Pet ownership, and particularly dog ownership, continues to grow in numbers. More and more people keep adopting dogs and cats all across America, according to statistics. Other countries follow suit: United Kingdom, Germany, Europe and Asian countries. As such, now companies are coming up with more dog business ideas to launch into the atmosphere.
But it's not just big corporations that focus on new dog business ideas. Plenty of dog owners who are simply pet-loving business-minded people begin to search for ways to become “petpreneurs” and start their own dog related businesses.
It's a great idea, and we have plenty of advice for new dog business owners on how to launch and maintain their entrepreneurial canine ventures.
If you're just thinking of starting a dog business and still have no idea what exactly you wish to do, don't fret. In the below list of best dog business ideas for new petpreneurs, I'm going to list ten of the most common and profitable ways to easily start a dog business, and how to do it right.
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10 Great Dog Business Ideas for Petreneurs
1 Dog Walking Business
It is estimated that over 60% of families these days have both parents working at least part time; that is a lot of dogs being left unattended for long periods of time during the day or evening.
That doesn't even include all the single dog parents out there that work outside the home. It is no secret that it is not good to leave a dog home all day long without being let out, fed, or walked.
We've asked a dog walker on a few aspects of this dog business idea:
That leaves a huge potential market of customers that will likely be willing to pay to have these services provided for them, making dog walking one of the best dog business ideas. A dog walking business, when done on a small scale, could generate customers easily with either word of mouth or a few strategically placed flyers.
There are also very few startup costs associated with this dog business idea. If you're interested in learning more, read our column How to Start a Dog Walking Business. It is a great resource to learn about what goes into the planning for a dog walking business, how to get your business off the ground, and tips to make it successful.
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2 Dog Grooming Business
The dog population growing rapidly means there are many potential customers to establish a successful dog grooming business virtually anywhere.
Long hair breeds need to be cut and trimmed on a regular basis, and even short haired breeds need their nails trimmed, teeth cleaned, and other areas of the body properly taken care of.
Dog grooming is not only essential for our furry four legged friends, but it is also important to maintain the cleanliness of any home a dog resides in. Pet hair and dander can be a source of illness and allergies if it is allowed to build up in a home.
Likewise, dog grooming businesses are easy to advertise because every dog requires grooming from time to time. Learning about how dog groomers groom dogs would be the first step towards understanding this dog business idea and where to start.
One thing that anyone who wants to start a dog grooming business must be aware of is that it may require permits in certain areas. Also the groomer may be required to have a license or certificate in order to legally do the job or establish credibility for the business.
If you're seriously considering this as one of your dog business ideas, check out our column How to Start a Dog Grooming Business for more information on what it will take to get your grooming business up and running.
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3 Doggy Daycare Business
For some of those families with nobody home for extended periods of time, it’s not enough for them just to have their pets walked.
For those that can afford it, they would much prefer to have their beloved dogs taken care of throughout the day with full time supervision at any of the dog daycare businesses.
Placing your dog into an obedience training school too provides an excellent opportunity for someone to start a doggy daycare business if there is a need for it in their area.
This is the type of dog business that can be done on either a large or small scale. Of course to start a large doggy daycare it may also take a significant amount of money to build or prepare a facility to accommodate the larger number of dogs.
If space allows, and your neighbors don't mind the barking, you can open at home, but you will need lots of room both indoors and out. You may be better off renting a commercial warehouse space and converting it into a dog daycare facility.
A dog day care business is not to be confused with a kennel, which boards pets for short- and long-term time spans. A doggy day care is strictly a drop off in the morning and pick up in the afternoon or evening type of operation.
Think of it just like you would think of a daycare for human children. Many doggy daycares are complete with water features, indoor couches, and fenced in space outdoors to ensure their clients have all the comforts of home.
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4 Dog Supplies and Dog Treat Stores
This is one of the dog business ideas that will take quite a bit of overhead, but could also earn a large profit if setup in the right area.
I'm not talking about your traditional pet store. This is a toy and treat store that specializes in items for dogs only.
Many people treat their dogs as if they are their children or part of the family; a lot of time they will spare no expense when it comes to their canine companions.
A specialty item store for dogs would sell things like all natural healthy dog treats, custom and team logo collars, and even such crazy things as warm clothes and doggy beach wear. Startup costs will typically be higher for this type of business because you'll not only need to rent a commercial space, but you'll also have to pony up the cash for the all the items in your initial inventory.
However, the item markup in a specialty store for dogs will generally be higher too, because the items are not commonly sold everywhere. Therefore, if you select a good location for your business you are sure to yield a good profit, which is why I included dog specialty stores on my list of the best dog business ideas.
A dog specialty retail store will need to be located in an urban area where there is a lot of commercial exposure. It will also have to be located in an area with lots of dog owners, or somewhere that there are a lot of tourists and travelers looking for unique items.
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5 Dog Sitting Business
Dog sitting is not the same as kenneling dogs and it’s done on a much smaller basis.
Everyone needs to go away on vacation or have a few days off from time to time and often when they do they cannot take their pets with them, according to pet sitters.
Many people do not like the idea of kenneling there pet, so a live in, or in your own home, pet sitting service fills this void nicely and can be done with little startup expense.
