Animal Care Business

Thinking back to your childhood, can you recall a warm and fuzzy memory of a four-footed or winged companion in whom you confided your deepest secrets? Or have you ever considered buying a sweater for your horse, some galoshes for your cat or some Armor All for your armadillo? If so, then you understand what it means to be a pet lover and that’s probably why you’re interested in starting a career in the pet-care industry. In 2004, Americans spent $34.5 billion on their cats, dogs, birds, fish, horses and other pets. In 2005, that figure is expected to jump by another $1.4 billion, continuing a decade-long trend of petspending

This is good news for aspiring pet-care business owners like you. No matter whether you’re interested in providing hands-on pet care or selling pet products like toys, food and treats, the prospects for success in a pet-care business are excellent. It’s obvious why pets are so pampered and integral to people’s lives. They, to name a few advantages, fill the aching void left when children leave the nest or a spouse dies, while for childless couples, a pet is „someone” on whom to shower with affection and gifts.

This love of pets is also often the reason why people decide to start pet-care businesses. In the Pet Businesses start-up guide, you’ll find the advice you need to start one of several types of pet-products and pet-service businesses that are in high demand these days: pet sitting/dog walking, dog training, pet grooming and pet-food sales.

Pet Sitting/Dog Walking
If you are charmed by all things furred, feathered and finned, this is the profession for you. As a professional pet sitter, you will care for people’s pets while they’re away, either for the day or for longer periods of time like during vacations or business trips. Pet sitters play with their charges, feed them, brush them, and possibly administer their medication or injections. They often render other services to make life easier for their customers, like cleaning up accidents and changing cat litter boxes, bringing in newspapers and mail, watering plants and taking out trash.

Dog Training
Part instruction, part psychology, the field of dog training requires great people skills as well as a love of canines. Dog trainers will tell you that you’re not just training the poochesyou’re also training the folks who live with them. So you have to be able to talk to them kindly, deal with them patiently and reinforce their behavior, then do the same with their furry friends. While a background in psychology can be helpful, a true love of both people and pets and a desire to help them goes a long way to ensure success in this career.

Pet Grooming
From bathing and clipping to tying bows and cleaning ears, the nation’s approximately 50,000 to 70,000 pet groomers do more than just change pets’ appearance, they also make them feel better both physically and psychologically. The loving touch of a groomer can calm a skittish pet, reassure a frightened pet, and make a well-adjusted pet wriggle with pleasure. In addition, groomers are often the first to notice that a pet has a skin condition, ear mites or other medical issues that should be brought to the attention of a veterinarian.

Pet Food/Treats
Whether it’s brick-and-mortar or virtual, a pet store that specializes solely in pet food and treats can be a great moneymaker. Many pet owners today are willing to spend top dollar to buy the best of everything for their „fur children,” including food and treats. Your challenge, then, is to find a niche, such as all-natural food products, and offer a wide assortment so you can position yourself as a leading provider of these items.

Adapted from www.americanexpress.com


Exercise 1
Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:

1) to remember sth: __________
2) to think about doing sth: __________
3) a number: __________
4) practical: __________
5) emptiness: __________
6) someone you have to take care of: __________
7) dogs: __________
8) people: __________
9) only: ___________
10)a product that brings in a lot of revenue: __________
11)to advertise your business as … : __________
12)to tell sb a secret: _________


Exercise 2
Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:

1) to start                                     a niche
2) prospects                                stores
3) to leave                                   in psychology
4) sth is                                       condition
5) to administer                        of success
6) to render                                the nest
7) a background                        a career in an industry
8) a skin                                     in high demand
9) brick-and-mortar                sb’s medication
10)to find                                   a service


Exercise 3
Provide English equivalents of these expressions:

1) rozpieszczony
2) małżonek / małżonka
3) zapewnić sukces w danym zawodzie
4) pielęgnacja
5) jako pierwszy coś zauważyć
6) zwrócić czyjąś uwagę na coś
7) specjalizować się w czymś
8) słono za coś zapłacić
9) szeroki asortyment
11)stanowiący integralną część czegoś


Grammar corner…

In the text you found a sentence: „Have you ever considered …” and the answer to
it: „If so …” What does that if so mean? It means if you have ever considered. This
nice stylistic trick helps us avoid lengthy repetitions. For example:


A: Would you like to go to the movies with me?
B: I’d love to [go to the movies with me].


