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Best Business to Start: Working With Dogs

For Example, a Dog Treat Business

What is the best business to start if you love dogs? To start a business working with dogs, consider these options: starting a dog walking business, a dog treat business, a dog trainer business, or a dog boarding business.





Starting a Dog Walking Business

If you want to work with dogs and don’t have a lot of money to invest into a 'bricks and mortar' business, but you do have lots of energy, consider starting a dog walking business. You need to be able to control dogs and understand how dogs behave. A basic understanding of canine training would be useful, although not necessary.

You must of course like walking and be able to easily get to your clients home; you go to their homes to pick up their pooch. You may need to be bondable and you may need to complete a criminal record check: otherwise it may be difficult for a homeowner to give you access to their dogs (who are often inside their homes).



Best Business to Start: Dog Treat Business

To start out in the dog treat business, you will need to develop some good, healthy, and cost effective treat recipes. Do a lot of testing to ensure that you can produce a good quantity at a time, and that the canine treats you produce can be easily and safely stored.

Then visit local pet stores and try to sell directly to them. Also visit local coffee shops that have outdoor patios where dogs are often found with their owners. Provide some sample treats to the coffee shop owners to start; maybe in exchange for you putting up a poster and business cards.

Once you have proved that your canine treats are sellable (and that you can make a profit with them), then you might consider setting up your own Dog Bakery business (check out what your region or municipality needs in terms of a business license and food safe production. Look for dense areas such as suburban condo developments that allow dogs, and set up nearby. In addition to the dog treat business, you might consider sub-letting some space (if you have it) to a trainer for evening canine obedience classes: you both have the same clients.



Best Business to Start: Dog Boarding Business

Getting into the dog boarding business can be more cost intensive than some of the other canine businesses. You need space. You will need crates or kennels for each pooch. Your location will be important; you need to be accessible for clients and potential clients but not too close to neighbors (who might complain).

You will need equipment (for example, leashes and leads and canine toys) and supplies (cleaning materials, food for dogs, and more). You will need to establish good safety and hygiene practices for all the dogs in your care and for you, and any staff. You will need business insurance and a license You will also need easy access to a good veterinarian in case of emergency.

In this type of operation, your hours of work are extended: you are responsible for the dogs in your care 24 hours a day until the owner picks up their pooch. A number of dog boarding businesses also work with, or contract out, canine training activities. This becomes an added value for the owner of the pooch in your care, and for the dogs being trained (they are more engaged and therefore happier, not bored).



Best Business to Start: Dog Trainer Business

To be a dog trainer you need to have training yourself. There are a number of dog trainer schools that have certification programs. Check in your area and make sure you speak to some graduates of the program to see if they feel they learned all that they needed to know.

When you first start out as a canine trainer, it can be hard to get the number of students (dogs) that are necessary to run a profitable class. Work with your local community center to see if you can post advertisements on their bulletin boards, talk to local breeders and pet stores (all puppies need some level of training).



Puppy Dog Web Site

While producing a web site means that you are not interacting in person with dogs, it does mean that you can share your knowledge and stories about your canine pet(s). By developing a Puppy Dog Web Site you can reach many pet owners.

Our family has always had canines as pets; in fact I can remember back to when I was about five years old - our dog was a friendly, happy black lab named Prince. Building a web site that helps other canine owners learn some of the things that you have learned over the years with your pet is also the best business to start.

If you build a website, focus on a specialty: such as a breed; or senior dogs; or puppies; of foods; or treats; or toys; or training; or something else. Always pick a subject that you will love to write about - because you want to be able to love your work! And working with pets can be a real labor of love!



The Best Business to Start: Do a Thorough Analysis

To start any operation working with dogs will require you to build a small business plan; assess how much money is required to start up your business; you will need to ensure that you have the necessary licenses, that zoning is not an issue, and you have the proper insurance; and that you do marketing and advertising to get clients in your operation.

You will need to understand your costs, your competition and what your prices need to be (and, very importantly, if you can make a profit).

You will also need to do some networking; pet owners like to work with dog walkers, dog day cares, dog boarding or kennels, dog treat bakeries or stores, or canine trainers that they have been referred to.

Talk to your local veterinarian, ask if you can post your notice or business card on their bulletin board. Talk to your local pet supply store and see if you can post notices there. Start to build your reputation and your business will follow.


Important note: When setting up in any operation, become familiar with what you need to do to set up: business license, workers compensation set-up, insurance, are just some of the more common requirements. Each jurisdiction will have specific requirements that you will need to follow - make sure you do the research!


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Related Articles

What's the Best Business to Start?
If you love dogs, and like people, you can start your own dog related business.

Dog Trainer Schools
If you want to start up your own dog training business, get the training and certification you need.

Starting a Dog Walking Business
How to start a dog walking business? If you love dogs and would like to work for yourself, this might be the business for you.

School for Dog Trainer
If you want to become a certified dog trainer, then you need to become trained!

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