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Pet franchises: barking up the right tree?

One franchise sector we’re watching with great interest during the economic downturn is pet franchises. In many ways, the extensive boom of pet franchises over the last decade was one of the clearest indicators that we were all flush with cash. Not only were we pampering ourselves, but the explosion of niche pet businesses showed how willing to pamper the animals we love as well.

Polls of consumer attitudes across the board show that people are spending much less than they were in the past and trying to make their money go further. And so perhaps consumers are not buying that new car, but where do they draw the line where their pets are concerned? There are so many different pet franchises now, with everything from pet food courier services to mobile pet cleaners on offer. But can they survive?

Over on the Small Business Trends blog, which is one of our favorite small biz blogs, Joel Libava has an interesting breakdown of the industry and lends his own opinion on a variety of pet franchise concepts. Joel doesn’t offer any direct advice about whether or not to buy a pet franchise, and instead provides analysis as a pet-lover with a grasp of the business world. Readers considering buying a pet franchise will come away with some common-sense wisdom.

“If you are a pet owner, you know the costs involved in keeping your pet happy and in tip-top shape.  Franchises can delivery the quality and consistency you crave,” he says.

Many of these new pet franchises take the work out of owning a pet. Yet some of these statistics from the American Pets Production Association are staggering:

  • 62% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 71.4 millions homes
  • $45.4 billion will be spent on our pets in the U.S.
  • $3.4 billion of that figure will be spent on grooming & boarding

The fascinating thing is that even when the economy is down, America’s love affair with their pets goes on and on.

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