Five Ways to Make Money if You Love Pets

Yesterday, I got a dog. We named him “Peter’s Lucky Biscuit” and he is adorable. That’s him in the photo to the left. Biscuit is a pure bread labradoodle. We had to get a pure breed because we needed a hypoallergenic breed that would be more likely to be compatible with our son’s allergies.

We love our son and he has always wanted a dog. Indeed, he did all of the research on hypoallergenic breeds and made a very compelling case for getting either a doodle, a Portuguese Water Dog or, my favorite, a basenji. We loved every aspect of the labradoodles that we met, except the price tag. We met with two breeders and both told us the same price — $2500!

The breeders we met had one thing in common. Dog breeding was a “second job.” In each case, both the husband and wife had day jobs and the dogs were their second source of income. Both breeders also involved their children and turned breeding into a family activity — one that pays really well.

The breeder from whom we purchased our Biscuit has dogs who have had litters in each of March, April and May. She has already sold all of the puppies from the April and May litters — fourteen puppies at $2500 each. Admittedly there are some overhead costs for food, toys, veterinarian bills and stud fees, but a huge portion of that $2500 per animal is profit.

Our breeder told us that she and her husband sat down with their two daughters six years ago and had a family meeting. They considered whether this is something that they wanted to do together. They unanimously agreed that they did. They purchased two breeding doodles and did a lot of research. They have not looked back since. The younger daughter, now 13, is in charge of photography and the breeder’s website. The elder daughter, now 17, does a lot of the care giving for the puppies and she must do a good job of it — she just bought a new Volvo convertible with cash that she earned caring for puppies.

I’ve learned a lot about animals this month or two, some of it unpleasant, but most of it wonderful, and I have learned that there are a lot of ways to turn a love of animals, or at least an interest in them, into ways to make money. Here are a few animal businesses that you can operate from your home:

Become a Breeder

Whether you breed cats or dogs, there is money to be earned in raising healthy, pure breed animals. If you own your own home, you can certainly earn more than enough to pay your annual mortgage with one litter per year. Raising puppies can be a lot of work but it can also be amazingly rewarding. A window pet door and plenty of puppy potty training pads can be worthwhile investments as a breeder. Our breeder told us that the joy she gets from putting a puppy in a good home makes her feel wonderful for days, even though it is hard to see her “babies” leave her house.

Become a Groomer

In my community, there are several mobile pet groomers who will groom pets from a van in the owner’s driveway. She charges anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour depending on the services that are required. There are pet grooming schools in all 50 states. If you love animals and like to be out and about during the day, pet grooming is a great way to earn a living.

Become a Dog Walker

If you live in an urban area, many professionals do not have time to walk their dogs, especially on weekdays. Dog walkers can earn up to $30 per hour and sometimes even more. All you need is a means of traveling to the dogs and a way to advertise your services and you can set yourself up as a dog walker.

Become a Pet Sitter

When pet owners travel, they do not want to worry about their pets. Pet sitters will visit a pet regularly during the day, feed and water the animal, take the animal for walks, and generally look after the pet while the owner is unable to do so.

Become a Pet Chauffeur

Many pet owners, especially the elderly, are unable to take their pets to veterinary appointments or other appointments (and to be honest, I really cannot figure out what those “other” appointments might be). Pet chauffeurs are drivers who will take pets to those appointments so that the owner does not have to find a way to do so.

Are you an animal lover? Do you already work with animals? Do you have experience making money with animals?

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29 Responses to Five Ways to Make Money if You Love Pets

  1. Stephanie says:

    If you love pets, you will not breed them nor will you buy them from a breeder. As an animal rescue volunteer, I urge you to adopt from shelters or save the ones offered as “free to a good home”.

  2. Ann says:

    I have one friend that paid quite a bit for pedigreed dog. They figured on possibly recouping some of the costs in stud fees ’cause he came from a REALLY good line. Instead, the dog has cost them a fortune! It appears that he had about as much bad luck as a dog could have as far as medical problems and, because he’s primarily a pet, they’ve spent a fortune in vet bills.

    I tend to agree with Steph that adopting from a shelter or rescue organization is a much better way to go.

    The walking, grooming, sitting ideas are pretty good. A lot of people are reluctant to put their pets in kennels, if they have to go somewhere, and, if they know someone who’s reliable to do it, would rather have someone “sit” their dog.

  3. Rose says:

    Please, do not encourage backyard breeders. There are too many wonderful pets already out there waiting for homes.

