5 Home Based Business Ideas for Pet Lovers, Which One is For You?

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

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…

  • Avon
  • Pampered Chef
  • Mary Kay Cosmetics
  • Scentsy
  • Herbalife International
  • Amway
  • Tupperware

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 and have lost a long time customer (me).  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.

Pet Franchises

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.

45 Comments

  1. I think if more people who work 9-5 knew about a qualified and affordable person who could come to their house and walk their dog mid-day, there would be a lot more happier dogs.
    My friend’s daughter, who is a vet tech, also does pet sitting and she advertises at pet friendly hotels, so guests can have someone watch their dog while they go out to dinner or an event.
    Peggy Frezon recently published..You Be the Trainer- Mine All Mine!My Profile
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    • I have been trying to find someone to walk our dogs 2-3 times a week. We’ll continue to walk them in the evenings, but if someone could stop by midday for a walk, that would be so amazing and great for our dogs. Just 30 minutes. Every single person has flaked out on me. I won’t give up, because you’re right, Peggy, it’s so great for them!
      Kimberly recently published..5 Home Based Business Ideas for Pet Lovers, Which One is For You?My Profile
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  2. I love crafts and make all kinds of doggie related stuff, mainly custom collars and leashes. I thought at one point it would be wonderful to make a living at, but soon realized I was doing it more as a fun hobby and I wanted to keep everything I made. I stopped making stuff unless it was custom order because I didn’t need 100 dog collars and leashes in my house. I still make custome stuff, mainly for really big dogs that you can’t find in stores. If you want to see some of my stuff you can visit my website and click the link for Boone & Brinkley’s Boutique http://www.gryphonmastiffs.com/

    Honestly I have found I don’t have time at this point in my life to make this any more full time than it already is!
    Amanda Griffin recently published..Interview with A Mastiff – Boone Dog MastiffMy Profile

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    • I wish I were crafty, I love browsing Etsy. I used to want to do photography part time, pet photography, but the reality of turning a hobby I loved into a business wasn’t fun. Blogging is different somehow, because I’m ultimately making myself happy in everything I do and when I do that it translations in my writing and engagement. But I started to hate photography the more I tried to turn it into a business; just evidence that it needed to stay a hobby.
      Kimberly recently published..5 Home Based Business Ideas for Pet Lovers, Which One is For You?My Profile
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  3. Mom has a good thing going the past few years. She works from home mainly doing online marketing things that she mostly enjoys, but the best thing is that we are home with her which is perfect. We also dog sit for some other dogs, they stay with us which makes mom a dog walker as well since we always walk 3 times a day. She has had up to 5 dogs at once but 3-4 is pretty much the max for her. Can’t do poop scooping since we don’t believe in using the yard as a bathroom. We find it disgusting for humans and pets and an excuse for dog owners to be lazy. Get our for even a short walk and pick up the poop when it is fresh on the walk and be done with it. A healthy option for pets and humans and NO landmines to worry about in the yard, yay! Yes, it is possible to train dogs not to poop in their own yard, I am the 3rd dog mom has trained that way an I am her 3rd dog.
    emma recently published..Snowy Mischief | GBGV | Monday MischiefMy Profile
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    • I wish I could walk our dogs 3x a day. I was inspired by your post to walk them twice today. I got home early, took them on a walk, then worked out, then took them on a 2nd walk. They loved it. When my boyfriend came home, he played with them for 30 minutes. Now we have three sleeping dogs and I love it!
      Kimberly recently published..10 Tips for Saving Money for Dog Owners Without Sacrificing QualityMy Profile
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  4. This is not a Pet specific business but it does give non profits a way to have an ongoing stream of income using an EIN number. You can also make money for yourself from home just by sharing with people you know or marketing online something that we all use every day, so you wont be pushing something people could care less about!

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    • That sounds interesting, Jill – that’s one of the things that was difficult with me trying to combine my blogging with a direct marketing business; I didn’t like pushing products on my readers that they weren’t interested in. Now I can just write about the products I use every day; if someone buys it through the link, I make small commission. I feel much better about that small commission than I did when I was a direct marketing rep :)
      Kimberly recently published..10 Tips for Saving Money for Dog Owners Without Sacrificing QualityMy Profile
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  5. Hi! I offer pet portraits, caricatures and illustrations. I’ve only in the last year really worked at promoting my business online. I set up at various local events.

    This weekend I’ll be drawing dog caricatures live at the Bark in the Park event. Really looking forward to that!

    I know I try to utilize local and home based businesses as much as I can. I am also working on a good website as you can only showcase so much on Facebook. Even dog walkers should have a website presence. Good luck to you all!

    Lynda
    Furkids Art
    Helton Art

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  6. I have both a physical shop where we retail items, and I have a home-based business where I sell many of those same items online. Some of our product lines offer a home-based opportunity, where others are simply retail. I like doing both. I find you really have to have a passion for what you do to make it work. Having a home-based business isn’t for everyone. For me, both businesses blend together, so it doesn’t feel like I’m running 2 separate businesses. For me, I love what I do, and wouldn’t have it any other way! We’re adding another product line in a few weeks, and have more coming throughout the rest of the year.

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  7. I was a pet sitter and dog walker part-time while I was still living in NJ and working from home at my “real job.” Having a dog to take care of was a nice little respite from work and I really enjoyed it. The only down side for a one-woman dog walking business was that people counted on me every day to be there, and while I loved it and was super reliable, it made making lunch plans with friends or a weekend trip away really difficult. But easy, fun money. Good list!

