If you, like millions in the UK, have a sweet spot for our beloved pooches and canine companions, you’ll know just how much of a joy it is to be around dogs. Our every loving, and always forgiving, four-legged friend can be as much of a support and help for us as we are to them.
(This Making Money with Dogs post has been updated for Spring 2021)
Did you know though there are lots of ways you could make money working with dogs. A second income, freelancing or even starting your own business can be ways to see an extra boost to your money working with dogs all day.
Here are the ways you can make money working with dogs:
- Set up a dog sitting service
- Set up a dog walking service
- Become a Dog Photographer
- Design and sell dog clothes and accessories
- Create and sell dog treats online
- Start a dog obedience training service or school
- Sell dog toys and dog courses online
- Start a dog grooming business
- Set up a personalised dog accessory and gift store
Sounds almost idyllic doesn’t it. In fact, you could combine a number of side hustle and second income ideas together to create a full-time entrepreneur business – or a set of micro businesses – all under one dog loving business umbrella!
Building a friendly brand can be really helpful. People need to feel they can trust the business or person they deal with to look after, provider services for or deal with their family pet.
You may not fancy the idea of waking up at 7am for tea, toast and the usual commute in to work, but I’m sure the prospect of waking up at 7am to go for a sunrise dog walking stroll in the nearby country park sounds a lot more appealing.
Dog walking is of course the more obvious choice to earn some extra money working with animals, but there are quite a few more.
Here’s a rundown of 9 creative ways to earn extra money working with dogs:
#1 Start a dog sitting service and earn extra money
Whether it’s for reasons of business travel, holiday, work or just a special occasion, there are lots of reasons why a dog owner may need to rely on the help and services of a dog sitter.
Being trustworthy and building a reputable and experienced name for yourself is key. Whether you use your own name and create a Facebook page, or create a fun and happy sounding business name and build your own website, there are a couple of different ways to market your offering.
Even within a medium size town there should be enough demand to create at least a second or part time income
#2 Begin a dog walking service as a side hustle
The obvious choice if you have a craving to work with dogs. Dog walking is very much in demand today, especially as dog owner’s lives are ever more stretched with work and family life pressures. Most dogs require a lot of exercise and the bigger and more energetic the dog, the more walks and stimulation it needs.
When pooch owners no longer have the time to manage the expectations of work, family and having a dog, it’s where you can come in. Some creatively clever marketing flyers to hand out in the park (early morning and evening are usually the best time to catch people walking their dogs) or leaflet drops can be a great way to promote your services.
#3 Setup a dog photography service and earn money with your photography skills
Perhaps spending most of your day outdoors doesn’t appeal, but you may have some great photography talents and a patient friendly personality to try your hand in dog photography.
The dog service and product industries have seen demand skyrocket in recent years. More and more of us are splashing out serious money on our beloved pets. It’s a multi-billion-pound annual worldwide industry, and it’s growing!
You will need a studio to create the right scene. Local office or premises space could be cheap to rent if can negotiate a good deal. You’ll need the right equipment too. You will need to look professional so turning up at someone’s house expecting to take some quick snaps on a mobile phone won’t do I’m afraid.
You’ll need a DSLR or SLR camera and some good lighting. A white background for profile or family photos or greenscreen backdrop if you intend to be more creative and photoshop different backgrounds. The effects can be fun.
If you can find ways for your clients to share their photos on social media, it can be great awareness for your business.
#4 Design Dog Clothes and Wear can be created and sold online through marketplaces
If you have a flair for the creative and have designed your own clothes or accessories before, you may find steering your craft towards a more canine target, especially personalised items, could see you a nice monthly return. Pooch owners are going crazy with dog accessories. The more personalised or related to the breed, the better.
You could create a real niche business making and selling dog clothes. You could sell you wares on sites such as Etsy or Folksy – you could even try Amazon Marketplace and even eBay.
If orders start coming through there’s absolutely no reason why you couldn’t, or shouldn’t, have your own website selling your products. This cuts out the middleman and means you can control your brand, your prices and keep all the profits!
#5 Create and sell dog treats and make money online through marketplaces and stores
Obviously, this has to be done right as you’re creating a food product, but you only have to look at supermarket shelves now to see a whole power aisle designed solely for animals. An entire aisle dedicated to a variety of dog, cat and other animal foods, treats and toys.
Whether you make home made and produced doggy treat bags or look to really scale operations and invest in your product and create a dog friendly brand to go retailer through pet chain stores such as Pets at Home, or local and national supermarket chains – there are a lot of possibilities.
Dog shows and fayres are also a great way to market and sell your doggy treat goods too. Setting up a stool is quite easy and is a great way to promote your website for repeat customers or even subscription orders too!
#6 Start a dog obedience training service or school and make extra money working with dogs
More and more dog obedience training sessions are springing up in a number of locations across the country. Dog obedience can be combined with training to help people understand, relate and communicate with their dogs.
With regular sessions and repeat customers, it’s a great business where finding a customer can keep a regular income from them each week for potentially weeks or months.
Look for places to hold your sessions and negotiate on price for the best deal – especially when you’re starting off.
Facebook is a great way to promote and advertise such services, as well as leaflet dropping and even advertising in local pet shops.
#7 Design and sell dog toys online through Etsy, ebay, Amazon and Facebook Marketplace
Although we’ve already touched upon creating and selling doggie treats, this option is slightly different. This option is about buying dog toys and treats wholesale and through distributors, selling them direct to the public through online marketplaces, your own website and offline at dog shows, dog fayres and any other public event or fete which will see dog owners attend.
#8 Start a Dog Grooming Business and earn a second income
No one wants to be seen walking a shaggy dog!
Plus, dogs need haircuts and tidy ups just like us, especially during hot spells in the summer. Grooming parlours for pouches have never been more popular.
This is less a side hustle but can be done to your own hours. You need a premises by which to operate, a way to keep more than one dog at your venue without fights and problems occurring – and of course the skills to properly groom your customers beloved dog.
#9 Start a personalised dog gift business
As much as people are buying personalised dog clothes and accessories, these are also being given more and more as gifts for others.
Personalised name collars and tags, as well as personalised outdoor walking coats and personalised food bowls are very much in trend.
Engraving machines can be picked up at reasonable rates and combining tags and collars you could create a personalised dog gift business quite rapidly.
You can sell your creations online on marketplaces or through your own website – as well as through dog magazines and dog fayres and shows.