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Why One Recession-Proof Industry Just Keeps Growing

Why One Recession-Proof Industry Just Keeps Growing

You’re reading an article by Carol Tice published by Forbes.

If you’re looking for an industry to bet on, just look down. If there’s a dog, cat, lizard, or guinea pig wandering your floor, you’ve got something in common with 62 percent of Americans.

The American Pet Products Association reports pet ownership has continued to grow right through the downturn. We spend big on our pets, too, recession or not. Annual pet-related expenditures soared from $43.2 billion in 2008 to nearly $53 billion this year, the association reports.

Apparently, when the chips are down, having a cat to cuddle goes a long way.

One section of this spending has drawn a lot of attention from the franchise industry — pet services. There are now more than 35 major chains in this niche, from doggy day cares, groomers, and dog-walking providers to pet stores, dog trainers, and boarding services.

If you think pet owners might be cutting corners on pet care, think again. Judging from the growth in upscale pet services, plenty of owners are still lavishing every comfort on their four-footed or feathered friends.

These pet franchises aren’t just popular with pet owners. Possibly the secret of the franchised pet-industry’s continued success is that many of these franchises are very low-cost — you can get a dog-walking or pet-sitting franchise up and running for under $20,000.

That’s a formula for continued success in one of the rare niches where consumers don’t show any sign of cutting back.