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List of Small Business Ideas for Pet Lovers

Updated on July 2, 2011

Americans love pets, and there are more than 150 million owned dogs and cats alone in this country. In 2009, Americans spent about $45.5 billion dollars on pets, food, supplies, boarding, training, grooming, veterinary care, and other products and services for their pets.

Many people dream of turning their love of animals into a career. There are many great pet-related business ideas to choose from, and many can be started from home!

The following is a list of small and home-based business ideas for pet lovers, including both traditional suggestions such as pet sitting or dog walking, and more unusual ones, such as pet locators and doggie fashion designers.

Photo by Yukari
Photo by Yukari

List of Small Business Ideas for Pet Lovers

  • amphibian breeding
  • "Bed n' Bone" luxury pet boarding
  • bird breeder
  • bird toy maker
  • boarding kennel
  • cat toy maker
  • catnip farming
  • custom bird cages
  • cricket farming
  • decorated food bowls
  • designer dog houses
  • doggie day care
  • doggie gym or exercise yard
  • dog fashion designer
  • dog groomer
  • dog show handler
  • dog trainer
  • dog walker
  • fish breeding
  • internet dating service for pet lovers
  • organic dog biscuits
  • pet artist
  • pet blogger
  • pet boutique
  • pet cemetery & cremation
  • pet clean-up service
  • pet door installer
  • pet-friendly bed & breakfast
  • pet furniture maker
  • pet hair sweaters
  • pet locating/relocating service
  • pet massage therapist
  • pet memorials
  • pet photographer
  • pet-proofing houses
  • pet restaurant
  • pet sitter
  • pooper scooper service
  • raw dog food
  • reptile breeder
  • rodent breeder
  • saltwater aquarium installation
  • terrarium design
  • therapy animals
  • training assistance dogs

A Note About Breeding Pets

Although it is generally preferable to breed certain types of exotic pets, such as snakes, fish, lizards, and turtles, rather than capture them in the wild, most domesticated animals are already overpopulated. In the US alone, almost 10 million cats and dogs are euthanized annually in shelters. Nationwide, 56% of dogs and 71% of cats that enter animal shelters will never leave alive. Millions more are homeless, putting local wildlife such as birds at risk and spreading disease among wildlife, owned animals, and even humans.

For this reason, I strongly discourage starting a dog or cat breeding business. Most pet lovers would be better served helping the millions of animals already without homes than breeding more to add to the problem. The sole exception would be those with the money and expertise to breed and train purebred animals for certain specialty purposes, such as show animals, working sheep dogs, livestock guardian dogs, and similar.

More Small Business Ideas

For more cool business ideas for animal lovers, check out my list of small business ideas for farmers and gardeners. Interested in guinea fowl? Edible snails? Draft horses? They're all there and more!


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    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      That is great list of small Business ideas..Thanks a lot

    • sunnymarie profile image

      sunnymarie 7 years ago

      Nice! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      MaryRenee 7 years ago

      Kerry: This hub is awesome! So many brillant ideas here, I'm thinking about a few of them in particular! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I appreciate your suggesting people should adopt pets from homeless shelters, and I agree with how there are too many unwanted pets for anyone to purposely engineer a new pet.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love the suggestions for businesses for animal lovers, you have quite a variety. Very creative.

    • debwalker profile image

      debwalker 7 years ago from New England USA

      great hub!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

      Nice hub. Always great information and loads of references to check in on. Thanks!

    • pan1974 profile image

      April 7 years ago from Columbus,Ga

      Good hub

    • angel115707 profile image

      Angel Ward 7 years ago from Galveston, TX

      This is great, I agree pet breeding is almost looked down on now, I think if you love your breed there is nothing wrong with letting it experience motherhood once, but to consistently breed dogs, wearing them out for money is cruel. I wouldn't even think if letting my cat get pregnant, I have seen too many cats go nuts when they hit puberty, and get infections from fights, plus kittens are practically given away, and not taken care of.

      I really think becoming a foster parent for adoption agencies is a great way for experience even though its volunteer work, and you can get licensed to do wild life rehabilitation out of your home, and you can get paid for that.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for your very helpful hub and very comprehensive.