  4. Debbie says:

    A Labradoodle is not a purebred dog. It is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. You paid $2500 for a mixed breed dog, and you probably could have found the same cross at an animal shelter. Perhaps you should have gotten a Basenji after all, my last SHOW QUALITY basenji was only $600.

  5. Luke says:

    I am torn on this. I hate the term “back yard breeder” because EVERY breeder started out small, at home, in the “back yard” and it’s unfair to label. Research is so important. The first thing we acquired when buying our new house was our Australian Shepherd, Patches, that we got from the Humane Society. My next dog, Finnegan, is a pure bred, champion line, Doberman. We got him from a breeder. I look at him every day and wonder what kind of pups he’d have. I also look at him every day and I want to cut his danglers off myself. He’s a handful of boundless energy and awesome. We have adopted 1 dog, and 4 cats, and when picking my purchased dog, we picked very carefully. I could easily breed Finn and sell the pups for 15-1800 easily. But I won’t. Why? Because he’s my dog, not my cash machine, and 2nd, you have to be a special person to own a Dobe. I can’t keep puppies long enough to research each owner because I’d end up owning them all.

  6. Suzie says:

    It is impossible to have a purebred (not bread) dog if it is a mix of two different breeds. I think you got really really taken on this price for a new cutesy named mix breed.

  7. MoneyClipping says:

    I’m interested in being a pet groomer. There are quite a lot of people who own dogs in the neighborhood. I have no idea to where they have taken their pets, but nowhere around here. It seems to be a good business idea.

  8. Patti says:

    There is a place for responsible breeders in the pet world. People with allergies and small children need to be careful. But for the rest of us, there is nothing better than being the forever home of an animal that was unwanted.

  9. Tightwad says:

    Wow, $2,500.00 for just a mixed breed smack-dab in the middle of a HUGE recession…. Hmmmm….
    I thought we were saving money here, not spending it foolishly.

    We got the best dog in the whole wide world from our local Humane Society several years ago and he only cost us $75.00 and that included his shots, micro-chip I.D., a nice leash and collar, and his dog license.
    We were told that he was going to be “put down” within the next couple of days because he had been there for too long of a time. I could not imagine destroying such a wonderful pet!
    He is so loving, gentle, and smart!!
    He was already house-trained.
    He does not bark. He does not chew.
    If he has any fault it is only that he sheds a little, but I would be willing to wake up every morning with a mouthful of hair for him! NOW THAT’S LOVE, LOL!:)

    And… since we’re on the subject:

    Well, I didn’t mean to turn this into a J.L. Marathon, but it had to be said.

    Happy Memorial Day!

  10. Mark says:

    I have 2 labradoodles and I got them both for free from Both of my labradoodles came from breeders who thought they were going to make a bunch of money selling these crossbreeds and make some money. They ended up being stuck with these dogs and couldn’t sell them. Do yourself a favor. Save your money and rescue a dog who would otherwise be killed. There are 10 million dogs and cats killed every year in shelters because there are no homes for them. Breeding more dogs is foolish, irresponsible and compounds this very sad problem.

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  12. Gail says:

    I think it was irresponsible to recommend breeding dogs and cats for income when approximately 6 million healthy dogs and cats are euthanized yearly in the US simply because there are not enough homes for them. There are too many irresponsible, backyard breeders and puppy mills with horrific conditions.

  13. Natalie says:

    I agree with some of the others that have commented about the breeding thing. I personally am shocked with your decision to recommend others to become a breeder. It is very selfish to make money off of your pets and it most certainly does not help pet overpopulation! Shelter dogs and cats can be wonderful animals as well, and animals that are bred can have serious problems.

  14. Disgruntled Subscriber says:

    On my local news, they keep showing story after story about dogs and cats that are abandoned because of the foreclosure crisis. Surely it would be inhumane to bring more animals into the world (especially for mere money) when there are animals dying for a good home.

    Here’s another thought I had:
    I wonder how many dogs that are euthanized in the US come from backyard breeders?

    If you want to breed a creature for profit, breed exotic fish. Yeah, the initial outlay can be more, but you don’t see too many “abandoned” Hawaiian Dragon Moray starving or dying by the side of the road.
    (The reason I picked the Hawaiian Dragon Moray is because one is currently selling on ebay for $799.)

