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How to Start Your Own Pet Care Business

How to start your own pet care business Feature Image

Want to know how to start your own pet care business?

Then you’ve come to the right place, because that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about today!

Read on as we break down how to build a pet care business, be your own boss, and find success in the pet industry while doing something you truly love!

How Much Money Can You Make Owning a Pet Business?

Okay, first thing’s first: will the profit of building and running a pet care business be worth your time and effort?

The short answer is YES!

The slightly longer answer is that it’ll ultimately depend on you – and the amount of work you’re willing to put into your business. Logically, minimal effort will result in minimal success. Give it your all, on the other hand, and this endeavor will be a very prosperous one for you.

Pet Care Business Salary Examples

Obviously, another thing to keep in mind is that there are different types of pet care businesses out there. A dog grooming business, for example, can potentially make different money than a dog walking business.

Here are some of the general salary ranges for a few of the most popular pet business options out there:

Pet Groomer

  • United States: Between approx. $15,500 USD to $59,500 USD per year (Source: ZipRecruiter)
  • Canada: Between approx. $27,500 CAD to $40,500 CAD per year (Source: Talent.com)
  • United Kingdom: Between approx. £14,000 GBP to £29,000 GBP per year (Source: Glassdoor)
  • Australia: Between approx. $40,000 AUD to $46,500 AUD per year (Source: Salary Expert)

Dog Trainer

  • United States: Between approx. $14,000 USD to $69,000 USD per year (Source: ZipRecruiter)
  • Canada: Between approx. $33,000 CAD to $72,000 CAD per year (Source: Glassdoor)
  • United Kingdom: Between approx. £19,000 GBP to £49,000 GBP per year (Source: PayScale)
  • Australia: Between approx. $40,000 AUD to $76,000 AUD per year (Source: PayScale)

Dog Walker

  • United States: Between approx. $24,600 USD to $33,000 USD per year (Source: Talent.com)
  • Canada: Between approx. $26,000 CAD to $98,000 CAD per year (Source: Glassdoor)
  • United Kingdom: Between approx. £13,000 GBP to £35,000 GBP per year (Source: PayScale)
  • Australia: Between approx. $37,000 AUD to $53,000 AUD per year (Source: PayScale)

Kennels and Pet Boarding

  • United States: Between approx. $26,000 USD to $97,000 USD per year (Source: PayScale)
  • Canada: Between approx. $32,000 CAD per year to $42,000 CAD per year (Source: PayScale)
  • United Kingdom: Between approx. £14,000 GBP to £21,000 GBP per year (Source: PayScale)
  • Australia: Between approx. $35,000 AUD to $52,000 AUD per year (Source: PayScale)
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Key Factors That Will Impact Your Income

There are a number of additional things that can affect the type of profit your pet care business makes as well. Some of these factors include (but are not limited to):

  • Professional experience, certification(s), and overall qualifications in your field;
  • Where you live (i.e., big town vs. small city);
  • The demand for your business services in your area;
  • Local competitors offering the same (or similar) services;
  • Your target audience and how you market your business towards them;
  • The way you market your business in general;
  • Your willingness to network;
  • How active you are online;
  • The level of customer service your business provides;
  • Your self-discipline, drive, and patience;
  • The amount of effort you’re willing to put into your business, etc.

So, as you start a business in the pet industry, it’s important to keep the above list in mind. This way, you’ll have a clearer idea of the level of success your business can achieve – and what you’ll need to do in order to achieve it.

Now it’s time to break down how to actually start your own pet care business. Here are 7 steps to walk you through the process!

Step One: Decide on Your Pet Care Business

If you want to know how to have a successful pet business, the smartest place to start is to first decide what type of business you want to run. So, sit down with a piece of paper and a pen, and brainstorm what it is you’d actually like to do!

For example, would you be happiest grooming animals? Walking dogs? Running a pet daycare?

No matter which route you decide upon, there will obviously be pros and cons. This is just life, regardless of any job. For instance, some of the most common pros and cons to the career paths mentioned above include:

Pet Grooming

Pros

  • Lots of physical exercise
  • Get to work with animals on a daily basis
  • Get to work with animals of all ages, breeds, etc.
  • Most of the job will be spent between just you and your clients’ pets
  • Extremely rewarding environment
  • Fun atmosphere
  • You can be your own boss
  • You’ll learn all sorts of incredible grooming techniques/knowledge
  • It’s easy to gain repeat clients, build your network, and get positive referrals
Cons

