Top Pet Business Ideas

Doggie day care owner with dog
Doggie day care owner with dog. Hero Images/Getty Images

Do you want to start a pet business but can't decide which one would be the best option for you? Here are some possibilities that could be a great fit:

Pet Sitting

Pet sitting is a popular business with very low overhead since your expenses are limited to travel and advertising costs. Pet sitters visit client homes several times each day to provide routine pet care such as feeding, giving medication, taking dogs on walks, and cleaning litter boxes.

You can start the business yourself and hire additional employees as your client list grows. You can also combine pet sitting with other services. 

Dog Training

Dog training is another business that has a low start-up cost.  While formal education is not required, a dog trainer usually benefits from having professional certification (which can enhance their reputation and be highlighted in promotional materials). Dog trainers can train dogs in a variety of locations including client homes, pet stores, boarding facilities, and obedience schools. Private or group lessons may be offered. Dog trainers can also specialize in particular areas of training (like agility, obedience, or teaching herding commands).

Dog Boarding

Dog boarding is a more costly start-up than some other pet businesses since a kennel facility must be acquired, but this business definitely has the potential to offer solid financial returns.

Small boarding businesses can be run by one or two owners as a family business, but larger facilities will need to hire full or part time help. Boarding facilities can range from traditional set-ups (with cages and runs) to luxury “pet hotels” with private rooms (featuring beds and TVs).  Some overnight boarding kennels also offer doggie day care services.

Doggie Day Care

Doggie day care has become extremely popular over the last few years, and this business has the advantage of operating during regular weekday business hours (with no overnight or weekend customers). This can be a big perk for pet industry pros looking to have their evenings and weekends free for family or social commitments. Newer day care facilities often feature group play areas, splash pools, and wi-fi video monitoring that can be accessed by owners. Zoning restrictions in some areas allow smaller home-based doggie day cares, though most operate out of commercial facilities.

Grooming

Dog grooming is a great business for those with the practical skill to successfully complete a variety of breed-specific cuts. Mobile dog grooming businesses, operated out of specially modified vans, have become increasingly popular. Groomers may also operate as independent contractors within an established salon (paying rent to the storefront owner for use of their individual grooming station).

Pet Taxi

Pet taxi services are a relatively new entry in the pet business world but they are very affordable to start. All a pet taxi service provider needs is a reliable vehicle, several pet travel crates in different sizes, a daily planner, and a cell phone.

This is a great business for those who like to work a flexible schedule.

Pooper Scooper

Pooper scooper businesses aren’t for everyone, but you will be well compensated if you can handle the mess. Demand for scooper services has grown exponentially in recent years. To start a pooper scooper business you need basic equipment (such as rakes and shovels), waste containers, a vehicle, and access to an approved disposal site or dumpster. Scooper services may do business with residential customers, vet clinics, boarding kennels, and dog parks.

Dog Walking

Dog walking has always been one of the most popular pet service businesses. Walkers also have low overhead costs, with travel and advertising being the primary expenses. This is the best pet business for individuals that like to exercise, but you have to be prepared to work in varying temperatures and changing weather conditions.

Pet Bakery

A pet bakery business can be operated out of a physical retail location or through a website. Demand for gourmet pet treats is strong, and this is a business that potentially can be started and developed at home before investing in an expensive retail storefront. Popular items at pet bakeries may include gift baskets, pet birthday cakes or cupcakes, and personalized treats.

Pet Boutique

Pet boutiques have to compete with the national chain retailers, but it is possible to carve out a niche in the local pet market. This is another business that can either operate out of a retail location or through a website, depending on how much money you want to invest up front. Many successful boutiques offer products that can be customized at the client’s request (such as pet bedding, engraved pet tags, and gift baskets).