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Pet Business Ideas

written by: AlexisW•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 2/14/2010

Pet lovers who want to make a little money while working with animals may want to consider one of these pet business ideas. Opening a pet business can be great fun and financially rewarding as well, if you plan properly and come up with a good idea.

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    Startup Businesses for Animal Lovers

    The appropriate pet business for your situation depends on your skill level and qualifications. If you have the knowledge and ability to groom dogs or to create specialty products for dogs, you may be able to succeed in a pet business that is different from the ideal business for someone who just has a love of animals.

    Regardless of your skill level, there are pet business ideas that may be appropriate for any animal lover. However, like any business, you will need to have a sound business plan, ideas for marketing, and the skills to build up a customer base and manage a business.

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    Dog Walker or Pet Sitter

    Dog walking and pet sitting are perhaps the simplest pet-related business that any person can pursue. All that is required is the ability and desire to walk a dog or watch pets. While you may need licenses in some states and it is a good idea to become insured and bonded, the start up costs and skills associated with becoming a dog walker and pet sitter are relatively minimal.

    A dog walker goes to people's homes and walks their dogs. Dog walkers can do this while a person is at work, or on a more short term basis when the owners go on vacation.

    A pet sitter, on the other hand, babysits pets when their owners have to go out of town. Pet sitting may involve walking, but other pets besides dogs may also require babysitting, so walking is not always required. A pet sitter can either watch a pet in his own home, or watch a pet in his client's home. The specific requirements associated with each pet sitting job may vary, but the requirements generally include feeding the animal and engaging in some interaction with the animal so it does not get lonely.

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    Pet Product Sales

    Pet product sales is a vast field. Pets need a lot of different products, from food to beds and toys and treats. Many Americans treat their pets almost like children, buying Christmas and birthday gifts for their pets in addition to caring for their pets' basic needs. There is a lot of room to capitalize on this by getting into the business of selling pet related items.

    You can choose a specialty niche if you want to make your business stand out- for example, perhaps making homemade dog or cat food and selling it to pet-parents who are nervous about commercial food- or open a general purpose pet-supply store. However, remember, in either of these cases, this is a sales business primarily and a pet-related business secondarily. If you aren't good at or interested in sales, one of the other pet-related businesses may be best for you.

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    If you have the skills and supplies, pet grooming is another popular pet-related business. You can open a mobile grooming service and go to people's homes, or create a permanent shop and groom pets on site. Pets may need to be shampooed, have haircuts, be brushed, or have their nails trimmed, among other things. These all take special talent, but the services are much in demand by pet owners.

    Some large pet stores also offer a service where they provide space for owners to come in and wash their own pets. If you have the space to set this up and the understanding of how to create a safe bathing station, this may be an alternate idea for a grooming business that requires less technical know-how on your part.

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    Choosing a Business

    The appropriate pet business for you depends on what type of animals you want to work with and what your skill level is. There are a number of different ways you can work with pets and make a good living, so make sure to consider your ideas carefully when deciding on which pet business is best and most lucrative for you.

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