According to 2019-2020, National Pet Owners Survey performed via means of the American Pet Products Association (APPA), approximately eighty-five million households or 67% of Americans own a pet. In 2020, $103.6 billion was spent on pets withinside the United States. Pet food takes the chunk with $42 billion in sales, supplies, and medicine at $22.1 billion, vet care and product sales at $31.4 billion, and $8.1 billion for other services including grooming, training, pet sitting, and boarding for pet care businesses.
Dogs are the number one companion animals with cats coming in at a close second. Next are freshwater fishes, then birds, other small animals, reptiles, horses, and lastly, saltwater fishes. Of all pet owners by generation, the millennials come in first, with generations X and Z as second and third respectively.
With all these statistics showing how the pet industry has evolved, budding entrepreneurs who have the pet care business on their radar should act now and join the bandwagon. But first, there are 4 things that you need to know about pet care businesses.
Pet Care Businesses
This business is a multi-billion industry. Many business owners know that pets are like family. And if they are family, they are taken care of like human beings. Pet owners will want what is best for their pets. They will pay good money for goods and services for the overall well-being of their pets.
If you are a pet lover and dream of owning a pet business, you are on the right track. Owning one will fit you to a T. A lover of pets combined with an entrepreneurial spirit is the best combination for your business.
If you have the opportunity to start this business and you have the financial capacity to do so, you need to do the following:
- Develop a business plan. Business plans need not be concrete. You can cover the basics and update your plan from time to time as you go on with starting your business. There can be changes anytime as you go along and you can update accordingly.
- Find the right location. This is important. You have to look for a location that is pet-friendly and is easily accessible by pet owners.
- Name your business. This is one of the most crucial and important things that you need to decide on. The name of your business will be the one that customers will remember. Potential customers may not remember you when they need your services if your name is not connected to any pet business.
- Know the laws in your state. Every state has its own laws. Research on the requirements of your state. Obtain required permits and licenses.
- Acquire the certifications needed. This kind of business would require different types of certification. Make sure that you are up-to-date with the requirements to ensure a smooth business flow.
- Create Internal Policies. Oftentimes, employer-employee relationships are rattled because of differences in views and procedures. Provide a written document where employees can refer to in case of disagreements.
Services You Can Offer
You have to think of the services that you can offer to potential customers. There are a lot of services available that can be offered but doing it all at once may overwhelm you. It is advisable that you offer a few and add up as you go along. You can base your offerings based on the statistics mentioned above. And offer more once you have experience on the ins and outs of your business.
Types of Services
- Pet Food / Treats
Pet owners will always want what is best for their pets. They often buy organic food and treats. The green-friendly and natural foods are always on top of the list. You can produce your own label or work with existing brands to distribute. You can include dog food, cat food, bird food, and fish food in your product list.
- Pet Sitting / Walking
If you are at the right location, you will be able to get a lot of customers for pet sitting and dog walking. Pets need their exercise too. If you have a few employees who can pet sit or walk, you will be able to target owners who are busy and live in condos or small houses.
- Pet Grooming
Hiring licensed pet groomers are the way to go if you want to offer this service. Aside from brushing, bathing, trimming, and cleaning your pets, a professional pet groomer will be able to detect medical issues and refer them to the veterinarian.
- Pet Training
This service may require a professional trainer as well. Some states may require a dog training license to be able to offer this kind of service. Training pets, especially big dogs, is hard and needs professional handling. Pet owners can be trained on how to handle their pets too.
More Kinds of Services
- Pet Photography
This is one service that has boomed over the last few years. Having their pets professionally photographed gives its owners a chance to display their pets on their photo table. Most pet owners include their pets in photographs and paintings.
- Pet boarding
Pet owners who cannot bring their pet on vacation or just need an overnight pet boarding are your target clients for this service. Your pet sitters can also be the ones to go to the homes of pet owners. There are some pets that are not comfortable sleeping in a different place and can be agitated. If this is the case, you can offer a home pet sitting instead.
- Pet products
Having a wide range of pet products can lure clients to your store. The need to have pet toys, beddings, collars, and travel cases or pets is fast becoming a trend. You can even target the upscale crowd with fancy strollers, pet clothes, and accessories.
Starting any kind of business is hard enough without the risks involved. However, you can always be prepared for any accidents or disasters that may happen. Having a pet care business is not an exemption. Even if you hire the best pet groomers, sitters, and trainers, you can still suffer damages and lawsuits. The best way to protect you is by purchasing pet care businesses insurance.
There are several coverages that you need to ensure the least amount of risks and liabilities. Here are some of them:
- General Liability Insurance
This type of insurance provides protection for accidental injuries and damages to property in your business location or your clients’ homes. It can cover medical payments, legal fees, and settlements. It also provides coverage or product liability if the products you sell or manufacture cause bodily injuries and damages.
Every business with employees is required to have workers’ compensation. This will protect your employees if they get injured on the job and protect you from suits that an employee may file against you. If an employee suffers from an injury while at work, this coverage will pay for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and lost income.
This provides coverage against claims of negligence and oversight. Professional groomers, veterinarians, and trainers are the most vulnerable to lawsuits and will need this type of insurance to protect them.
If your pet service business uses a car or van for any business-related purposes, you need this commercial auto insurance coverage. This will protect your vehicle from liabilities if you or one of your employees is involved in a car accident or car crash.
More about Pet Insurance
The space you own or lease for your business needs to be covered in case of accidents in disasters. Commercial property insurance will protect the physical assets of your business. This includes the building itself, equipment, furniture, computers, valuable papers, and business records. Your inventory and supplies are also covered with property insurance.
- Animal Bailee Insurance
This type of business insurance covers injuries, damages, loss, and death of an animal in your care, custody, or control that you are legally liable for. Coverage exclusions are pets held for sale or for delivery after sale.
Pet care businesses are one of the businesses that have been booming for the past couple of years. More people are acquiring pets to bring to their homes. Both adults and children alike treat their pets the same as they do with the family. With this unexpected rise in pet ownership, the need for pet services has also risen. Now is the right time to start this kind of business.
If you are looking around for the best insurance for your business, you can contact our expert agents at Advantage Insurance Solutions here in Denver, CO. Our team is composed of knowledgeable insurance experts who can guide you on your pet insurance needs.