28 Startup Ideas for Animal Lovers

Woman holding small dog.

If you’re an animal-loving entrepreneur, why not combine the two? Pet startups come in all shapes and sizes — from pet toy brands to luxury animal hotels and spas. If you’d like to dedicate your entrepreneurial drive to helping some furry friends, we’ve got you covered. We researched the best startup ideas for animal lovers so keep reading to find the right pet business for you.

Recommended: Check out our full list of the best startup ideas and our guide on how to start a startup.

Pet Business Startup Ideas

1. Animal App

The sky’s the limit with this animal startup idea. Animal apps can address a myriad of consumer demands, such as finding dog-sitting services, locating nearby dog parks and pet-friendly restaurants, or discovering compatible animals for playdates.

Start by determining a specific consumer need and how the app you develop can fulfill that. As the weather warms and people start searching for pet-friendly restaurants with outdoor spaces, for example, your app could provide an easy way for users to find and review businesses that fit their needs. Plus, app startups have the benefit of several accelerator programs available to help grow the business, such as Plug and Play and Techstars. 

2. Pet Toy Brand

Pet owners continually search for the toy their pet will love. A pet toy brand startup designs, produces, and sells toys for dogs, cats, and other pets. One of the benefits of this type of startup is that you can operate it from your home using an ecommerce platform.

With sustainability at the top of consumers’ minds, creating pet toys made of sustainable or biodegradable materials can help you drive sales and set your startup apart from the competition. Alternatively, pet toys that double as teeth cleaners or pill pockets can increase the value of your product. Typically, these businesses require low startup costs between $2,000 and $10,000 to get started.

3. Animal Cafe

There’s nothing like having a cup of coffee next to your favorite furry friend. For folks that don’t have an animal of their own or who just want to mingle with other pets, an animal cafe provides the perfect environment for enjoying the company of animals while having a drink or snack.

One great way to support the animals you house at your cafe while generating additional profit is to allow customers to adopt those animals. This enables people to interact with a potential new pet in a positive environment.

4. Pet Subscription Box

Whether it contains dog toys or cat treats, a pet subscription box startup involves curating a collection of goodies for furry friends on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. One of the biggest benefits of this type of startup is the built-in loyalty program. When you use a subscription model, your customers will have more incentive to continue supporting your business. Moreover, you can reduce waste because you’ll have a better idea of the number of products you’ll need to buy based on your subscriber volume.

The most popular subscription box companies offer customers a deal on the products they’ll receive. A box may, for example, have a retail value of $50, but by subscribing to receive regular deliveries, customers can get it for a much lower price. This is a growing industry, with about 27% of online shoppers currently receiving subscription boxes, meaning there is an opportunity for success in this sector. 

5. Pet Bakery

Pet bakeries can produce simple pet foods and treats or more elaborate confections, such as dog-friendly cupcakes. If you know your way around a kitchen or you’re an avid baker, starting a pet bakery may perfectly suit you. Plus, with an expected compound annual growth rate of 10.4% from 2022 to 2030, there is a definite demand for this service. 

The benefit of this type of startup is that it doesn’t require you to operate a brick-and-mortar store, which can drastically reduce your startup and overhead costs. You can create pet-friendly baked goods from your home in most states and then sell them online and through established retailers. 

6. Animal Training

If you have experience training animals, why not make it your day job? Pet owners will always need animal training services to correct behavioral issues or to teach basic skills. With this type of business, you’ll also have the option of opening a brick-and-mortar location or minimizing overhead costs by holding training sessions at your customers’ homes.

While people typically associate animal training with dogs, you can make this startup idea your own by offering training services for a variety of animals or specialized training for specific dog breeds.

7. Animal Blog

If you’re an animal lover with writing and photography skills, an animal blog could provide the perfect startup idea for you. Fortunately, animal lovers like yourself all over the world want to read and engage with content about all kinds of animal topics.

Whether you share content about your own dog, a specific breed, or research on an animal-related topic, there’s no limit to the type of content on which your animal blog can focus. Moreover, starting and maintaining this type of startup involves minimal costs. That makes it a lower-risk startup opportunity.

8. Nutritional Pet Food

The pet food market was worth $103.3 billion globally in 2023, but not all pet food is created equal. Pet owners increasingly seek artisanal foods for their pets that’ll deliver the most nutritional value possible. Nutritional pet food companies provide a new and improved take on traditional pet foods focused on optimizing pet health.

This startup idea is broad, which means it has a lot of ways you can make it your own. Offering creative recipes or products that provide additional health benefits, for example, can set your startup apart. Your nutritional pet food company also can operate completely online and/or through established retailers, reducing your startup and overhead costs.

9. Pet Telehealth Services

Pet telehealth services — or veterinary telehealth services — allow pet owners to attend veterinarian appointments virtually. As the demand for virtual alternatives to in-person activities continues to increase, so, too, does the popularity of pet telehealth.