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  16. Shelley Kim says:

    Wow, I completely agree with everyone who mentioned about the immorality of many breeders. How can someone support breeding cross breed dogs, and if not, ANY kind of dogs? There are so many crossbreeds/mixes at your local animal shelter dying for a home, and yet there are those who continue to populate more dogs for a horrific price… Selfish, selfish people…

  17. michelle says:

    Breeding is a horrible suggestion. If you truly love Animals you would not even consider breeding

  18. Joe says:

    Good grief people, telling someone not to breed dogs because there are so many out there needing to be adopted is like telling newlyweds not to birth a baby because there are so many kids waiting for adoption. Responsible breeders are good for the breed. I don’t adopt dogs because they have to be fixed before you get them. I also have friends who did adopt dogs and they were not good pets. Who wants a dog they know nothing about anyway.

  19. Aria says:

    Yeah, I have to agree with the other commenters. I worked for a woman who bred dogs, a family business, with smiling children hugging dogs in pictures, a licensed veterinarian with her own SUPER classy facility… and behind closed doors, her dogs were stock, they lived at the facility, they were bred continually until they were retired and then given away/sold. They were nothing more than livestock to her, and her classy practice paid all the bills for the dogs’ upkeep, their feeding, their vaccinations, etc.

    Do your research first, and properly this time.

  20. Elyse says:

    In my search for, “making money breeding dogs”, this article or… letter came up. It never ceases to amaze me about how people get led astray. A Labradoodle is a mutt. It is a so-called designer breed which has become popular in the last decade mixing a poodle with just about anything to help get the dander out and is considered allergy resistant for kids who have allergies. It is NOT even close to a purebred dog and if you really did your researh you would have known you were being robbed. My sister is a professional breeder. She is president and secretary of 2 of the breeds organizations whom she breeds, weimeraners. She has a Winnebago and travels the circuit devoting all of her time to dog shows and the better of the breed. She will now sell without a complete interview and checks references and yes… she probably charges over $2000 for her puppies. She trains, shows, gives shots and has made a living bettering the line and the one thing she cannot stand is… a mutt selling as a pedigree! You will never have a responsible purebred breeder breeding 2 different dogs nor will you have the top dogs of each breed cross breeding. My sister can verify the heritage of the blood lines and give guarantees on some inherited bad traits of that particular breed.
    Having said that, I am sure your dog is a nice family dog and this is not meant to insult just to inform. My 2 hounds are rescues and I firmly believe in rescuing dogs personally since there are so many people who either use, neglect or simply don’t care about dogs in this world. Good luck to you and next time you get a dog do research first unless you have money to throw away and like someone elses comment said, “in THIS economy?!”

  21. Elyse says:

    She will NOT… the word “now” was a typo… sorry!

  22. Elyse says:

    NOT sell… I meant to say… she will not sell without a full interview. She used to not sell if the person worked… ?! In this economy??

  23. Hypoallergenic Doesnt Exist says:

    Youre an ignorant person. Not to mention a real ashhole.
    Make money as a breeder?

    Look, youve clearly.done no research.
    1. Theres no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog
    2. Hair and fur are the same- same chemical makeup
    3. Look up double and single coated, dumbass.
    4. Do you really think a labradoodle is a purebred dog? Its a mutt. A stupid looking mutt, also.
    5. The rest of your article is bs garbage also. Just crap.
    6. Please do life a favor and quit writing.

  24. Bob the misanthropist says:

    If you love animals…don’t name yours something like “Peter’s Lucky Biscuit”…unless its a race horse.

  25. Jennibee says:

    I have been an animal shelter volunteer for years. I can say that anyone who is even slightly educated about companion animal welfare would NEVER suggest someone be a back-yard breeder. The number of pets that are thrown out when they are too old, get sick (usually from improper diet and/or care), or have behavior issues (once again, usually caused by their owner’s ignorance) is shocking. Take a walk through your local shelter, and then realize many will be dead soon because they’re not the right size, shape, color, or age. Depending on the reference, the lowest estimate for euthanasia is that 50% of animals entering shelters are killed; for many shelters this number is much higher at 75%.

    As for pure-bred animals, there are rescue groups in nearly every state for any given breed, and statistically at least 25% of animals entering shelters are pure-bed. The adoption fees for a rescue group are cheaper than what the breeder will try to get from you, and you’ll know all about the animal before you take him/her home; they want what’s best for the animal, which means making sure YOU are happy with your new pet so he/she won’t be returned or given away. Back-yard bred animals are livestock to their breeders and treated as such – the breeders don’t care about how well they fit into with their new home. All these people want is their money; what happens after they make a sale is none of their concern.

    Please, please, adopt, encourage your friends and family to do the same, and always spay & neuter your pets!!!

  26. Yuvish says:

    I agree with most of what people are saying except, not all ‘backyard’ breeders are horrible monsters or think their dogs are livestock.

