What do you get when you cross entrepreneurial spirit with a love for animals? Pet business ideas.
For those who love to work with animals and also want to start a business, there’s nothing better than combining a passion with a way to make a lucrative—and fulfilling—career.
Of course, launching a business and making it profitable takes a lot of hard work. But when you get to work on something you love, the process goes a lot more smoothly. Consider these pet business ideas to find the one that best speaks to your interests.
1. Pet sitting
While pet sitting was once an after school job for teens, it’s grown into much more. Many pet owners want a customized, boutique experience for their animals while they’re away. Not only is pet-sitting a fun business to operate because you get to interact with animals daily, but it’s also a low-cost business to start and operate.
One of the first things you should do when learning how to start a pet sitting business is to refine your offerings. You might specialize in pet sitting for animals that need extensive care or carve out a niche where you only take care of cats.
2. Animal boarding
Many people choose to board their animals while they travel so they get to interact with other animals and people while they’re away. Boarding facilities have started extending their services and offerings, creating luxury pet hotels instead of bare-bones boarding centers.
By offering more and better services, boarding facilities are also charging higher prices. Some animal boarding businesses have extended their offering to not just full-day services while people are out of town, but to also include doggy daycare services for those who work long hours.
3. Dog training
Many people love their animals but work long hours which makes it difficult to provide education and training. That’s where a dog training service comes in.
With a low-cost startup and minimal tools needed, you can start a dog training business with very little cash on hand. While not required, it can help to build your credibility with customers by having a professional dog training certification.
One of the benefits of this type of business is that you don’t need office space. You can train dogs at your home, at your clients’ homes, or by partnering with a pet store or boarding facility. There’s also a lot of flexibility in what services you can offer as a dog trainer. You might offer group lessons, private lessons, or to train dog owners on how to train their own dogs.
4. Dog walker
One of the many reasons that people love dogs is the pure joy in which they celebrate life. While most everything makes dogs happy, there are few things they like better than taking a walk.
When you start a dog walking business, you get paid to make dogs happy, get exercise, and spend time outside. While rainy days make the job a little bit harder, in general starting a dog walking business is mostly enjoyable.
5. Doggy daycare
For dog parents who work long hours but still want to provide their dogs with an enriching, fulfilled life, there’s doggy daycare. Doggy daycare centers let dog owners drop off their furry friends in the morning and then pick them back up in the evening. During the day while the owners are working, the doggy daycare center provides fun, games, walks, feeding, and outside time for the dogs.
If you’re looking for just the right pet business idea, it’s important to note that this is one idea that will require some startup funding. A doggy daycare requires land, a building, and equipment to outfit the facility. Many doggy daycare facilities offer a premium experience with outdoor space, health check-ups, toys, and cameras so owners can see what their dogs are doing while they’re away.
6. Poop scooping
While this is a job that no one really wants to do, it is a pet business idea. Getting this business started is pretty simple; you’ll need shovels, waste containers, a vehicle for transporting, and an approved disposal site.
If you choose this type of business as your pet business idea, don’t limit yourself to just working with residential customers. Make sure to explore all the options by offering your services to dog parks, boarding facilities, doggy daycare centers, and vet clinics.
7. Social media pet personality
From Grumpy Cat to Lil Bub to Marnie to Jiffpom—there are numerous social media accounts dedicated to animals that have become famous. Many of these accounts are written as if the animal in question is speaking to the reader. With enough followers, you can start monetizing your account through sponsored content, ads, and more.
So, if you have the social media skills and think you can turn your pet’s inner monologue into a business, then this could be a creative and fun business idea.
8. Grooming services
One of the many aspects of pet ownership is ensuring that pets are well-groomed. Grooming services can include bathing, hair trims, breed-specific styling, and nail trims. One of the benefits of grooming services as a pet business idea is that there are a number of ways to start this type of business.
You can start your grooming business as an independent contractor who works with established salons and builds experience. You could then invest in your own salon space or a customized truck which would then become your mobile grooming business.
9. Pet toy designer
If there’s one thing pet owners love to do, it’s spoil their pets. If you’re creative and have a love for crafting, you could start a business creating toys for animals. While most people jump to dogs and cats when they think of toys, there’s a wide range of animals that interact with toys. In addition to making toys, you could consider making habitats.
10. Animal blogger and expert
For those with a knack for writing and some knowledge about animals, the pet business idea for you may be blogging. One of the best parts about starting a blogging business is that you can do it from anywhere.
