People who love animals more than humans aren’t left out when it comes to side hustles. There is a surprising number of animal & pet side hustles that allow you to make money from your love of animals.
These hustles give you the best of both worlds. Not only do you get to spend time with animals, but you can also make money from the process. Some of these side hustles could even turn into significant income streams over time.
Just like any side hustle, you’re not going to make masses of money overnight. The true benefits can be seen when you put in consistent effort over time.
There’s one other thing to mention before we dive into our side hustle list – the ideas here aren’t mutually exclusive. You could easily take multiple approaches at the same time. You may even find that the audiences overlap between some of the side hustles.
The funny thing is though, after all this research, I still think there's one “side hustle” which is better than any one of them because it has the potential to turn into a full time gig. I'll save the best for last, so read to the bottom of the page.
Animal & Pet Side Hustles
Being a dog walker can mean that you literally get paid to do something you enjoy anyway. You might choose to walk one dog at a time or walk them in packs. Some clients may even pay extra to have their dog walked on its own.
The role works exactly as you would expect. Just make sure that you plan for bad weather and carry poop bags when walking the dogs. Also, be aware that the demand for your services is likely to be higher in the warm months.
As for income, you can choose whether to work through another company or to source your clients on your own. Going through a company may involve using an app.
Dog walking apps aim to make the whole process streamlined. These can make it easy to find clients. The app Wag! is one example. The catch is that you have less control. You typically can’t walk multiple dogs at once and you may not get to set your prices either.
Working with private clients gives you more power, but you’ll need to find those clients first. Doing so may involve advertising and it could be slow going at first. Still, once you start to get a good reputation, growing your business should become easier.
Pet sitting is another logical choice for animal lovers. This means exactly what the name suggests – you’re getting paid to look after pets.
How well this side hustle works will really depend on where you live. You need to be in an environment where you can take care of pets easily, perhaps even more than one at a time. It’s also important to be near clients who can afford to have their pets taken care of in this way.
It might sound obvious, but you need to be able to look after the animals too. This includes feeding them, keeping them healthy and taking them on walks if needed.
Needless to say, the side hustle won’t work well for everyone. But, if you are interested, there are plenty of ways to find work. Sites like Rover.com and Petsitter.com both focus on services for pets, making them good places to advertise.
You can also promote yourself. Craigslist and local Facebook groups are good places to start. Advertising in person can work too, such as creating a poster. Don’t forget business cards. These are always helpful.
Here’s another related idea – dog washing. Many people are willing to pay to have someone else bathe their dog. This is something you could offer as a service on its own and advertise locally.
You could even link multiple pet services together. For example, if you focused on pet sitting, you might charge extra to give the pet a good bath. Dog walkers could do something similar, which would mean that the owner always gets back a clean pet.
You don’t need many materials to wash dogs. Just be aware that some dogs really don’t like the idea of baths. This could make the entire process frustrating at times. If nothing else, washing dogs is best suited to people who are passionate about the idea.
You could extend this approach by providing dog grooming services as well. Dog grooming is a little more involved than simply washing the dog but the side hustle is less common too. Offering this as a service could help you to stand out from your competitors.
Offering Other Pet Services
Walking dogs, pet sitting and dog washing are all very similar ideas. You’re basically making life easier for pet owners by taking a task off their hands.
There are plenty of other such side hustles out there too. The trick is to think carefully about the needs that people will have and how you can meet them.
What about extending the idea of dog walking? You could offer to take dogs on hikes or adventures. This could be especially appealing for owners who do not have much free time.
Providing pet transport could be another angle, like taking a dog or cat to the vet. You don’t need to stick to your own ideas either. Ask around. See what challenges pet owners face.
Be A Dog Trainer
Dog training is a step up in terms of skills, which means that demand is high as well. Many pet owners are frustrated by pets that are disobedient, but they don’t have the time or skills to train their pet themselves.
This is where you come in. You could charge your services by the hour, by the lesson or by the outcome, depending on what suits your offerings the best. You can also choose what areas you want to focus on.
In particular, what do you plan on teaching dogs to do? Working this out will help you to define your pricing structure and also how you’ll market your services.
Checking out what other people are doing is a perfect starting point. There are also many videos and guides online that will teach you how to train dogs effectively. But, you’ll want to practice and get your skills up before you start charging for your services.
One other area is certification. While you don’t necessarily need official certification to work for yourself as a dog trainer, certification can help you look more professional. You may find that some options are affordable and also help you to refine your skills.
Be Social Media Influencer
I’m not suggesting that you personally be a social media influencer with this side hustle. Rather, some pets end up being celebrities on social media. The approach can turn into a surprisingly good income stream – if you monetize sensibly.
