'Man's Best Friend' — And Investment: The Thriving Industry of Pet-Related Franchising

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Pets not only improve the quality of one’s life, but prove to be a wise business endeavor. The industry is worth over $100 billion, and expected to grow. As any pet-lover knows, it’s not uncommon to consider pets to be members of the family. People will consistently spend money, time and attention on family, even when times are hard — which makes most pet-related franchise opportunities somewhat recession-proof. How much money is spent on their care? By some estimates, dog owners spend over $1,500 annually on their care, two-thirds of which go to retailers and supply stores. A dog’s gotta eat, right?

Related: Help Your Pets Live Their Best Life

Pet care-related franchise opportunities

When you think of the pet industry, national retailers such as PetCo and PetSmart come to mind. However, there’s far more variety when it comes to pet care-related franchising, regardless of your knowledge of animals. While retail stores are a franchised option, there are also dog (and yes also cat) daycares and pet grooming — a big market when you include mobile-based franchise operations.

Pet sitting, training, medical-related concepts, dog park and bar combos, pet supplies and pet waste disposal franchises are also viable business endeavors. As with other franchise categories, prior experience is not a requirement, however, it does help if you’re already a pet-lover. After all, what’s not to love? Pets enrich our lives, provide companionship, guard our homes and offer many the experience of caring for something outside of themselves.

Pet owner demographics

When opting to invest in any franchise, it’s wise to garner an understanding of the target market. Pet owners in the U.S. are a diverse bunch, noticeable in all demographics, age groups, genders and income levels. There’s fairly even distribution of pet owners across the spectrum of ages and generations. According to the U.S. share of pet owners, millennials top the list at 35%, followed closely by Generation X at 32%. Baby Boomers make up 27% of all pet owners, followed by 6% of senior citizens. But what do pet owners care about the most when considering a purchase? Convenience. Followed closely by good value and free or reasonable shipping. At least a third routinely shop online for pet-related purchases and roughly the same amount rely heavily upon online reviews.

Related: Examples of Pet Business Ideas

Which pet care-related franchises top the current list?

Among the pet care-related franchise concepts listed in this year’s Franchise 500, Pet Supplies Plus was the highest ranked, coming in at No. 20 overall. The brand boasts over 600 locations across the U.S., and has seen an uptick in awarded units of 35.7% in just the last three years alone. Dogtopia earned the 51st overall ranking, leading the pack in dog daycare franchising — an extremely popular and growing category. The rest of the list is a well-heeled mix of other pet-related business models, from mobile grooming to dog training and walk-in veterinary clinics. To view the full list and see which pet care-related franchises earned a spot on Entrepreneur’s prestigious Franchise 500 list, simply follow this link.

Related: Entrepreneur’s 2022 Top Pet Care-Related Franchises