Hotel queen Leona Helmsley, who recently passed away, was said to have left her beloved Maltese dog a mind boggling $12 million dollars (!!!). While not many people would have the resources to bequeath their dogs with such a huge amount of money, industry data shows that spending on pets from food to clothing to grooming have increased significantly in the last decade.
According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association , Americans are spending $40.8 billion a year for their furry friends, a huge part of which goes to food. Hence, it is not a surprise that one pet-oriented business enjoying increased demand is the dog bakery.
Pet owners today want to reward their pets in human terms, and what better way to do it than through human-quality food and treats. They are willing to spend top dollar for food products for their pets.
When starting a dog bakery business, it is important to understand that the demand for this business is not spurred by the need to provide food for beloved pooches. Instead, it is all about becoming a better “pet parent.” Your business concept and marketing strategy should focus on the fact that pet food is marketed with the pet owner (not the pet) in mind.
Here are some tips to starting your dog bakery business:
- Before starting this business, research about your target market and the demographics. Get information on the dog population of the area, as well as the number of dog-owners in the community who will be your main clientele. This business will thrive more in urban areas, and in the more affluent neighborhoods.
- Find out if there’s a dominance of some particular dog breeds in your community. If there is a specific, common breed, then you may be able to focus on that as your niche specialty.
- Determine competition in your community, and find out their strengths and weaknesses. If you can, investigate what people like — and don’t like — about these existing dog bakeries.
- Find a niche — e.g. all natural dog food products — and position yourself as a leading provider of these items.
- Create a chic, dog friendly store where customers can browse your products with their canine companions.
Of course, to succeed in this business, you must have a love for dogs as well as talent and skills in cooking and baking.