The Pet Rental Business
By Steve Gillman
The basic idea of a pet rental business was probably around
for a long time before anyone tried it. Some people don't have
the time nor desire to commit to full-time guardianship of a
pet, so why not let them have a week-end pet, or just share a
few days monthly with one? So far there is only one major company
doing this, and only with dogs, but they offer the service in
New York, Los Angeles, and London, and have plans to expand to
Paris and other cites.
At first glance, it seems like a terrible idea to have a dog
moved from home to home. Even after researching the subject,
I am skeptical of claims that this is healthy for the animals,
but perhaps it isn't fair to compare the situation to some ideal
world, rather than the reality. If it's true (as at least one
company claims) that the dogs used are rescued from shelters
where they presumably might have been put to death, and that
they are first prepared and socialized so they enjoy being shared
by several people, it may not be so bad. I'm not entirely convinced
that making animals a commodity in this way won't lead to abuses,
but I still like to report on every way to make money that is
interesting, and this certainly qualifies.
How Much Can You Make?
I couldn't get any revenue or profit figures from pet rental
companies, but the rates they charge are high, so a decent profit
must be possible. For example, FlexPets charges a monthly membership
fee of $99.95, and then $45.00 per day with a minimum of four
days per month. That's a minimum of about $280 monthly for each
part-owner, before other expenses. There is a $25 drop-off fee,
for example, and a $75 charge if a pet is returned late. They
also charge $150 for an "in-home training/introduction session"
when a customer first signs up.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Fish tank rentals, provided complete with fish and regular
cleaning, seem like a better idea to me. Fish almost certainly
don't suffer as much as dogs from being moved, given that their
whole environment is moved with them.
Qualifications / Requirements
The business may not be regulated in many areas, but of course
compliance with animal welfare laws is required. Liability insurance
seems a must, since a client is sure to sue at some point for
the destruction of their leather couch by a rental dog.
Consider carefully if you want to be involved with a business
that is questionable ethically (at least for some of us), and
may even be legislated against in the future. Massachusetts has
outlawed the renting of dogs and cats, and other states or cities
are likely to follow.
- A dog rental company.
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