Best Business Ideas for Animal Lovers

Businesses for animal lovers

 

Making a living working with animals would be a dream come true for a lot of people. The good news is that there is a wide variety of different businesses for animal lovers to explore. These options range from low-cost, part-time endeavors to full-scale operations requiring a substantial investment of time and money.

In this article, we’ll outline our top 20 business ideas for animal-loving entrepreneurs. For each of these business ideas, we’ve ranked their startup costs, required skill level, and earning potential to help you decide which one is right for you.

Business Ideas for Animal Lovers

ANIMAL RESCUE BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

If you are passionate about helping animals find new homes and raising awareness of animal advocacy, an animal rescue business may be a good fit. While no formal training is required, any experience with animals and/or fundraising is a big plus.

More and more people each year choose to find their new pets at animal rescue centers and organizations like the SPCA instead of breeders. While you’ll need enough money to cover veterinarian fees and insurance, owners can reduce overall startup expenses by using foster volunteers to house animals rather than operating a large shelter. While earning potential is low for this business, it is possible to make a modest salary while also building a personally rewarding career.

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BEEKEEPING BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Beekeeping can be a great business for a patient person who enjoys spending time working alone in nature. The largest expense associated with this business is acquiring land suitable for beekeeping. Ideally, you will already own the necessary land when you begin this business pursuit.

Additional expenses include the bees and hives themselves as well as safety apparel and tools for honey extracting. Earning potential is generally modest, but it depends largely on your production capabilities. Most profits come from the sale of honey and beeswax, so the more bees you’re able to keep and the more product you’re able to sell, the more your business will thrive.

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CAT CAFE

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Cat cafes are spreading across the world and could be a good business opportunity for an outgoing person with a love for our feline friends. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that this business is first and foremost a cafe, so general business skills and experience working in or managing cafes is helpful.

Startup costs are substantial and include acquiring and renovating your property, purchasing food and drink equipment, and buying supplies to house and feed the cats. This is still a developing market, but a successful Cat Cafe can be quite profitable, especially if it expands to more than one location.

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COMMERCIAL AVIARY

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

While it can be a difficult business to run, for an experienced aviary hobbyist, starting a commercial aviary can be a rewarding pursuit. Because of its difficult and technical nature, this business is generally only recommended for those with a great deal of experience.

Startup costs are moderate but will vary considerably depending on the type and number of the birds you raise. In addition to breeding costs, you’ll need to cover veterinary care, cages, and other maintenance. Despite the time and money involved, earning potential for this business is low. However, for a dedicated bird lover, it can be a very rewarding way to make a modest profit off a beloved hobby.

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DOG BREEDING BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Someone who is passionate about a particular breed of dog and committed to conscientiously raising future generations of that breed may have what it takes to be a successful dog breeder. While more and more people are buying dogs from rescue operations, there is a still a market for pure-bred, professionally raised puppies.

To get started, you’ll need purebred dogs, a suitable facility for breeding and housing your dogs, regular veterinary care, and food.  Earning potential depends largely on the breed of the dog and how many puppies are sold, with prices ranging from around $500 per puppy to well into the thousands. If you’re able to garner a good reputation and find a solid customer base, you can do very well in this business.

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DOG WALKING BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Dog walking is a great business for dog lovers looking to make some extra money without a large upfront financial commitment. While you don’t need to be a dog trainer, past experience with a variety of different dogs is recommended, and being comfortable around dogs is essential.

This is a great business opportunity that allows you to start small and expand as you see fit. Walking dogs can remain a part-time side job or expand to full time given the right market and demand. With such low startup and maintenance costs, it’s possible to turn dog walking into a full-time pursuit with modest profits.

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DOG TRAINING BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Patient dog lovers with experience handling a variety of different types of dogs may be good candidates for starting a dog training business. While no specific training experience is required, obtaining one or more training certifications can help boost your reputation and earn clients.

Startup costs can be quite low, especially if you work out of your home or in a public park. While the hourly rate for dog training can be substantial, earning potential will depend on your ability to bring in a continuous client stream. Investing time and money in advertising and ensuring the quality of your service elicits word of mouth recommendations are effective ways to boost revenue.

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GUARD DOG BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Experienced dog trainers looking for additional income opportunities may consider starting a guard dog business. There are several options when it comes to the focus of this business. You may choose to train dogs, provide them for temporary assignments, sell them, or some combination.

Costs will vary considerably depending on how many dogs you are working with and if you are housing them or not. This specialty business can be quite profitable, with highly trained dogs selling for more than $10,000 and the training rates running higher than standard dog training.

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PET BAKERY

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

If you love animals and baking, starting a pet bakery can be a rewarding business opportunity. Pet bakeries make fun specialty baked goods designed for animals. This can be a fun way for pet owners to celebrate pet birthdays or just treat their friends now and then. This is a great option for someone looking to start something on the side with the possibility of turning it into a full-time job. While no special training is required, you will need a comprehensive knowledge of nutritional requirements and restrictions for different ages or types of animals.

You can keep your startup costs management by working out of your home kitchen to start and selling your products online. Earning potential depends on the amount of food you can sell, but successful companies can be quite profitable.

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PET CLOTHING STORE

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

A pet clothing store can be a great option for fashion-minded pet lovers. This is a very flexible business that can be run online, from your home, or in a physical storefront. You may design your own clothing or curate your inventory from different designers and suppliers.

