Start A Pet Business

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New Business Start-Ups

Over the past year, the UK has seen a huge growth in the pet population during the pandemic. The public had time at home to spend their income on past times and hobbies which included buying pets, many being first-time pet owners.

This new influx of pet owners was good news to pet companies who rose to meet the challenge offering more products and services than ever to meet the extraordinary increase in demand.

The pet business is divided into three large multi billion-pound segments

  1. Professional pet services such as Pet Insurance and Veterinary Care.
  2. Necessary pet welfare including Pet Food Producers, Dog Microchipping Services, Dog Collar, Lead, and ID Tag Suppliers, Poop Bags and/Or Scoop, all of which are required legally.
  3. All other services and supplies.

Starting a pet business can be daunting, but many new small entrepreneurs start theirs unintentionally as a hobby which grows into a small part-time enterprise where some continue unwittingly developing their business into a highly sustainable multi-million concern.

New Subscription Businesses

There’s a huge new pet market trend growing in the UK where customers are turning to subscription-style businesses for their pet needs, ranging from pet foods being delivered to their home, or local drop off point, to pet treats, toy boxes, or pet routine treatment subscription boxes such as flea and worming packs arriving monthly, particularly egged on by the recent global events where more people are working and staying at home.

itch pets

Subscription routine treatments box delivered to your door every month

Britain is regarded as a nation of pet lovers and will splash the cash on their beloved pets. The size of the UK’s pet business is estimated to be worth 8.5 billion, with as much as 4.3 billion spent by owners on pet boarding, 2.5 billion spent on pet food, and where surveys suggest that 2 in 5 pet owners spend as much on their pets as their friends present so there is plenty of new business opportunities.

Customers are looking online more than ever for fair deals from reputable companies and this has fuelled a massive increase in subscription company only offers on the web.

Operating as a subscription company, helps small business start-ups to expand in the knowledge of retaining customers, building brand loyalty and enjoying steady monthly income.

Hamper Businesses

Second, to monthly subscriptions has been the enormous surge in customers purchasing pet gift hampers during Autumn and Winter 2020, whilst various global lockdowns have been in place around the world.

Hamper companies have continued to expand throughout 2021, for celebrating pets’ special occasions which are packed full of treats and toys.

Pet hamper companies are rising to the challenge often selling out seeing considerable export growth, particularly to the USA where there are more than 90 million dogs residing.

Mutts And Hounds Premium Pets Hamper Basket

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New Pet Business Start-Ups

It’s essential to create a profitable pet business as quickly as possible if on a tight budget. 

Pet equipment and business start-up costs can be low in certain areas, such as a pet sitting business, where a shop and store isn’t required, whereas a grooming business requires capital for premises and pet equipment, unless a mobile service, which then only requires professional pet grooming portable equipment and a vehicle.

Insurance is vital with several pet business specialised plans available.

Vehicles need to be sympathetically and carefully adapted to carry pets and insurers informed that you are using your vehicle for business purposes.

Low-cost businesses include dog walking and pet training services, where they can be set up from home. 

The British College of Canine Studies offers a Professional Dog Walkers certificate. A Pet first aid course is an important must and volunteering at a pet shelter to gain experience in handling multiple pets is extremely useful. banner

Itch Pet subscription boxes were introduced during 2019 using personalized subscription packs to help pets lead healthy and happy life.

Seed money was obtained for the start-up with high-level marketing and branding. The ranges were developed in conjunction with veterinary experts tailoring to customers’ pet’s needs for treating routine pet treatments, for dogs and cats, mailing out every month.

Itch has developed their business further offering more services venturing into offering their thousands of existing customers lucrative pet insurance.

Several companies are offering these services and usually with the first month free to new customers asking them only to pay minimal postage and packing.

Various retail pet online stores offer pet hampers, which are so popular as Christmas gifts, offering foods, treats, and toys, sometimes sold in a traditional wicker hamper, or more often a branded box allowing some customers to pick and choose the contents.

2020 saw more online pet stores offering one-off hampers which many have developed into monthly treat boxes for pets by subscription shopping, providing a sustainable all-year-round business.

Read About Best Pet Christmas Hampers And Crackers

Best pet hampers for Christmas, birthdays, any time of the year as a special treat for puppies, dogs, cats, rabbits, and small pets. Christmas cracker treats for dogs, cats, small pets.

Let Us Introduce You To More Pet Business Start-Up Ideas

Gorgeous long haired cat for grooming
1. Pet Grooming (suitable for dogs and cats)

This is a service that appeals to many owners of pets because they learn how to take care of the grooming needs of their own pets and can at a low cost make a profitable business quickly with a small amount of training. 