By writing great articles, you can gain followers and become an affiliate marketer. Bloggers generally make money by endorsing products and providing readers with a link to purchase. Once people make a purchase, the blogger gets a small percentage of the money. Ads and sponsored content are other ways you can monetize your blog.
11. Pet photographer
Pets aren’t just cohabitants in our homes. Many people consider their pets family, like small furry children. As family, pets’ lives are often documented through photoshoots. By combining a love of animals with a skill for photography, you’ve got another pet business idea. Being a pet photographer is a low-cost business to start, but it will require patience if you want to capture the unique personality of each pet you work with.
12. Pet transportation
While many of the pet business ideas on this list are new developments in recent years, this one is still on the cutting edge. All you need to start a pet transportation business is a reliable vehicle, various sizes of pet crates, and the drive to find customers.
13. Pet travel agent
This might sound like a crazy pet business idea, but you might just be surprised how often this type of service is needed.
A pet travel agent can help people who travel a lot or are moving to take their pets with them and make it a peaceful, seamless experience. A pet travel agent could make recommendations on how to make the trip easier for animals, care items you’ll need for long journeys, pet-friendly recommendations, rules for crossing borders, and handle documentation to allow your pet to legally travel with you and enter foreign countries.
14. Pet treats bakery
Dogs and cats love treats as much as any human. If you have a skill for baking, the right pet business idea for you just might be to learn how to start a bakery and sell treats for pets. Your bakery can be run out of a storefront or from your home kitchen, depending on what’s right for you.
15. Online pet expert
If you’re knowledgeable about pet health, maintenance, training, happiness, or any other aspect of raising an animal, you could become an online pet expert. You have several platform options for this business idea, including blogging, a podcast, or YouTube channel.
16. Boutique pet toy store
If you have previous experience in retail and are looking for a pet business idea, you might be interested in opening a boutique pet store. Your pet store can source the best items for animal lovers from toys, to accessories, to food. You can operate your business out of a brick-and-mortar store or entirely online.
17. Pet accessories designer
Pet owners want to bedeck their pets in unique accessories that fit their style and personality. If you’ve got an eye for fashion, you may choose to become a pet accessory designer. If you’re crafting, you can hand-make and sew your designs or you can source items pre-made and customize them for each order.
18. Animal trainer
While most people think only of dogs when they hear animal trainer, most animals can be trained. If you work well with a number of animals, you can offer your services as a trainer. Many people with pets want to be able to take their pets to different places and to ensure they’ll behave appropriately. Becoming an animal trainer is a great business idea for animal lovers.
19. Cat cafe operator
The only thing that can make a local cafe better is cats. Grab a cup of coffee and snuggle a cat at the same time. Recently, cat cafes have been popping up around the country. Some of these cafes are independent operators, while others work with local humane societies to get cats adopted.
20. Pet finder
Pets are family. When they go missing, it’s distressing for the entire family. If you’re good at finding lost things, you could specialize in helping people to find their lost pets. As a pet finder, you’ll not only work to find missing pets, but you’ll help families to become whole again.
21. Pet funeral provider
Just as people spoil their pets in life, they spoil them in death. Many people are now opting to provide their pets with funerals. Don’t believe it? The industry made $100 million in 2016. Providers offer cremation or burial for pets, depending on what the owner wants.
22. Pet masseuse
While many of these pet business ideas focus on meeting the basic needs of animals, there’s also those that go above and beyond. Some animal lovers are now investing in massages for their pets. If you want to start a business that offers pet massages or any other type of spa-like treatment, you’ll likely need special training and a certification, so keep these things in mind.
23. Pet supply store
While there are many specialty stores out there for pet accessories or baked goods, there’s also the traditional pet supply store. If you’re looking for a pet business idea, opening a pet supply store allows you to become a one-stop-shop for pet owners. Anything they might need, you carry and sell.
24. Animal whisperer
Some pet owners notice behavior changes in their animals after a move or a traumatic incident. Getting to the bottom of the behavior change can be difficult, especially if the animal has become destructive. If you’re good at understanding animals, becoming a pet whisperer could be just the right pet business idea for you.
25. Pet marketing
Combine a knowledge for marketing with a business idea for animal lovers and you’ve got pet marketing. A pet marketing business is simply a niche of marketing. You can start a marketing business that works only with brands that make products for pets. Before you open your business, be sure you know everything you can about social media marketing for small business.
This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.