How to Start a Pet Shop or Pet Service Business in the Philippines
Do you have a love for pets and plenty of entrepreneurial spirit? In that case, you might become the next pet service business magnate in the country.
There’s nothing better than coming home to the loving attention of our furry companions. Because of this, plenty of pet owners in the Philippines are willing to pay good money for their beloved pets, which is why the pet service industry is thriving today.
In this article, we’ll talk about how you can take advantage of this demand to start your own pet shop or pet service business while pursuing your own love for pets!
What is a Pet Service Business?
A pet shop or pet service business is designed to fulfill the needs of pet owners and the animal that they own.
Many Filipinos are used to having a pet at home, typically a dog or a cat.
According to Rakuten Insight, more than half (59%) of households in Asia own a dog, with the highest population percentage being in the Philippines. 67% of Filipino households have a dog, while 43% have a cat.
The top three reasons for owning a pet include:
- To reduce stress
- To have company
- To improve security
There’s no doubt that pets add a lot of value to our lives, and Filipinos know it. That said, owning a pet isn’t always a walk in the park (pun intended).
Data from Statista reveals that many Filipino pet owners spend more than PHP 500 on pet products alone, excluding pet care services. In a country with an average monthly income of PHP 25,500 as of 2021, pets are considered part of the regular family budget.
This is why the demand for pet-related businesses is booming in the Philippines today. Some of the most popular sectors of the pet service industry are the following.
- Pet supply retailer. These typical pet stores sell everything you need to keep your pet clean, fed, and entertained.
- Pet groomers and salons. Grooming services sometimes go hand-in-hand with a pet supplies shop, but not always. These businesses take care of the outward appearance and health of various pets with services such as fur cuts, nail clipping, and baths.
- Pet nurseries and hotels. For some people, it might be difficult to look for someone trusted to take care of their pets while they’re away. Pet hotels temporarily take care of your pet when you’re on an important trip.
- Veterinarians. These are licensed practitioners that take care of pets’ internal health. They might also offer services such as general grooming but focus more on health-related services such as neutering/spaying, vaccinations, parasite removals, etc.
- Teachers and trainers. Some pet owners are hiring high-level pet trainers to teach their pets essential skills for safety, entertainment, and professional capacities (as emotional support pets, police dogs, and more.)
All of these business types fall under the category of pet service business, so there’s a lot to choose from depending on your abilities and circumstances.
Best Pet Service Franchises in the Philippines
Starting a business from scratch will give you a lot of room to evolve and craft your brand, but it can also be incredibly stressful.
This is especially true if you’re planning to open a large pet business that requires a significant investment. Looking for suppliers, finding your own best practices, and all of these little but necessary things can take a toll on your work-life balance.
If you’d like to take it easy, franchising can be a good option. It minimizes the amount of decision-making that you need to do, which can be great if you’re just starting your business.
Here are some of the best pet service franchises you can get here in the Philippines.
Puffy Paws Heaven
- Franchise fee: PHP 350,000
- Pet service type: Pet supplies, grooming, and boarding
- Contact information: Email
Puffy Paws is an all-in-one store for all of your furry friends’ needs. They offer all the essentials: high-quality supply, stress-free grooming, and even a fun and entertaining boarding place for your beloved pets.
This brand aims to provide top-notch products and services for prices that are affordable for the majority of pet owners.
Puffy Paws first opened on June 2014, established by Ms. Arriesgado, an International Studies graduate who chose to pursue her passion for pets instead of a corporate career. Since then, the brand has grown to become one of the best and most well-known in the country.
Amazingly, Puffy Paws is not just a corporate brand. The owners also run a dog rescue and shelter.
If you want to franchise a high-quality pet service business while helping a noble cause simultaneously, Puffy Paws might just be the perfect choice for you.
- Trademark use
- Site approval assistance
- Training for staff and franchisee
- Assistance for opening and research and development
- Puffy Paws operations manual
One Fab Pooch
- Franchise fee: P400,00
- Pet service type: Pet grooming and salon
- Contact information: Email
One Fab Pooch offers an upscale and luxurious pet salon experience that is just as relaxing for the owner as it is for the animal being pampered. They can be found all over the Philippines. And although they specialize in canine grooming, they can also service other furry friends.
This brand is a well-known presence in the luxury pet salon sector. They boast modern, high-class salons with Instagrammable interiors and waiting areas, plus a professional-grade grooming experience.
