Pet care: cashing in on the boom

As pet adoptions soar, exotics are becoming popular, and more and more people are choosing pet care as a viable career option

Follow the money: As the industry grows, it’s becoming a great career opportunity. “There’s been an increase in people in their 20s and 30s who want to get into training [first as part-time and, when they see the income, full time],” says Preeti Narayanan, a certified trainer with Anvis, a pet services company in Bengaluru, adding that they are planning to conduct talks with local college students, to educate them about the opportunities in the field.

Besides training — where a good trainer can make around ₹1.7 lakh a month — “there is so much space for entrepreneurs, be it creating pet accessories or pet food, providing boarding facilities, grooming [a good groomer can easily earn over ₹1 lakh a month] activity centres… there’s a whole world of things to do.”

Narayanan, who boards dogs (“I only take one dog at a time”) earned ₹45,000 just last month.

Dr Aswathy S, a veterinarian with CanCure | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Rise of exotics in Kerala: Interestingly, the pandemic has also seen an increased interest in exotic animals in India, and not just in the big metros. Dr Aswathy S, a veterinarian with CanCure in Bengaluru, is opening a veterinary hospital in Haripad, Alappuzha, this month. “I’d thought I would get to work with exotics only in big cities,” says the 29-year-old with a specialisation in wildlife. “But post pandemic, I’ve been getting requests for consultations from smaller cities, especially in Kerala.”

People are adopting macaws, cockatoos, guinea pigs, hamsters, iguanas, turtles and the like in large numbers. “Perhaps because they need less space and are low maintenance [no baths, walks or annual vaccinations]. And the ‘unusual’ tag helps too,” she chuckles.

Besides multi-speciality hospitals coming up in places like Kochi, her peers are setting up outfits in tier 2 and tier 3 cities such as Malappuram and Kasargod. “A friend recently started a hospital in Pathanamthitta and, in just three months, he had to hire two more vets because he couldn’t handle the cases — up to 30 a day. We get the same amount in Bengaluru!”

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