Starting a Pet Business 101

By Emma Worden | starting up | July 24, 2022

Investing money in pet care is a lucrative business that generates billions of dollars annually. However, tapping into this industry is easier said than done. Many people struggle to transition from being pet owners to pet care professionals. 

This usually means you must figure out licenses, start-up costs, certifications, and payroll. Owning a pet business isn’t just playing with kittens or petting dogs. Keep in mind that this is a physically demanding business, and you will most of the time be alone. 

This business requires your full attention and engagement, so don’t treat it as a hobby. So, if you are thinking of starting your business, we have a couple of suggestions you might find useful. 

Test the waters 

Before you start any business, it’s important to test how everything will work. For example, volunteering at a pet store would be a great idea. This is a great, no-risk, no-cost way to start learning a business and determine whether you are fit to do this. 

Additionally, you can learn a lot about different animals, their needs, and their characteristics. Therefore, if one day you decide to open your pet store, you will be in a much better position and will serve your clients with more confidence, knowledge, and skills. 

Research the market 

This involves finding out more about your customers. Your target market is the people you want to reach by marketing and potential customers you want to sell your products to. By employing the right set of techniques, you want to make sure they become your customers. The Pet care industry offers various target market niches, three of them being the most prominent ones: 

Luxury: in the last couple of years, many designers started dipping their toes into the pet care industry. However, luxury items aren’t only limited to pet clothes and accessories; chefs are making their food; you can visit premium hotels and take your pet to grooming spas. 

Mid-market: this one offers the most appeal, especially if you are targeting a particular niche. After all, people will do anything for their pets and are willing to pay a lot of money to see their furry companions happy. Homemade pet treats, training, grooming, and food are more likely to fall into this category. 

Mass market: if you want to focus on affordable items and are happy to make and sell cheaper products, then you can assume a mass-market approach. It is more suitable for standardized supplies and products, like food bowls and chew toys. 

Work on your brand 

The next step is to build your brand. This helps customers associate your products or services with a particular name or a shop while improving your marketing strategy. The brand will affect many areas of your business, from how you communicate to the customer to the overall aesthetic. 

Pet care is a very competitive industry, so you will need to stand out in some way. While this might be challenging at first, you can check out the following ideas on how to personalize your brand. 

Fun and unique products: does your dog need another rubbery chew toy? One of the things that can make your brand stand out is offering your customers something unique, like dog toothpaste or a toy that cleans their teeth. 

Tell your brand’s story: whether you have a service or product-based service, you will need a brand story so your customers can relate. This is the foundation of your business and will help you drive potential customers and make them hire your services or purchase your products. 

Visual identity: another important aspect of your business; visual identity includes packaging, social media covers, website design, and logo. 


Your business name should be short, simple, and memorable. Customers need to be able to pronounce it easily. If your name is too challenging to remember, you are missing out on the most effective form of marketing, word-of-mouth. 

Think about the name that most reflects your business, something that is catchy. You can always ask someone to help you or hire a marketing agency to generate a name and help you with branding services. 

Write a business plan

Now that you have an idea of what your target market should look like, your next step is to pour your ideas into a business plan. This document helps you guide your operations, define your business goals, evaluate resources, and identify competition. 

Depending on the type of business you choose, you might also need a license or a permit. 

Eventually, there is nothing more fulfilling than starting your own business. The pet care industry offers many lucrative opportunities; you just need to seize the right one. With the right tools available, creating a sustainable pet business shouldn’t be as challenging as it sounds.