Ok, I have to admit that when I decided to do this series of posts on Pet Businesses I really thought it would be a slam dunk easy thing to do. Well, today I can tell you that I was very wrong and that is why it took me two days to get the list put together.
As I started to do some research into what the current Top 20 Pet Businesses were I found myself drawn into the online marketing effort to sell people a turnkey pet business. That is a huge business all on its own!
I was amazed and at the same time horrified to see all the effort that was being put into convincing the poor hapless soul who stumbled across those sites that all a person needed to do was fork over several hundred to several thousand dollars and whalla! Instant pet business, complete with over priced merchandise and an ongoing contract to keep paying, and keep paying, and keep paying, for the privilege of chasing the dream and ending up broke. It was very sad.
I hope to save some of my readers from that fate, and if you are one of those who got sucked into that hype at sometime in the past, you have my sympathy because – yes, I have done it too.
But I’ve learned my lesson. Have you? Let’s explore some REAL pet business opportunities and discuss the possibilities for each of them.
For today I want to share the list I created during my search. I was taking into consideration both brick and mortar business models as well as a virtual store via a website.
Here is the list:
Dog Grooming – Full drop off service
Dog Trainer – Basic obedience, custom applications, service dogs, behavior modification, entertainment, pet actors, drug/bomb dogs, search and rescue, therapy dogs, aid dogs, protection dogs.
Dog Breeder / Kennel operator – Preferably NOT the backyard bred variety!
Gourmet Dog Treats – Prepare them, package them and then find buyers for them.
Custom Dog gifts – Manufacture of hide a treat bones, dog beds, dog toys, etc.
Dog accessories – The manufacture of collars, leashes, packs, harnesses, muzzles, ambulatory aids, etc.
Gifts for the Dog Lover – Wood crafts, candles, candy, drawings, jewelry, wall art, sculptures, metal art, magnets, vinyl products like decals & bumper stickers, etc.
Pet Supply Store – Franchises like PetCo., PetSmart, or the like.
Dog clothes – Booties, coats, sweaters, costumes, bows, ribbons… you get the idea.
Pet Photographer – In a studio or on location ie…dog shows.
Handler – Usually for conformation competitions, but I guess you could also think in terms of a police/military dog handler.
Pet Loss Prevention – Tattooing, micro-chipping, ID tag manufacture.
Pet Medical care – Massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, veterinary, holistic therapy, physical therapy, etc.
Boarding – Long term care, doggy day care, quarantine facilities, etc.
Dog Wash – Self service grooming facility.
Pet Food Supplier – Raw & custom diets, commercial reseller, home delivery service
Pet Cemetery – Urns, caskets, memorials/markers, plaques, etc.
Pet Rescue – Purebred dogs & cats, exotic pets, birds.
Pet Furniture – Custom designed scratching posts, beds, ramps, etc.
Taxidermy – Preserve your pet forever!
Pest elimination – Fleas do have a habit of returning again and again.
Dog Spa – Pampered Pooch type facility with all the bells and whistles.
Pet Waste Removal – A must have for city dwellers.
Invisible Fence Installer – Hey, this could be regular fences too I guess, if the specialty was escape proofing!
Security Dog Service – Not recommended for toy breeds, but hey – they sure can sound the alarm!
Mobile Pet Care – Service for seniors and disabled pet owners, spay neuter clinics, vaccine clinics.
- Breeder directory
- Pedigree database
- Advertising site (think classified ads)
- Paid information site (medical info usually)
- dog names, horoscopes and other fun stuff
- breed specific info sites
- Membership site
- Dog blog
- Retail site
- Consignment site
- Stock photo producer/seller
I think the list could actually keep going on and on. Every time I go to a dog show and walk thru the vendor area I see some new, extremely creative product or service that I never would have thought of in a million years, but boy would I like to have!
As for my experience with this list, let’s just say that I have taken a shot at 6 or 7 of them. I think most dog lovers have played around with making a business out of their hobby on more than one occasion. Some of these businesses, or services, I still provide to a certain degree.
I have taken what works for me and condensed it into a viable business model. Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and most importantly, willingness to learn, is paramount to finding a pet business model that will work for you.
Next let’s weigh some of the pros and cons of each item on the list and I’ll see if I can come up with some links for you for training programs for acquiring the skill set necessary to be successful in that business.
Until next time – here is my quote of the day…
Dogs are miracles with paws. ~Attributed to Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy