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How to Become a Petpreneur: A Guide to Start Your Pet Business

Are you ready to step into the world of petpreneurship? If you’ve been dreaming about it, researching, and seriously considering starting your own pet business, this is your sign to dig in and become a petpreneur!

Whether you’ve been rolling this idea around for weeks, months, or years, now is the perfect time to pursue your passion for pets and entrepreneurship. Then you’ll be able to call yourself a petpreneur!

A petpreneur is more than just a business owner in the pet industry.

People who call themselves petpreneurs are innovators at heart. They often blend their love for pets with an entrepreneurial spirit. Whether it’s creating eco-friendly toys, launching a line of sustainable pet treats, or offering virtual dog training, a petpreneur finds joy in making a difference in the lives of pets and their people.

What is a Petpreneur

What is a Petpreneur?

A petpreneur is more than just a pet business owner. I think this term is for special people who can combine their love for animals with innovative ways to help people. There are many different ways to do this. For example:

  • Product-Based Pet Business: Think of custom pet apparel, eco-friendly toys, or sustainable dog treats.
  • Pet Service Businesses: From dog walking and pet sitting to grooming or training services.
  • Knowledge and Influence-Based Businesses: This includes pet bloggers, social media influencers, or online course creators focusing on pet care and welfare. –> This is the kind of pet business I have!

My Journey to Become a Petpreneur

Growing up, I knew my dream job was to do something with animals. But I thought the only option was to become a veterinarian.

I wasn’t great at science, so I went in a different direction and worked in fashion, magazine publishing, and advertising. I eventually started my own business as a social media consultant for local businesses in my town.

A few years into that I found that I needed a creative outlet. Something that I was really passionate about. So I started this blog and began posting about my dogs. 

It wasn’t until my late 20s that I discovered just how many possibilities there are to work in the pet industry. When I started this dog blog, Wear Wag Repeat, as a hobby in 2013, I never imagined it would grow into a thriving hub for pet parents and petpreneurs.

In the nearly 11 years I’ve had this website, I’ve learned that starting small and staying persistent can lead to incredible growth.

From the start, this wasn’t just about creating a business. It was always my intention to build a community of pet lovers and foster a space where we can support each other. As pet parents and petpreneurs!

I’m in this for the long haul and I’m on a mission to help as many pets and their people as possible!

Essentials Every Strong Woman Needs to Make it Work! LBD

Different Types of Petpreneurs

When it comes to being a petpreneur, the options are endless! I already gave you a quick breakdown of product, service, and information-based businesses. Now, let’s take a deeper look at even more options.

I hope this inspires you to be creative and see that your unique pet business idea is possible!

Whether you’re drawn to the creative side like designing special pet products or you’re passionate about providing top-notch services for pet parents who are short on time, there’s a niche for everyone.

From e-commerce to paws-on-the-ground type of work, let’s see what type of petpreneurship resonates with you. Do you want to work with pets? Or would you prefer to support their humans? Here are some ideas for both!

Examples of successful pet businesses where you get to work with pets:

  • Virtual Dog Training: Sometimes virtual dog training can be more productive than in-person training. For reactive or nervous dogs this can be a great option. As a virtual dog trainer, you would offer online training or behavior consultations with video calls and digital guides.
  • Pet Nutritionists: Are you very passionate about what your dog or cat eats? There’s a demand for professionals providing online consultations, courses, and webinars about pet nutrition. Maybe you specialize in dogs with food intolerances or feeding a raw diet. There are certifications you can get to increase your expertise in this field.
  • Pet Photographers: As a skilled photographer who loves animals, there are a lot of ways you can create w business. You can take photos of people and their pets. But consider that you could also offer online photography courses to help others take better photos.
  • Pet Treat Makers: If you have a passion for baking and making special pet treats, you could start a business around that. You can sell on your website, at the market, sell wholesale to local stores, or set up a monthly subscription model.

Examples of successful pet businesses where you support their humans:

  • E-commerce Store: Sell pet products online. Anything from custom-designed pet apparel to eco-friendly toys, or specialized pet foods. You could sell your products, do drop-shipping, or go with a hybrid model.
  • Pet Grief Counselors: Pets are family members, so when they pass it can be very difficult for those left behind. If you have experience in therapy, you may be able to provide online support and or in-person counseling services to pet parents.
  • Supporting Brick and Mortar Pet Businesses: For groomers, doggy daycare, training facilities, and veterinarians, could all use support. If you want to get into the pet industry and support these types of businesses, you could offer your services to help them with online appointment booking, customer engagement, and marketing. Social media managers who specialize in the pet industry are in demand!
  • Pet Blogging and Content Creation: Create an online space for pet care advice, reviews, and partnerships with pet brands. There are a lot of ways to generate income in this niche. You could share affiliate links, create sponsored content, sell your digital products, or put ads on your site.

 

Strategic Steps to start your pet business

As you can see from this list, the pet industry is a playground of opportunities. And this is just a sample of some ideas I came up with. The options are endless!

Whether your strength lies in crafting, training, counseling, or capturing the soul of pets through photography, there’s a place for you in the pet industry.

Remember, each type of petpreneur brings something unique to the table. So consider what your unique skills are and how they translate into a new pet business idea.

Laying the Foundation for Your Petpreneur Career

Embarking on your petpreneur journey is like training a new puppy – it requires patience, strategy, and lots of love. Once you have a great foundation in place, you’ll be able to learn faster and hit your goals.

Now that you’re brainstorming the PAWsibiliites of a pet industry career, I want to share some strategic tips that will help prepare you for the exciting road ahead.

