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15 Ideas to Grow Your Pet Care Business

Woman taking a selfie with a small dog.

Table of Contents

You have plenty of passion for your favorite furballs — it’s turning passion into profit that’s the trick. Thankfully, nurturing a business isn’t all that different from caring for a pet. It just takes checking in, noticing a need, and researching the right fit.

If you feel about research like your furry clients feel about the V-E-T, don’t worry, we’ve got it covered.

Jump-start your creative process with our 15 growth strategies — both tried-and-true and cutting-edge — to make your business seen and sought after. From expanding your service range to jumping into pet care marketing, these ideas transform your passion into a thriving business.

Pet Business Marketing Ideas

Promotion is an effective tool to make a scrappy small business stand out from the pack. From print to digital to social strategies, we have pet business marketing tips to meet your clients wherever they are.

1. Pass Out Business Cards

Opportunities to hand out a business card are everywhere. Let’s say you’re a dog walker. You probably run into potential clients at dog parks and walking trails on the regular. Keep your dog walker business cards handy and network like a pro while your pups socialize.

An effective business card should put contact information front and center, like your business name, your name and role, your phone number, basic services, and your website URL. A bold logo can also make your brand memorable.

Need help with design? Try a service like Vistaprint for pet sitting business card ideas and templates you can personalize

Vistaprint pet care company business card template with cartoony animal graphics on a beige background.
Vistaprint pet care company business card template with line art animal graphics on a mustard yellow background.

Customize this business card template

Customize this business card template

2. Start a Referral Program

A lot of pet care pros say word of mouth is their best marketing. Well, a referral program is an organized effort to reward customers for recommending you. Think of it as the treat jar of pet care marketing strategies.

Referred customers are 18% more loyal than clients gained other ways on average, so reminding (and incentivizing) happy customers to tell a friend is worth your time. Your job is to make sure it’s worth theirs.

Try sending quarterly emails to clients offering a discount if they refer a friend who books you. Or, create social media posts that prompt your followers to tag a fellow pet parent for entry into a prize drawing.

Pro tip: Apps like LoyaltyLion make your program even easier to manage.

3. Claim Your Free Google Business Page & Reviews

To grow a pet care business outside your current client networks, optimize your online presence for Google local searches.

The simplest strategy is filling out a free Google Business Profile. When your profile is complete, you qualify to appear in promoted Google search results for services in your area, like the local pack below.

google maps search image

Another benefit of a Google Business Profile is the chance to gather and show off testimonials with Google reviews. 89% of consumers check online reviews as part of their buying journey, so star ratings that favorably compare you with local competitors can tempt clients your way.

4. Leverage Social Media

Since Millennials and Gen Zers make up almost 50% of pet owners, your customers are definitely on social media. Luckily, your business has a massive advantage on visual platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook: your furry clients are almost unbearably photogenic.

Branded, frequently updated social media profiles are a simple (and free) way to promote your service, create a point of contact, and show compulsively shareable evidence of pets loving what you do.

Why not try these popular social media posts for your pet business?

Dog groomers: Before-and-after posts, stories, and reels are popular Instagram fodder that also show off your skills while the fur is flying. Add demo videos for at-home grooming tips to keep pups happy between visits and create deeper engagement with pet parents.

Dog walkers: Take followers along on a relaxing Walk With Us video. Activities like frisbee at the park or hikes on scenic trails take dynamic photos.

Pet boarders: Videos and photos of pets having a blast are a given. To spice up your feed, proudly introduce a new feature of your facility. Spotlighting staff behind the scenes is another smart move—putting a human face on your business shows pet parents your genuine love for their fur babies.

Pet sitters: Since you’re working in the privacy of clients’ homes, sticking to shots of animals or outdoor activities is your best bet. Invite engagement with a cat sitting tips series or caption this image challenges featuring furry clients mugging for the camera.

Dog trainers: Nothing speaks to your expertise like a pup completing a behavior exactly as intended. Reels documenting how clients can respond to typical behaviors help pets, invite owners to ask questions, and establish you as an expert

5. Publish a Business Website

A professional website is the centerpiece of your business’s online presence.

