Pet Franchises: Dog Businesses Galore (Cats Too)



Pet Franchises

According to a survey of 1,000 of those new pet owners, about 60% said they were first-timers. They’ll be looking for boarding, grooming, walking, training and other services. Franchise opportunities are out there wriggling like a litter of Lab puppies.

The other 40% of the new owners? They got another animal as a companion for an existing pet! Many households now need services for multiple pets.

In 2018, the Pet Care Services industry was estimated at about $72 billion annually. The estimate for 2020 is $95 billion. In other words, pet-related service businesses are among the fastest growing entities in the United States.

Do you love pets? Why not have work that involves something you love? Let’s take a look and help find the best pet franchise opportunities for you.



Best Pet Franchises

As you’d imagine, the cost of getting started with a pet franchise can vary immensely. Of course! Some require real estate and fencing, and special equipment and supplies. There are business and liability insurance costs, possibly special licensing.

Want to find the least expensive pet franchise to start? Think of the one with tons – well, okay, pounds – of job security. You already know the answer to this one – what is the thing that all dogs and cats do every day, more than once a day?



1. Poop Pick Up Franchises

Don’t think that these franchises limit their business to picking up dogs’ “business” in a yard. Yes, that’s the mainstay of the poop pick up business, but these franchises don’t limit their services to that.

They branch out and provide the same service to communities, expanding the service to include poop pick up in community dog parks, apartment complexes and even cemeteries. A company like this may set up and maintain pet poop “stations” in parks, where pick up bags are provided and placed for disposal. And they may pick up deer and/or goose droppings.

They also pick up “used” litter boxes, which the cat owners place outside their residences. These used litter boxes are replaced with sanitized litter boxes, ready for the cat owner to refill with their chosen cat litter. Well, with the litter their cat or cats have chosen.

These franchises have two key advantages. They are the least expensive as far as franchise fees and start up costs. You can also take that established client base and expand later, perhaps adding a pet sitting, grooming and/or dog walking franchise.



Franchise fees can be as low as $12,000, and only minimal equipment is needed. Compare that to say a Pet Day Care, where you’ll need about $200,000 liquid capital plus a franchise fee of $50,000.

The pet waste pick up business is expected to reach $4 billion within the next year. It’s a rare piece of the market in pet franchises. You don’t need any special licenses or certifications. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. As franchises go, those basics are rarities.

Cat franchises are another rarity. No one likes to clean a litter box. In fact, cleaning a litter box is a dangerous job for a pregnant woman. Poop pick up and disposal is not just for dogs in the pet franchises world.

What do you need to operate this pet franchise? A vehicle, a scooper, gloves, rubber boots, garbage bags and buckets.



Here are a couple of the industry leaders:

2. Pet Day Care Franchises

These are the heavy hitters of the pet care franchises. The typical Pet Day Care franchise owner has liquid capital of at least $200,000. The franchise fee is about $50,000.

(And let’s be honest. These are primarily dog daycare franchises. Cats don’t buy in to the whole dog daycare franchise thing – really, all that barking and slobbering? Cats have more preferred ways to spend their days than at doggy day care franchises.)

The return on investment for doggie daycare franchises can be exponential. A Pet Day Care franchise can offer a menu of services, to include walks, play time, grooming and training. They can include a retail space and sell pet supplies, such as treats and toys.



Although the investment is high, in return the franchise owner gets a proven business model and training. The owner gets a operations manual and plenty of support.

Pet Day Care franchises have been around for about 20 years. During that time, the franchises have grown from one to more than 100. For example, Camp Bow Wow now has more than 170 locations.

During those two decades, the Pet Day Care franchisors have compounded a lot of knowledge, such as specific state licensing and insurance requirements. The franchisor can also provide advice as you navigate local zoning regulations.

Are the initial financial outlay and ongoing costs – typically at least a 5% royalty on gross – worth it? Consider this: At its 170 locations, Camp Bow Wow has had nearly 5 million canine visitors, annually.



Here are a couple of the industry leaders:

Do you want to start a dog day care on your own? You’ll find more information at https://smallbiztrends.com/2019/10/how-to-start-a-doggy-daycare.html.

3. Dog Grooming Franchises

Grooming franchises include dogs and cats, and are primarily geared for dogs. The grooming can be done at a standard location, or be brought to the pet owner in a mobile grooming service.

What are the advantages of going with a grooming franchise? Of course, the biggest advantage of training. You don’t have to be a graduate of a grooming school to get started in a dog grooming franchise.