People love looking at photos of pets, especially cute ones. Some cats and dogs have thousands or even millions of followers on Instagram and other platforms. Visitors may tune in every day for images about their favorite pet.
While luck is a huge factor in creating a large following, consistency is pretty important too. Posting photos regularly is a sure-fire way to increase the chance that your pet will get noticed.
Having an unusual angle also helps. For example, one popular dog was promoted using the phrase ‘the world’s cutest dog’. Ideas like that stick. There are many other angles too.
You could get started by looking at what other people do. See which types of accounts are the most popular. What approaches to visitors respond well to?
You could also think about what makes your pet (or pets!) stand out. For example, a cat and dog who are best friends might be an interesting approach. What about an unusual pet, like a fox?
Needless to say, there is a ton of competition out there, so success isn’t guaranteed. Still, if you take cute photos and high-quality images, this could be a way to make money. It might also be a natural approach if you already constantly photograph your pet.
As for making money, there are many different angles to try. If your pet gets popular enough, you could market related products, like t-shirts, calendars or even plushies. You could also get involved in affiliate marketing and promote products that your pet loves, like new toys and food.
Once again, paying attention to what other people do is a great starting point. Many things that people do will be earning them money. You can get some great ideas by simply watching and taking notes.
Beekeeping might be an old profession, but that doesn’t stop it from being viable these days. After all, honey is still popular. Many people are even returning to traditional foods, ones that haven’t been heavily processed
Selling honey is the main way to earn with beekeeping, but there are other angles to consider too. For example, there is a market for beeswax and for products created using beeswax.
You can vary how you sell the honey too. One approach would be to change the amount you charge per pound of honey based on the size of the container. Larger containers would be better value for money, which is what customers expect anyway.
Selling honey still within the comb is popular too.
Beekeeping isn’t the easiest side hustle to get involved with. You will need to invest some time and money into the process, especially at the beginning.
This makes it best suited to people who like the idea of keeping bees. If your focus is on the income first, then it might be best to look for a different side hustle.
Raising Chickens For Eggs
Raising chickens is another angle to consider. This time you’re making money by selling fresh eggs, which seem to be always in demand.
This side hustle, like beekeeping, tends to be much easier in the country. You can raise chickens in a town environment, but you’ll need to look at local rules and restrictions first.
If you’re going to sell eggs from chickens, one of the biggest challenges is keeping the process profitable. You’re going to be spending money buying the chickens, housing them and feeding them. Those costs add up.
What happens if the chickens underproduce or if some get sick? These issues are important to consider, as you’re generally dealing with a slim profit margin.
More than anything, you’ll need to plan well and be patient. Needless to say, the whole experience will be better if you enjoy raising chickens.
Photographs of animals are always popular, making the field an interesting choice for a side hustle. The biggest challenge is breaking through the competition.
After all, the prevalence of smartphones means that plenty of people have a camera in their pocket. You just need to flick through Facebook or Instagram to see just how many amazing photos people take of their animals. Stock photo sites are just as full of shots.
So, how do you make money?
A photography business is one angle to consider. Professional photographers are still in demand, but there is a lot of competition. Focusing on a specific area, like pets, is one way to get yourself noticed.
Taking good photos of pets is a skill. It’s also one that many professional photographers may not have. Getting an animal to behave well for a photo is very different than getting a human to do so. If you can learn the skills and tricks needed, you may be able to carve out a business for yourself.
Just be aware that this isn’t going to be an overnight process. It takes time to develop a reputation, especially for photography. The field can be quite tough.
You may find that many potential clients are hesitant, as they may think they can take photos that are just as good themselves. To get around this, you’ll need to find ways to showcase your work and highlight what makes you special.
You can also sell photos to stock photography sites and apps. Foap is one example and there are many others to choose from.
As a general rule, stock photo sites and apps aren’t going to pay you a lot of money. You might do well if one of your photos becomes popular, but the sites often have millions of photos for customers to select from.
Homesteading is a lifestyle decision, one that people sometimes make to get away from all the stresses of modern life. It is also an amazing approach for animal lovers. You get the chance to really be out there in nature and interacting with animals on a daily basis.
The income opportunities are almost endless. In fact, homesteaders may need to sit down and seriously think about which areas they want to focus on and how they are going to grow these.
One area is selling products from animals, like milk, eggs, honey and even meat. You could take this a step further and use these to create other items to sell, like cheese and butter.
Pet sitting can also work very well in a homesteading environment. You often have the empty space to do this well and you don’t need to worry about neighbors. Your homesteading environment could even be a selling point for your pet sitting business.
