Life is too short to spend a third of your waking life at a job you hate, or trying to please a boss who doesn’t appreciate you. If you love dogs and can’t imagine anything better than starting your own dog-centric business, here’s the top-ten reasons why your canine obsession could actually be a super smart career move:
Click to jump to the each section:
- 10. Choice
- 9. Low Barrier To Entry
- 8. Aging & Overweight
- 7. Mature Market: Ripe For Innovation
- 6. Petpreneurship Is On The Rise & So Are The Communities That Support Petpreneurs
- 5. Digital Is On The Rise: Be Mobile, Sell Online!
- 4. Go Dog Franchise
- 3. More Room For Profit!
- 2. The Pet Industry Is Recession-Proof
- 1. Work With Dog!
- View & Share infographic
There are some many #workingwithdog businesses, you are sure to find a profession that suits your needs, skills and budget.
Here are 10 of the most popular routes to petpreneurship:
- Dog Training
- Dog Walking / Doggy Daycare /Dog sitting
- Dog grooming / Dog wash
- Dog Waste Pickup
- Dog Photography / Art
- Dog Wellness
- Dog Product Maker
- Dog Boutique / Retailer
- Dog Food / Dog nutrition
- Dog Media /Publisher / Blogger
9. Low barrier to entry
Many (but not all) dog jobs have a very low barrier to entry – in other words, it’s really easy and affordable to just start! In addition to basic ambition, hustle and perseverance there are:
5 basic essentials to start most pet businesses:
- Professional Services: Bookkeeper / Accountant / Lawyer
Start out on the right paw, and make sure that you get your legal + financial house in order from the word go. I suggest hiring a bookkeeper to hold you accountable if you struggle with the financial stuff – a lawyer to review your contracts if that’s a significant part of your business. You can get help starting your business, advice on which expenses are deductible etc. This can be the least fun part, but probably the most critical!
In any business it is critical to get yourself covered, but this is exceptionally important when you’re working with animals. Be sure both you, anywhere dogs will be with you (your shop/car/home) are insured.
- Professional Training / Certification
Each of these professions will require at least a basic investment in skills. There may or may not be a formal certification process, but plan to invest in education, coaching, tool kits and support to ensure that the service you’re providing is safe and adheres to any rules/regulations. This education process can also help save you costly mistakes!
- Business license / Regulatory Body Sign-Off
Make sure that you get your basics in order. Do you need special permissions to have animals at your location? Do you need a business license, health certificate etc.? Make sure you do your due diligence to ensure you’re playing by all the rules.
- Brand Pack
It is SO much easier, wiser and ultimately less expensive to start your business by establishing a BRAND. You do not need to invest a lot in boutique design – but be PURPOSEFUL about your name (aim to be different – avoid words like paw, leash, mutt etc. – dare to be unique!) and spend some time on your visual aesthetics (you can always buy nice templates from Creative Market or freelancers on Upwork)When you launch be sure at a minimum you have: a simple website, social media accounts (facebook, twitter, instagram), and a business card.
8. Aging & Overweight
Approximately 45% of dog owners have a dog aged 7 or older, 52% of dogs in the U.S. are obese. This growing population of ailing pets means there more opportunities to help them!
Consider one of these dog jobs to support aging and overweight pets:
Dog Physio / Massage / T-Touch
Products for Aging + Overweight Dogs – supplements, lifestyle products/ tools
Dog Trainers & Veterinarians – prescribing nutrition / dog fitness programs
Dog Charities – matching rescue dogs with humans who need more activity
Fitness or Dog Professionals offering ‘Fit with Fido’ programs
Dog Walkers / Doggy Daycare / Pet Sitters – Doggy Fat Camp
A touching story of a man and his dog finding and saving each other. Grab the tissues!
P.S. There is also expected to be a surge in small dog ownership in the U.S. as the human population ages – along the same lines of aging + overweight dogs – what could you offer especially for small dogs?
7. Mature Market: Ripe for innovation
If you have a million dollar idea, it’s a great time to get funding for it. Just this week it was announced that dog startup Whistle (the ‘fitbit for dogs’) has been acquired by Mars for a cool 117 Million.
