Via a referral from the Pet Biz Helper on Twitter, I discovered an article on the Small Business Trends site regarding pet-related franchises. The article quoted statistics from the American Pet Products Association regarding the strength and growth of the pet industry and then listed a number of “young” pet franchises. Most were in the pet care services area, including boarding/daycare, grooming, photography, food delivery and waste removal. One I found particularly interesting was Interquest Detection Canines, which provides canine scent detection services to schools and other organizations. It appears that one of the things you purchase from the franchisor are the trained dogs.
The realization that this industry is recession-resistant has attracted attention from enterprising business people who are offering these franchise opportunities. Most pet businesses sectors, with the exception of pet supply retailers, are dominated by small businesses. The success of some services, like grooming, can be highly dependent on an individual person’s skills and personality, which to me seem like they would be difficult to standardize in a franchise model. Others, like pet food vending and waste removal, may benefit from the franchise approach. It will be interesting to watch this trend as it develops.
MediaPost reports that AOL has just launched a pet portal named PawNation.com. This news comes just shortly after Yahoo! closed its Pets section, integrating that content into its Shine lifestyle section. Purina, noted as the launch sponsor seems to be the only display advertiser at present, although text ads also appear in some sections. The photo gallery section offers pet owners opportunities to upload their photos for integration into the site.
Can’t resist some shameless self promotion. I recently got word that a dog I bred, Woodrow, will be in the fall Drs Foster & Smith dog supplies catalog. Woodrow’s owner, Doug Nartker, told me a dog trainer in the area had suggested Woodrow as a potential model. Woodrow and the company are located in Northern Wisconsin, so location is everything! Doug sent me the photos that will appear, showing his handsome tricolor Bull Terrier sporting an oatmeal colored dog sweater.