A: Let’s have some people over for dinner.
B: Yea, let’s [have some people over for dinner].


A: I bought you something.
B: Oh, you shouldn’t have [bought me anything].


You must wear a seatbelt at all times, otherwise [if you don’t wear a seatbelt at all
times] you may get hurt in an accident.


A: I don’t like candy.
B: Me neither [I don’t like candy as well].


A: I prefer going to the seaside than to the mountains.
B: So do I [I prefer going to the seaside rather than to the mountains as well].


A: Do you mind if I open your mail?
B: Actually I do [mind if you open my mail].


A: Have some more beer.
B: I’d rather not [have any more beer] because I’m driving.



Exercise 4
Answer the questions so that you avoid lengthy repetitions.

1. Do you mind me asking how much you earn? (you don’t wanna tell) …
2. Please, help yourself to some more champagne. (negative answer) …
3. I don’t like this new guy from accounting. (opposite answer) …
4. I colour-coded your files. (appreciate what sb’s done) …
5. Let’s begin the meeting, shall we? (agree) …
6. Can I offer you some coffee? (you want the coffee) …


to recall sth – przypomnieć sobie coś
to consider doing sth – rozważać zrobienie czegoś
a figure – liczba / cyfra
hands-on – praktyczne (np. doświadczenie)
a void – pustka
a charge – podopieczny
canines – psy
folks – ludzie
solely – tylko / wyłącznie
a moneymaker – dobre źródło dochodu
to position yourself as – spozycjonować się jako
to confide in sb – zwierzyć się komuś
to start a career in an industry – rozpocząć karierę w branży
prospects for success – perspektywy sukcesu
to leave the nest – wyfrunąć z gniazda
sth is in high demand – na coś jest duży popyt
to administer sb’s medication – podać komuś jego leki
to render a service – świadczyć usługę
a background in psychology – wykształcenie psychologiczne
a skin condition – schorzenie skórne
brick-and-mortar stores – tradycyjne sklepy
to find a niche – znaleźć niszę rynkową
pampered – rozpieszczony
a spouse – małżonek / małżonka
to ensure sth – zapewnić coś
grooming – pielęgnacja
to be the first to notice sth – jako pierwszy coś zauważyć
to bring sth to sb’s attention – zwrócić czyjąś uwagę na coś
to specialize in sth – specjalizować się w czymś
to pay top dollar for sth – słono za coś zapłacić
a wide assortment – szeroki asortyment
leading – wiodący
integral to sth – stanowiący integralną część czegoś
these days – obecnie
furred, feathered and finned – z sierścią, z piórami i z płetwami
revenue – przychód
lengthy – przydługi


download lesson (pdf)


Ex. 1
1) to recall sth
2) to consider doing sth
3) a figure
4) hands-on
5) a void
6) a charge
7) canines
8) folks
9) solely
10)a moneymaker
11)to position yourself as …
12)to confide in sb
Ex. 2
1) to start a career in an industry
2) prospects for success
3) to leave the nest
4) sth is in high demand
5) to administer sb’s medication
6) to render a service
7) a background in psychology
8) a skin condition
9) brick-and-mortar stores
10)to find a niche

Ex. 3
1) pampered
2) a spouse
3) to ensure success in the career
4) grooming
5) to be the first to notice sth
6) to bring sth to sb’s attention
7) to specialize in sth
8) to pay top dollar for sth
9) a wide assortment
11)integral to sth
12) these days
Ex. 4
1) (Actually) I do.
2) I’d rather not.
3) (Actually) I do.
4) Oh, you shouldn’t have.
5) Yes, let’s.
6) I’d love some.