If you’re animal-crazy and want to turn your passion for pets into a lucrative business, then why not consider starting a pet franchise? Luckily for nature-lovers, it usually means you can work in the great outdoors; a far cry from the confines of an office.
Research has shown that 40 percent of UK households own a pet; 25 percent of which are dogs and 17 percent are cats. Over 90 percent of pet owners say that owning their furry, scaly or fluffy friends makes them happy and 88 percent suggest it improves their quality of life. With there clearly being a large number of pets in the UK that are going to need feeding, training, minding or spoiling, there is great scope for ambitious entrepreneurs to see success with a pet franchise. So today, we consider the top pet franchise opportunites in the UK. But before we get started, let’s delve even deeper into why it’s such an attractive business move in the first place.
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Reasons why starting a pet franchise is a great idea
- Lots of different options. Pet franchises come in so many different forms, from kennels to home care to pet food retailers, so every animal-loving entrepreneur should be able to find something that works for them. The most popular businesses are those that offer services such as dog walking, pet grooming, pet-sitting and supplying pet food.
- Flexible. Because these businesses involve caring for animals, they tend to offer flexibility in terms of location. Franchisees could decide to run their business from home or from a fixed premise with a store front, or even offer a mobile service. Working from home has the added benefit of reduced initial and ongoing expenses, increasing the likelihood of franchisees seeing a return on investment from the get-go.
- The public is happy to spend big bucks on keeping their pets happy. According to Bark.com, UK dog owners spend a total of £57 billion every year, a figure that comes to over 10 percent of the average salary – and this excludes pet food and medical costs. This means that the average dog owner puts £275 towards dog walking, training, pet sitting and grooming every month.
Top 8 pet franchises in the UK
Aiming to contribute to the healthy lifestyle of dogs, cats and horses, Husse offers a home delivery service of premium dog and cat food, cat litter and pet accessories. The Husse brand has grown at great speed since being introduced to the UK back in 2012, making it the most rapidly growing pet food franchise in the country.
- Becoming a Husse franchisee: You’ll be in control of ordering pet food and accessories from the supplier and delivering them straight to your customers’ doors. As pet food is needed all year around, you can be sure that you’ll be generating high profit margins throughout the year. Click here to find out more.
- How much you need to invest: This pet franchise asks for a minimum investment of £9,000 and a total investment of £20,000.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll take part in a comprehensive training programme that will cover everything from sales techniques and marketing to product knowledge and website administration.
Fancy a new career caring for cats? Look no further than Purrfect’s cat-sitting franchise. In action since 2007, the award-winning pet business is an unique alternative to catteries and has an excellent reputation in the industry.
- Becoming a Purrfect franchisee: While no previous experience is required, it’s important to have a caring manner and lots of ambition. Click here to find out more.
- How much you need to invest: Purrfect asks that its franchisees make an investment of £4,995.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll start off with two to three full training days with the brand’s MD at the head office and have access to a complete start-up package.
Buying an Oscar franchise will allow you to join the UK's biggest pet food home delivery service. Established in 1994, Oscar has developed an extensive product range to suit all breeds and dietary requirements. The popular franchise offers a wide choice of pet foods – including gluten-free and lower fat options – so customers have peace of mind that their beloved pets’ nutritional needs are catered for.
- Becoming an Oscar franchisee: Click here to find out more.
- How much you need to invest: This dog franchise asks that interested candidates have access to £8,995.
- What you get for your investment: In return, you’ll receive a formal nutritional qualification as part of the franchise package. This means that you can offer your customers the advice they need about feeding and caring for their pets. You can fit the management of your pet business around your lifestyle, with the option of working full-time, part-time or even alongside another business opportunity. The choice is yours.
4. Wagging Tails
Wagging Tails offers a home-from-home dog boarding service offering pet owners an alternative to traditional kennels. This opportunity enables you to run your own business from home with at least one dog by your side. This is a popular franchise for entrepreneurs who want to have a positive impact on other dog owners’ lives whilst making a profit.
