Pet Care Services Business

Learn about trends in the Pet Care Services Business and where to find more info about how to open your own Pet Care Service Business. Don’t forget you can receive free or low-cost training and free professional business advice, from your local Small Business Development Center!

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Pet Care Services Business Overview & Trends, 2018

NAICS Code: 812910, SIC Code: 0752

This Pet Care Services industry summary is from First Research which also sells a full version of this report.

Companies in this industry provide grooming, specialized training, and boarding services for companion animals. Major US companies include PetSmart, PETCO Animal Supplies, and Best Friends Pet Care.

The US and the UK have typically been leading pet-owning countries. Other major international markets for pet grooming and boarding include the BRIC nations: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. In particular, China and India are experiencing an increase in pet ownership rates as economies develop and people’s attachment to pets drives spending.

The US pet care services industry includes about 16,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $4.5 billion. Services provided by veterinarians and pet supplies retailers, which are not included in the industry, are covered in the Veterinary Services and Pet & Pet Supplies Stores profiles, respectively.

Demand is driven mainly by the number of cats and dogs kept as pets, which is affected by demographics and economic conditions. The profitability of an individual pet care company depends on marketing skills, reputation, and the range of services offered. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in marketing as well as better access to capital to invest in boarding and grooming equipment and in training programs. Small practices can compete effectively by specializing in particular animals or types of grooming or training, or by serving an exclusive area.

This Pet Care Services business market research report summary is from Euromonitor which also sells a full version of this report.

Pet ownership set to continue rising
In 2016 Americans maintained an upward trend in spending on their companion animals which, coupled with a growing pet population, translated into a substantial increase in the veterinary sector’s revenues. The number of pets in the USA increased by 2% over the year, with more than 32% of households owning a cat and nearly 37% owning a dog. Household spending on veterinary services was also facilitated by good economic development, rising employment, and increasing salaries.

The pet population is projected to continue growing. According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) pet ownership saw most significant growth in 2-person households, and among millennials and generation-Y consumers. The number of 2-person households constituted 32% of the households in 2016, and this more than is projected to rise at a faster pace than the total number of households over the forecast period, promising greater pet ownership and thus higher spending on veterinary activities.

Humanization trend offers opportunities for pet clinics
Americans are increasingly willing to spend more on their companion animals and treat their pets as family members.

The following table is excerpted from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics.

Pet Care Services 2018 AVMA

Additionally, the AVMA provides a Pet Ownership Calculator for estimating the number of pets in a community using the human population of the area.

Pet Care Services Business Customer Demographics

IBISWorld reports on the major market segments for Pet Grooming & Boarding in the US. The full version of the report is available for purchase.

  • Recently, pet ownership has been on the rise. In fact, since 1988, the percentage of households owning a pet has risen from 56% to 65% through 2015. The most common pets are dogs, cats, freshwater fish, and birds. Demand for pet services is determined primarily by pet ownership trends, which are correlated with demographics including age and the presence of children.
  • With 40% of total industry revenue, people aged 30-49 are the age bracket spending the most on pet services. People aged 50-64 account for 33.5% of total revenue. The age groups spending the least on pet services are 18-29 and 65 and up. These two age groups account to 26.5% of the total market. Additionally, individuals with children are more likely to own pets, but spend less on their pets.
  • Finally, the amount spent on pet services depends on income and the time of year.

Further information on pet care services customers can be found in a variety of topical and trade publications, including:

Pet Care Services Business Startup Costs

Dog Grooming Business Startup Costs from Entrepreneur Magazine:

  • Total Startup costs: Under $2,000
  • Franchises available? Yes

Dog Day Care Business Startup Costs from Entrepreneur Magazine:

  • Total Startup costs: $2,000 – $10,000
  • Franchises available? Yes

Mobile Pet Grooming Business Startup Costs from Entrepreneur Magazine:

  • Total Startup costs: $10,000 – $50,000
  • Franchises available? Yes

Dog Day Care Business Startup Costs breakdown from Paws Dog Day Care.

Pet Care Services Business Plans

Pet Care Services Business Associations

Trade associations often are excellent sources of information on an industry. Here are some relevant industry associations:

Pet Care Services Business Publications

Pet Care Services Business Employment Trends

Labor costs are important factors for full service restaurant owners. Here is the Animal Care and Service Workers labor market summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Overall employment of animal care and service workers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Many people consider their pets to be a part of their family and are willing to pay more for pet care than pet owners have in the past. As more households include companion pets, employment of animal care and service workers in the pet services industry will continue to grow. Employment of animal care and service workers in kennels, grooming shops, and pet stores is projected to increase in order to keep up with the growing demand for animal care.

Pet Care Services 2018 BLS


The median annual wage for animal trainers was $28,880 in May 2017.

The median annual wage for nonfarm animal caretakers was $22,950 in May 2017.

Work Environment

Animal care and service workers are employed in a variety of settings, including kennels, zoos, stables, animal shelters, pet stores, veterinary clinics, and aquariums. Some of the work may be physically or emotionally demanding, and the rate of work-related injuries and illnesses is higher than the national average.

Job Outlook

Employment of animal care and service workers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth coupled with high job turnover should result in very good job opportunities.

A more specific breakdown of wages for other animal care businesses in the US can be found here (see 39-2000, 392011, and 392021).


For the full text of any content in this Small Business Market Research Report from SBDCNet, the link has been provided for the report publisher, while a database article can be obtained from the local public or academic library or purchased from a document delivery service for a nominal fee.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

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