The franchises will set you up in a training school. Why? They want to make sure that all groomers affiliated with the franchise are trained to the same standards.

Other advantages to choosing the franchise route are that the franchisor will already be savvy of specific state regulations and insurance requirements. You’ll also have a proven marketing plan.

In a pet grooming franchise, the purchaser typically must have a net worth of about $100,000, with $50,000 in liquid cash. The overall investment can be as low as $46,000 ranging up to $200,000.

Here are a couple industry leaders:



  • Zoomin GroominThis is a mobile pet grooming service which operates from a specially-outfitted high cube van.
  • Pet Sit Pros Pet Sit Pros is a pet sitting service that adds mobile grooming to its list of services.

4. Pet Walking and Sitting Franchises

A Pet Sitting franchise and a Pet Walking franchise are often intertwined. In lieu of overnight boarding, a Pet Sitter is stopping by a residence to provide an outdoor potty break for a dog. Even if the pet owner has a fenced yard, dog walking is often part of the pet care.

Don’t write off expanding the business to include in-home cat care. Although taking a cat for a walk may not be on the schedule, a pet feline can certainly benefit from a visit. The cat’s reputation as “aloof” or “unfriendly” does not apply the majority of the time. Care of cats or other animals – fish, birds, reptiles – can be considered part of any pet related business.

Here are a couple industry leaders for these dual-purpose pet franchises:

5. Specialized Dog Boarding Franchises

“Just like home” dog boarding is a growing new business. Instead of sending a dog to a traditional style boarding kennel, the dog goes to a boarding facility which is set up in a homelike environment.



Examples of home based overnight care franchises include Camp Run a Mutt, Wagging Tails and Fetch! Pet Care. For each of these, the total start up investment is much lower than it would be for someone building a traditional-style boarding kennel.

It can be difficult to get permission to operate a traditional dog boarding facility, as state and county regulations can vary hugely. However a home-based overnight dog care franchise may have a smoother path, as it can be termed a “home based business” with a low impact.

A new style of dog boarding is sending your dog to stay with a host family. The host family is thoroughly screened, and the guest dog is part of the household. An example of this franchise is Pets Are Inn.

For the totally discriminating pet, there are pet resorts and spas available as types of pet boutique franchises. Although this pet boutique franchise idea is relatively new, it is a good business venture with a low initial investment. These are new and unique, with a specialized clientele – and among the fastest growing of all pet related services.



Check D Pet Hotel as well.

6. More Hot Pet Franchises

Dogs and cats need stuff. They need brushes and combs, dishes, coats, shampoos and conditioners, collars and leashes, biscuits and treats, food, food supplements, vitamins and more. The trouble is, these supplies are readily available in the big box stores.

One of the fastest growing pet store franchises is Pet Supplies Plus. The store name lives up to the “supplies plus” description by offering both curbside pickup and delivery. The business stocks new products and supplies with a focus on healthy pets.

Pet Supplies Plus has even developed its own food line, called Redford Naturals. Their food has no fillers, no artificial coloring and no flavorings.

As you’d expect with a brick-and-mortar building franchise, the franchisee needs to have $200,000 in liquid assets and a minimum net worth of $600,000. The franchise fee is about $50,000. However, military Veterans have a special offer of 20% off those numbers.

7. Dog Training Franchise

Dog training is another fast-growing field. Trainers can hold classes in a specific location, or they can make home visits. Dog training can include basic obedience or advance work such as agility skills and competitions. It can also be applied to help dogs with behavioral problems, such as separation anxiety or aggression.

A dog trainer should be certified as a graduate of a program, which is part of the model for a training franchise. Some examples are The Dog Wizard, Off Leash K-9 Training and Canine Dimensions.

The Tail End

It’s no secret that people are very attached to their four-legged family members. It may be past time for you to SIT for a moment and research the many opportunities there are to own a successful business in this field. You may find it’s a good place to STAY.

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Lisa Price Lisa Price is a freelance writer living in Barnesville, Pennsylvania. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in journalism from Shippensburg State College (Pennsylvania). She has worked as a trucking company dock supervisor, newspaper circulation district manager, radio station commercial writer, assistant manager of a veterinary pharmaceutical warehouse and newspaper reporter.

2 Reactions
  1. Pet are the best! Thank you for talking about businesses that serve pets. I hope a lot of them open up soon.
    Jim Madison

  2. I would love to start a pet business in either grooming or boarding.

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