- Becoming a Wagging Tails franchisee: You don’t need to have any qualifications or experience to run this pet franchise, just a love for dogs, good communication skills and the commitment to making your franchise a success. Click here to find out more.
- How much you need to invest: To be accepted onto the programme, you need to make a total investment of almost £13,000.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll benefit from a comprehensive training programme that addresses topics such as the recruitment of carers, using Wagging Tails’ bespoke systems, marketing and taking bookings.
5. Barking Mad
When it was launched in Cumbria in 2000, Barking Mad offered an alternative to traditional kennelling. Trusted dog carers are enlisted to look after owners’ pets while they’re away. The dogs stay in the carer’s own home, rather than in a kennel, so it should feel more at ease in a relaxed atmosphere.
- Becoming a Barking Mad franchisee: You will, of course, need to have a love of dogs. You should also have a can-do attitude and the drive to support an expanding business. The pet franchise currently has sites in the North of England, South-West England, Scotland, Wales and other locations across the UK. Click here to find out more.
- How much you need to invest: If you want to join the franchise’s 80-strong network of dog-sitting carers across the UK, a minimum investment of just over £15,000 is required.
- What you get for your investment: As well as a comprehensive training programme, Barking Mad offers franchisees operational equipment, FIDO business software, corporate apparel and marketing materials as part of its franchise package.
Running a Barking Mad business gives me the perfect work-life balance and the chance to set my own work schedule. I am able to run a successful business and still spend quality time with my family and my six dogs! – Jakki Gunn, franchisee
6. Friends for Pets
This pet franchise provides a range of services, including dog walking, pet sitting and horse care.
- Becoming a Friend for Life franchisee: It’s important to be an animal-lover, hardworking and honest to run your own successful franchise unit. If you want to find out more about how you can follow your dreams of being your own boss while working from home, click here.
- How much you need to invest: The pet franchise asks for a minimum investment of £8,995.
- What you get for your investment: As part of your initial training, you will be given all the information you need to know in areas such as business set-up, operations and animal behaviour, welfare and nutrition.
7. Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel
The demand for luxury cat accommodation in the UK is on the rise, and one pet franchise offering exactly that is Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel.
- Becoming a Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel franchisee: This pet franchise is looking for individuals who are passionate about creating a relaxing environment for cats and are enthusiastic about starting a new career. To find out more, view its website here.
- What you get for your investment: You can make the most of the Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel’s annual marketing plan, promotional templates, strong support network and more.
I've always wanted to run my own business. Combine that with working with cats and still being at home and available for my young children, and you have the dream job! Finding the right cattery for my own cats has always been important to me, and I know how difficult it is to find that perfect place. I am looking to offer a personal service to each and every guest and they will be treated as if they were one of the family! – Emma Seddon, franchisee
Founded in 2005, PetStay is a dog day care franchise dedicated to giving personalised and specialised care to dogs. The dog boarding service states that the dogs’ happiness is at the centre of everything it does. That’s why it never mixes dogs from different households.
- Becoming a PetStay franchisee: This franchise is seeking entrepreneurs who are on the lookout for a flexible business opportunity. You’ll need to love dogs and have great customer service skills to launch a profitable PetStay franchise unit. Click here to find out more.
- How much you need to invest upfront: In order to invest, interested franchisees need a minimum investment of £9,995.
- What you get for your investment: After investing, they’ll be able to attend the dog sitting franchise’s dedicated three-day induction programme at the company’s head office in Yorkshire.
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Start a pet franchise today
Whether you’re barmy for beagles or crazy for cats, hopefully you’ve been intrigued by one of these eight pet franchise opportunities. If you’re not sure you’ve got what it takes to run your own dog-sitting business, have a read of another one of our articles here. Or, alternatively, view a full rundown of how to open a pet business here.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©