Pet business not pet peeve!

Did you know 58 percent of Canadian families have pets while only 34 percent have children? Yes, pets are big business–and it’s growing.
Which town doesn’t have a pet groomer, pet food store, breeding kennel? Does your community have people taking cats and dogs to cheer up seniors in care facilities?
Agricultural fairs, petting zoos, hobby farms, butterfly conservatories, and more animal activities are expanding enormously.
People spend ever more money on their pets. Here is a near-ridiculous example. When pork prices stayed at rock bottom, a farmer I know was desperate enough to butcher his own pigs. He made and peddled fine sausage and smoked ham.
He also tried to sell good soup bones but no one would buy those at 75¢/lb. Then he smoked them and tried selling them as doggie treats for Christmas.
They went like hot cakes at $2 each.
The Canadian head of the animal health sector of a major pharmaceuticals firm is preparing for big changes. He has split his division in two–a companion animal and food business. They will be independent, each getting a high-level leadership.
Within the companion animal sector, new products in “companion animal nutrition” will be marketed. Never mind pet food, let alone table scraps!
At least three factors will contribute to the likelihood of success:
•Affluent people want more opportunity to spend their money. Some animals enhance status, some represent leisure activity, and some are great for relationships.
•Pets fill the loneliness gap of many single people in and past middle age.
•Animals are less demanding than human companions; and they can be looked after more easily by others when the owners want to be rid of them temporarily.
For a business enterprise, this has to be a lot better than selling clothes or books.
Once a person has an animal, a lot of ongoing sales are assured. I ought to know. I have “food animals” but I treat them like “companion animals.” That causes them to live longer–and it’s definitely most costly!
If you are a potential entrepreneur looking for a business, here is something to consider. It doesn’t require huge capital to get started. Superior service will make the grade with demanding middle class pet owners.
One more information tidbit from my friend, the animal health executive: his sector just bought a smaller firm that manufactures and administers fish vaccine.
Fish farming around the world is in major expansion mode (Atikokan’s Snow Lake fish farm is a unique forerunner with its excellent lake trout). But at a certain volume of production, fish tend to get sick and die.
Vaccination prevents that.
To date, at several large west coast salmon farms, each individual fish of about 10” gets a needle! The newly-acquired farm is researching a vaccine that can be given by mouth. If successful, that will be much simpler and cheaper, and also can be used for shrimp.
It may bring prices down, and it may help feed the Third World.

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