Open For Business

Ok, so you’ve decided to take the plunge and start that pet service business.  You’ve chosen to either start a:

  • Pet sitting business
  • Dog walking business
  • Pet grooming business
  • Pet waste removal business
  • other

But money and cash flow is tight.  Especially in the beginning.  So how can you market your new business locally as quickly and cost-effectively as possible?  Well, it may sound obvious, but “Go where the pets are.”

Yes, print yourself some flyers and business cards and make yourself a list of the following places in your local area:

  • Veterinarians
  • Dog Groomers (assuming you’re not starting a grooming biz)
  • Dog Walkers (assuming you’re not starting a dog walking biz)
  • Dog parks
  • Pet stores

Personally go to each and every place on your list and introduce yourself and your business.  Ask if you can leave flyers, cards or brochures behind.  Vets and stores like to recommend good resources to their clients so don’t feel like you’re “selling” anything, cause you’re not.

After you’ve covered each one of those places, consider posting your flyers in less-targeted places (for pets) but targeted for people.  Most supermarkets have some type of bulletin board.  So do banks, some pizzarias, sandwich shops, bagel shops, etc.

Most local businesses do not mind helping other local businesses, especially if you’re a customer of those establishments.

And if you want to go the extra mile, write a basic press release and send it to your local newspaper.  Local papers LOVE stories about pets.  Get a neighborhood kid to pose with their pet (or your own) and send it in with your press release and I doubt the paper can resist running it!

Kids & Dogs

Once you get a bit of cash flow, I would take out a small ad in the services section of your local paper.  Don’t do it just once, though.  That’s a waste.  Run it at least 6 to 10 times.  To spread it out, run it three weeks on and three weeks off.  Repeat impressions are key!  Then repeat as often as you can afford to.

Between your flyers, your press releases and your classified ads — you’ll be everywhere in no time! 


  1. When I was starting my pet photography business I found that my greatest resource was simply going about my normal day with my dogs and telling everyone I met about my new venture.

    One secret I quickly learned was to “ask for the sale” Its not enough to mention your business, leave a card and hope for the best. That technique will get you maybe 1 out of 100 call backs. If you visit a market in person and a potential client seems interested ask for a next step. “Oh I’d like to do that sometime” is your cue to get out your calendar and say “How’s about next Tuesday?”

  2. Also you could talk to people like us that do not sell anything on our websites and would be delighted to help promote you for free (or maybe a small payment!)

  3. I think any Internet advertising for a dog walking or pet sitting business should only advertise on “local” websites. The chance of a dog walker based in San Diego, California, for instance, getting business from a site like yours (based in the UK) are slim to none. Free links, sure, what have they got to lose.? But paid links should only be bought if they can be geographically targeted. Now if it’s an online pet business that sells and ships pet supplies Internationbally, than sure, why not? (Assuming it’s cost effective) JMHO. Thanks for posting. -gene

  4. You shoulnt advertise FREE stuff if you have to pay for the shipping and handling. i was all excited about my new business cards when i found out u had to pay shipping….. i was FURIOUS!!!!

  5. Honestly, if you aren’t willing to invest $4.95, or whatever it is, in your own business, than you have to ask yourself if you’re really serious about being in business. Paying a nominal shipping fee for these kinds of offers is nothing new. Offering free goods and services as a way to get people to sample your wares is a smart business strategy that many companies use. Asking to offset expenses by charging shipping costs is just plain good business sense. It also helps weed out the serious potential future customers from those who merely seek free stuff with no intention of ever buying anything. Vista Print, like any other BUSINESS, is in business to make money. Not as a charity for giving away free things for the fun of it.

  6. Actually, after closer inspection, where does it even say anything about free!? It just says “…print yourself some flyers and business cards and make yourself a list of the following places in your local area” with a link to Vista Print. It doesn’t say anything about free or not free.

  7. Hello, my name is Adam Kreeger and I am the CEO & founder of . I am offering a free 12 month listing using the following promotional codes. The site is for local listings, so please only list only in the counties you do business in. This site was built for the freelancer and small business. I am looking for feedback on how can better serve you. Your listing will be indexed with Yahoo & Google. I am here to talk about our site and Internet marketing. Please ask any questions. You can also email me at anytime

    · Boarding/Sitting Use Promo code ZWTJH
    · Dog Walking Use Promo code CdSYz
    · Grooming Use Promo code OHAJS
    · Obedience/TrainingUse Promo code MWgPW

  8. Free business cards and flyers can be obtained with any plan.

  9. Grab your Mumchise today!

    Only for dog lovers who want to start their own highly successful business.

    Available worldwide.

    Please contact us for further information.

  10. MichiganPR offers pet businesses the ability to release press for free.

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