India is one of the fastest-growing pet care markets in the world, growing at a rate of 13.9% yearly. Keeping pets of certain breeds has become a trend, and some people even consider them family members.
The size of the Indian pet care market was estimated at INR 7,400 crores and is expected to reach INR 21,000 core by 2032 at a CAGR of 19.2%. Increasing disposable income, changing lifestyles, and evolving consumer behavior will continue to drive the pet market growth.
What is Pet Care?
Pet care businesses provide various services to pet owners, such as training, grooming, sitting, boarding, pet care products, and even veterinary services. These services can be provided at a pet store, pet boarding center, pet shop, or even at a pet owner’s place, depending on the nature of the service.
Every year 600,000 pets are adopted in India, with the majority of them being dogs and cats. As the number of pet owners is increasing, the demand for pet care is also rising. People have started treating their pets as family members.
And they want to provide the best care to them, including grooming, exercise, boarding, and medical facilities.
Types of Pet Care
The pet care business is not just limited to looking after dogs and cats or giving them baths and meals. Due to growing pet humanization, many types of pet care businesses emerged in the last few years. Let’s take a look at them.
Dog training is one of the best methods to enhance your relationship with your pet. It is not just about teaching specific commands but more about building a bond and understanding each other.
Training your pet makes you feel like you’re talking to them and they’re listening to you. It also teaches dog owners how to handle their dogs when they’re aggressive or not behaving properly. For someone who loves dogs, training can be a perfect pet care business for them.
Pet sitting is similar to babysitting. However, instead of babies, you are taking care of people’s pets who have to go away for some time due to various reasons. You are expected to feed, brush, walk, and play with the pets in the owners’ absence.
Similar to pet sitting, there’s dog walking. You take out people’s dogs for a walk once or twice every day. In addition, you can provide services, such as playing or giving treats to the dogs.
Pet grooming is a booming industry in India. Young people who own pets want their pets to look good. Grooming involves giving a proper bath and brushing the fur. However, it also includes services like pedicures and manicures for pets in a salon.
Due to double-income households and tight schedules, pet parents cannot take care of all the necessities of their pets.
For example, some pets require regular brushing, while some require exercise to stay fit and healthy. A pet groomer understands the needs of a pet and takes care of its health in addition to enhancing its looks.
Pet owners are more educated about their pets’ health today. They want to provide the highest quality of food to their pets. All feather and fur babies are different. Dogs, cats, and birds are from different species. And you cannot even give the same food to different breeds of dogs in some cases.
Therefore, a pet food business that caters to the unique needs of different breeds and species can bring in good revenue. You can also prepare homemade treats. Owners and trainers usually give treats to their pets for listening to commands or performing a task.
For instance, when you teach your parrot to mimic what you say. If it does it right, you offer it a nut or birdie bread. A healthy homemade treat for animals without artificial ingredients can be in demand in the right neighborhood.
You may have seen aquariums in malls, offices, and people’s houses. These are usually provided on rent by aquarium service providers. One good thing about an aquarium business is that customers keep coming to purchase things like fish food and filters. You can also offer to clean the tank and water once a week for a fixed cost.
Pet products include pet items, such as toys, clothes, collars, glasses, jewelry, and beds. The trend started with international celebrities flaunting their fur and feather babies wearing necklaces and stylish clothes, and sleeping in their cat or dog houses or bird cages.
Puppies and kittens need toys like chewy bones and balls while growing up. A collar or jacket is required when you go out for a walk, and your dog is not trained to heal. Similarly, other products like tick removal collars or medicine protect dogs and cats from parasites.
Pet parents want the best products for their pets. Due to humanization, most of them want to provide a luxurious life to their feather and fur babies.
Pet veterinary service providers have expert veterinarians to provide medical services to pets. These veterinary services are either provided in a veterinary clinic or a home visit by a registered professional.
Guide to Start a Pet Care Business in India
Now that we explained the different pet business ideas, let’s understand the process of starting one.
Research Is the most crucial part of starting a pet care business in India. There are multiple niches and services you can choose from. However, here are a few things that might help you make a decision.
Dogs are the most owned pets in India, followed by cats, as per Statista. Indian pet owners spend INR 4000 monthly on their pets on average. A significant fraction of this amount is spent on pet foods, and the rest on pet products and other services.
A business focused on dogs or cats that offers food products or low-cost services is likely to thrive in India. However, do your research before you finalize any idea. Focus on what you prefer – furs or feathers. And pick a service that you would like to offer.
Finalizing a Niche – H3
Focus on your competitors. Find out what they are doing and what brings them the best results. Then, analyze them and pick a niche with a solid strategy to stay ahead of them. Finally, use your research data to make your offer better than your competitors.
