If you love dogs, you’re not alone! In the US, dogs are the most popular pets, making them well-deserving of the title of man’s best friend. This also makes the pet market a lucrative one to get into, with plenty of potential for people who love pets to make a success of dog business ideas. 

If you’re thinking of starting a dog-related business, take a look at these ideas and tips from our FitBark team to kickstart your new career journey

What You Need to Get Started

In the digital age, building dog businesses doesn’t have to be difficult. You can conduct global marketing from your living room and set up fully branded businesses in a matter of days, making going solo in your career easier than ever. But how do you get started? 

It’s a good idea to begin with a logo. You can use a tool like Canva to make this easy or hire a logo designer to do the leg work for you. Then, put your branding to good use with a website, helping you quickly create an online presence for potential customers to find your brand and learn more about what you offer. 

When on a budget, you can DIY your site using a website builder (like Wix or Squarespace) and a web host.

You’ll then need to set up a reliable payment system to start accepting orders. To maximize your reach, choose an option that accepts both in-person and online payments like SumUp

It’s also smart to jump on social media. Quickly get the word out about your new brand and start reaching leads via local community groups, all on a shoestring budget. 

Be sure to follow regulations and laws in your area, too. You’ll need to register your new business for tax purposes and acquire any necessary permits or licenses before you start trading. 

5 Dog Business Ideas for Startups

Ready to turn your love for dogs into a hustle? Take a look at these ideas to inspire your startup.

1. Pet Photography

If you have a creative eye, a flair for photography, and a passion for puppies, you might have just what it takes to become a professional dog photographer.

Pet photography is an in-demand service in the US with a market worth over $140 million. Whether you specialize in puppy portraits or open up your niche to all pets, it’s a lucrative industry to get into!

A black and white puppy staring into a camera lens

It’s also super fun, giving you lots of hands-on time with adorable dogs. Get out for a walk in nature to shoot some scenic shots or play around with toys in a studio for professional pup portraits. 

Aside from a little know-how on setting up a business (starting with the tips we’ve already mentioned above), to become a dog photographer you need:

  • An eye for a good picture
  • Professional photography knowledge
  • Editing skills
  • The ability to work well with excited dogs

Brush up on your photography and editing with online courses or join a local photography class to learn the skills you need. You can also improve your dog handling with training or by volunteering at a local rescue shelter. 

2. Dog Treats and Bakery

Dog owners love to treat their fluffy friends, and gourmet snacks and foods are a great way to start a business from your own home. This doesn’t have to be a small side hustle, either. You can easily scale your brand by partnering with suppliers or upgrading to bigger premises as your company grows.

A dog sitting on an orange background next to a jar of treats
Do be aware that any dog food or treats you’re selling need to follow regulations. The FDA has requirements on labeling and ingredients, while the AAFCO requires certain testing to ensure your dog treats meet government standards.

You might also find individual farmer’s markets and third-party marketplaces have their own regulations on selling dog treats. Be sure you comply with all of these to build a solid foundation for your business. 

3. Dog Walking and Sitting

Dog walking and dog sitting are some of the easiest dog-related businesses to set up. They also give you plenty of hands-on experience with fluffy puppies, which is a big bonus!


You don’t need any qualifications to start dog walking or sitting. However, a dog training or first aid certificate will help you stand out against competitors and earn those all-important clients. It’ll give dog owners a reason to trust you with their pup, too, which is important in this industry.

Another great way to increase your credibility is by volunteering at your local shelter. This will bring a big boost to your marketing and you’ll meet lots of useful connections, too, helping you find your first clients. 

Other ways to get your dog walking/sitting business noticed include:

  • Creating professional branding
  • Posting on local social media groups
  • Encouraging reviews from happy customers (both on your Google Business Profile and any social media profiles/websites you’re on)
  • Using print media to advertise in local businesses

Though this is a pretty easy business to set up, looking after dogs is a serious responsibility. Make sure you’re insured for any emergency vet visits and don’t let dogs off the lead unless you know they have good recall.

If you do end up losing sight of a dog, use the FitBark app to track them and bring them safely back to their owner. 

4. Pet Social Media Profiles

Did you know that dog owners could be sitting on a goldmine? The world of pet social media profiles is a popular one, and there’s a lot of money to be earned if your four-legged friend stands out from the crowd.

To learn more, take a look at Jiff Pom. He’s a little Pomeranian with over 10 million Instagram followers, with sponsored posts and brand deals earning the owners a whopping $25 million

Of course, to start earning money on social media takes work. But if you love a hashtag, know all of your dog's best angles, and are happy to wait for results, why not give it a go?

5. Custom Pet Merch

If you’ve got a talent for illustrations, graphic design, or photo editing, you could cash in on custom pet merch. 

A frenchie, wearing a red hoodie, standing in front of a blue brick wall
People love buying custom pet products as gifts for dog owners or as items for their own pups. There are plenty of merch options you could start creating, too, including:

  • T-shirts
  • Baseball caps
  • Socks
  • Dog coats
  • Dog leads
  • Dog bowls
  • Prints and posters

To get started, create dog-themed designs based on real pets to hone your style. You can then team up with suppliers to bring your products to life, showing them off on your website, social media, and at networking events to build brand credibility. Simple!

Starting a new pet business

When it comes to dog business ideas, you’re spoilt for choice. Just remember to choose an idea that makes the most of your existing talents and set your brand up properly from the get-go to build on solid foundations.