Business owners can offer popular mobile services needing less equipment but be portable, or work from salons offering dog and cat routine treatments such as nail clipping, washing and grooming overgrown coats. 

Client bases can be those who regularly show their pets at professional events, pet modelling and entertainment industry as well as pet owners with little time on their hands. 

Those who opt for operating out of grooming salons have the added costs of rent, rates, and operating costs. Professional equipment is available online from several reputable and experienced stockists with accompanying helpful tutorials.

Small puppy thinking about training
2. Pet Training (suitable for dogs)

Many owners buy pets without really looking into the necessary care required and with animals such as dogs, how to socialise and train their dogs to fit into their home lifestyle. This is particularly necessary for abandoned and rehomed dogs and cats who may have a past history of several owners. 

Patience is key for training, particularly helping anxious and unhappy pets.
Pet training relies on very little costs other than your professional expertise and time, is an unregulated profession but advise to seek both professional and practical advice before setting up to give the pets the best care whilst training possible

There are a number of organisations that can help to train you as well as having a DBS check because of working with animals, and undertaking a recognised pet first aid course. These addresses are featured in our business directory. 

3. Dog Walking (suitable for dogs)

Over the past few years, it’s not an uncommon sight to see local parks filled with dog walkers handling multiple groups of dogs during the day. Needs arise where busy owners require help with their pets, particularly if they are out to work during the day. 

The job can range from calling into owners homes, letting dogs run around outside in their private garden for exercise and feeding them, to taking pets out for longer periods of exercise. 

Start-up costs are relatively low and business can often be generated quickly by personal referrals as well as skilful local marketing. Registration with associations such as the National Association of Registered Pet Sitters and dog walkers is helpful to the business, undertaking a first aid course and business insurance vital. 

Designer pet chair with dog relaxing on it
4. Pet Sitting (suitable for dogs and cats)

A growing trend by pet owners to have their beloved pets looked after in their absence, short or long term. Pet sitting can involve moving into the owner’s property and taking care of the household during their absence or for just a few hours. Possessing a caring, considerate and helpful personality is essential.
Once you’ve undertaken a couple of jobs well, owners will re-book you and refer to friends. The only requirements are your time, a DBS check is helpful and taking out business insurance. There are several reliable nationwide agencies where registration is simple and provide work. Better still, if already experienced, consider setting up your pet sitting agency which can be run online and from the home and recruit other locals to join your agency as sitters. 

Equipment needed is a range of spare dog leads, harnesses and collars, drying towels, and an equipped van for pick-ups and drop-offs if servicing an area larger than walking distance and local parks. The owner should be providing any other equipment such as treats for when the dogs return from walks. 

The downside is how to keep a steady flow of customers with a monthly steady income coming in. This would need careful planning of the types of customer contracts being taken on and budgeting an income for marketing. Asking customers to sign your contract can help, by agreeing to details, such as your terms of service, emergency procedures and payment terms. This also helps in case of any disputes that may arise. 

Once generalised costs have been budgeted, you’re able to work out how many dogs you may need to walk and your yearly income. The limit for healthy dog walking set at 6 dogs per walk. 

The RSPCA produces a downloadable 16-page informative pdf about professional dog walking standards expected. 

5. Pet Boarding (suitable for dogs and cats)

Boarding kennels and catteries are important for pet owners who travel. They are generally situated in less residential areas and the business needs to be approved by the local council, obtaining the appropriate licences looking after the animal welfare to the highest standards providing shelter, food, water and plenty of exercises, 24/7. Start-up costs include professional kennel or cattery construction and a dedicated area for preparing pet foods and general care. 

Despite many hotels, and rental accommodations offering pet-friendly hotels and rental accommodation, the PDSA report that nearly 90% of the UK population keep their pets in kennels and catteries when they go on holiday. 

The kennel and cattery business is valued at more than a 4.3 billion-a-year industry, almost twice as big as the pet food industry. 

6. Pet Foods (suitable for dogs cats and small pets)

A staggering 2.5 billion is spent yearly with a growing need for special, premium, tailored pet foods as pets become more and more pampered. Talk to any pet food business owner about specialised premium brands and they will tell you it’s not easy to penetrate the tailored pet food market, but clever professional marketing is a must where pet owners are highly critical but appreciative of quality pet products. 

A one-to-one approach on social media and a well-constructed website is fundamental to explain their tailored products. 

Dog and Cat treats have become a firm pet favourite including hand-baked artisan biscuits, to every flavoured possible dog chews. 

