Profession of  Pet Grooming


Maneka Gandhi


(Bihar Times) When I was young we were all expected to become doctors, engineers and teachers. As time went on, career choices expanded and even becoming a politician became acceptable though artist was still taboo ! In today’s career market there are thousands of options.

If the pursuit of happiness is why we live, choosing a vocation is extremely important. It is better to make less money doing what you want to do than make a lot of money destroying the earth, producing something you don’t relate to and spending that money masking your unhappiness.

The best is to become a vet or a vet-helper. The next best is to work with an animal NGO. But if you cannot do that here are two articles with ideas for the urban young person.

Pet Grooming: Shampooing, hair grooming, nail trimming and ear cleaning. This requires professional training. If you can’t find a place to learn there are monitored online courses that allow you to learn on your own. Gain experience by grooming your pets and take photos to use as samples to attract clients. There is no shortage of people looking for quality care for their pets. You can provide the service in your client’s home as well. An In-Home Bathing and deticking/ Flea Dip Service is helpful to those who don't have time to do it or to make a trip to the vet.

Pet sitting. Lots of people have animals that can't be boarded or left with others when the need arises--those with health conditions or exotics that are difficult to take care of.  When these pet owners need to be away, there is one solution available: hire a pet-sitting service to come to their homes and take care of their animals. If you want to work on a small scale, you can be the pet sitter. But if your intention is to operate with an eye on growth, you'll need to hire additional pet sitters. Market your services through veterinarians, pet supply retailers, dog trainers and pet-grooming services. Remember, many people also hire pet sitters for short periods of times--a weekend away, a night out, or time off for family events. You'll need to develop fee schedules for long- and short-term jobs.

Dog Day-care facilities for dogs are becoming increasingly popular, especially as more dog owners  realize the benefits of leaving their dogs at day care with other dogs instead of at home alone while they are at work. Dogs, like people, are social creatures and need contact with people and other dogs to become well-behaved and confident. However, a dog day care should not be confused with a kennel, which boards animals for short- and long-term time spans. This is strictly a drop off in the morning and pick up in the evening. If space allows and your neighbors don't mind the barking, you can open at home. A better alternative is to rent warehouse space and convert it into a dog day care centre with fenced outdoor space, and indoor couches to ensure your clients have all the comforts they're used to at home. One innovative day care center installed web cams in their facility so people at work could log onto their website and see live footage of their dogs.

Pet Boarding: This can be started in your house or in a space. It needs careful detailing as animals will be left with you for weeks. You need to take the money in advance, and list each animal’s tastes, phobias and their vets.

Pet supply shop: The rich have suddenly discovered a need for their animals to be amused, clothed, and bedded well. From packaged and homemade food to mattresses, bowls, sweaters, toys and shampoos. 

The Internet has made it possible to sell animal-themed items without the need to open a costly brick and mortar store. Animal-loving entrepreneurs are taking advantage of venues like eBay and Amazon, and setting up their own e-commerce stores.

 Another way for you to sell merchandise -- anything from dog carriers and natural pet food to cat care books -- without purchasing your own inventory is through affiliate marketing. Instead of selling your own items, you make money by promoting other people's goods. You earn commissions. Affiliate marketers build their own content-rich websites consisting of special links to retailers. Say you are interested in caring for older dogs. You create a website and post free, informative articles about this topic, and include specialized links provided by the companies you choose to work with. When your visitors click your links and purchase that company's merchandise, you make a profit Publicity material making: Audio and video films that can be used for training ; information products, membership sites, directories. These are needed by schools for education and animal NGOs for fundraising.

Developing websites for animal welfare NGOs. Every year India gets another 100 animal welfare NGOs. And each one needs a site and someone to develop and run it for them. I didn’t get one for 15 years because I did not know how. Finally it was developed and run by a PFA member www.peopleforanimalsindia.org . and it has been very good for animal welfare work.

Animal-based art. There is a market for animal-themed functional items, such as tee shirts, handbags, totes, rubber stamps and jewelry. You can start small by creating a few items and testing the marketplace. You may invest in your own equipment or work with companies that specialize in creating customized pieces based on your artwork.

Pet Photography: One of India’s most famous photographers started her career this way. Owners of dogs, cats, horses, cows, birds, and even fish can all be potential customers. You can tie up with vets and pet shops. Making the experience fun for pets and their owners will go a long way toward securing repeat business and referrals, so liven things up with costumes, themed backdrops, and by offering pet videotaping services, complete with music, titles and special effects. Likewise, to boost profit potential also offer a wide assortment of products that customers can have their pets' photographic images transferred onto--key tags, greeting cards, calendars, mugs, hats, T-shirts, sports bags and bumper stickers.

Dog Clothing and Accessories: I thought only the Americans spent more than $30 billion annually on their pets but several people in Delhi have bought jackets from Singapore for their pugs. You can actually make money by designing, making and selling designer clothes for dogs. Sweaters, rain jackets, doggie hats, goggles, shirts, booties, scarves and costumes. You can pitch your designer fashions to pet shop retailers or foreign importers or sell directly to dog owners by exhibiting and selling at fairs, websites, mail order sales supported by newspaper, catalog, online and magazine advertising. You can even establish a doggie clothing boutique at home .
Some better ideas next week !

To join the animal welfare movement contact gandhim@nic.in


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