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Startups tips pet sector as one to watch

After there was an 18% increase in the number of households buying pets in 2021, 17 million people in the UK now own at least one animal.

Small business experts Startups has identified the pet sector as “one to watch this year”, after there was an 18% increase in the number of households buying pets in 2021.

After the surge, 17 million people in the UK now own at least one animal.

Products and services for pets has made the list of its 2022 best business ideas, which could help support the demand for pets in the UK. Ideas it has put forward included:

Vet-tech
Exotic animal insurance
Premium pet food
Pet friendly cafes
Pet equipment rental services

With new animals populating so many homes, Startups said the “demand for equipment is on the rise – but some equipment required may only be for a short-term, temporary basis”.

Another area it has identified is premium pet foods. According to Statista, as of 2019 approximately 10.4% of pet owners surveyed are feeding their dogs an intermittent plant-based diet.

Lucy McKinna, founder of vegan dog food company Noochy Poochy, said: “Six months in, we have a steady stream of new customers, returning customers and great reviews. We’re being sold in vegan cafes and vegan supermarkets, and have even received interest from Good Morning Britain.

“The launch of our first product was so successful, we’re about to extend the range and are also looking for investment to take the business to the next level.”

Robert Dawson, co-founder of Vet-AI, a vet-tech company which uses artificial intelligence to assist with pet problems and symptom checking, said: “We saw what was happening in the human healthcare sector, with rapid uptake of remote services and development of Artificial Intelligence. We wanted to make the same things available to help pets.

“We are part of a disruptive wave bringing change to a very traditional industry that has struggled to keep up with the changes of a world of rapidly evolving technology.”

Richard Parris, editor at Startups, added: “Many of these opportunities are doable regardless of experience. Not only do we share business trends and data, we also offer the tools to help set you up from accountancy software to website builders.”

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