7. Pet Toys (suitable for dogs cats and small pets)

Toys are used to create interaction between owner and pet, curb animal aggressiveness and to keep pets mentally stimulated. The dog, cat, even rabbit pet toy industry grows every year and looks for new and innovative designs whether they be simple organic designs or highly sophisticated smartphone digital controlled ideas. Toys come in all sizes and shapes, where feeding toys are particularly popular helping to keep a balanced diet whilst creating stimulating puzzles for the pet. 

8. Pet Collar and Leads (suitable for dogs and cats)

This is a vibrant area of the market where owners spend regularly providing their pets with a range of collars, leads, and harnesses, with many players already operating offering all kinds of materials, worked into collars and leads. Under animal legislation, it is a legal requirement to have your dog on a collar and lead when leaving the home to take it for its daily exercise, so the potential market is enormous, currently estimated to be around 12,500 dogs living in the UK. If you have something new to offer then this is a low-cost profitable start-up.  

Additionally, ID tags are also a legal requirement and a cheap online business to compliment harnesses, collars and leads.

Dog wearing designer collar and lead
9. Pet Photography and Custom Portraits (suitable for dogs cats and small pets)

Owners love to spend, spend and spend on their pets, and none more than pictures, whether these are digitised, embroidered, hand-drawn artwork or photography. New businesses can offer mobile services for photographic sessions, or work from home from the owner’s pictures crafting products.  Wall painted murals, soft furnishings and individually created wallpaper for the interior designer markets.  Marketing products for sale can be achieved through dedicated online shops such as ‘Etsy’ or ‘Not on The High Street’, providing a shop showcase. If your start-up budget extends to more available money, some successful franchises are available to buy into. 

10. Pet Franchises (suitable for dogs cats and small pets)

If you’re concerned about ‘going it alone’ then working with a nationwide franchiser can help where you are your own local boss and a great way to get started with help and support needed to achieve results and profitability. 

Point Franchise has on their books several pet franchise opportunities along with helpful advice such as Friends For Pet Franchise, Pet Stay and Trophy Pet Foods Franchise. 

Online searches will provide several franchise agency websites and all worth reading. 

There are national and local virtual franchise events who have hungry exhibitors looking for possible franchisees. These franchise sites have a stack of useful information, hold virtual seminars teaching franchisees how to run their businesses such as The National Franchise Exhibition Virtual. 

11. Pet Breeding (suitable for dogs cats and small pets)

Breeders must be licenced to operate to sell puppies and kittens and ensure they are born and reared in safe environments.  A Dog Breeding Licence requires breeders breeding more than three litters in twelve months and breeding dogs and selling dogs as a business must conform. 

Dedicated space is needed for successful breeding producing happy and healthy litters along with keeping in contact with various other breeders to perfect your breeding programme producing healthy and financial viable litters conforming to best pedigree Kennel Club standards. Must be able to give time to attend to a large litters and all necessary health checks, jabs, microchipping and paperwork required.

Recent laws intervened to improve the standards of pet breeding in the UK. Lucy’s Law, 6 April 2020. 

12. Interior Pet Themed Designs (suitable for dogs cats and small pets)

Beautiful designer animal interior wallpapers that can help provide a perfect sanctuary for the 20 million or more dog and cat, UK pet owners in their homes. If you have the flair, this is easy to set-up business with little overheads. Delightful prints are a must for all dog and bird lovers. Style just one wall making a beautiful feature with a colourful dog print.  

Pet Business Start-Ups Requiring Minimal Finance

Cash Strapped? Low-Cost Pet Start-Up Businesses

If money is in short supply or being able to raise money for your new business then there options open to start a business very cheaply. You may want to try and start-up whilst still working for a current employer in spare time and make sure that your project will work before taking the plunge, going full-time. Service-based ideas generally need less start-up capital and you may have a passion or pet hobby which can be turned into a serious full-time occupation.

13. Doggie Day Care Sitting

If you’re busy during the day or needing to go to work, Doggy Day Care sitters are an ideal solution for busy pet owners where dogs are dropped off at their home. Sitters take dogs on a regular basis or one-time. Very little costs are needed to start-up but sitters require homes suitable for dogs to spend time safely and healthily. Centres and homes must be suitable for puppies and high-energy, senior dogs, and those suffering from anxiety issues.

Many councils will need to approve homes and in some cases approve a licence for operating a pet-care business. Sitters need to provide meals, provide medication, at least one walk and an area where dogs can play with toys and relieve themselves. Sitters do not need professional qualifications, but pet first-aid qualifications and be DBS checked can help when prospective customers enquire about the business. Good sitters offer a trial period to ensure the new pet fits into the established ‘pack.’ Centres may reject those dogs that have not reach maturity and been neutered, routine treatments and vaccinations kept up to date.

