The Best Businesses for Dog Lovers


I recently visited some friends from college in Dallas. One of the first things I noticed was how dog-friendly the city is. I commented on it as we sat down to lunch. “Everyone has a dog here,” one of my friends told me. I soon realized that everyone at our table had several things in common:

1) We were all 30-something, child-free professionals.

2) We all had dogs.

3) We all spent a lot of money each month on their dogs. A lot of money.

And our little table is not alone. Americans spent a record $56 billion on their pets last year, and that number is only expected to climb. As we sat discussing how difficult it was to find a good dog-walker and lamenting how all of the best doggie daycares in town have wait-lists, it occurred to me that taking care of other people’s pets can be a lucrative side business.

Here are a few ways animal lovers can earn some extra money:

Start a dog-walking service.
My own Dallas friends spend around $20 a day for someone to come to their homes and take their dogs for a 30-minute walk. This is a very popular service for busy professionals who don’t have time to come home during lunch and walk their dogs or let them out. If you’re a runner, you can charge a little more to take the dogs for a run.

Be a pet sitter.
Doting pet parents don’t like leaving their dogs and cats at a boarding facility, which can be stressful for the animal. Instead, they pay pet sitters to come and take care of their pets while they’re out of town. Advertise your services on your own, or join a site like DogVacay and sign up as a host.

Start a pet shuttle. 
I have a coworker who hired a dog shuttle service to transport her dog by car from Washington to Nevada when she moved. The cost? $2,000. You can also stay local, shuttling pets to and from their vet and grooming appointments or dropping them off and picking them up from daycare.

Start a doggy daycare.
This one will require some licensing and proper insurance, but if you have a fenced yard, a doggy daycare can turn into a cash cow. Pet owners who don’t want to leave their pets alone during the day routinely pay $250-300 a month and more for doggy daycare.

These may seem like simple side jobs, but you’d be surprised at how lucrative they can be. So if you love dogs and you love money, give a dog-based service a try.

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