I launched Keep the Tail Wagging with the goal of turning my pet blog into a full time business. I thought it would be great to partner with a company to offer products, something more than what I’m doing with Amazon and Trupanion, and that’s why I became a Life’s Abundance rep.
Today, I’m no longer a Life’s Abundance rep, because I was a lousy rep and Rodrigo is was allergic to their food. So what’s a pet lover to do? If you want to work from home and it would be ideal that you promote pet products and/or services, what home based business is idea for you?
5 Home Based Businesses for Pet Lovers
Off the top of my head, I can think of 5 home based business ideas for pet lovers. What I love about these business ideas is that there is minimal startup costs and overhead.
Dog Walking – When we adopted our dogs, I met so many people who had been laid off and started a dog walking business. I imagine that a guy starts walking their dog more often (they are home all day) and their friends and neighbors ask for help and before you know it, he has a long list of clients, a business license, and website. Wow!
As the mom to three dogs, I can tell you that dog walking isn’t easy. Each of our dogs has a different personality and different triggers, and keeping tabs on their energy (physically and mentally) and measuring the energy of dogs we encounter is exhausting. And then there’s the “rain, sleet, snow” to contend with; if you want to get paid, you have to walk the dogs no matter the weather.
Dog walking sounds like a fun job, but I imagine that it can be tough if you’re not experienced in dog training and behavior. The weather may not always be ideal, but for someone who loves the outdoors, I bet they won’t let a little dampness keep them from a long walk or hike.
Pet Sitting – If you pop over to LinkedIn, there are tons of pet sitters there. I can’t tell you how many connections I’ve made since I started Keep the Tail Wagging. I think pet sitting is great for people who have an affinity towards animals, understand animal behavior and training, and are responsible. I cringe at the thought of hiring the wrong person to care for our pack.
I think a pet sitter can stand out in the crowd through self-promotion and being insured. I would work with an experienced, insured pet-sitter over one who doesn’t have insurance.
Pooper Scooper Service – A friend of ours has a Great Dane and hates dog poo so he hired a woman who stops by his place once a week for $10/week. I don’t mind picking up poop (I pop on my iPod, grab a shovel and bucket and get to work), but that $10/week price was tempting. I’m sure it’ll be more for 3 dogs and we’d need her 2x a week.
If you don’t mind dog poop, this is a great business idea. I have to hear about it for hours if my boyfriend steps in a pile of dog poop. He hates it and I won’t bother asking him to clean up the dogs’ yard. I don’t do yard work, he doesn’t pick up poop, we’re in love.
Create Something for Pets – Last year, I met Annika who creates the Throw them To the Dogs political dog toys, which I love. You can find creative jewelry over at For Love of a Dog and Toby & Max Jewelry. Kind Label/Etsy and Motley Zoo Animal Rescue make amazing clothing (tees, hoodies, etc) for dog lovers. I can go on and on.
If you have a creative gene, consider creating something that dog lovers will enjoy. Jewelry, clothing, blankets, paintings, games, books, and the list goes on. Another animal lover doing this is Amy of POOCHI & TOUTOU of New York who launched her business out of college.
Gourmet Dog Treats – And then there’s the one that just blows me away. Everyone that I’ve met who has turned their dog treat recipe into a business started in the same way. Their friends and family encouraged them to market their products, because everyone’s dogs loved it and it’s healthy. Plus, people are fed UP with the recalls. If you have a healthy, yummy dog treat recipe, share it with friends and families; consider having a booth at a festival; and go for it!
There’s a local woman who makes the coolest cupcakes for dogs (PupCakes Muffins) and I buy tons from her at the beginning of the summer to freeze for our dogs. I love her product, because it’s healthy, homemade, and I’m not afraid to feed her treats to my dogs. There’s definitely a market for healthy, safe dog treats. Another woman who started making cookies for dogs at home is Ronnie Fliss of New Jersey who opened Fat Murray’s.
MLM Companies for Pet Lovers
If the above home based pet business ideas don’t resonate with you; you can always join an MLM company. A good MLM will allow you to build your business (or downline) at your own pace with no pressure. They offer low overhead; although there is a buy in that can range from $25 – $1000. And they’ll offer sales training to their reps.
The upside to an MLM is that it is a home based business, allowing you more freedom and flexibility in your life. The downside to an MLM is that some pressure reps and social media has become flooded with direct marketers who are spamming us with their MLM opportunities. It’s a turn off and new reps have to overcome the bad rap these spammers are creating.
A few popular MLM companies are…
- Pampered Chef
- Mary Kay Cosmetics
- Herbalife International
What I love about Avon is that all of their products are cruelty free. Any pet lover can get behind that; I’m an Avon fan and since my mom and I stopped speaking, I need to find a new rep and I’m considering becoming a rep myself.
Update: Thank you RumpyDog for clueing me in. Turns out that Avon has reverted back to animal testing for products sold in China. China requires animal testing. Bummer. Here is an article about their change: Ouch! Avon, Mary Kay and Estee Lauder no longer cruelty-free Facebook campaign.
A few pet related MLM companies are…
Life’s Abundance – they sell pet food and products (shampoos, supplements, and a retractable dog leash); the buy in ranges from $30 to $240 depending upon the level (and inventory amount) you choose as your start.
Pet Protector – they offer a flea and tick deterrent that attaches to a pet’s collar; the buy in ranges from $64 to $1999 depending upon the level (and inventory amount) you choose as your start.
Rocky and Bella – they sell the daily nutritional pet supplement, Spark, which can be sprinkled on our pet’s food based on the pet’s weight. I couldn’t find the buy in for Rocky and Bella.
I didn’t add links to these companies, because although the reps I met were excited about their business, I’m not 100% behind MLM.
If you have enough money to invest in a pet franchise, two that captured my eye are The Zoom Room and Fetch! Pet Care. What I like about the idea of a franchise is that if it’s a good one, you have the ready made, recognizable brand to work with and you can build your own business.