    I know a guy that breeds Real German shepherds, not the Czech ones that everyone is calling German shepherds. those ones are giving German shepherds a bad reputation because they are more aggressive and bite a lot more, I was raised with Czech and German shepherds so I would know, they normally have very different temperaments. Czech are pretty neurotic too and a lot of people that are getting them do not know how you are suppose to interact, train, and handle one because they think they are going to be like a German Shepherd.

    Anyway, he has seven German shepherds. He breeds for personality and size more than anything. They are all house dogs, he only breeds the females every 1 to 1 and a half years. One of the dogs is 8 and he doesn’t breed her anymore because he said that she shouldn’t have to deal with stuff like that at that age. She is still sassy and has the run of the house. He acts more like they are all his babies he and his wife take them on vacation with them every year. his wife said to me that she didn’t need to be able to have kids because she was happy with her dogs. When she was younger she had cancer in her ovaries so poor people couldn’t have any actual kids. Probably why they put up with all the kids in the area going over to their place to get babysat.

    They actually saved their dog Sasha, who is part lab part great Dane from getting put down because the owner abandoned her at a vets office after not wanting to pay the money to put a cast on her leg from a car hitting her. They were in the office because one of the shepherd puppies that their dog had had caught his paw on something and accidently pulled the nail off his dewclaw when he was playing outside on their farm. They immediately insisted on paying for the dog. When they found out that she was going to get ethicized just because no one was willing to pay the money to get her leg fixed. She’s a sweety by the way and was not even a year old when that happened! So, those two are at least the exception! Nicest couple you would ever meet. Their now in their early 60s so they have had plenty of years to become ‘evil’ animal abusers.

    Also, uh if there weren’t any dog breeders than every dog breed would become mutts because we wouldn’t be creating more dogs ourselves, some breeds would completely die out altogether. I don’t approve of puppy farms or the people that act like animals are machines that can be throw away after their breeding potential stops, people like that horrify me and make me sick to my stomach I personally think of my pets as family members. But I am just saying that we need dog breeders more like Clark and Opal, who were the people I was talking about. I don’t understand how people could treat living this the way that some people do.
    I also agree with the spaying and neutering of pets so there aren’t any unwanted surprises that could lead to more abandoning of animals!

  27. Jeff says:

    Do all you anti-purchase dog people realize that most shelter dogs are past the age where they can be properly socialized? And any negative socialization they’ve experienced can’t be undone? I’m not anti-adoption, I’ve adopted 3 in the past 5 years. But I’ve also bought 3 others in the past 5 years. And I’ll fight anyone who says I don’t care about pets or animals just because I bought 3 dogs. That’s just a lie. Sure, if you just want a pet, and if you’re willing to accept the risk of bringing a potentially dangerous dog into your home, and if you’re willing to euthanize that dog if it can’t be rehabilitated, then yes adopt!!! But if you need a specific, stable dog with a known breeding and history, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying that dog from a reputable breeder, no matter what the adoption nazis will tell you. Notice the word I used…reputable. If you’re not intelligent enough to find a good breeder, you shouldn’t have an animal period.

  28. sandra constantine says:

    I have two dogs and two catswhich were all “rescues” , as well as two kittens..currently…lol..I live on a dead end in a rural area which people find ideal for dropping off their unwanted animals and i am a sucker for a sad eyed, so at any given time,,I can have an additional two or three of either..and sometimes both! ALL MY ANIMALS ARE RESCUES..and i have been very fortunate to have found good forever homes for all the “foundling – fosters”.But i am writing this because while I promote spading and neutering ..there is no reason to judge a “back-yard breeder” as something long as they love their animals and are responsible about breeding and finding good homes for the babies, i don’t think they should be compared to puppy-farm/ pet store breeders. There is no perfect solution that is feasible,short of making every owner microchip their pet and document ownership so they are held accountable for that animal..and even that would only lead to butchering the animal to either remove the chip or actually killing it outright. People are simply capable of ugliness.
    Judging owners who opt to breed, or insisting that people only adopt from shelters is just plain wrong, not everyone can deal with a dog that has been mistreated or abandoned, or even one that has “street-dog” habits, to influence hem to adopt such a dog is to implement another abandonment story.
    If you breed you dogs and you do it with love, with care and find “homes” for those off-spring..then I say props to you!!
    just an opinion…lol from an animal lover who also respects peoples freedom of choice.

  29. Jessica says:

    If you are a true dog lover, you will not breed them. Breeders not only cause over-population but cause more dogs to be euthanized every year. Don’t create more dogs, save the ones that are being killed!

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