Platforms like Wix and Squarespace offer beginner-friendly templates that make your site sleek and easy to use. Just change the colors, images, and language to reflect your branding and highlight what makes your business unique.

Grooming Arts Northwest has this down. While most groomers in their area feature sites with playful colors and animal photos, their home page highlights luxury facilities instead. Wellness language, calming earth tones, and a refined logo set their business apart as a high-end pet spa experience.

Operational Ideas for Growing a Pet Business

Raising awareness about your company with pet business marketing is just one piece of the puzzle. Sniff out even more new clients with changes that accommodate pets and owners.

6. Offer More Services

Niche offerings that complement your current service menu can re-engage existing clients and attract a new crowd.

If your boarding business already has all the gear to transport animals and the staff to cover it, a pet taxi service could be a logical next step.

If you’re a groomer who loves capturing your work, add an optional pet photography package with each cut.

Drop-in visits are a natural extension of dog walker and pet sitter services that interest a different demographic.

7. Expand Your Availability

If you’re not available when pet parents need you most, you’re missing out. Picture the client you’re trying to reach and what would fit their schedule without disrupting your work-life balance. For example:

  • Would early morning or evening bookings help them work around a busy schedule?
  • Are they looking for someone to watch pets over holidays and vacations?
  • Do they need flexible rescheduling and last-minute booking options?


Along with extending your hours, adding online booking boosts your accessibility. All-in-one pet business software like Time to Pet for pet sitters and dog walkers or our partner Petsked for groomers integrate into your business website with real-time booking minus the phone call.

8. Get Insurance

Getting insured can land you more gigs, too. Many pet care platforms and clients prefer or even require coverage like our dog walkers insurance or proof of pet sitter insurance before trusting you with their fur babies.

Animals are unpredictable—insurance proves that you’re reliable. Displaying a website-friendly insurance badge, like the one we provide for our Pet Care Insurance policyholders, establishes your credibility and shows pet owners you’re ready to leap into action if an accident happens.

9. Get Certified

Because pet care is mostly unregulated, professional certification sets you apart from other local pet businesses. Once you’re certified, add the credentials to your website and social media to enjoy a credibility boost. Your furry charges will thank you for the new tips and tricks, too.

Trainers and groomers have several respected, well-known certification options:

10. Hire Help & Expand Your Footprint

From marketing manager to bookkeeper to pro belly rubber, you wear a lot of hats. But you don’t have to be a Super Sitter or Super Groomer. To grow a pet care business beyond a certain threshold, you need staff to pick up the slack and move your business forward in areas that aren’t your forte.

That said, this tip isn’t for everyone. Scaling your business might hurt you if your area doesn’t have enough clients or profit margin to support a larger operation.

So when is it time to take on an employee? If you answer yes to any of these questions (and especially if more than one applies), think about throwing yourself a bone and hiring some staff.

When Should You Hire An Employee for Your Pet Care Business?

  • Are you turning down business because you’re overbooked?
  • Are you skipping breaks or vacations because you can’t leave without hurting your business?
  • Are you working extra hours to keep up with new clients and maintain current relationships?
  • Is there significant demand from clients for services that aren’t in your skillset?
  • Are you struggling to keep in contact with clients or stay on top of scheduling?
  • Would you rather spend less time in the field and more directing the business, or vice versa?
Woman and dog sitting at a table on laptops.

Ideas to Expand Your Client Base

Moving onto new platforms and spaces exposes you to pet owners looking for a business like yours. It’s just a matter of finding places where pet lovers gather.

11. Try Pet Care Apps

If how to find pet sitting jobs or dog walking gigs is constantly on your mind, a pet care marketplace lightens the load.

We’re guessing you’ve heard of pet care platforms like Rover and Wag. All-in-one apps where pet parents can hire dog sitters, walkers, boarders, and more are taking pet care by storm. The top dog, Rover, has over 2 million clients worldwide.

