Love animals? How about investing in a pet franchise...

You won’t get a more dedicated and loyal customer than a pet owner.

The Brits really do love their pets and market research reveals just how much. We’ll do almost anything to insure our beloved Rex and Coco happy.

Almost £4bn is spent in the UK on pets each year and according to the PDSA, an owner will spend between £16,000 and £31,000 throughout their dog's lifetime. 

The Telegraph revealed that claims for animal insurance are also on the rise, with insurers paying out £1.3m a day to treat our beloved pets.

Pets are big business and considering that there are so many pet products and services available today, it’s no wonder that there are a growing number of franchises catering to a variety of animal requirements.

We take a look at the opportunities in the current market.

Pet food

With around 70 million pets in the UK, according to the Pet Foods Manufacturers’ Association, there is high demand for nutritional, high quality pet food. For 90% of owners, buying prepared pet food is a weekly occurrence, and scientific advancement in the market had broadened the range and choice available.

Repeat business and highly loyal customers are key in the pet food industry, and being part of a franchise means competing in the industry becomes a much simpler endeavour. Alongside brand recognition and loyalty that has already built up over the years, a franchise is also able to provide guidance and veterinary support from dedicated experts.

There are three main franchises in the pet food industry: OSCARTrophy Pet Foods and Husse. All three are established brands (since 1993, 1990 and 1987 respectively) and have an extensive network of dedicated franchisees.

Dog training

Have an affinity with dogs? Then dog training could be the career for you.

The introduction of new dog laws such as the Community Protection Notice (CPO), Public Protection Order (PPO) and Community Behaviour Order (CBO) have meant stricter penalties for the owner and for the dog. Consequently, many will be eager to sign up their pets for training to prevent any accidents from occurring.

Dog training can provide both a personal and financially rewarding career, with the Bark Busters franchise revealing a potential trainers’ turnover as in excess of £70,000 per annum for ‘moderate working hours.’

Investing in a dog training franchise would provide you with proven training techniques, an established reputation and referral business. Franchises, such as, Bark Busters, often provide marketing, equipment and training for you in techniques, marketing and business acumen.

Pet sitting and boarding

Despite being enamoured with our pets, life and work do come first. We’re working hours than ever, and owners want someone to stay with their pets during the day to keep them company and take them out for walks. Similarly, if they are going abroad and can’t take the pet with them, the owner will want to leave them in the hands of a reliable pet sitter.

Pet sitting is a viable career for anyone who loves being in the company of animals and wants relatively low-stress career. However, this isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ business, so becoming part of a pet sitting franchise should be more of a lifestyle choice than a money-spinning scheme.

That being said, if you offer more services within your business then you will have more cash flow options, which could include being able to pet sit both at the owner’s address and provide board at your own.

However, if you’re willing to look after pets at your own property, you should take a look at the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963.

The Wagging Tails franchise is primarily focused on dog boarding, and provides an alternative to kennels. From a fee of £12,995 an exclusive territory is given, training, award-winning marketing support, fully integrated booking system and accounts and branding.

Paw Pals provides a variety of pet services including dog walking, pet sitting and boarding. Unlike Wagging Tails, pet sitting at Paw Pals also covers board for small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, hamsters and rats.

Included in the franchise package at £12,995 +VAT is an exclusive territory, operating manual, marketing plan, full training, business systems, business laptop and help with legal administration.

Pet walking

If your home is too small to look after pets, then you could venture into the business of dog walking. While it definitely isn’t an easy career path, it’s an active one that keeps you fit and allows you to indulge in your love of dogs..

Ted Terroux owns his own dog training business in the US, he says: ‘becoming a dog walker requires a general knowledge of the most popular breeds and their specific behaviour tendencies. You should have good dog handling skills and a thorough understanding of dog socialization techniques’ – so its worth doing some research so you know what to expect.

Paw Pals also focuses on dog walking, though they don’t pack walk their dogs as both the franchisees and the clients prefer a more tailored approach.

If you want to make animals part of your working life, take a look at the many opportunities available at