If you have dog problem solving, or disruptive pet-related invention – there has never been a better time to act on it!
6. Petpreneurship is On the Rise & so are the Communities that Support Petpreneurs
Here are a Few
Dog Walking /Pet Sitting:
Pet Product Manufacturers
Pet Health & Wellness
Dog Food / Nutrition
Dog Media /Publishing / Blogging
5. Digital Is On the Rise: Be Mobile, Sell Online!
Ecommerce is trending – which means most businesses don’t necessarily need a physical location (and all the costs/risks associated with it).
There are 86.9 million pet-owning households in the United States (2023), spending $136.8 billion on their pets in 2022. It is estimated that online retailing will continue to be a growing percentage of this booming business, especially where product reviews/ results are available;
“Discretionary dollars are being allocated to solutions that deliver observable benefit, as consumers prioritize outcomes over marketing claims” – Bryan Jaffe, Cascadia Capital
In addition to ecommerce – there are booming opportunities for creating results and value for consumers: teaching online courses, operating mobile grooming salons, creating premium in-home businesses – all of which offer better value to the customer AND cost less than the overheads of a physical location.
4. Go Dog Franchise
If you don’t want to go-it alone or start from scratch or you have a bit of cash you’d like to invest in a proven business model – purchasing a franchise can be a time-saving option.
5 Great Dog Franchise Opportunities for $40k or less:
- CityDog Magazine
Publish your own profitable Dog Lifestyle Magazine
- Zoom Room
Run a fun Dog and People Training Business
Be the boss of your very own state-of-the-art Doggy Daycare
- Fetch Pet Care
Start your own proven Dog Walking / Pet Sitting Business
- Three Dog Bakery
Be the chef at your own doggy bakery + retail shop
3. Pet Parents + Disposable income = Increased Demand for Premium Products = More Room For Profit!
Thanks to a rise in the emergence of ‘pet parents’ with disposable income, the demand for premium products & services are on the rise (which is good news if you’re hoping to create organic biscuits, open a doggy day spa or generally make or use high-quality products).
Over 16 million dog owners report that they are more attached to their dogs than to their best friend, and 5.4 million are as attached to their dog as to their spouse.
An estimated 1 million dogs in the United States have been named the primary beneficiary in their owner’s will!
A survey of over 1,000 people on www.akc.org found that more than 96% of respondents with a taste for gourmet coffee would give up their latte habit to save money for their dog’s expenses.
The trend of humanizing our dogs is leading to exponential pet industry creation and expansion worldwide, this ‘Pets as Kids’ revolution is driving economic growth in China, India, Russia, Latin America, Japan and Vietnam.
2. The Pet Industry is Recession-Proof
Growth in the sector is derived both from increasing pet ownership as well as from increased spending per pet. Indeed, the pet industry is the seventh largest retail industry in the U.S., exceeding the jewelry, candy, toy and hardware industries. Moreover, after consumer electronics, pet care is the fastest growing category in retailing, expanding about 6% a year.
The pet industry continues to prove itself recession-proof. Citing results from a recent survey on pet products and services, market research company WSL indicates that 81% of respondents are spending the same amount or more on their pets despite the tough economic times.
“An astounding 92% of pet owners spent the same or more on their pets during the most recent recession period.” – Forbes Magazine
From 2008 to 2010, years that saw nearly every sector of America’s retail economy crumble; pet spending was up by 11.9%. Overall, from 2015 to 2020, industry revenue is forecast to rise at an annualized rate of 3.1% to total $20.4 billion.
1. Work with Dog!
The too-obvious #1 reason to start your own pet business & work with dog, is that you get to be your own boss while spending your days working with dogs and the people who love them (and dog people are obviously better humans, am I right?) Your whole world becomes dog-centric – and you get to help dogs and their owners, so consider those ‘personal and professional fulfillment’ boxes ticked!
BEST JOB EVER!!
10 Reasons #workingwithdog is Savvy Career Choice – Infographic
Mann, Paul. “How the Rich Pamper Their Pets.” Forbes Magazine. Jan. 15, 2008.
Warren, Ellen. “Despite recession, we still indulge our pets.” Chicago Tribune. Apr. 29, 2010.