Starting a Pet Store Business

Part of the business responsibilities of a pet store owner is to see to it that the animals in his or her store are humanely treated. Listed here are some suggestions to ensure that pet shop animals are properly cared for.

A pet store can prove to be a lucrative business if managed properly.

It can also be a fun and fulfilling career especially for those who have an innate kinship with animals.

There is just something about pets that never fails to put a smile on our faces. Most of us regard our pets as a member of the family. We tend to dote on them as if they were our own children. And because of this, pet shops are in demand these days. Often, we browse through pet shops to splurge on treats and toys and other knick-knacks for our beloved companions.

A pet shop adheres to the principles of retail management. If you are planning to start your own pet shop then it is a must for you to learn and understand the basic concepts of retailing. You can find various sources of information for this subject. The internet alone has several websites catering to business management. You can also read books or instructional CDs. Look for something that help you learn how to create a business plan, launch your business, look for a location, set up your store and allocate space, establish your inventory, determine your pricing scheme, manage your finances, devise an operations plan, handle your manpower requirements and so on.

The pet shop owner has other responsibilities, among them are as follows: A pet shop owner should educate his or her customers on responsible ownership. A pet shop owner ensures that when buying a pet, his or her customers do so based on an informed decision. Most importantly, a pet shop owner knows the proper way to care for and handle enclosed animals. This is one aspect that sets a pet shop owner apart from other retailers. This responsibility should not be taken lightly. Ensuring the animals wellbeing should rank high in a pet shop owner’s list of priorities.

    Your pet shop should maintain the following conditions to promote your animals’ wellbeing:
  • Animal cages and fish tanks should be adequately spaced (at least one meter apart). This is to allow easy cleaning. Do not stack them for more than two levels per row and make sure that no food and waste fall to the cages or tanks underneath.
  • Before selling an animal, give it the chance to rest for at least 72 hours.
  • Don’t keep incompatible animal breeds in one cage and make sure that cages of incompatible animal breeds are not placed in close proximity to one another.
  • Facilitate toilet training by placing urine liners or newspapers in their cages.
  • Feed your animals with the appropriate type and amount of food. Make certain they have access to clean drinking water at all times.
  • Give your animals adequate time to exercise and have them interact with humans to keep them stimulated.
  • The animal display area should have proper and sufficient ventilation to ensure that air is kept fresh and clean at all times.
  • The cages should be made of sturdy corrosion-resistant, easy to clean, and non-toxic material, i.e. stainless steel or aluminum.
  • The general area should be kept unsoiled and dry at all times.
  • When appropriate, provide nest boxes, towels, and beddings, to ensure that your animals are comfortable.
  • You should have a wash area on the premises.