While you’ll skip the commission or membership fees by flying solo, posting a profile on a pet care app extends your reach. Use one or multiple platforms to discover clients who wouldn’t find you otherwise while continuing to cater to your faithful customers.

Did you know? Apps like Rover and Wag! offer little-to-no protection if something goes wrong while you’re caring for your client’s pets. See why PCI’s Rover Insurance is a must for pet professionals of all kinds.

12. Build Local Business Partnerships

Seek out partnership and referral opportunities from local pet businesses that don’t overlap with your services. For example, does a local animal clinic or shelter need veterinary grooming? Would a pet store or groomer refer clients to your dog training business? Might a local dog boarder who doesn’t take cats send those pet-sitting jobs your way?

From pet-friendly outdoor cafes to city dog parks, there are more places to promote your business and partner in your community than you realize.

13. Join Neighborhood Facebook Groups

Another local resource you might have been cat-napping on is Facebook groups for your neighborhood or city.

Posting a brief message about your services can raise your profile with locals in a positive way—bonus points if you can make your post fun and personalized. Along with your website URL and services, try a “Cats of [Local Name] County” gif showcasing cute pet shots or include a list of the best local dog walking spots.

14. Set Up Facebook Ads

If most of your clients are on Facebook, why not place an ad? Facebook Ads are much less complicated than they seem and can offer a good return on investment. In 2024, Facebook ads cost less than ads on Instagram or Pinterest at about 69 cents per click or an average of $9.88 for 1,000 impressions (or views).

To get your ad featured, you’ll need to win a Facebook ad auction with an ad that combines quality, clickability, and price. If you want to DIY, customizable Canva Facebook ad templates like this one get you started with eye-catching design and service info suggestions.

Canva facebook ad template for a pet care business featuring a gray kitten.

15. Do a Targeted Door Hanger Campaign

Door hangers are effective for small, focused campaigns to introduce a business, highlight new services, or expand awareness into a nearby neighborhood. Choose a strategic area with clear boundaries rather than trying to blanket a large city to keep your campaign manageable (and on budget).

To keep costs down, you can print custom door hangers or make your own using a door hanger template.

Start Spreading the Mews

While we’d applaud you for trying all of these strategies at once, it’s okay to begin with an idea or two and see what works. Even small steps now get the word out to make tomorrow brighter for your pet care business.

For more on how to grow a pet care business, check out our 5 Tips to Get Your First Dog Walking Clients.

FAQs on Ideas for Growing a Pet Care Business

An extensive American Pet Products study found that pet food and treats is the most money-making sector in pet care with $66.9 billion in sales. Vet care makes up one-third of pet care costs at about $39.1 billion. Other profitable services include pet grooming, training, boarding, and pet insurance.

Advertising on social media and a professional website is a free (or low-cost) option for how to find pet sitting jobs. Pet care apps like Rover, the most popular platform for dog sitting, and Wag! also promote pet sitter profile pages and connect you with clients in your area for a cut of your profits.

The national average salary for pet sitters is $14.84/hour or about $30,871/year. Your area plays a big role in how much you make since large cities tend to have the most business for pet sitters—FYI, New York state pays the most nationwide for pet sitting. Your salary also comes down to your education, experience, and how many hours you work.

Make sure you promote your business online to find dog walking jobs, and use your professional network in the pet care biz for referrals. A rewards program including regular discounts and giveaways also gives loyal customers an incentive to recommend your services to their friends and family.

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Comparing Employee Dishonesty Coverage & Bonding

PCI’s employee dishonesty coverage is similar to a bond, but there may be some key differences to consider.

Employee dishonesty coverage:

  • Can be purchased in the same transaction
  • Doesn’t run credit checks
  • Provides $10,000 per occurrence and $25,000 aggregate coverage

Bonds may differ from our dishonesty coverage by:

  • Checking your credit during the application process
  • Having a “Conviction Claus;” Often bonds won’t pay on claims unless there is a conviction
  • Many require you to reimbursement the bonding company after a claim is paid