Typically a dog sitter will work with someone they are already connected with by word of mouth or networking for trust reasons. Not only are they trusting you with their dog, they may also be trusting you to enter their home to feed and care for other pets, water plants, bring in the mail, or any other small task they will require while they are away.
Some owners prefer to leave their dog at your house, but some are interested in hiring a pet sitter/house sitter to care for their home while they are out of town as well. Pet sitting has been growing very fast in the US and many owners are looking to start this business.
Remember that as a pet sitter it is your job to care for an animal as if it was your own. The reason his owners aren't leaving their dog at a kennel is because they want him to be comfortable and be treated the same way he is at home. The dog may want to snuggle on the couch with you or sleep in your bed at night if that is what he is used to at home.
Ask a Dog Sitter: Dog Sitting Rates & Dog Sitter Salary
6 Doggie Chauffeur
Not only are people absent from their home and cannot walk and feed their dogs sometimes, but they may also have no free time to get their dogs to such things as grooming and veterinary appointments.
People are often willing to pay someone good money to take their pet to these, and other, services to get his needs taken care of without interrupting the owners busy schedule.
This is another one of the dog business ideas that wouldn't require a lot of startup capital. As long as you have a license and a vehicle, you would only need to pay for your insurance (which you would need to pay for anyway) and the extra money for gas. You should also add pet coverage to your car insurance in the event of an accident.
If you are located in an urban area, you may even be able to walk some dogs to their appointments, depending on their location of course, and that would save you some expenses. It may sound silly, but doggy chauffeur services are becoming more popular in major cities all around the U.S.
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7 Dog Training Business
There are many different ways to create a successful dog training business, which is why it is one of the best dog business ideas for new entrepreneurs.
For more in depth information you can check out our column How to Start a Dog Training Business where we'll get into details on where to start and what to do first.
There you'll find tips about getting your business started, how to write your business plan, and how to make your training business successful.
You can choose to train dogs yourself or work with owners to teach them how to train their dog. Either way, you will need an area with sufficient space both indoors and out. Quality dog training is a service that some owners will travel to find, so if you're not located in a densely populated area you may still be able to have a successful training business.
Dog trainers do need special certifications and have to meet licensing guidelines for their city or state. Make sure that you are prepared to designate the time it will take to get the proper training before you decide that this is one of the dog business ideas that is right for you.
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8 Pooper Scooper Service
Believe it or not, you can actually make a living by cleaning up dog waste. This is an easy business to start. All it requires is a small investment and the knowledge of a few key pieces of equipment.
This is one of the rare dog business ideas that does not require any special skills or training.
Basically, if you can handle a shovel and plastic bags, and can put up with less than aromatic smells, you're qualified to run a pooper-scooper service. If not, you could still cash in on this booming industry by marketing and managing the service while hiring other people to do the dirty work.
Dog waste is detrimental to the health of a lawn, so many pet owners like to have it scooped and taken away. If you want to get into this business, make sure you have the right set of equipment and research the area you're getting into.
For busy dog parents or families with multiple dogs, this can be very time consuming, and they would rather have a pooper scooping service come clean it for them. Some dog businesses even offer other similar services, like lawn treatments to prevent urine burns.
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9 Dog Photography Business or Service
I can't imagine a business that would be more rewarding and fun than operating a dog photography service. Pet photography in general has gone big, with many photographers specializing specifically in dogs.
Unfortunately, I have no photography skills to speak of, but if you do and you love pets, then why not? Not only is dog photography one of the best dog business ideas, I would have to say it would be one of the most fun.
If dogs are your passion you can certainly specialize in photographing them, but broadening your business to all pets may help bring in more business. Owners of dogs, cats, horses, birds, reptiles, and even fish could all be potential customers. Dog owners aren't the only pet owners who are passionate about their animals, you know?
There are a lot of options when considering pet photography as one of your dog business ideas. You can provide the service in a studio, at certain public locations, or even as a mobile service in the owner's home.
You can create unique photos by livening things up with themed backdrops, pet costumes, and family photos that include their pets. The more fun you have with it and the more unique photos you capture, the more likely you are to get repeat business.
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10 Dog Clothing and Dog Accessories
Americans spend more than $30 billion every year on their pets, and lots of money can be earned by designing, making, and selling clothes and accessories for dogs.
Sweaters and rain jackets are some of the top sellers, but dog lovers are beginning to look for more unique fashions for their furry friends. Doggy hats, shirts, amazing dog booties, goggles, glasses, and scarves are quickly becoming very popular.
You'll need a lot of skills to get started with this business idea including design skills, sewing skills, and knowledge of the materials and equipment that you'll have to use. You'll also need to be dedicated, because this business idea won't sell itself like some of the others.
You'll need to be willing to get out and pitch your designer dog fashions to pet shop retailers, groomers, and other retail outlets that may be interested in stocking your products.
Getting started online would also be another great way to get your name out in this particular industry. If you can prove sales and show that your designs are popular with consumers, it may help you establish wholesale accounts with independent pet shop retailers. A doggy clothing business could take a while to grow, but if you're talented and you stick with it you'll have a great chance of succeeding.
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