Thinking of owning a pet shop - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking of owning a pet shop

Okay so recently a pet shop has gone up for sale that my Dad is interested in buying.

The first thing i told him was if he where to buy the place ALL the animals would have to go. I am strongly against the sale of live animals in pet shops, not only because of the state they're kept in but because of inpulse buyers. I had a look at the place and it is very out of date, sold very small cages that came with a 'free budgie'. There where about 7 or 8 puppies, a handful of kittens etc. etc. The petshop owner insisted they only sold puppies from screened responsible breeders.... but no responsible breeder would sell to a pet shop in the first place!

My idea was to sort of set up an ethical petshop that actually care about ANIMALS first, rather than just exploiting them to make money. I kind of thought that would make the shop different to all the others and appeal to animals lovers which would make then want to choose us over other petstores that sell animals you know? Im not sure of many in Brisbane that dont sell live animals..? I know of one doesnt sell puppies and kittens which is great, they still sell the odd small animal though. Id want to use the oportunity to educate the puplic, have information up about the proper care of animals and the importance of buying from a shelter or registered breeder etc.

I was thinking of what to do with the puppy boxes, i could possibly rent them out for advertising. Like people could pay such and such an hour to advertise their animals in there and then just leave their contact details which people would take. Im not sure if any breeders would be interested (?) but even then i could possibly display some of the unwanted shelter animals around the area (would have to be small though) or possibly some of the guineas from the cavy sanctuary. Another idea would be to get the give away kittens from the paper and sell them for a price, so at least there's less of a chance of them going into the wrong hands (such as greyhound racers). What do you reckon?

The only problem im worried about is how would the business go without relying on the sale of animals. I guess it will all depend on the amount of support we'd get from the public, in wanting to buy from an ethical pet store.

I guess the main question id like to know is what are you looking for in a pet shop? What would make you want to choose them over any other. Any ideas would be realy appreciated.

Sincerely, Krystle.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 09:46 PM
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When I was laid off, one of the things I thought about doing was opening a pet supply store. I hadn't ruled it out, but it wasn't something I was just going to jump into, mainly because I would be doing it on my own. It's different when it's a family situation and there are other people to rely on.

If I decided to do it, I would not have had any animals. It would have been high quality foods only. All the usual accessories, but I was thinking in terms of carrying some more unique things made by local cottage businesses; like leashes and collars made by local crafts people, treats made by a local pet bakery. Handmade pottery bowls, beds, etc. Basically stuff that can't be found in the big box pet stores, so that I would have a line of products that would set me apart.

There's quite a bit of money in live animals, especially fish, so one thing to do is see if the financials of the store can be broken down by category so you understand the impact of taking the animals out of the equation.

I've given you a ton of links below. Most of them are geared toward pet store businesses in the US, but they will give you an idea of the type of info you can look for that would be more Australian-centric. There's a lot of them, so I'm just going to copy them all over, you might find some of them are totally useless to you...but I think it's worth your while (and your Dad's) to wade through them...there's some really good info in them. Some of them might just be a bunch of links to other good pages too.

One of the links is to a survey of pet store owners and goes into detail about where they're making their money, possible expansion, how the economy downswing is affecting them etc. Very useful info. ... 788-1.html ... 219010&g=1 ... d=blogside ... han=search ... asic.xhtml ... 788-1.html

Hope this helps....

ETA: I also had planned to go the education route as well...I had been thinking about a monthly newsletter that could be emailed to customers and printed to he handed out with purchases. Partnering events with local rescue organizations etc.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 09:46 PM
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I am looking for a pet store that would educate the public the right way. Not just hand them food and a cage and say that is the best being sold. Even if it sells animals, I want the pet store to educate, educate, educate. It would be great if the store new how to handle animals properly, instead of using a net to catch birds for instance. It would also be nice if the pet store had high quality products like hay, food, etc. Healthy treats that consist of more than just sugar or colorings would be great too. Don't forget the occasional sale on pet items LOL.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 10:51 AM
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Funnily enough I was thinking of the same thing yesterday .. a new petshop has opened in our area that is quite stunning .... the entire "upstairs" has been properly wired off to include parrots, puppies rabbits etc .

Now their idea IS good the only problem is like most people they are ignorant about pet ownership , I have made pals with the owner , and im having a ball educating him , i know cats , im clued up about dogs and parrots , diet , etc etc etc , training , behaviour issus etc .

This guy was telling me he honestly never thought there was so much involved owning animals he knows .... i take him literature etc .. and because he is trying to improve his "pet shop" I will help him.

Some people honestly dont know ... but if they are willing to learn by people like us who IMO are priveleged .. then we need to step in and help.

I would make a good pet shop owner .....

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 10:47 PM
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I think a no-pet store is fantastic..

I will sometimes go into pet stores to look at the dogs and cats and I always, ALWAYS leave feeling depressed.

I think having fish or perhaps, mice/rats and other small animals which normally live in small habitats is fine. But, I do hate seeing cats and dogs in cages I now tend to avoid such pet stores.

I think you'd get a lot of business if you opened a kind of "holistic" pet shop and offered the proper "premium" foods, including raw packaged meat. There is a petbutcher in the city where I live and he gets tons of business! Most people (like myself) don't really know how to go about the raw feeding thing and would much rather go out and buy it.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 12:47 AM
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If you'll give discounts to Cat Forum members, I'm all for it. Will be kind of a long trip, to get my discount, though.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 12:50 AM
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coaster-LOL Maybe some of the pet store items can be sold online so we can all get a discount hehe
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 04:31 AM
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There is pet shop in Victoria that has live animals, but they're all rescues, and they won't sell them to people who are clearly buying impusively. I think they're working with a shelter.

The other thing you could do with that area is board animals?

I don't know, I'm not a business person or a pet shop expert, so they're just ideas.

I wish I could remember where I put the leaflet about that pet shop in VIC... I got the leaflet with some mail from the Lort Smith Animal Hospital (where I adopted Milly).
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 05:39 PM
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I would not shop at a Pet Shop with cats or dogs. As said before, no reputable breeder would sell to a pet shop, only puppy and kitty mills, in my opinion. I went to one of the large pet shops which had aquariums, but I discovered that the clerks knew next to nothing about the care of fish.

I always bought my aquarium supplies at a large aquarium store where I traded fish for fish food and other necessities. A clerk should be able to recognize problems with the fish, the temperature, the water, etc., and be able to answer questions intelligently.


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 06:12 PM
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The local pet store I shop at doesn't sell any live animals, not even fish. They host adoption events regularly but don't have rescues in-store outside the events.

They've been in business for some time and seem to do well. They're in a pretty liberal/hippie area by US standards, though, and are right down the street from one of the big local health stores. I'm sure it depends on what sort of shoppers you get.

I shop there because they sell all the nice premium brands of pet food, treats, etc, and have a nice selection of toys, unique and decorative bowls, etc. And, I like the fact they don't sell animals.

I also love the people there. It's so nice to go to a pet store and find that the people working there can hold forth on the differences between Feline Pine and World's Best, or EVO and Natural Balance, instead of going to a pet store and having people tell you "Huh?" and then steering you towards Science Diet.

I'll miss that store when I move.
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