37 Comments

  • George said on March 25, 2009
    This give you no info on actually starting your store you should help more not just say how you need to take business classes... well pretty much every one knows that...
  • tandra maldidier said on April 15, 2009
    i agree with George, this page has absolutely no help on HOW to actually start up a pet store, and it should include web sites such as hagen or hertz and contain info on financial aspects involved. any further advice on HOW TO actually obtain the info i'm searching for would be greatly appreciated. I did look up other biz ideas on this web site that i did find informative such as starting up a Pawn Store etc. thanks so much for your time and have a great day!! :)
  • Morgan said on July 8, 2009
    When you start your pet store, where can you buy the animals from to sell in your store? I'm starting mine in a few years, so anyone who could help please reply or email me ASAP!!!
  • Liam said on October 13, 2009
    I am the CEO of several pet shops, and an expert breeder of rare and often very volatile animals. You can view my site on www.AussieTarantulas.com. if you have any questions or would like to purchase bulk animals for a petshop, email me on liam@aussietarantulas.com
  • hana said on November 14, 2009
    it explains a lot on how to take care of the animals, but not much of anything else. Though this will come in handy on how to take care of the animals in the pet shop.
  • Karen said on April 16, 2010
    Why everyone continues to waste their money and time on buying animals for their pet shops, most of which come from terrible places and lead sad lives, is beyond me. I teamed up with my local Humane Society and they bring in an "adoptable pet of the week." It draws customers, I don't have any overhead, and it supports a fantastic cause. If people who own pet stores really care about animals, they wouldn't sell them.
  • dan said on April 25, 2010
    Karen, you are an idiot. This is about starting a pet store as a business. If you dont want to make money at selling pets then go volunteer at a shelter and don't try to sell pets. Yeah its just a great idea to get a 250000 dollar loan to start a business and then have your attitude of not selling the animals.
  • Nichelle said on June 3, 2010
    Dan, your an idiot. What kind a person wants to open a pet store while promoting inhumane puppymills. Why don't you do your research.
  • Carrie said on June 5, 2010
    Just because a pet store is selling animals does not mean they must have come from puppy mills and undesirable places. Many pet stores partner with local, reputable, and licensed breeders as well as animal shelters. Its not to say there aren't bad pet stores out there that do get their animals from puppy mills, but don't assume all pet stores are like that, because they're not.
  • Sendy said on June 13, 2010
    We manufacture and export dog clothes with good quality in Dobaz brand !Our company based in China ! We could offer small quantity and wholesale price list ! If you are interesting, kindly feel free to contact with me by email :sendy0556@yahoo.com or sales01@dobaz.com
  • bonnete said on September 10, 2010
    hi, i want to open a pet shop that sells pets accessories like, collars, clothes, shampoo, toys, food and carry bags or sometime, but i have no idea where to start and how to go about it, please can anyone help!!!
  • hector said on November 15, 2010
    hey i been saving to open a pet supply store and know that i have the opportunity i dont know where to start. often i go to pet shops and i see small pet shop vendors i'm looking to open 1 in los angeles california. can anyone help with this information please....
  • has said on December 18, 2010
    i'm interested to open a pet shop, i need to know what is the cost to open in ringgit malaysia.
  • Jay said on December 21, 2010
    I would like to state that not every pet store sells puppy mill dogs. I came to this site because I hope to start my own pet store in a few years. My store will not carry dogs or cats for sale but instead we will go through a local shelter or rescue to adopt out cats, dogs, and many other types of animal. But we will carry animals bred by local breeders (as I want to stay away from the big breeders like Lasco and Sun Pets used by Petsmart. I work for a Petsmart and these animals sometimes are not very healthy) I want to support local animal breeders and rescue groups with my store. And I will also breed some of my own animals for my store. I really wish this site had more info about HOW to start up the store, the process of finding and securing a location for the store, and go into more depth than it did. I'll be doing more research as this is something I really want to get going on starting up.
  • Jessica said on January 1, 2011
    We are a small family owned pet store in Emmaus, Pa. We have been open for ten years. We care supplies, do grooming and very few animals. Most of our animals are dump offs. I like to say we have the unwantables. The truth is the owners of them were just stupid and didn't see the true love the pet had, but there loss is my gain. I provide the animals with love and care till I can find them a loving home to live out there life. The problem is our store is not doing well lately. I feel like we are falling apart and don't know why. Dog food is killing us, but I need it to keep customers coming back. What to do. I love what I do and don't want to do anything else, plus these animals would have nowhere to go if we were not there. Any advice would be great.
  • david said on January 3, 2011
    i'm trying to open a pet shop any any information will helpful. i need products but dont know vendors names. my pet shop will have fish,reptiles,maybe birds,mice,hamsters,rabbits,etc. so i will need info or contacts numbers. pretty much all info and vendors to get it started. please help..thank you.
  • erin said on January 6, 2011
    I am opening a pet shop soon. I wondered if anyone had any contacts they could share with me. Vendors, etc. Where to buy my puppy supply? I am only going to be selling toy puppies and kittens, a long with pet supplies. any help would be appreciated! the shop will be in queensbury ny...
  • Samantha said on January 28, 2011
    It's not entirely the animals that are at fault. if there not properly taken care of OF COURSE they will get sick. I do a lot of work with the animal control and seeing the animals that come in and out is not for the weak hearted. Your job as a pet store owner is to make sure the animals are healthy, comfortable, clean. its about caring. not entirely about the income thats coming in. have a heart.
  • Aaron said on February 17, 2011
    Hello I am also interested in starting a pet store with many saltwater fish, reptiles, maybe birds, small animals like rats hampsters ext, and dogs, I need to get a hold of vendors to see what prices are going to be and how to actually start a pet store
  • gaurav said on February 18, 2011
    want to start a website for pet products. we are the experts. mail me at : 05.gaurav@gmail.com
  • Ice said on March 23, 2011
    i m interesting in open out a pet shop, i need to know how much the cost for open out a pet shop?
  • James expert adviser said on March 24, 2011

    @Ice, it depends where you want to open this shop. It also depends on your budget. A pet store can be started with as little as few thousand dollars to million dollars.

    Jestin James
    Startup Biz Hub - Senior Advisor (Staff)

