If you’d love to work with animals for a living, and you dream of being your own boss, running your own pet care business could be the perfect choice for you. But before you hand in your notice, consider this list of pros and cons of a pet care business.
Pros of a pet care business
Once your pet care business is established, the potential for decent earnings is high. The pet care market is strong: in 2017, 13 million UK households had at least one pet and the market value for pet care products was around 5.3 billion euros. Pets are treated as part of the family and many pet-owners are more likely to spend on their pets than on themselves.
Also pet-owners are busier than ever – working long hours, travelling, talking care of family – they need someone they can rely on to look after their pets when they can’t and they are prepared to pay for that. That someone could be you.
Another advantage to running your own pet care business is choosing your own hours. Of course, the more hours you work, the more you earn, but you have control over your schedule and can work around your other responsibilities without having to answer to anyone.
Many people who already work in pet care cite the variety of the job as a big plus – no two days are the same, and you never quite know what your day will bring, even if you see the same pets regularly. The work is naturally varied too – you could be feeding, grooming, exercising, or bathing your furry clients, or just giving them some much-wanted company and attention.
But perhaps the biggest advantage to running a pet care business, is how rewarding the work is. Dogs, especially, enjoy and thrive on interaction with people; they are glad to see you and make it clear that they appreciate your care. Even with less demonstrative pets, you know you’ve made a real difference to their day and are building a relationship with them. The job satisfaction speaks for itself!
Cons of a pet care business
“Know before going into it that it’s more than just kissing kittens and playing with puppies.” Sherry L. Suhosky, president of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.
Pet care is a very responsible job. Trust and reliability are key to a successful pet care business; people and their pets are relying on you. If you can’t fulfil your duties at any time, you will need to arrange cover so the pets are not neglected. Pet owners are also entrusting you with access – and keys – to their home, so some clients may want you to undergo a CRB check, although this is not a legal requirement for pet care work.
Looking after pets is a dirty business; you can’t be squeamish about cleaning up urine, faeces and vomit where necessary, or cleaning out a smaller pet’s cage/hutch. And would you know what to do in a medical emergency? It’s a good idea to learn some basic animal first aid skills.
While pet care is a practical hands-on business, it still comes with its fair share of paperwork. A service contract between you and each client is vital to establish exactly what care you will provide and under which circumstances. You’ll want to consider other mutually-binding agreements too, such as Veterinary Release Forms, Key Release Forms, etc.
Pet sitting insurance is also essential; if a dog you are looking after gets lost, bites someone or gets injured in any way, you need to be covered. Also, if you hold keys to your clients’ homes, the policy should cover you for loss of keys and accidental damage.
But don’t let the ‘cons’ put you off running your own pet care business. Here at We Love Pets we try and reduce the cons to a minimum so you can enjoy all the benefits of running your own pet care franchise. We Love Pets has a great support network in place for their franchisees – training, business mentors, marketing, vet nurses and solicitor expertise are all available to help you with your new business. Plus, you can talk to other franchisees and learn from their experiences.
If you’re ready to be your own boss in a truly rewarding job, contact We Love Pets today we would be delighted to hear from you.