One Fab Pooch prides itself in employing only the most highly-qualified professional groomers. They’re used to pampering all breeds, and they know whatever needs your beloved fur babies might have.
They also offer high-end attires, treats, and even an ultra-relaxing pet boarding service should you need it.
Lastly, they also boast a great relationship with their franchisees, plus an active Facebook page and contact information for their franchising arm.
- Trademark and seal use
- Site approval assistance
- Franchisee and staff training
- Specialized procurement program
- Assistance for research and development
- Opening assistance
- Special operations manual
The Dog Spa & Hotel
- Franchise fee: PHP 350,000
- Pet service type: Supplies, grooming, and daycare/hotel
- Contact information: Email
The Dog Spa and Hotel is the brainchild of James Loverio and Eric Villanueva, founders and pet lovers themselves. Their value proposition is an all-in-one pet center that does business from the point of view of the customer.
After falling prey to bad supplies and low-quality services, Loverio and Villanueva decided they would establish their own pet service center with everything their pets could ever need.
The Dog Spa and Hotel is created with the customers in mind. This brand offers original high-quality supplies, top-quality grooming services, and even comfortable and attractive waiting areas for pet parents who want to ensure that their pets are well taken care of.
They also have an active Facebook page that constantly engages with their customers; they can be easily reached and considers their audience base as an extended family. The names of their recent pups were even given by their customers.
From these, you can conclude that this business is extremely customer-centric, which creates a strong sense of brand loyalty.
If you want a pet service business that puts its customers first and already enjoys a fiercely loyal following, the Dog Spa and Hotel might be the right one for you.
- Property marks and trade names used
- Site evaluation assistance
- Training for employees and franchisees
- Opening and research and development assistance
- Operations manual
- Specialized procurement program
- Franchise fee: P150,000
- Pet service type: Grooming, daycare, supplies, and basic medicines
- Contact information: Email
Another of the best franchises that you can get for the pet service industry is the Metrodog branch.
Metrodog was established in Tondo, Manila, in 2012. It’s now in its 10th year of providing high-quality supplies and grooming experiences to pet lovers all over the country. Since then, they’ve opened various branches all around Metro Manila.
They offer a wide variety of services, such as breed-standard grooming and appearance tailoring, lodging, and dog daycare, and also offer high-quality pet supplies. While they specialize in canines, they also cater to cats.
If you want to franchise a brand that has it all, Metrodog might be the one for you.
- Confidential operations manual
- Pre-opening trainer for franchisees and employees
- Suppliers and procurement plan
- Design and layout of the store
- Trademark use
- Research and development assistance, among others
How to Open a Pet Service Shop in the Philippines
By now, you know most of the fundamental knowledge that you need to get into this kind of business. There’s only one thing left to do – to execute your pet service shop business.
Whether you want to franchise or start your own brand, here’s how you can open a pet shop or pet service business in the Philippines.
Step 1: Conduct thorough market research
We’ve talked about trends that contribute to the increasing demand for pet services in the Philippines, such as the rising rates of pet ownership, the need for pet supplies and products, and the price customers are willing to pay.
But just because this business can be profitable nationally doesn’t mean that it’s the best business for your area.
To determine whether or not a pet service business can prosper where you want it to, you need to do market research first.
Good market research covers three basic areas of your business.
- Customers. It’s important to know your customer from the ground up. Identify who your main customers are likely to be. What are their age ranges? What is their socioeconomic status? What psychological traits and behaviors do they likely have?
- Competition. Identify other pet-related businesses in the area. Are their customers loyal to them? Are they frequently overbooked? What are the most common complaints about them? Improving on the faults of your competitors will build your brand and capture customers away from them.
- Industry. How well do you know the pet-owning lifestyle? Do you know any suppliers? Do you, or the people you’re hiring, have a good affinity with animals? To make a solid business plan, you need to know your industry in and out.
Throughout all of this, make sure to be aware of greater trends in the country and the economy, as these things can also affect how you open your business.
Step 2: Put everything together in a business plan
Before you pay the first peso for your soon-to-be business, you first need to take the time and effort to compile a coherent business plan.
This document is critical, especially if you plan to ask for support from investors or avail of bank loans. Your business plan details your potential business, including your pet service business's operational, financial, marketing, and industry aspects.
The structure of your business plan can vary, but it will mostly consist of the following sections.
