If you're a real animal lover, chances are you've dreamt about starting up a pet-based business for a considerable amount of time. The good news is that there are plenty of animal-friendly franchises to choose from. Here, we take a look at our top pet franchises and explain why we think each one constitutes an excellent investment opportunity.
But first, what could a pet franchise offer you that a business in another sector couldn’t?
Advantages of starting a pet franchise
• Great potential for high profit margins – Animal owners often think of their beloved pets as part of the family and are all too happy to splash the cash on them from time to time. This could be on high-end pet food, extra toys or luxury pet-sitting options, so you stand to benefit if you’re part of the pet sector.
• Varied lifestyle – If you start a boarding service for pets, you will probably find that no two days are the same. You’re likely to welcome different animals every single day, and they’ll all have different needs. You could find yourself feeding them one minute and taking them out for a walk the next, before you wash and groom them. Sometimes, you’ll need to administer first aid or resolve other uncommon issues. And, don’t forget, you will also have to spend time on administrative tasks and buying supplies.
• Low initial fees – You’ll have flexibility in terms of where you base your business; you don’t have to set up a high-street pet food store or rent specialised premises to care for animals. As long as you have suitable facilities, you could set up an online retail business, a mobile, van-based business, or even welcome pets into your own home. This should reduce your initial outgoings significantly.
• Flexible hours – Ditch the 9-5 working day and choose your own hours. This gives you the freedom to build your business around your existing commitments, such as picking up your children from school or attending your weekly yoga class.
• Improved wellbeing – Starting a pet-sitting business will allow you to get regular exercise and fresh air. Combine this with choosing your own working hours and spending time with friendly animals, and you should be able to improve your mental health. It is thought that pets also have the power to relieve depression and lower blood pressure.
• Continual demand – Owning a pet isn’t a trend that comes and goes. Your business has the potential to bring in a consistent revenue, as pet owners will always need pet food and pet-sitting services.
• Quick start – You can get going quickly when it comes to launching a pet franchise, as it’s likely you won’t need any formal qualifications. Of course, owners will be reluctant to trust you or hand over their pet if you appear completely incompetent, but you can easily build up your knowledge and experience by working with animals informally. If you don’t have pets yourself, try offering to regularly walk your neighbour’s dog, or extending your services to your friends’ and family members’ pets. If you want to open up a pet store, try to volunteer or get a job in one. Remember: your franchisor will probably provide training when you first join a franchise, so you don’t need to be a professional beforehand.
>> Read more:
- Start A Pet Franchise
- Top 5 Pet Franchises
- Pet Store – 10 Steps to Opening Own Your Franchise Pet Store
- Pet Store Franchises in the UK - What is There?
The best pet franchises in the UK
Wagging Tails is one of the UK’s leading dog boarding services and has been caring for pets since 2007. Launched to meet the growing demand amongst pet owners for an alternative to kennels, it has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of the top animal franchises in the country. Its first franchise was opened in 2010 and, since then, the franchise network has grown to encompass 20 franchisees. With plenty of room in the market for expansion, it hopes to attract new members to the team and continue growing the organisation.
To invest in Wagging Tails, franchisees will need a minimum of £7,800, although it's likely you’ll need more than £12,995 to get a business off the ground. In return, franchisees can expect to make a revenue of £40,000 after the first two years of business. All franchisees go through a comprehensive training programme that covers topics as diverse as carer recruitment, booking management and marketing. This is supplemented by courses in dog behaviour and first aid. Having won many franchising awards over the years, Wagging Tails isn’t just an excellent opportunity to build a thriving business, it’s a chance to be part of one of the UK’s most supportive franchising networks.
Husse specialises in providing premium quality food and accessories for dogs, cats and horses across the country. With the aim of becoming the world’s top retailer of high-quality, pet-related goods, the franchise was founded in 1987 and has now grown to encompass over 1,000 franchises in more than 50 countries. It has been operating in the UK since 2012, when it instantly made a name for itself as a retailer that is committed to superior quality products and excellent customer service.
Becoming a Husse franchisee requires an initial investment of at least £11,700. Franchisees will need sales and office space to showcase products and carry out day-to-day business operations. In return for their investment, new franchisees are enrolled in a comprehensive training programme, covering business management, pet nutrition, sales, marketing and how to use digital systems. They’ll also receive ongoing support and guidance once the business is up and running. If you’re interested in joining a franchise that’s renowned for the quality of its products, Husse might be one of the best franchises to invest in.
Founded in 2011, Canine Crèche has moved from offering traditional kennel services to a bespoke dog care business that logs more than 20,000 day visits and 3,600 overnight stays every year. With 10 existing franchisees and enough demand to justify the franchise pursuing an aggressive expansion policy, this is the perfect opportunity to get on board with a franchise that's going places. Canine Crèche prioritises safety above all else, ensuring that all the dogs in its care get the attention they need.
To invest in Canine Crèche, a minimum of £60,000 is required. However, depending on your specific circumstances, this could rise to as much as £80,000. In return for your investment, franchisees receive assistance in setting up their crèche and are enrolled in a thorough training scheme. This scheme will equip you with everything you need to know about the business and caring for dogs. It includes classes on dog temperament testing, booking management and digital systems training, amongst other things.
Barking Mad is one of the country's leading dog sitters and one of the UK's most exciting animal franchises. With over 80 franchise units and more on the way, the franchise has experienced dramatic growth since its launch in 2000. Focusing on providing dogs with the love and care they require while their owners are away, Barking Mad are renowned for their deep compassion for our four-legged, furry friends.
Franchisees will need to raise a minimum investment of £14,957 to start up their own franchise unit. Included in this investment are the rights to trade under the Barking Mad name, uniforms, whistles and access to an extensive training programme. All of the equipment you’ll require – including dog tags, business software and marketing materials – are ready for you to use as soon as your new franchise unit is up and running. If you’ve got a passion for dogs and want to manage your own business, Barking Mad may be the opportunity you’ve been looking for.
Dial a Dog Wash
Dial a Dog Wash is one of the UK’s most recognisable dog grooming brands. Founded in 1999, this van-based franchise brings high-quality grooming services direct to pet owners' front doors. With a fully equipped van included in the franchise package, new franchisees will be ready to make money as soon as they sign the franchise agreement and get their unit running.
A Dial a Dog Wash franchise can be yours for a minimum investment of just £14,999. In return for this fee, franchisees are entitled to operate under the business brand name and given a fully equipped dog-washing van, as well as any equipment, manuals and inventory required. Every franchisee is granted an exclusive territory and enrolled in the prestigious Dial a Dog Wash Academy, where they’ll receive extensive training.
All five of our pet-based franchises offer franchisees something completely different. Whether you would rather look after dogs, give them a thorough wash and tidy up, or just supply the best food and accessories that money can buy, we've got you covered. If you’re starting a franchise and would like to find out more, browse our franchise pages.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©