Meet Zelda, the newest member of our family! She’s a 1-year-old boxer-heeler mix who comes to us all the way from Tennessee after being rescued from an abusive situation. We have been fostering and adopting rescue dogs for over 20 years now, and Zelda is the latest to join our household as sidekick to Bijou, our 11-year-old greyhound.
It’s been a few months since we were a two-dog family, and when I did a poop patrol in our snowy backyard this weekend, I realized two things: One, that there were now twice as many doggie land mines to pick up. And two, how much I hate being on poop patrol.
Face it – though we love our dogs, most of us don’t especially love cleaning up after them. And a lot of people are perfectly willing to pay someone else to take care of that chore. Which is where the opportunity lies – a business removing dog poop from their owners’ yards can be a great income stream and can even turn into a full-time gig. It’s also a good income stream for teenagers and students and a great way to learn how to run a business.
Though it’s a job that a lot of people would never want to do, if you’re not bothered by it, you can get started in your own business for under $100. And for obvious reasons, if you serve your clients well, you can count on plenty of repeat business!
Operating a pet waste removal service involves a very simple business model. Most scoopers schedule once- or twice-weekly pickups and plan their routes to minimize mileage. Startup requirements are minimal:
- Access to a reliable vehicle
- A good quality poop scooper
- Disposal bags
- A 5-gallon bucket
- Rubber gloves
- A sturdy pair of boots
How do you get started? The easiest way to get the word out is to print flyers and post them in your proposed business area – affluent neighborhoods are your best bet. Pet shops, doggie daycares, boarding kennels, and veterinarians’ offices, are obviously good places to advertise, but don’t forget about local bulletin boards at the supermarket, coffee shops, and other places where residents hang out. Dog lovers are everywhere!
Find out what other services in your area charge and set your prices accordingly. Typically, it’s about $10 to $15 per dog per week, and experienced scoopers can do four to six yards per hour, depending on travel time.
If you want to grow your business, it’s easy to put up a simple website (even just one page) with your contact information and rates. Ready to make even more money? Monetize your website by taking ads or selling pet products as an affiliate. You could even expand your empire into cleaning up after lazy dog owners or even notoriously incontinent Canada geese at commercial properties or parks.
Of course, one of the best parts of a starting a poop-scooping business is picking a name. Here are some of my favorites…
- Doody Calls (started by a pet owner in his own neighborhood, now a national franchise making 7 figures)
- Poop Patrol
- Pet Butler
- Grand Poobahs
- Scooper Heroes
There are many ways for pet lovers to make money, though few will answer when “Doody Calls.” But those who do can definitely make it pay!