Rent a Pet

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Rent a Pet - Start a Pet Rental Agency

start a rent a pet biz
Rent a Pet. As a stay at home mom, I'm sure your children have gone through the phase where they want their own dog or cat.

The conversation, in most households, takes place when a child is 5-7 years old and goes something like this:

"Mommy, can I pleeeeezzzzeee get a puppy for my birthday?"

"No honey, not this year, dogs are a big responsibility."

"But I'll take care of him all by myself! I'll feed him and walk him, and give him baths and play outside with him."

"You're going to take care of this dog? You couldn't even take care of a hamster."

"Yes I could. Really. I promise. Give me a hamster and I'll show you I can do it."
Of course, at this point, most mothers would still say "no" for a few reasons:
  • They know their child will not follow through
  • They know THEY will end up taking care of the pet
  • Hamsters and their equipment cost money, and are not easy to get rid of if it doesn't work out
  • This is where having a Rent a Pet service can come in handy. You can offer to rent families a hamster, guinea pig, or domestic rat on a weekly basis. Provide the cage, bedding supplies, and food with the pet, and offer to sell the complete kit to the family if the pet works out.

    This way, parents and children have the ability to test a pet before making the purchasing commitment.

    This is a great way to introduce early elementary school aged children to the responsibilities of owning a pet without the financial and emotional commitment. Whether the child is practicing to own a small pet like the one you will be providing, or is proving their commitment to their parents in order to get a larger pet like a dog, the set up is ideal.

    What You'll Need

    You'll need to decide what sorts of pets you are going to be offering in your Rent a Pet business. Small pets are generally the best.

    You'll probably want to have a good supply of hamsters and rats on hand for your business. Personally, having owned both hamsters and rats in my lifetime, I can tell you hands down that I prefer to own rats.

    They generally don't eat their babies like hamsters do, they are cleaner, and live longer. They also seem much more intelligent to me, and interact better with humans. Rats, however, will make some clients uncomfortable as some people have fears about this creature. So hamsters might be a better bet for you.

    Whatever you decide, you will need to have your own supply of pets available. You'll also need the following supplies to offer as part of your rental kit. If you register as a business, you should be able to find these supplies at wholesale prices:
  • clean cages
  • water bottles
  • food dishes
  • bedding
  • hamster food
  • You may need to have liability insurance in case your hamsters bite their temporary owners. Check into different regulations in your town. A contract of some sort will probably be a good idea for you to have in place in case portions of your kit, including the animal itself, come back missing or damaged.

    What You Can Earn

    The Rent a Pet concept is pretty new. You can charge a minimum of $10-15 per week for the rental of your pet kit, depending on what your local market can handle.

    Offer your kit on a weekly rental basis, with the option to continue renting after one month, or to purchase the kit. If the customer decides to keep the pet at the end of a month, charge the full retail price for the pet and supplies. You could also charge a cleaning fee if they decide not to purchase the kit of $10-15.

    Promote Your Services

    There are many places you can promote this sort of business. Invest in business cards at VistaPrint at a minimum. You could place ads on online classified sites, or make arrangements to place them at your local veterinarian's office. Investing in ads in your local Pennysaver magazine or local parent focused publications may be a good idea as well.



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