Dog Waking Business
There are tons of dog lovers out there, and many of them are busy professionals. With the average American spending so much time at work, they simply don’t have time to walk their dogs as much as they’d like.
You can help ease this burden by offering your services. These owners will happily pay you good money to walk their pups. A dream come true!
Matt Bernard, owner of Mervinthechihuahua.com is a full-time dog walker, and he was kind enough to offer some advice on how to get started!
“Breaking in is the toughest thing here, but once you get your first few clients you’ll start getting word of mouth referrals! If I was starting fresh today, I’d start by making up some nice fliers and hanging them up at pet related businesses in town. You know, the vet’s office, pet stores, dog parks, etc. However, you can also use apps like Rover, or websites like Craigslist to make yourself known in your area.”
If you need help getting some graphics made, things like a logo, flyer designs, and business cards, then we’d recommend Canva. It’s a super easy to use app, and it’s great for small businesses that don’t have the funds for expensive customer designs.
Want to stay in nice houses while watching Netflix with cute dogs? Pet sitting could be for you. People who are away on business trips or on vacation are always looking for people to care for their pets.
Some of these deals will allow you to be a overnight lodger, but in some cases you’ll just come by to walk and feed the animals. In either case, it’s a great gig, and there are plenty of ways to get started.
Dog breeding has gotten a bad name thanks to low-budget backyard breeders that abuse their dogs, but there’s nothing wrong with preserving a breed if it’s done ethically.
The good news is that people are becoming more aware of why these breeders are bad, and they’re looking for an ethical breeder to purchase their pure bred dogs from, and that can be you!
Keep in mind though that this is not an easy of cheap business to start. Many states have strict registration requirements, and you’ll need a good deal of space and start up funds, not only for the dogs themselves, but for vet care, kennels, food, and other items you’ll need.
Don’t choose this unless you really, really love the breed which you’re considering and you have a good idea of the demand for the breed in your area.
Open a Pet Store
Before starting a physical pet store, it’s important to do a lot of market research. If you plan to offer basic pet products, then you’ll just get eaten alive by chain stores that can offer those products at lower prices than you.
However, if you focus on service and you can offer something that the big box stores can’t, then you might be able to survive. We’ve done another article detailing some ideas here.
However, an online store, particularly one focused on drop shipping can be a much lower risk opportunity. You should certainly consider it if you’re thinking of going this route.
Become a dog groomer
Dog grooming can be lucrative if you work for yourself, and if you love spending time with dogs, then it can be a great business to go into. However, if you’d like to get your foot in the door, then several big chain stores like PetSmart will offer you free training while you get paid!
If you have no experience, then it’s a good way to learn. You can then take that experience and money that you’ve earned to start your own grooming service and keep more of the profit for yourself.
Start a doggy bakery
Love baking? Well, you could work from home by starting an online doggy bakery! Pet parents have become more informed about what kind of stuff is in commercial dog foods and treats, and they don’t like it.
Today’s pet parent loves to spoil their fur baby, and they purchase all kinds of gourmet foods and treats. Plus, if you use a site like etsy to sell your wares, then most of your customers are already there.
However, you could also try to partner up with local pet shops and sell your goods there. Don’t approach chain stores though, they are unlikely to care about a small, local supplier.
Become a pet photographer
People love getting photos with their pets, and you can be the one to provide them! The best approach here would be to try to partner up with small pet stores, pet related charities, or other events. You can offer your services, and in the event of the charity, offer to make a donation if you can setup shop at their event.
After working your photographer magic, you can print and sell Christmas cards, wallet photos, and framed pictures to people of their animals. If you’ve got a partner to work with, then holiday photos are also popular, pets with Santa and the Easter bunny are always a fan favorite!
Rent out your animals
This is a bit of an odd one, but if you have animals that people would be interested in, then you can.. rent them. People rent ponies for parties all the time, but people also rent goats, pigs, sheep, etc for petting zoos, or even exotic animals for educational seminars at schools.
You’ll need the ability to transport your furry friends for this, but that’s do-able with a trailer and a vehicle capable of towing. Catering to birthday parties can be a great way to make money, and people love it. Just make sure that your animals don’t get too stressed in the presence of lots of little kids and give them plenty of breaks to relax.