5 Great Part-Time Business Ideas for Animal Lovers

Being an entrepreneur can require a lot of juggling. After all, you must have the time and resources available to fully invest in your business venture, but you also need to make a livable income and honor your own personal interests at the same time.

Finding this balance may seem difficult, but it is possible. For me, this meant combining my personal interests with a need to acquire additional funding to help me fuel my growing company.

Choosing a side hustle

Animal welfare is something I’ve been passionate about since childhood, so pursuing a business that involves pets makes perfect sense for me. If you share my interest in helping animals and want to make extra money, you can emulate the ways I’ve successfully increased my income. On the other hand, if animals aren’t your thing, you can still learn from my example and do a side hustle based on whatever you’re passionate about.

Remember: Almost anything that falls under the heading of a personal interest can be monetized through side hustling. For example, even the adult coloring book fad can be a moneymaker for people who have enough artistic talent to create and self-publish a book via services like Amazon’s CreateSpace platform. Consider the example of Mark Dawson who has a side hustle self-publishing novels and makes $450,000 annually.

1. Pet sitting

Do you have a lot of first-hand experience with cats or dogs? You could turn this experience and love of animals into a lucrative side job by offering pet-sitting services. Perhaps you even have experience with less common pets such as ferrets or iguanas. This experience may not lead to very many pet-sitting opportunities, but you can charge more for your expertise.

The average fee for pet sitting is $16.80 per hour, and I recommend charging a minimum per-day fee that starts at your rate for an hour, even if you’re just stopping in for a few minutes. This compensates you for your travel time and related expenses.

On several occasions, I’ve been hired to visit pets twice a day for people headed out of town, and I fit this into my schedule before and after work. Doing this for five days provides me with an average pay of $100, including tip. If you can build a loyal clientele, it’s possible to generate this type of extra income on a regular basis—and you get to spend time with adorable animals!

2. Dog walking

People love dogs, which is why 44% of American households have a canine companion. This doesn’t mean that dog owners always have the necessary time or patience to fully care for their animals, though. Whether someone is putting in extra hours at work or comes down with the flu, there will always be people in your neighborhood looking for someone to walk their dog.

I list myself for dog walking and all of my other applicable animal-care-related side hustles on Thumbtack and Craigslist. I also post flyers locally and rely on good word-of-mouth. Taking Fido out for just 20 minutes puts an extra $20 in my pocket and helps me exercise. This is a side hustle that’s truly a win-win.

3. Turn creativity into products

One of my friends enjoys sewing and making special bandanas, jackets, and other items for her dogs. After getting a lot of compliments at the local dog park, she decided this was a viable avenue to explore for increasing her income. She started off small by taking orders from local pet owners, including me, but eventually was able to turn this into a decent side job via Etsy.

The last time I checked, she’d completed more than 60 orders between Etsy and local buyers, with an average price of $15 per sale. That’s an extra $900 she picked up by doing something she probably would have done for free, and if she allocated more time to her small online business, she’d almost certainly become even more successful. For her, though, this side hustle is intended to pay for an annual vacation, and it has done exactly that for the past three years.

4. Content writing for animal-related businesses

Can you write quickly enough to make a decent hourly wage doing blogging? This is something I’ve done repeatedly as a side hustle, turning to local animal businesses to increase my client base while doing something I love. My clients, who have hired me as a ghostwriter, include a local vet, a grooming shop, and an independent pet supplies store.

The amount of money you can make will vary greatly depending on the quality of your writing and the marketing budget of the companies you work with. The industry average is between 10 and 50 cents per word. Keep in mind that you need to have enough dedicated time to complete each job you accept in a timely manner.

5. Pet photography

If you have a high-quality camera and the skills required to produce stunning results, you can easily start making some extra cash with pet photography. Most pet owners rely solely on their smartphone cameras, which gives them fun images to put on social media, but doesn’t provide the professional polish they may be looking for.

Make some samples with your own pets or animals that belong to your friends. This will give you a portfolio that you can post on a website dedicated to advertising your pet photography services. The average national cost for a pet photography business ranges from $150 to $180; if you prefer to take photos in a natural setting instead of inside a studio, you may need to settle for a lower price point. Even if you set your sights lower and make $75 per session, you can boost your monthly income by $300 with just one pet photography client per week.

As you can see, there are many opportunities for animal-loving entrepreneurs who are looking for a side hustle. Choosing just one of these options is a great way to spend time helping animals while also padding your income. My favorites are dog walking and animal-related content writing, but your mileage may vary.

About the Author

Post by: Holly Chavez

Holly Chavez is a writer, former engineer, and the owner of H&A Walters Fulfillment Center. She enjoys writing articles about the business world and eco-friendly initiatives. Holly takes pride in being a small business owner and she also cares deeply about supporting sustainability practices.

Company: H&A Walters Fulfillment Center, LLC
Connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.


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