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    • My boyfriend’s sister was a dog walker and her business grew fast, because she was so dependable and did a great job. It ended being too much for her and she had to give it up, but I know she loved it. She’s a natural with animals. I would love to walk dogs for exercise. I wonder if it’s something I’d have time to do a couple times a week. :)
      Kimberly recently published..10 Tips for Saving Money for Dog Owners Without Sacrificing QualityMy Profile
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  8. Hate to disappoint ya, but Avon is not cruelty free.

    There are some great business ideas here though. I need to look into them.
    RumpyDog! recently published..Why I Love My Vet Clinic!My Profile
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    • Just Googled it and you’re right; they recently went back to animal testing and they just lost a customer. I’ve been using Avon products for 20 years and this was one of the reasons why they had my business. So disappointing. Thanks for the update; I’ll update the post.
      Kimberly recently published..10 Tips for Saving Money for Dog Owners Without Sacrificing QualityMy Profile
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  9. Just working on blogging for now :) I don’t think I could ever do the dog walking thing. I cared for and walked boarding dogs for a long time and it is very tough work! But it is definitely a good business I will agree.
    Ann Paws recently published..Calico Cat TriviaMy Profile

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  10. I have thought about doing almost every single one of these at some point in time, but never went any further than that. Love that some people actually have done more than thought about it and did it!

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  11. The problem that I have is marketing I have written a book ” So You Want the Perfect Dog: Start here” which is available at Amazon.com. The book is a step by step guide to help choose the right breed of dog for you lifestyle. It give tips on choosing the animal, feeding and training as well as health care.
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  12. Professional Canine Fecal Removal Specialist

    I’m ordering the business cards now!!!

    ;)

    great ideas Kimberly, thanks for the article!

    (and good to know about the Avon…so long Skin so soft!!)
    KD Mathews recently published..What’s The Rush??My Profile
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  13. I just started making dog soap and I am waiting for a few responses. All natural scented with essential oils
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  14. Great info and advice, Kimberly! My home based business is my Pet Portraits by Deena web site. http://www.pet-portraits-by-deena.com. I also work part time at Barnes & Noble. And I have a blog at http://www.thepetblog.net. I love having my home studio where I have my own space and can paint whenever I want. You can get started in your chosen business with very little expense. Business cards at http://www.vistaprint.com are inexpensive and well made. FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. are all free and you can reach a lot of people with them. There are great web sites and blogs that give free advice to small businesses. If starting a home-based business something you’ve been thinking about but have hesitated to jump in, go for it!
    Deena O’Daniel recently published..Wordless Wednesday: The Story of Who Gets the Dog Bed?My Profile
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  15. Hi ! I love his article, all these are really useful services that people actually need.

    On the back of the pet sitting idea My partner and I have just started another pet related service (working from home). It’s an online network space for pet/ home owners and sitters to meet and make their arrangements online. We just launched http://www.housesitmatch.com in the UK and Australia at the end of last year. You have to register, registration is free, to approach anyone and use our prepared legal contract templates etc.

    Take look…Would love to get everyone’s feedback. Your thoughts..?
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  16. Thanks for the great post. There are always many opportunities for pet related business around. Like your idea to make home made treads for dogs.
    Oleg recently published..Leather Dog Collar MARBELLAMy Profile
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  17. Great post on different ways to make money in a home based business if you love animals. I’m an animal lover myself. I’ve got 4 cockapoos and an African Grey Parrot! I think this article is unique and useful. I never looked into MLM’s that cater to animal health and welfare. A bit of a novel idea. MLM’s are a legitimate business strategy and can work if people are taught properly on attraction marketing. A great read and useful info.
    Thanks for the share.
    Barbara Charles
    Barbara Charles recently published..4 Reasons Why Triberr Won’t Work For You – Part 2My Profile

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  18. Hi there,

    Just came upon your site and loved the almost Aussie pack! Gorgeous dogs! I am a Veterinary Tech by trade, but also do Pet sitting, dog walking and poop scooping on the side. It keeps me almost too busy, but I love the animals that I spend time with, so it is so worth it.

    If anyone out there loves being around animals, but more importantly is comfortable being around all different types, sizes of animals, then maybe one of these is good for you.

    I am sure your post will help lots of people who want to start up their own animal business. You have a lot of great information to share.

    Good luck in all your future endeavors,

    Treanne
    Treanne Kidd recently published..Removing Skunk Smell From Pets – A Home RemedyMy Profile

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  19. Hi Kimberley. Some great ideas for starting a pet business. I love the concept of a dog walking business and have hilighted it to my readers. The beauty of it is that it is scaleable – so you can run it with one dog or many – and you can get the family involved as well. But you’re right – you do need a bit of willpower to get out there in the wind and rain but no more than say, doing a paper round, or even walking your own dog. keep up the good work!
    Andy recently published..Start a Dog Walking BusinessMy Profile
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  20. Pets are such a huge part of family. I think there is a great opportunity for some kind of pet health product home business that is waiting to be discovered.

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  21. I have a home based business with Jerky Direct. While they have a large selection of jerky flavors, fruit sticks and steaks, My favorite product is the all natural pet jerky. Made in Idaho, USA!
    My pit just loves them.

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