A successful pet telehealth startup requires optimal ease of use, first and foremost, because its customers will range in age and have varying degrees of experience with technology. Additionally, partnering with established pet businesses that have credibility in the industry may help you generate a strong customer base for your startup. One benefit to starting this type of business is the access to pet tech accelerators such as UNLEASHED by Purina or Leap Venture Studio, which can help grow your startup early on. 

10. Pet IoT Devices

As the market for internet of things (IoT) devices continues to expand rapidly, it offers animal lovers a litany of opportunities to incorporate this technology into pet-friendly startups. Whether your device dispenses dog food at programmed feeding times or tracks an outdoor cat’s whereabouts, IoT technology can offer entrepreneurial animal lovers the perfect way to drive innovation within the petcare industry.

If you don’t have an IoT device idea yet, start by identifying common pet problems this technology could easily solve. Remember, the best startup ideas typically come from a founder’s solution to their own problem.

See our interview with the founder of pet tech startup PupPod!

11. Pet Sitting

If you’ve ever paid to board a pet, you probably know it can be costly. A startup that connects pet owners with vetted, trustworthy pet sitters provides an alternative to expensive pet boarding. For example, you could provide an enhanced customer experience by creating an easy-to-use app in addition to a website that enables people to easily find and connect with potential pet sitters.

Keep in mind, a successful pet sitting startup heavily depends on customer trust. The more you invest in building credibility with your customers by vetting potential sitters, the more likely your startup will succeed.

12. Animal Rescue

Animal rescue services provide shelter and care for lost, surrendered, or abused animals until they can find homes for those displaced animals. You’ll need enough space to house animals as well as the skills or resources to take in animals that may need additional care. It’s a good idea to start with more familiar animals, such as dogs or horses, and then expand to other animals once you establish your rescue service.

Starting your own animal rescue can prove incredibly rewarding for you, your employees, and the adoptive pet parents you serve. Additionally, this type of startup can operate on a for-profit basis or you can form it as a nonprofit and seek 501(c)(3) tax exemption status.

13. Pet Clothing Brand

Whether you want to design pet clothing for functionality or fun, many pet owners will readily invest in protective footwear, warming sweaters, or funny costumes for their pets. In fact, the market size globally was valued at $5.19 billion in 2021

Because many pet clothing brands already exist, you’ll need to make this startup idea your own to compete. Consider using distinctive, sustainable fabrics or designing clothing that serves another purpose like helping protect paws from hot concrete or soothing a pet’s anxiety.

14. Pet Photography

If you love both animals and photography, combine those two passions by launching a pet photography startup. Fortunately, starting a photography business involves low startup and overhead costs. For example, you’ll typically only need a camera and editing software — equipment many hobbyists already own.

Depending on your experience level, you may find it beneficial to take a photography class to fine-tune your skills. Then, you can build your portfolio to provide potential clients with examples of your work. A benefit to this business idea is the communities available to entrepreneurs in the space, such as The Pet Photographers Club and Hair of the Dog Community, where you can build your network of other photographers. 

15. Mobile Dog Grooming

Now more than ever, people seek ways to limit their time spent in public spaces. A mobile dog-grooming service enables customers to avoid busy pet-grooming businesses or pet stores by bringing the grooming experience to them.

You’ll most likely need some pet-grooming experience before launching your startup as well as a vehicle that can house your grooming station. Beyond that, startup costs for a mobile dog-grooming startup are relatively low.

16. Pet Taxi

Full-time professionals, elderly folks, or others who may not have the ability to transport their pets to important appointments can benefit from a pet taxi service. This type of business typically transports pets to vet or grooming appointments and can charge by the mile or a flat rate. Plus, startup costs for this type of service are low, requiring only your vehicle payments, insurance, and a few other necessities. 

As with any business that involves engaging with people inside their homes, a pet taxi startup’s success depends on the level of trust it can build with its client base. The key to running a pet taxi startup capable of earning the community’s trust is to thoroughly vet drivers and provide superb service that’ll generate positive reviews.

17. Pet Vitamins and Supplements

Like humans, animals typically need to supplement their diet with the proper nutrients to maintain optimal health. A pet vitamin and supplement startup provides pet owners with products that support pet health, such as probiotics, allergy remedies, and multivitamins. This industry is steadily growing, with an anticipated compound annual growth rate of 5.9% between 2024 to 2030

To succeed, pet vitamin and supplement startups must offer both affordability and accessibility. For this reason, it’s important to sell your products online — either through your own website or established retailers like Chewy. In addition, offering a subscription service can enhance the customer experience and increase customer loyalty.

18. Dog Bed Brand

Whether you prefer to make dog beds by hand or work with a manufacturer, the dog bed industry is ripe for new businesses that sell creative sleeping pads for furry friends. Many customers seek not only high-quality dog beds, but also well-designed and aesthetically pleasing products that’ll look great in their homes. Keeping this in mind can set your dog bed brand apart from the competition, including the pet store giants.

19. Cat Trees and Towers Brand

The market for cat scratchers and trees was valued at $415.6 million in 2023 but is projected to grow to $664.1 million by 2033. If you’re a cat-lover, your startup could contribute to this growth with a cat tree startup. Many cat owners seek something different than the standard beige carpeted cat trees and towers. A brand that offers better-looking, more sustainable, or innovative cat trees and towers can meet this demand and build a successful business.