  • Sometimes, you’ll be working long hours (so you’re feet will likely be sore by the end of your shift)
  • Grooming dogs can be quite physically demanding
  • You may need to work on weekends or evenings in order to accommodate your clients’ schedules
  • You’ll be expected to work with/handle all sorts of dog temperaments – even the less-than-ideal ones
  • There are the risks of occupational health hazards for both you and the dogs
  • You’ll need to invest in the start-up costs if you choose to launch your own business

Dog Walking

Pros

  • Lots of physical exercise
  • Get to work with dogs on a daily basis
  • You can work with dogs of all ages, breeds, etc.
  • There can be LOTS of flexibility with this career path, especially in terms of the days/hours you want to work
  • The majority of your shifts will be spent solely with your clients’ dogs
  • Lots of independence
  • Fun atmosphere
  • Again, you can be your own boss
  • It’s easy to gain repeat clients, build your network, and get customer referrals
Cons

  • Your clients will still expect you to walk their dogs, even during inclement weather (i.e. rain or snow)
  • You’ll need to put in the effort to build up a regular client roster before you can expect to see a steady income
  • You may need to work on weekends or evenings in order to accommodate your clients’ schedules
  • There’s no real way around it – you’re more than likely going to need to pick up poop
  • Sometimes, you’ll need to work with/handle disobedient pups, dogs with an attitude, etc.
  • You’ll need to invest in the start-up costs and marketing efforts, should you choose to launch your own dog walking business
Dog walker enjoying with dogs while walking outdoors.

Pet Daycare

Pros

  • Let’s say it again for those in the back: you’ll get to be your own boss!
  • Get to work with animals on a daily basis
  • Opportunity to hire your own employees as your daycare business expands
  • If your space allows it, you can expand your business services in order to help pets in need (e.g. foster pets, animals looking for adoption, strays, etc.)
  • There can be LOTS of flexibility with this career path, especially in terms of the days/hours you want to operate your business
  • Lots of independence
  • Fun atmosphere
  • Endless opportunities to acquire repeat clients, build your network, and get customer referrals
Cons

  • If you want your business to be successful, you may need to invest long hours into this endeavor – especially at the beginning of your journey
  • You’ll need to secure and invest in a physical location for your pet daycare
  • Plus, you’ll need to factor in additional start-up costs for your business as well (e.g. insurance, etc.)
  • Running a pet daycare can sometimes be very demanding, both physically and mentally
  • The more times of day + days of the week you’re open, the more clients you’ll cater to – this means that you may need to work evenings and/or weekends
  • Moreover, your business may need to operate on holidays as well

Pro Tip: We’ve put together a list of 22 lucrative pet business ideas that ANYONE can start. Check it out here – you never know, it may wind up inspiring you and helping you decide which path you’d like to take!

Step Two: Set Up Your Business Bank Account and Licenses

Once you’ve ironed out the type of pet care business you want to start, the next step will be doing some research and figuring out whether you’ll need specific types of licenses in order to operate it legally.

For instance, does your area require any specific permits or licenses in order to run your type of business? Will you need to obtain anything in order to open up (and run) a physical location? What about insurance?

The answers to these questions will vary based on location. Thus, it’s important for you to do as much detective work as possible. As a result, you’ll know exactly what’s required where you live and how you can go about obtaining it.

Oh, and don’t forget to set up a separate, business bank account! This way, you can track your transactions, have a clear and concise paper trail, and properly manage all expenditures. If you’re unsure how to go about setting this bank account up, visit your local branch and set up an appointment with one of your bank’s experts.

They’ll be able to sit down with you and help walk you through the process!

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Step Three: Create a Pet Care Business Plan

The clearer your game plan is, the better your chances will be for success. This is why it’s critical that before you actually launch your pet care business, you first map out exactly what your want your business plan to look like.

Here are some questions that can help you iron out what your goals are:

  • How many clients do you want?
  • Who is your target clientele?
  • What can you do to attract and market yourself to potential customers?
  • What are your income goals?
  • Do you want to operate this business part-time or full-time?
  • What do you want your business brand to be and how will you build it accordingly?
  • Where and how would you like to market your pet care business?
  • Do you intend to operate your business from home, or would you eventually like to open a physical business location?
  • How do you intend to retain customers and increase your chances of business referrals?
  • Where would you like to see your business in 1 year? 3 years? 5 years?
    • What steps will you need to take in order to meet these goals by your designated timeframes?

Step Four: Get Certified

Many of the different pet care businesses you can open won’t technically require any form of professional training/certification. But if you DON’T get it, it’ll be significantly harder for your business to achieve any sort of success or longevity.

The fact is, backing your business with a proper education, certification, and reputable designation will be the single best way for you to thrive.

Why? Because in one way or another, prospective clients will want to see that you actually know what you’re doing. If your goal is to work as a dog groomer or trainer, for instance, then you should absolutely complete a dog grooming or dog training certification course first.

