A side hustle or a new career
Easy to Start Pet Businesses
by Kelli Clevenger
Be Your Own Boss
Reinventing Your Career in Your 50s or 60s
It's a staggering number. The American Pet Products Association estimates that pet owners will spend over $60 billion on their pets in 2015. Owners love their pets and don't mind spending money on them. If you need extra income, or a new career, you can profit from pet ownership.
As the former owner of a pet grooming business, I know how profitable it can be. Most pet businesses require little or no education, are easy to learn, and only require three things: a love of animals, a strong desire to learn, and dependability. If you have those traits, a pet business might be your solution to extra income or permanent employment.
From experience, I can say that pet owners are always looking for reliable, trustworthy individuals to care for their pets. Those traits can be parlayed into different types of businesses. Selling pet products can boost income, too. If this sounds interesting, check out these ideas:
- Pet grooming - By shadowing other groomers and studying books and tutorials, pet grooming can be easily learned. By combining patience and practice, you can become a confident, trustworthy groomer. Get started by learning the basics and then practice, practice, practice. By practicing on pets of family members, friends, and those at local shelters, it's easy to get plenty of experience. When you feel confident, open your own business. It can even be a great home-based business. Some states may require certification, fees, or special permits; check with yours.
- Pet sitting - Many pet owners search for a dependable, trustworthy sitter. Pet sitting can be done in their home or yours. If you choose to sit in your home, it may require additional kennels, crates, and possibly outdoor fencing. If you already have existing fencing, that's a plus. A safe environment is a necessity when pets are in your care. Just remember that all pets need proper vaccinations to ensure the safety of others. Once pet owners trust you, they will return for repeat business.
- Pet bakery - If you love to bake, why not parlay that into homemade treats for your four-legged friends? While research is necessary to ensure safe ingredients, little else is needed. You can sell your yummy treats at flea markets, fairs, and festivals; you can even consider an online store. Only your imagination will limit the flavors and shapes you can bake.
- Pet jewelry - Love making jewelry? Then customize jewelry to reflect different breeds. By creating necklaces, bracelets, and earrings of favorite breeds, you can profit from the public's love of jewelry and pets. Just like pet treats, items can be sold at flea markets, fairs, festivals, and online. With a creative imagination and good skills, ideas are limitless.
- Do-It-Yourself pet grooming store - Yes, these can be profitable. Some pet owners love bonding with their pet during the grooming and bathing process; however, they don't enjoy messing up their home. Your facility would provide safe bathing options, grooming tables, clippers, cleaning products, etc. The pet owner pays a fee to use them. It's as simple as that. You're earning money without doing the hard work. Just know that it's hard work keeping the facility clean and free of bacteria. Make sure to implement safe cleaning practices to ensure the safety and health of pets and pet owners.
- Dog walking business - Many pet owners feel guilty leaving their pets for long hours each day. You can profit from that guilt. A strong leash, a good collar, and a good pair of walking shoes are all you need to get started. Post flyers everywhere to let folks know about your new venture. You can even distribute business cards to local vets, shelters, and pet stores. Charge by the hour or walk.
- Dog training - Do you have unlimited patience? Are you good at training your own pets? Then you may want to consider being certified as a pet trainer. Once certified, many pet owners will request that you come to their home to train in the pet's environment. Start-up cost is low and can be profitable if you're able to rid pets of problem habits.
While start-up costs can vary, many pet businesses can start small and grow over time. Each state may require different permits and fees, so check with your county and state offices before moving forward. Be aware that you may need insurance and/or bonding, too.
Your love of pets can boost your income, while giving you great satisfaction. With little training and low startup costs, pet related businesses are booming. By choosing the right pet business for your personal needs, you can easily boost your income and possibly find a new career.
Kelli is a freelance writer who lives on a small horse farm in the North Carolina foothills. She lives with her husband, horses, dogs, and bossy cats; her hobby is saving money.
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