So, what’s the key to making this startup idea work? Offer your customers a product they can’t get at the big-box pet stores. This could mean designing quirky cat trees or towers simply made from eco-friendly materials. Getting creative will set your business apart and attract more cat-loving customers.

20. Pet Owner Social Media Platform

Pet owners love sharing photos and stories about their pets online, so why not create a social media platform just for them? Whether it’s simply a place to swap pet photos and other content or a platform to connect with other pet owners and participate in forums, this startup idea focuses on developing a space for pet owners to express themselves and engage with other animal lovers.

There are several venture capital funds that have a history of investing in social media startups, as well. A few include SVA, First Round Capital, and Lightspeed Ventures. Investors like this may be the key to unlocking the scale of a new and exciting social media platform.

21. One-of-a-Kind Pet Keepsakes

If you’re a pet owner, you probably think your companion is pretty special. One-of-a-kind pet keepsake startups craft customized products that feature photos, names, or other identifiers of a customer’s pet — often to memorialize a deceased animal.

Keepsakes can include anything from screenprinted goods like mugs or T-shirts to handmade treasures like paintings and crafts. This type of startup also can operate completely online, reducing your startup and overhead costs.

22. Dog Beer Brewer

If dogs are a man’s best friend, why not share a beer with them? Dog beer brewers produce non-alcoholic beer made specifically for these furry friends. In fact, these increasingly popular businesses craft beverages with nutrients that benefit a dog's health and well-being.

Offering beverages that do more than give dogs a tasty treat can help make your startup stand out. Consider working with a veterinarian or other expert to develop recipes that provide optimized health benefits or treatments for common health issues.

23. Oral Health Products for Pets

Oral hygiene represents one of the most important parts of pet health. Yet, depending on the pet, maintaining their oral health through brushing can prove difficult and frustrating. For this reason, many pet owners seek easy, but effective ways to improve their pet’s oral health. That’s where a startup specializing in pet oral health products comes in. This market isn’t the biggest, but it is decent at a value of $17,016 million. And, the market is growing with an expected CAGR of 3.3% from 2023 to 2033

Whether you plan to create a friendlier toothbrush design for dogs and cats or develop teeth-cleaning treats, startups in this industry have immense potential for success. Make this startup idea your own by ensuring your product provides an additional benefit, such as digestive support or breath-freshening ingredients.

24. Pet Influencer

Do you have a cute pet or a love for blogging? If so, you might want to consider becoming a pet influencer. Many pet influencers have either an unusual pet or one with a big personality. But, if you work in the pet industry as a pet groomer, photographer, or trainer, for example, documenting and sharing your experiences on social media platforms also can provide a great way to get started.

Successful influencers in any industry need a way to take high-quality photos and videos, a knowledge of social media marketing, and the time to dedicate to posting every day. If your platform becomes a success, these skills will pay off with some successful pet influencers reporting over $10,000 in earnings per sponsored post

25. Animal Hotel and Spa

For some pets, the average pet-boarding facility just won’t suffice. Animal hotels and spas, otherwise known as luxury kennels, are high-end facilities where pets can rest, relax, and unwind while their owner is away.

Because these businesses provide a higher-end experience for pets, you’ll need to deliver a distinctive service that enables owners to truly pamper their furry friends. In both urban and rural settings, this type of startup ideally suits entrepreneurs who love animals and want to spend their time giving them affection and care.

26. Pet Fitness Center

Pet fitness centers provide a great service for owners and pets alike. If a pet owner lacks the ability to give their pet the exercise required to maintain a healthy and happy animal due to work, illness, or weather conditions, pet fitness centers can step in. These businesses provide a space for pets — most often dogs — to release their energy and have some fun.

You’ll need a space big enough to house a multitude of animals during operating hours as well as the skill to safely manage several animals at once. While it isn’t a requirement, if you plan to offer training services as well you may want to consider obtaining a certification to better market your services. 

27. Pet Playground

A pet playground, which can feature indoor or outdoor environments or a combination, provides a space for owners to bring their pets to play. It’s a particularly popular business in big cities and other areas where people typically have less access to outdoor spaces.

One of the biggest benefits of this type of startup is that it’s relatively easy to manage. In addition, the overhead costs typically only include the cost of the space and its maintenance. Depending on the popularity of your business, you can charge customers per visit, by the hour, or offer memberships.

28. Pet Accessories

Luxury pet accessories, whether collars, leashes, or halters, have risen substantially over the past few years. Pet owners looking for chic or sustainably made pet accessories have bypassed the aisles at Petco and opted to shop for specialty brands. With this market being worth over $1.8 billion, luxury pet accessories businesses can make between $500,000 and $1 million per year

To make this business successful, you need to focus on how to differentiate your products from other brands. Whether that be a unique, eye-catching design or the materials used to create your products, with this industry growing consistently, you’ll need something to help your business stand out.