The way you choose to run your business will come down to your personal interests and skills. It will also determine your startup and maintenance costs. Similarly, your earning potential will rest in large part on the nature of your business operations. No matter where and how you sell your products, you’ll need solid advertising to keep your customers coming back.

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PET FOOD BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Animal nutrition experts who enjoy spending time in the kitchen may consider starting a pet food business. This is a great way to earn some extra income on the side or build a full-time career. The market for high-quality, specialty food is growing as pet-owners become increasingly interested in finding healthier, natural pet food alternatives. As with any business providing food for animals, a strong understanding of animal-specific nutrition and food safety are extremely important.

This is a business that can easily start from your home and operate entirely online. Even as you expand, you may choose to continue as a strictly online shop to keep costs down. Earning potential depends on the amount of food you can sell, but successful companies can be quite profitable.

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PET GROOMING BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Creative animal lovers with a knack for grooming may consider starting their own pet grooming business. Previous grooming experience is recommended since quality service will be your best way of eliciting word of mouth recommendations and repeat customers. You may choose to focus on certain types of pets, cultivate a specialty technique, or provide general grooming services to a wide range of pets.

When first starting out, you can keep costs down by operating out of your home or traveling to your clients’ homes. Others may choose a mobile unit or a storefront location. Because of the steady demand for pet grooming services, a business that secures a solid customer base and develops a good reputation in their area can become quite profitable.

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PET PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

A pet photography business offers a good opportunity for someone who enjoys photography and is also comfortable with handling animals. No formal training is required, but a strong professional photography portfolio is important. When first starting out, you may choose to build a portfolio by offering complementary photography services to friends and family. Some experience working with animals is also helpful.

Startup costs for this business aren’t very high, especially for someone who already owns photography equipment. With pet ownership on the rise, this can be a lucrative and rewarding business for someone able to build a strong following.

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PET SUPPLY STORE

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

If you love animals and have retail experience, opening a pet supply store can be a great business venture. As with all retail, there are high startup costs associated with this business. You’ll need to rent and set up your space, purchase inventory, and pay at least a small staff.

If you have the time and money to invest, this can be a successful pursuit. Pet supply stores have excellent growth potential, especially if you’re able to distinguish yourself from the competition by finding a niche market to target. Earning potential is solid, and can increase as the store offers additional services, products, and/or locations.

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PET-SITTING BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

For anyone looking to get into an animal-related field, pet-sitting is a great place to start. This is an incredibly low-cost business that can be run out of your home. All you’ll need to get started is a bit of advertising - much of which can be done at little to no cost by posting flyers or using social media - and liability insurance to protect yourself while caring for other people’s pets.

No formal education or experience is needed, though any previous work with animals is a plus. As demand for pet sitters increases, you’ll have the option to keep this a part-time side job or grow your business into a full-time pursuit.

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PETTING ZOO

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

For those who love both animals and children, a petting zoo can be a great business opportunity. Previous veterinary or other animal-care experience (such as working at a zoo or on a farm) is useful.

Two of the biggest potential expenses for a petting zoo are the land and the structures for housing animals. Ideally, someone opening this business will already have the land and animals needed to get started. Earning potential isn’t very high, but if you already own the property and animals, this can be a great way to bring in some supplemental income. Hosting parties or bringing your animals to events can be a great way to boost earnings.

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HORSEBACK RIDING LESSONS BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

For skilled horseback riders and trainers looking to capitalize on their experience, becoming a horseback riding instructor can be a great business opportunity. You may also choose to include additional services like boarding, grooming, and training horses, depending on your experience and circumstances.

Both start-up costs and earning potential will depend largely on the services offered and your situation. If you already own horses and large property, you can run your business from there at a low cost. Acquiring a training facility and/or horses to use for training will increase costs dramatically.  Another lower-cost option is to travel to your clients and train them at their homes or other facilities using their own horses. If you can keep your startup and maintenance costs low, earning potential is very good, with lessons going for $45-$60 per hour on average.

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KENNEL

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Opening a kennel business may be a good opportunity for an active person who is experienced and comfortable handling a wide variety of dogs. There are no official requirements, but some expertise in animal medical care and an established relationship with a nearby vet is advised.

The biggest expenses are the land and facilities to house the dogs. Already owning suitable property is a huge advantage. Earning potential varies considerably depending on the size and location of the kennel. High-end kennels with more amenities can charge more than $100 per day to house a dog. Developing a business plan and design that fits your area and likely clientele will help bring in clients and boost business.

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EQUINE THERAPY BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Owners of an equine therapy business should be compassionate and patient horse lovers with an interest in helping others. Beyond your interest, formal training and certification from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International or a similar organization is necessary to get your business off the ground. Previous work experience in this area is a plus.

Earning potential is quite high, with both hourly sessions and longer camps fetching good rates, but startup costs are also sizable. You can keep costs lower if you already own suitable property and facilities, making this a great venture for someone who owns a horse farm and is interested in building a career around their experience.

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MOBILE DOG GROOMING BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

A mobile dog grooming business can be a great idea for anyone with previous grooming experience looking to branch out on their own. It’s also a good way for someone interested in grooming to start small before opening their own shop. While no formal education is required, The National Dog Groomers Association of America offers a variety of classes and workshops to help you hone your skills and earn clients.

While the mobile nature of this operation removes the cost of renting or owning a storefront location, outfitting a mobile unit is still a fairly costly startup expense. Once set up, this business can see fair profits if you’re able to establish a good base of loyal clients.

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