Providing pet care services from a home-based business can be quite successful. Such a business is more in demand as households become dual-income households, but families still want to own pets. A pet care business can take many forms and serve all types of animals.
Dog Care Businesses
The most common type of home based pet care businesses are dog walking and caretaking companies. These companies schedule appointments with dog owners to walk their dogs for 15-30 minutes once or twice a day while the owners are at work. This permits the dog to get some exercise and not make a mess in the house from being locked up all day. These services are typically charged on a cost per visit basis and differ based on the location of the business. However, the average per-visit range is $15-$25.
A dog care business can also offer overnight services to dog owners. This type of service would required you to stay overnight in the owner's home caring for the dog. Your charges for this service would be higher because it would require more time. Most of these services are charged on a flat-fee basis of $50-$75 per night.
Cat Care Businesses
Taking care of cats is a little simpler than dogs only because cats do not need to be walked. If you add cat care to your list of services, you can offer to clean litter boxes, change water and feed the cats. These visits would still last between 15-25 minutes long and would mainly provide cats with companionship. This business could be extended to overnight stays for a flat fee.
Other Pet Care
Similar to cats, taking care of other pets would require changing their habitats to clean them of debris and feeding them. Reptiles, fish and other animals may need care while their owners are out of town or at work. However, prior to offering these services, make sure that you are willing to do what is required to care for the pet. Don't agree to take care of snakes, for example, if you don't want to feed them a mouse every week.
Establishing Your Business
The best way to establish your business is to advertise through word of mouth and local publishing mediums. Post flyers in common areas of your residence and throughout the town. Seek to acquire one or two new clients each week. After obtaining 10 or 15 clients, setup a website to advertise your business. However, word of mouth will often be your best marketing technique.
Prior to working, also establish the amount of money you will charge for your services. Make sure that this amount will cover all of your expenses, including gas to travel to your client's homes if necessary, and still provide you with a profit. Type a flyer of your charges to give to new customers.
Interviewing clients is another important thing you should do prior to agreeing to work with a customer. If a animal is particularly mean or unruly, you might want to reconsider agreeing to work with him because of the threat to your safety.