A 2021-2022 National Pet Owners Survey reveals that 70% or 90.8 million households in the US own a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association. What’s more, pet owners are expected to spend at least $9.7 billion for pet services like pet sitting, grooming, and walking. If you have been wondering whether you can turn your love for pets into a career, the answer is yes.
In a pet-crazed country like the US, there are many opportunities you can take advantage of to build a lucrative and fun business. You can be a pet sitter, massage therapist, walker, or animal party planner, depending on your interests. Considering many pet parents want to enjoy the benefits of hiring a professional dog groomer, you may also want to offer pet grooming services. Read on to learn a few tips on how to turn your love for pets into a lucrative career.
Understand Your Passion For Pets
Before you can transform your love for cats or dogs into a job, you need to understand your passions. In most cases, people engage in jobs that don’t make them happy because they confuse passions with hobbies. To ensure you succeed as a pet sitter, groomer, or therapist, you need to learn the differences between a hobby and passion.
For example, let’s say you enjoy pampering your dog during your free time. It doesn’t necessarily mean you should work hard to become a dog groomer. You might be better as a dog trainer because it’s something that brings a sense of fulfillment to your life. Therefore, explore all your options and decide if starting a career as a pet walker, sitter, veterinarian, pooper scooper, pet photographer, or party planner makes you happy.
Consider Market Demand
Once you’ve identified what you want to do, list different pet services you can offer within your location. This step also entails evaluating the demand for pet services and products. The last thing you want to do is jump into a career that has low demand. Regardless of how much you desire to be a dog therapist or cat groomer, a lack of market demand can hinder you from thriving.
On the other hand, investing resources in a market filled with many competitors can feel intimidating. However, if you’re confident with your skills, you can compete with competitors and manage to stay ahead of them. All you need is an effective marketing strategy to promote your pet business.
Research Your Options
Launching a career in the pet industry can be challenging if you’re unaware of how things are done. Therefore, take the time to research what you need to set yourself up for success. Typically, you will need equipment, specific machinery, special training, certifications, and permits. As you gain more experience in your field, you may require employees to help you handle the flow of customers. You’ll also need funding to expand your business.
To avoid headaches later, gather all the information about starting a career as a pet trainer, therapist, sitter, or walker. Interview individuals who turned their passion into successful careers to learn what they did to stay ahead of their competition and follow their tactics. You’ll notice each career option has a specific requirement. For instance, if you want to offer pet sitting or walking services, you’ll need a criminal background check.
Not to mention an insurance policy to protect you against financial or legal implications should an accident occur while taking care of pets. According to Cerity, insurance covers lost wages, medical expenses, and other costs incurred due to a mishap at the workplace. With insurance coverage, you can focus on expanding your venture without worrying about how to mitigate risks.
Train And Get Certified
It’s easy to assume that a unique skill will help you outshine competitors, but that’s not always the case. To ensure you’re marketable as a pet photographer, groomer, therapist, sitter, or trainer, you’ll need to enroll in a training program. For instance, if you want to become a professional dog or cat trainer, consider enrolling in courses designed for pet trainers. Training provides you with the fundamental skills and knowledge you need to become a reputable cat or dog trainer. You’ll also have certificates to prove you’re qualified, hence boosting your credibility. Moreover, training and internships help you gain hands-on experience, a critical aspect to landing a well-paying job.
Create A Plan For Your Career Path
It’s tempting to start hunting for jobs after identifying your passion and requirements for launching a pet-based business. However, industry experts recommend taking time to develop a strategy for your career path. Of course, you don’t have to create a roadmap up to retirement. You only need to outline the basics, like how you can turn your passion for pets into a lifelong career. Also, determine if you’ll launch your career by working in a company or set up a pet business from scratch.
While there’s no harm in starting a pet business upfront, seeking employment in an agency specializing in providing pet services or products is advisable. You’ll receive adequate training to improve your skills and learn how to run a lucrative pet business. Another key consideration when creating a career plan as a dog or cat trainer, sitter, walker, photographer, or treat supplier is the steps you’ll take to advance your skills. You can choose to enroll for regular training and become a member of pet business owner associations. Additionally, make sure you have a plan B if your initial plan doesn’t work. It pays to be open to criticism and advice, as they help you identify new ideas to launch a profitable pet-related venture.
If you’re a die-hard animal lover, it’s possible to transform your passion into a profitable job. However, for you to succeed, you need to understand your love for pets. Determine if being a pet sitter, pet store supplier, groomer, massage therapist, pet photographer, or pet party planner gives you a sense of happiness. Also, research your target market, know the basic requirements to start a pet-related venture, develop a career plan, and get certified.