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Why You Should Start an Online Pet Business

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Have a Passion For Pets? Then Start an Online Pet Business!

By: Bailey Holtz

There are few things in life that humans care about quite as passionately as about their pets. There are now dog cafés, cat arcades, and pet spas that might just make you a little jealous of your furry friend. That’s why NOW is a great time to start an online pet business!

Everywhere you turn, there is evidence of the great love humans have for their pets. Plus, the amount of money they are willing to spend on them. If you seek to start an online business, then you should very seriously consider an online pet business. We will cover the current pet industry landscape and break down the different ways you can enter the field. At Pure-Ecommerce, we are here to help you make your dream of starting an online business reality and open the door to the wide world of pets!

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Furry or Feathered, People Love Their Pets!

According to the Insurance Information Institute, 68% of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet. The majority, at 60.2%, own dogs. While 47% own cats, 12.5% own fish, and the rest is divided between “small animals,” reptiles, horses, and saltwater fish. Within the already high percentage of Americans who live with animals, then, there is a tremendous amount of diversity in species—lots of different consumer bases for you! 

What’s more, those many pets don’t go uncared-for! We love spending money on our animals, be it on premium food, toys, healthcare, and special wellness treatments. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), in 2018 Americans spent a whopping $72 billion on their pets. That’s almost $10 billion more than was spent in 2016, a mere two years prior. 

Changes stem primarily from the Millennial and Gen Z sets. They are embracing pet ownership and pet lifestyles to a far greater extent than do older generations, says Forbes. Baby Boomers, for instance, account for 32% of pet owners, while households with younger owners account for 62%. As more generations come to the forefront, we can only imagine the desire for high-quality pet gear will grow. 

Certainly, the spending will! Currently, the estimate of pet spending for 2019 hovers around $75 billion. These statistics are very promising for anyone with an interest in starting a pet-related business. 

Lastly, we’ll call attention to the fact that the United States currently celebrates pet holidays. National Dog Day is celebrated on August 26 and National Cat Day on October 29. According to Parade, pets were one of the top three reasons Millennials made the decision to buy their first homes. Those dogs and cats need a backyard to play in! 

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 What We Spend On: A Pet’s Got to Eat!

Unsurprisingly, we spend most of our pet budget on food. Again according to the APPA, $30.32 billion of annual spending is on pet food. And within that budget, most of our spending goes to premium dog foods specifically. These are the dog foods that are made for specialized diets and for special canine populations, including aging dogs and dogs with allergies and health issues. Says the APPA: “An interest in natural, locally-sourced treats and chews has never been higher across U.S. pet owners.”

Our takeaway is this: independent business owners can seize the opportunity to supply pet owners with specialized, premium pet food products. Consumers are looking for something special, and you can put yourself in the position to provide it!

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Ideas of What You Can Sell

No matter what kind of pet most interests you—the kinds that bark, meow, chirp, squeak or simply stay silent—you will find a willing and eager online consumer base. And the trends and demands are the same for each pet. Here are the areas in which there has been the most growth, according to Forbes:

  • Food: As we mentioned above, owners don’t want to purchase run-of-the-mill pet foods. They want high quality, healthful foods made especially for their pet’s needs. There is plenty of room for growth in this area, with new trends evolving every year. 
  • Treats: Humans shower their pets with love in the form of treats between eight and ten times a day. And not just any treats; just like with food, owners pick treats that are healthy and made with simple ingredients they recognize. There is plenty of demand in this realm and you can be the one to meet it!
  • Clothing and Essentials: Pet owners love to pamper their pets. Whether they want to buy them an adorable t-shirt to wear around the house or something a little more fancy for a special occasion. Pet clothing is a must-have to include in your online pet business. You will also want to ensure you have all the essentials including pet collars, leashes, beds, travel and safety gear, and the list goes on… 
  • Technology: Technology has permeated our existence in millions of different ways, and now is even touching the lives of our pets. According to Emotional Pet Support, there are apps that allow us to feed our pets remotely, toys that allow us to play with our pets remotely, and bowls that prevent your pooch from gobbling down its food too quickly. Smart gadgets are all the rage for pets, and you could build such desirable products into your own business!
  • Toys and Accessories: Another piece of great news is that spending on accessories and equipment, including bowls, collars, leashes, travel items, and clothing, has grown by 6% since last year. That’s a significant rise, which tells us this might be a good area of the industry to explore as a business owner. These are also products you can easily stock and drop-ship, and we can gladly show you how!
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Which Pet Should You Choose?

When you start an online pet business it is important to think about your target market. Will you focus on a specific niche of the pet industry or will you choose to combine a few different pets. Each pet has different needs, and so depending on what pet you want to service, you will need to stock different products. 

Based on our findings that most American pet owners own dogs, which are also the most expensive pets to own, we recommend dedicating at least part of your website to dog products. High-quality natural dog foods will specifically fare well, so setting up a collection of specialty canine food products will be an excellent first step. You will also want to think about and of course stock all the other various products needed to care for a pup or pooch. The key is having a variety of products dog owners can purchase from the moment they bring their dog home through the many years they enjoy owning their trusty, loyal furry friend! 

So, in addition to dogs, we also advocate for targeting other segments of the pet population. Cats are also very popular pets, for whom many services and products are already in existence.

Even though there are fewer online businesses targeting amphibians, horses, and birds. That’s a good thing for you when you start an online pet business. We recommend researching the volume of online businesses for those specific animals and then stocking products made for them. This way, you can target multiple consumer groups if you choose – dogs, cats and other exotic animals. This will give you a variety of target markets, plus you will be able to help those who might struggle to find the quality products they desire. 

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Pure-Ecommerce Can Help You Start An Online Pet Business

If you’re an animal lover, an online business for pets might just be the right next step for you! 

Ask yourself these questions…

  • Do you have a passion for pets?
  • Are you ready to work hard to launch an online business?
  • Do you have the desire to be your own boss?

Then selling pet products online is probably a no-brainer for you! The biggest bonus when you start an online pet business is the journey can start for you from the comfort of your home. Take a look at our Ready-to-Go pet websites or browse our custom design packages. No matter what you want your website to be, we can help you get it off the ground! 

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