February 2, 2023
If you love animals and you have an entrepreneurial spirit, then it’s natural that you’ll explore ways to forge a business out of people’s pets.
Not only does it allow you to enjoy some time with some furry friends, there’s plenty to get excited about from a business perspective as well. According to Pet Keen, the UK’s pet owners now collectively spend around £8 billion on their animal companions every single year, from feeding them and keeping them healthy to pampering them and taking them on holiday.
So if you’re looking at setting up a profitable pet business, there are plenty of avenues to explore. This guide highlights some of the stand-out choices.
There are plenty of variables to consider and questions to answer when looking at setting up a pet-related business. For example: will you be coming into physical contact with the pets? Will you specialise in one particular animal (e.g. dogs or cats)? Are you targeting essential or discretionary pet spending? What types of insurance, registrations and qualifications do you need to operate legally and successfully?
How you address those questions will differ substantially depending on which business type you pursue. But to give you some initial inspiration, here are our choices of the most profitable pet business ideas:
Every dog needs regular exercise, but many busy working people just struggle to find the time to do it, especially in the winter when it’s dark when they get home from work. Professional dog walking is a simple way to lighten their load, and with minimal overheads and the ability to walk multiple dogs at the same time, can be extremely profitable.
Keeping a stylish, clean, well-turned-out pet is more popular than ever before, and the public is willing to spend big on quality pet care. Setting yourself up as a groomer is full of business options, whether you specialise in one animal, work as a mobile groomer at people’s homes, or deliver perfect finishes ready for competitions
Similar to the dog walking idea, many people are willing to pay to relieve themselves of the inconvenience of pet ownership, including if they want to go out for an evening or a weekend. Pet sitting can give them the peace of mind that their treasured animal is well cared for, either in their home or yours.
Whether it’s making them look fabulous or simply keeping them warm in the winter, there’s a sizeable market for pet clothing. If you have some design skills and you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can develop some original garments or even create one-off commissions, many of which can come with a premium price tag.
The world of treats has come on in leaps and bounds (no pun intended) in recent years, especially for dogs. There’s also a growing trend for people to apply their own dietary preferences to their pets, such as eating organic food as much as possible. Therefore, there’s big demand for pet treats that are both ethical and delicious.
Any proud pet owner will have lots of photos of their pet, whether on their desk, on the walls of their home or simply on their phone. But using a professional pet photographer can help them bring their animal’s image to life, either through portraits or out in the countryside. You could even take photos for marketing materials for other pet businesses.
Whether it’s a puppy who needs to learn the basics, or an older dog or rescue that needs some corrective help, there is always demand for quality dog training. If you can help make dogs more obedient with better temperaments, then you can not only enrich yourself, but also enrich owner’s relationships with their dogs.
Boarding and daycare
Not every holiday destination is pet-friendly, not to mention the difficulty and expense of taking animals on flights. The normal option is to put animals in kennels, but this can be extremely expensive. Setting yourself as a boarding house for individual pets can be cheaper, while making you good money from the comfort of your own home.
Pet-friendly travel agent
Connected to the previous point, there are some places that are ideal for holidays with pets, and you can be the person to help owners find them. Putting together holiday packages that are perfect for both pets and people can stand you out in the travel agency market, and is a service owners may well pay a premium for.
It’s perhaps one of the most old-fashioned ideas on the list, but you can’t beat a good pet shop. Even in the age of internet retail, many owners still want to check goods out in person before they buy, and get multiple items in one place. If you have some expertise, you can also give owners valuable advice on the best buys for them.
There are several different ways to approach a cafe with pets front-and-centre. One is to create a stopping point for dog owners on walks, with dog treats and food on sale alongside refreshment for humans. Another is to make pets the reason for visiting, such as a cat cafe where people can get some feline company while enjoying a coffee.
As this blog demonstrates, there are many options open to you if you want to start a business involving pets. However, whichever choice you make, one thing remains a constant: the need for comprehensive insurance cover to protect your enterprise if something goes wrong.
Protectivity provides full cover for thousands of pet businesses, including dog grooming insurance, starting from as little as £75 a year. Our policies include public liability; Care, Custody and Control; equipment cover; legal expenses, and can also include employers’ liability if you hire staff. Available through flexible monthly payment plans, our policies can give you peace of mind and vital protection without putting pressure on your bottom line.
Take a more detailed look at our pet business insurance policies here.