Over 62 percent of U.S. households own a pet and an estimated $53 billion will be spent on pets in 2012. In Laymen's terms: The market is huge. Want to know more? Here are some of the best businesses to consider starting up in this booming industry.
Grooming businesses have seen strong growth in the pet care industry. Traveling groomers and high-end grooming businesses offer services such as massages. Take notes from a Texas-based company called Chris Christensen Systems, a $4 million business that creates beauty products for show dogs, including texturizing shears, a doggie blow dryer, and various types of shampoos and sprays.
Forget kennels— pet "suites" are the new black. Check out The Pet Hotel at Barkingham Palace. This California-based boarding facility is also a wellness spa. Pets get all-star treatment and pooches can spend the night in suites with couches and TVs. This hotel even offers hydrating masks, massages, warm water pool therapy, and training classes. Owners can watch their dogs rest and play via webcam.
When it comes to pets, there is a massive opportunity in the online retail space. Though the big box chains can offer discount deals, there is an an opportunity for smaller outfits to offer boutique products and services. Check out Etsy, where there are over 6,000 shops that sell “gifts for pets.” If you want more ideas, put yourself in a pet owners shoes: Many search online for necessities like pet medicine. What could you offer?
Brick-and-mortar retail pet stores are also booming-- but competition is big. Giants like PetSmart have offerings across the industry, and even Walmart is starting to host pet grooming salons. But here's an idea to get around it. Check out Beasty Feast in New York, which provides customers with a more personalized experience. Try focusing on specialty and higher-end luxury items and services.
The eco-friendly and organic trends are also gaining traction in the pet world. Check out Dog Gone Smart, which uses nanotechnology to create stain repelling and bacteria resistant dog jackets. The company also makes 100 percent biodegradable beds. For feline friends, Imperial Cat has created scratch toys in over 80 creative shapes that are 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable, and come with “Certified Organic Catnip.” Organic pet foods are also becoming increasingly popular.
With cremation and burial options, as well as pet cemeteries in many states, pet funerals help owners say goodbye and deal with the grief of losing a close companion. Take a gander at Shugart’s Deceased Pet Care Funeral Home in Georgia. The company lets owners chose a burial garden, casket, and memorialize their pet on its site with a photo and story.
Read more about the pet care industry.