- Executive summary
- Outline of your products and services
- Your market analysis results
- Marketing and sales plan
- Management team profile or organization chart
- Financial projections
Step 3: Consider whether you should franchise or not
This is a significant choice that will impact everything you do from this moment forward. The answer primarily relies on you, your market, and your needs, but there are a few points you should consider.
For one, building your own pet brand can be more profitable than franchising because all profits will go to you. You also have more freedom to choose your procedures, supplies, and branding.
This enables you to better tailor your offerings to your target market's demands without consulting anyone about big changes, which is a great tool to increase client satisfaction.
However, the entire process of finding and building your brand identity can be incredibly complicated and taxing, especially for new business owners.
Franchising your establishment will remove some of this complexity because the franchiser will be the one to decide on things such as suppliers, procedures, marketing systems, and more. The downside is that you will also have less freedom and might not be able to adapt to changing local conditions on time.
Step 4: Establish your business
Now that you have a good foundation for your pet service shop, you can now begin building your business.
This phase is one of the most exciting but physically exhausting parts of your pet business because you will have to deal with the daily tasks involving making your business come to life.
Here are some general things you need to do to establish your business.
- Comply with legal permits. While registering your business might not be so urgent if you only do small freelance things (like dog walking), it’s imperative if you want to open an actual shop. You have to comply with things such as DTI registration, BIR registration, mayor’s permits, and more.
- Build or lease your shop. This is also the part where you will start building or leasing your place of business. Make sure that you comply with legal and building requirements.
- Buy supplies or equipment. If you have a franchise, you will have a guideline for your processes and suppliers. However, if you’re building your brand, you’ll need to take the time to research and deal with inventory and equipment suppliers.
Step 5: Open and maintain your pet service shop
You might not have everything in a perfect spot yet, but once you can start catering to your customers reliably, you should start your business as soon as possible to begin recouping your losses.
Make a launch day plan and be as strategic as you can.
For instance, you could schedule your opening hours during weekends or around holidays when pet owners are most likely to schedule their pets for grooming.
To entice customers, you can also offer discounts and coupons on some of your products. You can also publicize and generate hype over your establishment on social media.
Why Should You Open A Pet Service Business in the Philippines?
Now that you know how to open your own pet shop, let’s discuss why you’d want to do so in the first place.
After all, pet shops and grooming stations are sprouting up left and right in the Philippines. So what exactly makes this business niche so appealing?
Pet ownership is rising in the Philippines. According to the Philippine Canine Club, Inc, there are an estimated 13 million pet dogs in the country, registered and unregistered alike.
If you take this data in hand with the previously-mentioned data from Rakuten that said more than 67% of Filipino households own a dog, you can get an idea of the potential clients you’d have for this business.
And indeed, large-scale market research done by Euromonitor suggests a positive rise in the pet care industry for 2022 and the years to come.
This is largely fuelled by a more home-based lifestyle post-Covid, which saw a record increase in the number of adoption rates in the country.
This means that there’s a good economic case for a pet care service business now that more Filipinos own pets.
The pet niche is incredibly varied, which means there are many different types of businesses that you can get into.
Unlike other forms of businesses, there are many types of pet service businesses that you can go into – plus, they’re very interrelated, so you can branch out into other businesses to increase your coverage as you grow.
For example, you can start by selling pet supplies and then add pet grooming or sitting services once you have the budget and enough loyal clientele.
This makes it easier for you to scale your business and capture more of the market because you don’t need to create an entirely different business altogether.
Flexible business formats
The pet service industry is more flexible than most in terms of how the business can be run.
For example, the pet service industry is particularly flexible in terms of location. When you’re just starting, you can operate right out of your residence.
Whether you create a pet-sitting business, use a spare room as inventory for your online pet supplies business, or offer baths and basic grooming in your bathroom, there are plenty of ways to get started, even with zero equipment and experience.
Another benefit is that you don’t have a linear scaling path, unlike other businesses. You can easily customize your growth to suit your and your community’s needs.
With the rise of social media, marketing your business has also become much easier.
In addition to having multiple business opportunities and flexible business particulars, advertising is also a breeze. This is because people love seeing pets on their social media feeds, giving pet posts lots of traction.
Research shows that posting pets on your social media account can drive an average comment increase of 89% and a like increase of 19%. Some even had up to a 295% increase in comments.
More recently, a study published in 2022 pointed out how adding pets to marketing campaigns can work wonders for brands. In fact, even brands that aren’t pet-focused, such as Budweiser and Mercedes Benz, benefit from pet influencers and pet marketing.