  • charlen said on March 25, 2011
    i have one question. Profit. is opening a pet store truly worth it in the long run, or is it a small profit for a lot of work and thought?
  • s l yap said on March 29, 2011
    I need to know the type of licenses required to operate a pet shop in Petaling Jaya
  • Bonnie King said on April 2, 2011
    I am going to start a business, I have the location but wondering if there is any information as to setup, things you need for the business and area plans. The business will be in Oronoco Minnesota. thanks bonnie king
  • mara said on May 11, 2011
    i'm interesting in open out a pet shop, i need to know how much the cost for opening out a pet shop and where to buy a pet supplies. new jersey
  • mariah said on May 25, 2011
    I am opening a pet store to sell or find good homes for animals. I'm rescuing pets from pounds and off the street and taking in or buying pets from people that cant keep their pets any more if its pure breed it will be $100 and up if its mixed it will be $50 and below because of how many mixed breeds and I am fixing all of the cats and dogs in my shop. cats are $20 for adults and $50 for kittens because of the price of vaccinations and fixings!!! now i'm starting a great business I found a location in a neighborhood for $10,000!!! And my food supplies and every thing else I make from scratch as in dry food, canned food, treats, soaps,collars,leashes,litter,wood shavings, ect.!!! i'm set and obviously not an idiot!!!
  • Rudzkie said on August 13, 2011
    i want to open a pet shop here in the philippines. is it possible for me to start in a small capital for home based shop? i love birds dogs cats & fishes but i dont know how to start. any advise will be much appreciated! thanks in advance!
  • sena said on September 19, 2011
    Okay, I understand "Karen" and "Dan" opinions, but what if someone were to want to open a pet store that does NOT promote mills? Hmm? Like I do. I won't have cats and dogs, unless they are "adoption" pets with agreement between past owner or pound. Same goes with strays. Any animals people would otherwise dump on the streets I'd take, and certain animals (like the lovely betta) I love to breed, so why not do that myself? That way I can even show "these are the parents" :) I agree with Mariah, who has the right idea. Rudzkie, find out how many pet stores there are. Check their prices, even ask a few questions (how much did they need to start their business). I'm estimating for me, I would need 20,000.00 or more to start because of certain animals, plus the supplies to have :)
  • Lexi said on November 22, 2011
    Absolutely NO reputable breeder will work with a pet store to resell their puppies/kittens. Reputable breeders require applications and references of purchasers. Most importantly they keep track of health and well-being of their offspring to eliminate genetic issues such as hip dysplasia, seizures, autoimmune disorders, heart conditions, cancers and many more costly and heart breaking health issues. Selling large quantities through a pet store prohibits this monitoring process. Reputable breeders will only breed dogs 3 times maximum. Breeding should be done to better the breed, and not for resale purposes. Offering rescues or featuring shelter dogs is a great way to offer adoptable animals and draw customers into the store. As for actually running a store, this site offers no help. Offering supplies for pets is much more profitable then selling puppies and kittens. When you consider the costs of the proper care, feeding, and maintenance for puppies/kittens, your profits are quickly diminished. Perhaps partnering with a local rescue, shelter, and REPUTABLE breeder to promote your store would be a better route to take.
  • kiran lahiri said on May 3, 2012
    Hi I'm Kiran Lahiri from gugaon. I want to open a pet shop in gaziabad in delhi-ncr, in india. Kindly give me best advise to the needful. Along with send me some number of those person who can supply required stuff for my shop(dog's baby,bird's.mouse,cat's etc.). Thank U.
  • kat said on May 25, 2012
    i am a 21 year old would one like to own my aquarium business in Leicester England i don't know where to start it
  • Tracy beginner adviser said on September 2, 2012
    I see a lot of comments regarding starting a pet store. The first piece of advice I have to give is to WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN. This will force you to do your research and eventually run across the answers to all of your questions. Keep in mind, if you are planning on selling LIVE animals, the care of these animals is in YOUR hands. Their health and well being is dependent on you knowing exactly what you are doing when you make that first order to your live animal wholesaler! Be sure to check your states laws regarding "kennel/shelters" and live animal sales and keeping. (example: in some states, it is illegal to keep snakes in excess length of 6 feet) I urge all of you to do your due diligence in research before jumping in. If you are truly dedicated to the care and careful sale of animals, you will do so.

    Start with your local Small Business Administration. If your reading this, you have access to the web and can find them at www.sba.gov Best of luck!!

    Pet Store Expert

  • Michelle said on April 8, 2013
    Delray Florida the new market place. Beautiful high end tremendous traffic. I will start with four small toy breeds and all organic foods clothing and all accessories needed for puppies and dogs. I will have to buy from a breeder in Florida at her cost and double and triple my prices. I get to hand pick them. Florida is huge on small breed pups. People walk this town with them and stroll them in strollers. There are two restaurants where people eat with there dogs. I have looked. For years. For a location and this is it. I will only start with about six pups and go from there. Yorkie shitzu maltese sooh pooh and yokie pooh all handpicked and see how the sales go. In the beginning it will be only me and then. See how much help I will need. I have a consultant doing the work and web site. Any suggestions highly appreciated.
  • Pravin said on March 26, 2014
    Dear Sir, I like to have a consult to start a dog food manufacturing unit in India. Please contact me 98947 10977
  • Scott Pappert said on February 9, 2015
    We have just closed down a pet retail plus grooming store in the Charleston SC area....we have pet toys, grooming tables, stainless steel tub ...lots of stuff. Anyone interested ?
  • kagiso joas letsoalo said on March 25, 2016
    I want to start a pet shop that sell animal food and accessories only.then I need more info regarding where to buy stock and necessary legal documents that one need to have when wanting to operate these type of information. I am in South Africa,Pretoria.my email address is kagisojoas@gmail.com

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