If you’d like to open a dog walking business or pet daycare, on the other hand, even completing some sort of business program will give customers more assurance that you’re the real deal. Clients won’t want to book with you if they can’t trust that you and your business are the best of the best.

Proper training and certification will alleviate these concerns and prove to potential customers that you’re worth their time, money, and trust!

Did you know that QC Pet Studies offers a self-paced, online Dog Grooming certification course? Learn all about it here and enroll today!

A man working at home during home office with a red and happy welsh corgi pembroke dog

Step Five: Create a Website for Your New Business

Once your pet care business is officially launched, it’s time to get your business seen by the masses. So, how can you go about doing this?

The first step is to set up an official website. Your domain name should be the same as the name you legally register for your business. Importantly, your website should look professional and clean, rather than clumsy and unorganized.

On this site, ensure that your portfolio is easy to find, since prospective clients will want to browse it. Additional information you should include on your website includes (but is not limited to):

  • An “About Me” page that tells people about you, your qualifications, and your certification(s)
  • A list of your business services (as well as service rates, should you wish to provide those publicly as well)
  • Client reviews
  • Your contact information
  • Hours of operation
  • Working links to all of your social media
  • An online booking option
  • Important policies and/or clauses (i.e. cancellation policies, refunds, etc.)

Never built your own website before? This informative article by Website Builder Expert offers a list of 10 FREE website builders at your disposal!

Step Six: Get on Social Media

Next, it’ll be equally as important for you to get your pet care business seen on social media. After all, everyone and their grandmother uses social media these days! It’s undoubtedly one of the smartest ways to meet others in the industry and attract clients. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube are just some of the popular platforms you can build a presence on.

Here are some useful tips to keep in mind when setting up accounts on your chosen social media platforms:

  • As much as possible, your social media handles should be the same as your registered business name.
  • Just as your website will provide links to your social media accounts, so too should your social media channels link viewers back to your main website.
  • The aesthetic of your social media platforms (e.g. what you post, color schemes, how you speak, etc.) should always accurately reflect your brand.
  • Post often and always try to share original content.
    • Pro Tip: If you’re a busy bee, we recommend utilizing scheduling apps such as Later or Hootsuite to post your content ahead of time and/or in bulk.
  • Try to find new, fresh angles for your posts. You don’t want to be the same as all the other pet care businesses out there, or your channel(s) won’t be as memorable!
  • If there are specific people in the industry you’d like to connect with, follow them and regularly leave encouraging comments on their posts. This’ll make them more likely to do the same with you.
  • Whenever someone takes the time to engage with your posts and/or message you, make sure to get back to them in a timely manner.
  • Last but definitely not least: use your social media channels as another marketing tool to showcase your portfolio and promote your pet care business!
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Step Seven: Market Your Pet Care Business!

Marketing your pet care business will be an ongoing effort – and for good reason! Should you consistently market your business properly, you’ll forever have an influx of new clientele. In turn, this will continue to increase your profits, provide you with endless raving testimonials, and further improve your overall brand appeal.

The beauty with this is that there are endless marketing strategies at your disposal. It all depends on how much you’re willing to put into your business, as well as how creative you feel like getting.

Some of the ways you can choose to market your pet care business include:

  • Host an official business launch event in your area
  • Online (via social media, for example)
  • Through paid advertisements (e.g. Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Google ads, etc.)
  • Organic marketing (a.k.a. digital marketing that does not include paid ads)
  • Email campaigns
  • Pair up with local pet stores (as well as other relevant businesses in your area) and have them promote you within their own establishments
  • Put up flyers around your town or city
  • Promote your pet care business at dog parks
  • Provide complimentary services to your friends and family at the beginning of your career
  • Take part in stylized photoshoots to obtain high-quality images for your portfolio, website, and social media
  • Attend industry events, get-togethers, etc.
  • Join online networks
  • Become a subject-matter expert for other pet care businesses and write for their blogs/publications
  • If your budget allows for it, do giveaways or sweepstakes on your social media platforms
  • Develop an attractive client retention program

No matter how you choose to get your business seen, the priority is making sure you do so in the first place. Your pet care business can be the best in the world – but if no one knows it exists, it won’t be very successful in the long run.

So, as you embark upon this exciting adventure, just make sure to keep all of the above in mind. With the right strategies in place, there’ll be nothing capable of holding you back!

Ready to get your pet care business started? Enroll in QC Pet Studies’ online Dog Grooming Course and take advantage of the FREE business section included within this self-paced program! In less than one year, you’ll learn everything you need to not only become a dog groomer, but also launch and run ANY type of pet business!