This means that social media alone can be a huge driver for your pet supply or pet service business. All you need are good marketing materials and you won’t have to spend a lot of money on paid advertising, if at all.
Can be incredibly rewarding
Lastly, working with animals brings fulfillment to a lot of people.
If you’re an animal lover yourself, you’ll certainly enjoy every second of your business. If you’re the kind of person to get energy from interacting with animals, you’ll benefit from it as well.
How we view pets is largely subjective, but there’s no denying that they improve the quality of our lives to some degree. They provide security, companionship, and a feeling of responsibility, not to mention the help that service animals provide to their respective humans.
Pet-related businesses provide a great service for pet owners who value their pets, enabling them to enhance the quality of the time they spend with their furry friends.
Challenges In Opening A Pet Service Business In The Philippines
There are many advantages to opening a pet service business in the Philippines, whatever that might be. However, just because it's largely beneficial doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its challenges. Running a business is never that easy, no matter how great the opportunity is.
So if you want to be a successful business owner in this industry, you need to be ready for the challenges that you might face.
To help you prepare better, here are the most pressing challenges of starting a business in this area.
- Scaling costs can be expensive. While you can easily start your pet service business, it can be costly to scale to be a bigger business because you will need more specialized equipment or a bigger inventory.
- Needs more than a love for animals. You are sorely mistaken if you believe that your love for animals is enough to pull you through. You’ll work with different breeds with different temperaments, and you need to be able to maintain your patience and fear in check at all times, not to mention it requires plenty of technical skills to be successful.
- Can be prone to liability. Animals can unfortunately be unpredictable, even our own beloved pets. To be safe, you’ll likely need plenty of liability insurance to ensure that you have a financial safety net in case of the animals under your care harm you, others, or themselves.
The challenges can be pretty daunting, but as long as you know what to prepare for, you’re still in a great position to take advantage of this business opportunity.
Factors to Consider When Opening a Pet Service Business in the Philippines
Now that you have a good idea of the potential of a business in this industry, you might be wondering what factors you should think about if you want to start your shop.
Knowing these important factors can help you along your business journey so that you can better evaluate your capabilities and the needs of your community.
As mentioned, the pet service industry offers plenty of opportunities for pet lovers to establish a business. This makes it easier for potential business owners to do business that suits their current capabilities and business goals.
That’s why before you start a business in this area, you first need to evaluate what kind of business you want.
Do you want to sell supplies or deal with pets directly? Do you want to take care of them long-term or short-term? Are you comfortable with handling all kinds of pets, or will you specialize in cats or dogs?
There are many ways that you can enter this field, so start by planning based on your interest and capabilities.
Similarly, there are also varying degrees of startup costs available for pet businesses.
In general, there are roughly three levels of start-up expenses that are possible for a business in this area, which are the following.
- Low cost. These are the kinds of businesses that require little to no startup money to get started. Services such as pet sitting, dog walking, and pet boarding are great examples of this business format, which anyone can do, although it mostly needs physical labor.
- Moderate cost. You’ll have to raise a little bit of startup money, but you can start in relatively small amounts, such as money from your savings. It will still entail significant labor though, such as selling pet supplies, homemade treats, and conducting basic grooming.
- High cost. These are the kinds of businesses that pretty much require a loan or investors to accomplish. Establishments such as high-quality grooming salons, veterinary services, and long-term pet hotels.
You need to be mindful of your startup costs because that’s what will dictate the kind of business that you can create going forward.
Lastly, always keep the demand and competition in mind. These factors are critical because that’s what will dictate how successful your business will be.
First, you need to determine whether there’s demand for the kind of services you offer in the location where you plan to set up shop, especially if you’re making a location-based business, such as pet sitting and grooming services.
Creating a shop in the city is going to be your safest bet, although that’s also going to incur the highest expense.
You should also think about whether there are other establishments in your area fulfilling that demand. If there are already other shops in your immediate vicinity, you should research to see if they’ve filled the demand or if there’s room for some competition.
If there aren’t any, you should also make sure to research why. There might not be any pet shops nearby because there is no sustainable demand for them.
All You Need to Know to Start a Pet Service Business in the Philippines
A pet service business can be a rewarding and highly profitable business format in the Philippines. There are plenty of conditions making it ideal for this kind of business to bloom – in fact, we’re already seeing pet shops and services spread across the country.
And with the help of this guide, you now have everything you need to start your shop. Be one of the pioneers of this business and start your own pet service business!