14. Professional Pet Blogger (suitable for dogs cats and small pets)
Dog wearing glasses, at work on a laptop

Become an authoritative pet blogger with virtually no overheads to get started. Use your in-depth pet knowledge to the full. Blogging regularly on your computer and blog or website building up an online audience. To earn you can offer advertising space on your site, find video sponsors, or create an account on a specialised blogging platform.

Have you a wealth of pet experience and some animal-related professional qualifications? If you know your stuff how about sharing it with other people and provide starter packs, online courses and tutoring. Create downloadable instruction guides and videos and offer real-time Skype one-to-one tutorials or virtual classes. 

15. Pet Professional Reviewer (suitable for dogs cats and small pets)

You leave lots of online reviews for products you buy already and own pets or have in-depth knowledge of the pet market, so becoming a professional reviewer is high up on the list of possibilities.

Companies will provide services and products to professional reviewers and in return, you are expected to leave honest reviews. Companies can pay for your time too. One can easily be started in spare time with virtually no overheads. 

16. Virtual Pet Tutoring And Courses (suitable for dogs cats and small pets)

Have you a wealth of pet experience and some animal-related professional qualifications? If you know your stuff how about sharing it with other people and provide starter packs, online courses and tutoring. Create downloadable instruction guides and videos and offer real-time Skype one-to-one tutorials or virtual classes. 

17. Subscription Services (suitable for dogs cats and small pets)

The growing trend of offering service type pet goods to customers provides an opportunity to run this type of business alongside a dog walking business until it becomes fully established and full-time. Companies can offer pet treats, pet treatments, pet foods, sent out to customers on a regular monthly basis on payment of a subscription basis. Little overheads are required to get started, and an online website. 

18. Professional Pet Modelling (suitable for dogs cats and small pets)

Pet modelling has become big business and is open to any pet that is well-behaved, obedient and looks cute. Becoming a model pet owner can be lucrative with the right pet model and time to promote through social media. Payment for jobs depends on the type of job being offered, length and the experience required of the pet. 

Pet Specialisation Businesses (suitable for dogs cats and small pets)

There’s a huge amount of opportunities to start a new pet business. Below are just some of the more popular fields where specialisation can be key. 

Pet advertising and marketing, media and PR, pet therapist, pet behaviourist, pet business coach, pet charity, pet journalist, pet courses, pet events, pet care, pet photography, pet rescue and rehabilitation, pet web design and SEO. 

\\\ Christmas Pet Businesses


Pet owners now expect bespoke nutrition for their pets, luxury pet spas, best pet grooming, designer pet collars and leads, pet daycare, with many pets having their own social media accounts.

The pandemic year brought new opportunities in the way we work as a nation and what we expect from our employers and our businesses. New start-ups are imperative for the economy to thrive in challenging conditions and none so than our enormous UK pet market. 

There are more than 12.5 million pet dogs and 12.5 million cats now residing in the UK, and if you already have experience handling pets then this could be the new business start-up venture you’ve been looking for.

Generally, little or no professional requirements are necessary, when starting up your pet business.

A selection of small pet business Christmas start-up ideas can include

Christmas Pet Gift Shops that specialise in providing Christmas presents particularly trading between September and January each year.

Specialised Christmas Pet Personal Service similar to concierge services that specialise in finding the right products for your customers. Aimed generally at more affluent customers, but a time-saver for those who have the cash but time-poor which can be extended after the Christmas period.

Gift Wrap Christmas Designs perfect for those entrepreneurs who have good web skills and can produce pet-themed stationery ranges or those who have real arts and handicrafts talent producing original hand-drawn artwork. Ranges can be extended throughout the year to include general pet themes.

Personalised Christmas themed online services offering a range of pet products where customers send their prints for personalisation onto mugs, pens, collars, leads, picture frames, notebooks, keyrings with special Christmas adaptions to products. This business may need start-up financing more than most but can be extended to all major events during the year.

Christmas Holiday Card Design producing personalised Christmas cards with family gatherings and all the pets printed onto memorable keepsake cards. Additional ideas than just sending normal Christmas cards.

Christmas Pet Photography Huge opportunity and very busy time of year for offering professional photographic shoots in customers’ own homes with family and pets gathered together during the Christmas period. Many company’s offer special deals and discounts for this lucrative business period.

Christmas Interior Decorating Pet-Friendly Service offering a bespoke service decorating customers homes or places of work with only pet-friendly merchandise.

Christmas House-Sitting Services whilst everyone is busy enjoying themselves, this is also an important time for house-sitters whether sitting for free or paid and be considerably in demand.

Christmas Pet Hampers very popular, full of pet treats for dogs, cats, rabbits or other small pets. Often now sold in boxes to keep prices competitive and could continue through the following year offer regular treat subscription box service.


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