For instance, some pet owners prefer pet food of a specific brand. So instead of targeting just cats and dogs, you can also try to attract pet parents of other pets, such as rabbits, tortoises, hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, parrots, and fish.
You can even add additional services. For instance, offering free monthly pedicures if they hire your dog walking services.
Creating a Business Plan
A business plan is essential to ensure your business continues to grow and you avoid any hindrances in the future. A business plan must give you a complete overview of how you are going to conduct your business, total operational costs, and required resources.
The business plan must also define your target market. It must focus on a market big enough to sustain your business. You must also consult an accountant to decide on the business entity type.
Choosing The Right Location
The right location for your pet care business depends on the type of business you are conducting. For example, if you start a pet boarding facility or a pet salon, the ideal location would be a Porsche area in a metropolitan city.
Another thing to consider is finding a location where you can easily do all the day-to-day operations. For a boarding facility, you must have enough area to accommodate many pets. You must have additional space to prepare meals and serve them.
You don’t have to worry much about the location in certain scenarios. For example, you don’t need a salon or office when you offer dog training services because you are visiting pet owners’ houses.
Required Licence and Documents
Pet care business requires licenses just like any other business. You might also require a proper Certificate of Registration from your state’s Animal Welfare Board under section 38 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Depending on the nature of your business, you need the right equipment for the smooth running of operations. For instance, a pet boarding facility needs equipment to prepare pet meals and bowls to serve multiple pets.
A pet food shop must-have branded and popular food products. An aquarium business must have aquariums of various sizes, filters, fish food, and other equipment.
As a dog walker or trainer, you need leashes, pet toys, and treats. Create a list of all the necessary equipment you need for your business and purchase them to offer a good service experience to pet parents and pets.
You can train dogs or walk them on your own. But if you decide to set up a pet grooming or a boarding center, you need good staff. You will require trained professionals who can cut their nails, groom their hair, serve their meals, and play with them.
Hiring is an essential part of scaling. Conduct detailed interviews to hire people who love animals. Ideally, people who own pets are good fits for such roles as they have personal experience and care for the animals.
Branding & Marketing
If you want to scale your business, you cannot achieve that without a sound branding and marketing strategy. Having a catchy name with a simple logo is recommended. The brand name can align with your services and must be easy to remember.
For marketing, a website and a strong digital presence are required. Offline marketing tactics like distributing pamphlets and getting referrals can work up to a point. However, you need to leverage online channels if you wish to scale.
A website with a Google My Business (GMB) profile is a must for pet facilities. You can also create profiles on social media platforms and engage with your target customers to create a strong brand.
Email marketing can work wonders if you sell pet products or food items. You can capture leads with Ads or using a lead magnet form on your website. Then, you can send offers and discounts to these leads.
You can also add testimonials and pictures of happy pet parents with their pets after receiving your service or product. All these activities will enhance your reputation.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Pet Care Business in India?
The cost of starting a pet care business can depend on what type of business you choose to conduct. The cost can be almost negligible in the case of dog training to several lakhs if you start a salon.
Here are some estimates based on the type of business you wish to conduct.
- Dog training – INR 5000 (you train dogs by visiting their place) to INR 10 lakhs (renting a property and hiring trainers)
- Pet Sitting – A few thousand (pet sitting at their place) to INR 10 lakhs (renting a property and hiring pet sitters)
- Pet Grooming Salon – INR 15-30 lakhs
- Pet Foods – INR 3 lakhs to INR 5 lakhs, depending on the number of products and store size
- Aquarium – INR 2 to 5 lakhs
- Pet Products Shop – INR 5 to 10 lakhs
- Veterinary Centre – INR 2.5 lakhs to INR 4 lakhs
Pros and Cons of a Pet Care Business – H2
The pet care business is not meant for everyone. If you don’t love animals, you might lose your drive and won’t go much further. However, a pet care business has huge earning potential if done right.
Here are some of its pros and cons.
- Low set-up cost
- Spending time with animals is a perk if you are an animal lover
- Rising demand as most pet owners live a busy life and need someone to take care of their pets
- You have to build trust to get work, as people treat pets as their family members.
- Things can get dirty, and you might have to clean pets’ poops as a part of your work.
- You are responsible for pets’ health and accidents in your boarding or grooming facility and also when you are walking or sitting them.
- The churn rate is high if you can’t develop trust
The pet care industry in India is still in its nascent stages. Indians are getting inspired by Hollywood and started adopting their pet care preferences, such as styling, pedicure, and manicure.
However, most pet parents are busy people, and they need someone they can trust with their fur and feather babies. If you can lessen their stress and provide unique outstanding service, you can expect to grow exponentially.