If you keep up with business or home business trends, you’ve probably noticed a flurry of recent articles about the pet industry. To summarise, an increasing number of people own an increasing number of pets. The statistics are astounding, both in terms of pet ownership and pet spending.
According to the APPMA (the American Pet Products Manufacturer’s Association), pet spending has more than doubled. And expenditures are not limited to necessities such as food or routine veterinary care.
According to the APPMA’s National Pet Owners Survey, 27% of dog owners and 13% of cat owners purchase birthday presents for their pets, while 55% of dog owners and 37% of cat owners purchase holiday presents for their pets. Pet spas and hotels, pet therapy, and expanding veterinary services such as joint replacement surgeries and delicate eye procedures are becoming more prevalent.
Baby boomers (those whose children have grown up) and young professional couples (who postpone having children in favour of careers) account for the majority of spending growth. They turn to pets to help fill the void and frequently regard their furry companion as a best friend or family member.
What does this mean for you personally?
Perhaps not much, unless you factor in the continued growth and popularity of self-employment and home-based businesses. Corporate downsizing, reduced pension plans or health care coverage, outsourcing, and the desire for financial independence are all compelling reasons for many people to consider starting a full- or part-time business.
This combination – a thriving pet industry and a desire for supplemental or replacement income – makes an examination of the pet industry worthwhile. After all, if you’re going to start a business, it makes sense to do so in an industry that is growing in popularity and demand.
Not that running a pet-related business requires you to work directly with animals. Alternatively, earn a degree in veterinary science. Or pay thousands of dollars in franchise fees to open a pet store. When you consider that many pet owners have above-average disposable incomes and full-time jobs, products or services that are not conventional can be surprisingly profitable.
For instance, if you enjoy working directly with cats, dogs, or small animals, dog grooming and pet sitting remain viable business opportunities. However, they are only the beginning. Consider pet photography, becoming a pet massage therapist, or raising one of the popular new crossbreeds such as Puggles or Labradoodles if you prefer less competition. A doggie day care facility may be enjoyable. There are even individuals who host pet parties to commemorate birthdays and other milestones such as graduation from obedience school!
However, even if you despise dogs or are allergic to cats, you can start a pet-related business. Bear in mind that modern pet owners spend a lot of money pampering their pets and making pet ownership more convenient.
As a result, you could sew designer dog clothes or designer dog carriers. You can meet an ongoing need for pet owners by starting a pet food delivery service or by starting a pooper-scooper business. You could write a newsletter about tropical fish care or create and sell dog houses.
It’s the purr-fect time to launch a pet business!