Sell Pet Treats
Making and selling treats for pets can be a way to make pets and their owners very happy indeed. This can be a powerful way to make money too, as pet owners already buy treats on a regular basis.
You’re also offering a consumable product. If a pet loves what you’ve made, then you’ve probably got a repeat customer in their owner.
There are plenty of recipes online to get you started. You can also experiment with flavors and ingredients to create something that is unique to you.
One relevant angle to consider is natural pet treats. Consumers are beginning to focus on natural ingredients more and more, shunning anything artificial. A product that is natural and homemade is even better.
Because you’re targeting pets, this approach could be combined with other pet-related side hustles like dog walking or pet sitting. You might even end up with a selection of products and services that all relate to pets in some way.
Before you get too seriously into this side hustle, take the time to check out local laws around selling pet food. These are generally much less complicated than the regulations for selling human food. Still, it’s critical to make sure that everything you’re doing is above board.
Sell Other Pet Items
Treats aren’t the only pet-related product that you can sell. Pet food, toys and clothing are all options.
Etsy is often a great place to make sales, as you already have access to a large customer base. However, you will need to get yourself noticed. The tools that Etsy offers aren’t great for this, so you might need to build your own website and drive traffic that way. Social media can be helpful too.
Of course, Etsy is just one place to make sales. You could sell locally too, such as at markets. If your products are good enough, you might even convince a local pet store to stock them for you.
Another option is to sell products directly through your own website. Making an eCommerce site isn’t too difficult these days, but you’ll still need to drive traffic to it. You’ll also need to keep inventory numbers accurate and deal with shipping.
If you’re considering selling pet products, start off by seriously looking at your costs and your profit margin. There’s little point making pet products if you’ll end up spending more money than you earn.
Write About Animals
Writing about animals is an entirely different area to consider. This could be a powerful choice for anyone who loves animals but isn’t in the right environment to work with them directly.
Writing is particularly good if you are passionate about animals that aren’t pets. After all, you’re not going to find a ton of side hustles that allow you to work directly with wild animals. Even side hustles for working with horses aren’t too common.
In contrast, you can write about any animal that you want to. You’re not just restricted to a single animal either.
As for making money, there are various approaches to consider. One is to write for a site that looks for articles on animals. Horsenetwork.com is one example. That site pays around $50 for a post and offers a $100 bonus if your writing gets 1,000 social shares.
$50 is a decent amount, but you will still need to work for it. The site focuses on quality content, so they won’t accept just anything. You could also look at freelance writing sites like UpWork for animal writing gigs.
Another option is to build your own site. This approach means that you’re earning from the site, rather than getting paid per article. This style means can mean less immediate income, but more pay over time.
The great thing about having your own site is that you get to choose what you write about. Doing so is much more interesting than writing articles that someone else wants.
Write A Book Or A Guide
Publishing your own writing has never been easier. You can use sites like Gumroad or Amazon to sell your work without much hassle at all. It’s still important to make your work good, of course, so you’ll be spending time refining it.
Digital products are powerful ways to earn, as you don’t need to create new items. The same product can be sold hundreds or even thousands of times.
The trick is to create something that people are going to be interested in. Don’t just recycle the same information that can be found for free online. Offer something that is unique in some way.
One example would be a good that teaches people how to train their dogs. You might provide detailed information about how to do so, including specific steps, examples and tricks.
You could even combine this approach with your own dog training business or with any other pet-related side hustle. After all, your audience is often similar from one pet side hustle to another.
#1 Recommended Pet Side Hustle
As an animal lover, where do you spend most of your time? At the dog park? In the animal shelters? Nope. I'd be willing to be that you, like most people, spend a LOT of time online. Looking at pictures, buying stuff from Amazon, and talking to your friends on social media. If you want to make money in some kind of pet-related field, you really should be looking on the internet.
But without business experience, isn't it kind of hard to make money? And who's going to pay you to talk about the things you care about, like natural remedies for dog illnesses, or the best way to adopt a rescue animal? That's why, personally, I still think the best side hustle of all is starting a website about a topic you love, then monetizing it with ads.
Building websites isn't like it was before. Using WordPress, you don't have to know any code and you can build a beautiful website. Plus, since people are searching for everything online now, you can basically make your website on any topic imaginable, and make money from putting ads on your site. Popular animal related topics are how to train your pets, animal fashion, and organic cat/dog food, but there are many more. Companies will pay you to put ads on your site, and you can make a commission per view, click, sale.
That way you can do what you love, without actually having to leave your home!