Work is for the Dogs…and Cats

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In today’s society it’s tough to balance self, job and family needs. That’s why many would-be parents are opting not to have kids of their own and raising a fur-baby instead.

Fur-baby is a term that people use to humanize their pampered pets. People see their pets as part of the family and spoil them like their children and grandchildren.

Whether your fur-baby is an only child or if they have human siblings, statistics show that 62% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 72.9 million homes. Yearly spending has almost tripled since 1994 and the pet industry in expected to pull in $50.84 billion this year.

Current pet trends show that that:

  • Salon and spa services and merchandise for animals is on the rise
  • Safety gear is being taken more seriously as evident by spending
  • People decorate their pets to match the holiday or season
  • Hi-Tech items are hot for geeky pet parents
  • Personalization is popular
  • Grooming gadgets and products are on the rise

Here are some economically and ecologically responsible ways you can cash in on your love for animals without having to clean kennels at the pet store:

Up-cycle Pet Clothes – Find that cute tee that has a tear, or a sweater that’s shrunk and reconstruct it into pet wear. Keep in mind that pet stores offer a wide variety of small dog sizes but sometimes fall short on stock for larger breeds.

Unique Tags and Accessories – Recycle old blue jeans or belts by braiding them into one-of-a-kind leashes. Laminate scraps of fabric, bead fobs, or decoupage bottle caps to create tags and trinkets to adorn animals and owners.

Pet Lover Schwag – Design and sell pet lover merchandise. Use a site like to create a line of products that show pride in your pet.

Treats and Toys – Find recipes online for organic pet treats and let your culinary creativity take it from there. You can also make cat toys with fabric scraps and cat nip.

Offer your product to places other than pet stores. Chains like Harley Davidson, Home Depot and Old Navy see the value of keeping pet products on hand. Point out the facts to the local equivalent and offer to leave the first order on consignment, meaning they pay you when the stuff sells.

Let your imagination go wild. After all someone came up with this...

...and someone bought it!

What's the wildest thing you ever bought for your pet? Tell me in the comments below.

By Heather Fairchild - Heather is a multimedia developer with experience in web, film, photography and animation as well as traditional fine arts like painting and sculpting. In addition to writing for, she is co-founder of design and promotion company. Heather’s spare time consists of making puppets, teaching Sunday School, building Legos and doing science experiments with her children.



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