Business Overview

A petting zoo provides a space where customers can pet an assortment of small animals. Petting zoo animals may include goats, llamas, sheep, and other friendly animals. Such businesses are usually favored by children but enjoyed by clients of all ages. A petting zoo may be in a standing location or may specialize in providing animals for parties and other special events.

Who is this business right for?

Obviously, this business is perfect for those who love animals. It is also good for those who like children, as they will be a major part of your visitors.

What happens during a typical day at a petting zoo?

Part of your job involves feeding/taking care of the animals and cleaning the areas they are housed in so they are presentable. When customers arrive, you must entertain them and supervise their interactions with the animals (particularly young children). If you “rent out” the animals, part of your job will be to transport them to parties and set up their temporary enclosures which must later be cleaned and transported back. Finally, “down time” is typically spent working on new ways to advertise the business.

What is the target market?

Generally, your preferred clients are families. Petting zoos are always a hit with young children who end up bringing their parents and other relatives into the business.

How does a petting zoo make money?

Most petting zoos make money by charging a fee at the door. If you do “rent out” animals to parties and other events, that should be charged as a separate, higher fee.

What is the growth potential for a petting zoo?

The growth potential for such a business is moderate. In some areas, petting zoos are primarily a seasonal business, while they flourish year round in other places. As with many businesses, securing profitability and the potential to grow larger hinges on finding a specific niche for your region. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics sees the animal care and service field in general growing by eleven percent by 2024.