Are you a pet-obsessed entrepreneur? Interested in seeking a franchise opportunity that could merge your love of pets and your business ownership dreams? It’s not a far-fetched idea as the franchising industry has thousands of concepts, with the pet care category offering plenty of choices.
According to the American Pet Products Association, 70% of all US households claim at least one pet, the majority of whom consider their four-legged friends to be members of their family. And what, precisely, does the marketplace for pet-related care reveal? Total expenditures — including food, supplies, vet care, grooming and boarding — amounted to over $123 billion in 2021. The franchise industry includes several well-known brand names that offer retail sales, daycare and even pet-related training for entrepreneurs to consider.
entrepreneur revisited our 2022 Franchise 500 list to single out six of the best of the best pet care franchise opportunities, which you can read about in further detail below.
Related: ‘Man’s Best Friend’ — And Investment: The Thriving Industry of Pet-Related Franchising
Pet Supplies Plus
Founded in 1987, the iconic brand Pet Supplies Plus has become a tour de force in the pet care world. The retail-oriented franchise has grown to include more than 600 locations in the US, and some of its strongest growth has occurred in just the past three years.
The number of awarded units increased more than 35% in that period, all of which has helped Pet Supplies Plus earn the highest ranking of all pet-related franchise concepts — the 20th overall spot. Moreover, the brand has maintained the number one spot in the pet-related franchise category for the past eight consecutive years. According to the Pet Supplies Plus FDD (2020), each location pulls in $2.7 million in average unit revenue on an annual basis.
Interest in dog daycare, boarding and spa services is skyrocketing as evidenced by the recent growth achieved by Dogtopia. Now up to nearly 200 US locations, the majority of its awarded units — over 76% — occurred in the last three years alone.
It’s rapidly expanding franchise interest such as this that can land a pet care brand in the 51st overall spot on this year’s Franchise 500 list, the eighth consecutive year that Dogtopia has earned a ranking. Dogtopia has now been around for 20 years and has been franchising its concept for the past 15. The brand estimates the marketplace for doggie daycare to be worth $60 billion in total. If growth in this category continues, the US may be forced to consider earned income credits for our pets, as well as our children.
Related: Help Your Pets Live Their Best Life
This land is your land, this land is my land, but the 146th spot on Entrepreneur’s 2022 Franchise 500 list belongs to Petland — a leading retailer in the pet sales and supplies industry. Petland has also experienced remarkable growth over the past three years, with a 25% increase in awarded units during that period.
But we’re not just talking about the United States, as Petland includes more than 100 locations in Canada and other international countries. This franchisor has a strong retail focus, offering more than 4,000 pet-related products, of which 1,500 are Petland branded items. Founded in 1967, Petland has been a franchised offering for more than 50 years running.
Wild Birds Unlimited
A backyard birdwatching fanatic named Jim Carpenter founded Wild Birds Unlimited back in 1981, offering franchises to the public just two years later. Since that time, this franchisor has grown to over 350 locations in the US — good enough to earn the 188th overall spot on this year’s Franchise 500 list.
What began as one man’s hobby has evolved to offer affordable, high-quality bird food, nesting boxes, feeders and other assorted products for our feathered friends. Wild Birds Unlimited has maintained a strong presence among entrepreneur‘s top-ranked franchisors, with 10 consecutive appearances in the Franchise 500. Entrepreneurs who wish to take flight with this franchise opportunity can count on superior levels of support from the brand in this amazingly interesting niche marketplace.
Related: 6 Reasons You Can’t Go Wrong With the Pet Industry
Camp Bow Wow
Claiming the 271st overall spot on Entrepreneur’s 2022 Franchise 500 list is Camp Bow Wow, another franchise dedicated to creating a welcoming daycare environment for our canine companions. The brand’s marketing messages make clear that this is no kennel, but rather a structured environment designed to foster a sense of community among its four-legged guests.
Much like camps for kids, Camp Bow Wow employs “counselors” to oversee and manage play time, nap time and ancillary services such as grooming and training. A love and passion for dogs is a standing requirement, which explains why this brand has grown to include nearly 200 US locations. Like several other concepts on this distinguished list, Camp Bow Wow boasts 10 consecutive years of Franchise 500 rankings.
With only seven years on the market as a franchise opportunity, Pet Wants is a relative newcomer to the scene, but what it’s got to offer franchisees resonates. This is a brand that’s experienced robust growth in the past three years, noting an 81.2% increase in awarded units.
Pet Wants is a natural pet-food store, but its business model does include delivery. This franchisor understands just how much convenience matters to consumers in this day and age. Franchisees can choose from either a brick-and-mortar storefront location or opt for a mobile-oriented business on wheels.
Either way, Pet Wants is designed to bring the highest quality pet products, sourced from a carefully curated list of vendors to your doorstep. The brand has also invested in a remarkable marketing initiative under the banner of The Winner’s Circle. The program offers new franchisees full reimbursement of their initial franchise fee, provided they hit the brand’s incentivized milestones in the first full year of operations.
Related: Examples of Pet Business Ideas