Love Pets & want to open a pet care center of your own?
Only a pet owner can tell what an immeasurable amount of love and peace pets can bring to your life. These speechless animals can be the best of friends and stress-busters for everyone as long as they can connect with them.
Pets are treasured by the pet owners as much as their kids. Keeping these speechless creatures healthy and happy is their primary concern. And it so happens that despite having the best intentions in mind, pet owners can not help their beloved pets. It could be a medical condition or otherwise. These are the times when it becomes necessary to hire a professional to handle them.
Pet care: A Booming Business
Having a pet has always been a go-to for having a company for people from every age group. They are also helpful in providing company to growing kids or ageing parents. In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, pet adoption has gone up. Most people are at home, and many have adopted a pet to have company. In the wake of this, the pet care industry is experiencing steady growth rapidly. The pet care segment is worth around $ 53 billion globally and is expected to reach $ 64 billion by 2024. In India, the pet care industry is worth Rs 2524 crores and is growing at a rate of 17% annually. Retailers dealing in pet care products are likely to benefit since pet care products are one of the top categories that people are buying this year.
An average cat or a dog owner spends the most on pet food, followed by medications, books, toys, grooming supplies, etc. So, pet care is a big business worldwide. Some big retailers are offering new products for pet owners like pet insurance and dog-walking services.
Pet care is all about taking care of your pet. Right from the food they eat to their physical activities, providing medical attention as and when they require it, their grooming, and everything that is needed to provide them hail and heart life. It also includes providing a safe and secured place for them to stay when the owner has to go out on a trip.
The market for Pet Care Supplies
Pet care products have always been in high demand. But one segment that has experienced remarkable growth in the past one year is the grooming segment.
Grooming products are in high demand because most professional groomers have closed down due to the pandemic, and the owners are doing the clipping and washing all by themselves.
Pet care centers
Pets are blissful as long as you are at home. But what do you do when you have to travel out of the city for a few days? Traveling with pets is by far too cumbersome and expensive an affair. In such cases, you need a safe and sound place to keep them under proper supervision till the time you come back. It is the time when you turn to the pet care center.
Pet care centers are mushrooming in all the major cities. They offer boarding facilities for your pets while keeping them healthy and happy. They are manned by staff who have expertise in handling pets like dogs, cats, and birds. Pet care centers provide both Air Conditioned and non-Air Conditioned accommodations. They also have lots of toys for pets to keep them engaged. They will also prepare home-cooked meals for the pets. Medical attention is available to them whenever the need arises.
Some pet care centers also provide a clinic or a spa for your furry friends. The range of extra services includes a pet bakery, nutritionist consultations, ECG, pick-up/drop services, pet parties, and even make horoscopes for the pets!
They have arrangements with top veterinary doctors to check the health of your pets 24/7 and also have a proper exercise regime in place for the pets.
Pet owners are encouraged to do a reconnaissance of the center, see the facilities, and familiarise their pets with the new place before putting them in their hands for a longer period.
How to open a pet care center?
Pet care is a billion-dollar business, and there is no upper limit to the opportunities to earn if you open a pet care center. If you follow the steps given below, you can be the owner of a lucrative business:
If you are interested in opening a pet day-care business, you should first gain knowledge in areas like animal behaviour, first aid, etc. It is also advisable to gather some field experience as a pet sitter, dog walker, animal shelter volunteer, or veterinary assistant.
Develop a business plan
Making a business plan is necessary to provide a direction to your business and also to convince investors. Start by studying the competition in the area, the demographics, and the probable places from where your business will come. You must check whether the customer base is large enough to sustain your business.
You should consult your accountant and check what will be the best option to register your company-a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company, or any other corporate entity. You must prepare a release form that absolves you of any responsibilities, if the pet is accidentally injured while playing, for instance. A general insurance cover is also a good idea. You can explore a tie-up with a local veterinarian who can come over quickly in an emergency.
Also Read: Best Dog Food Brands In India
Calculate your probable hours and your workflow to arrive at the pricing. It should be competitive but sustainable.
A well-made business plan will help you to answer the following questions:
- What will you name the company?
- What will be the scale?
- How will you market the business?
- Do you want to hire any staff?
You would need a start-up capital to meet the immediate needs like signing a lease or meeting insurance and licensing costs. Determine how much of the capital investment you can put up on your own; the rest you can manage through small business loans.
Find the right location for your pet care business
You should choose such a location where you can do all the planned work like boarding, grooming, etc.; so, it should have ample space. Also, keep in mind that dogs require more space because they need to play, run, and dig. So, if you are planning a pet care center only for canines, you might need a larger area.
You have to take necessary permissions from government authorities to convert the location for commercial purposes. You might need a special permit for running a business with animals. Also, if you are going to indulge in pet grooming or dog walking, make sure the location is close to a pet-friendly housing block.
Hire the right people
If you want to run a small day-care operation, at the initial stage you might be able to handle it on your own. But if you are planning on something bigger, you might want to hire full or part-time employees. Be sure to hire people with experience in handling animals or those who have any relevant certificates. They should also get training in animal CPR, to meet any emergencies.
The trend in today’s pet day-care industry is towards cage-free facilities so that the pets move around in an open ground for most of the day. Most centers separate pets like dogs by size during playtime. Thus puppies have a separate play area from adult dogs. Most pet day-care centers have kennels for feeding and overnight boarding purposes.
The day-care facility should have ample space for outdoor areas, play, and rest areas. You can provide a splash pool for pets to cool off during summers. Temperature control devices to make the pets more comfortable would be a smart add-on to the existing pet care services. Also, provide ample drinking water to keep the pets hydrated.
You can put webcams and live stream videos of the pets to the owners. It is sure to be a hit with the owners.
If someone wants to find a pet care center to keep his pet, what will he/she do? In most cases, he will pick up his mobile phone and search “pet care center near me.” So, a pet care center owner needs to see that the name of his business comes near the top of any searches.
Investing in Google AdWords is a smart way to promote your enterprise and ensure that it scores well in local searches. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram is another popular option. If you post videos of your happy customers along with their pets and also boost the post, you will get your money’s worth.
The pet care industry is an ecosystem consisting of pet care products, pet food, grooming centers, and spas. If you love working with animals and can work hard, pet care is a sound business idea.
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