Pet owners are spending lots of money on their loved dogs and cats and this is expected to continue to increase at double-digit growth rates in the years to come. In the United States alone 2018 saw spending on pets exceed $72 billion. So, why are we spending so much on our pets? One of the reasons is that more and more people consider their pets to be family members and, as such, are going all out on quality food, toys, treats, pet services, medical care, and medication. Also, millennials now make up the majority of pet owners and are more willing (than older adults) to spend on their loved furry friends.
The $72 billion dollars spent on pets in 2018 breaks into 5 major categories as follows:
|Category||Spend (Billions)||% of Total|
|Pet Services: Grooming/Boarding||$6.47||9%|
As a result of this spending, pet businesses are popping up everywhere. Pet owners will do anything for their pets so if you’re looking to start a new business, check out some of these options.
1 – Dog Day Care
Dogs are social creatures and typically prefer to interact with other dogs than be left alone at home all day. Dog owners love the idea of having a fun place to bring their dogs and also getting a break when they need to work or run errands. Dog Day Care is not the same as a kennel or boarding facility (although they may provide that service). Typically, this is for the day only and can charge $15 to $35 per day. You can open a Dog Day Care business in your own home (if you have the space) but you’d be better served leasing a warehouse type facility that can be converted into a doggy spa.
2 – Pet Clothing and Accessories
If you’re the creative type, you might come up with your own line of pet clothing and accessories. These can be offered via the big pet stores, in pet boutiques, and/or on your own web site. This type of business does not require big up-front expenditures and can provide a good source of income. Pricing of your products will vary but expect to be able to mark-up your product at a rate of 4 times your cost.
3 – Dog Walking Service
Similar to ‘Dog Day Care’, Dog Walking Services are popping up everywhere. The big difference is that you don’t need a facility to house the dogs. Overhead costs are very low because you will typically pick up the dog at its’ residence. Expect to charge between $20 to $30 for a 30 minute walk or $30 to $45 for 2 walks a day.
4 – Dog Training
Dog obedience training is currently a multimillion-dollar market and is growing by double-digits annually. A dog training school can easily be opened in your own home (if you have the indoor and outdoor space) and can also be done at the dog owner’s home. While trainers are not required to be certified, more and more are getting certified. This not only provides you with the proper skills for this service but is also a big marketing benefit as dog owners (more often than not) are looking for certified trainers. Rates for training range from $30 to $50 per hour.
5 – Pet Photography
If you have great photography skills, another option is to open a pet photography business. This is another business that can be operated out of your own home. You can also offer a mobile service where you visit pet homes or even make a deal with a local pet shop to work out of their facility. Pet owners love pictures of their pets and you could make it fun by dressing up pets, offering unique backdrops, or doing movies with special effects. You could also offer the pictures on various media including key tags, mugs, greeting cards, or t-shirts.
6 – Pet Tech
Pet Tech products have really started to hit the market in a big way. With the advent of the ‘smart-home’, products like activity collars, GPS trackers, intelligent pet feeders, and pet toys are becoming more and more popular. Pet owners are looking for things that can provide peace-of-mind and convenience and Pet Tech is answering that need. So, if you’ve got a great idea, an engineering background, and the business savvy to get a Pet Tech company off the ground, give it a shot. You’ll need a significant amount of capital to bring a product idea to market so if you don’t have a million dollars handy, expect to work your network of friends, family, and angel investors. Skills needed for a Pet Tech business include: software development, industrial engineering, hardware engineering, manufacturing, and promotions/marketing.
Pet businesses not only can be a good source of income, they can also be lots of fun and fulfill the needs of pet-loving people. Whether you do this part-time for supplemental income or full-time as your main source of income, running a pet business can provide just the thing you are looking for.