Think of this as your petpreneur puppy training guide – helping you to sit, stay, and succeed in the pet industry!

Consider these 4 Strategic Steps as you start your pet business:

  1. Embrace the Entrepreneurial Mindset: Prepare yourself for the journey ahead. Understand that entrepreneurship requires dedication, flexibility, and resilience. You will likely need to make some tough decisions. You’ll also need to be very self-motivated to wake up and pursue your dream every day. Are you ready for that?
  2. Conduct Market Research: Dive deep into understanding your potential market. Who are your customers? What problem can you help them solve? What’s currently missing on the market? Or what could you do better? The pet industry is full of kind and supportive people, so don’t be shy about reaching out to do some market research over a video call or email.
  3. Find Your Niche: There are so many ways to work in the pet industry, so finding your specific niche is crucial. I recommend that you get as specific as you can about who you are, what your business does, and who you can help. Remember, you can’t be everything to everyone. Try to narrow your business idea down so you can attract your ideal customers.
  4. Taking the First Steps: Begin with small, actionable steps. This could be sketching out a business plan, creating a prototype of your product, or starting a blog. Social media is also a great way to connect with future customers, network with other petpreneurs, and do market research. Why not set up your Instagram account today?

My best advice is to go for it! Don’t get hung up on researching and brainstorming for so long that you never start your pet business. 

Resources for Petpreneur Success

Smell steps to start your first small business in the pet industry

As you lay the foundation for your petpreneur career, remember that every big dream starts with small steps. It’s just like nurturing a puppy into a well-trained, confident dog. Building your business will be a journey of growth, learning, and joy.

There are many ways you can get started with your new pet business in a small way. This might be a good option if you’re new to entrepreneurship and want to test it out.

For example, you can test the petpreneurship waters like this:

  • If you dream of running a state-of-the-art dog boarding facility, start with dog sitting in your neighborhood.
  • If you want to travel the world as a pet photographer, start by working with a local shelter or rescue to take photos of adoptable pets.
  • If you want to make a full-time living as a dog blogger like me, start by writing one blog post.

So, take a deep breath, set your sights high, and start paving your petpreneur path. It’s all about putting one foot in front of the other on that path.

Different Types of Petpreneurs

Resources for Petpreneur Success

So, you’ve got a fantastic idea for your small business in the pet niche. You have the mindset you need to start a business. And you’re eager to take the first small step to making your dream a reality. What’s next?

That’s where Wear Wag Repeat comes in! I’ve created a podcast, courses, and a community that is your go-to resource for petpreneur success. Consider me your trusted companion on this journey, always ready with advice, support, and a friendly wag.

A few ways I can help start and grow your pet business online:

  • Wear Wag Repeat Podcast: This is your first stop on this journey! Listen to over 300 episodes of my podcast which is dedicated to highlighting women from all areas of the pet industry. You’ll get insights, inspiration, and actionable advice to turn your pet dream into a reality.
  • Wear Wag Repeat Society: The hard truth is, that you won’t learn how to run an online pet business just by Googling every little thing, hanging out with your dog, and crossing your paws so that you go viral. My monthly membership, Wear Wag Repeat Society, is an inclusive and supportive community for women in the pet industry who want to grow their businesses online. Members are from all kinds of pet industry niches. But what we have in common is that we’re all solopreneurs who want to make an impact, and make money! If that sounds like you, join us here.
  • 1:1 Strategy Sessions: I’m a big believer in reaching out when I need help. 45 minutes with an expert can save me hours, or even months, of work! Do you have an idea you need to bounce off someone who gets pet parents? Want help coming up with a plan to launch your new business or product? I’m a digital marketing expert with over 15 years of experience, the past 10 spent scaling this business in the pet industry. I would love to help you during a 1:1 strategy session. 

Remember, you’re not alone on this petpreneur journey. With resources like the Wear Wag Repeat podcast and our thriving community, you have a wealth of knowledge and support at your fingertips.

Everyone in this pack is here to celebrate your successes, guide you through challenges, and cheer you on every step of the petpreneur journey. A great place to connect with this awesome pack is in my free Facebook group, Wear Wag Repeat Labs. 

The Pet World Needs Your Expertise

I hope you’ve learned a lot from this post! From defining what it means to be a petpreneur to exploring the diverse paths and essential traits needed for success in this industry. It’s clear that this is more than a career choice—it’s a calling for pet lovers!

Just like when I started Wear Wag Repeat with a simple desire to share my love for dogs, your journey begins with a passion for pets. I believe that if you get clear on WHY you want to start a pet industry business it will give you the motivation to keep going for years.

Remember, whether you’re crafting eco-friendly toys or sharing your pet care expertise, every step you take is a step towards making a difference in the lives of pets and their people. So, are you ready to turn your dream into reality?

Embrace your passion, harness your unique skills, and join the inspiring community of petpreneurs. The world needs your innovation, empathy, and dedication. Together, we can make a PAWsitive impact on the world!

Did you like this post? Here are a few more to help you on your pet industry journey:
Ideal Petpreneur Playlist Quiz – Get a custom playlist of my podcast!
Meet 15-year-old Petpreneur, Ava Dorsey, Founder of Ava’s Pet Palace
How to Figure out the Best Blog Topics for Your Pet Business
Best Social Media Platforms for Pet Businesses 

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Tori Mistick Labrador Dog Mom Blog

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Tori Mistick is the ultimate Dog Mom Lifestyle blogger with a passion for style, chocolate labs and the color pink. Based in Pittsburgh, PA.

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