January 2019
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Dealer Magazine

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opening a pet store in the future, advice?

for awhile now i've wanted to open a pet store. i love animals and i want to run a business. i know it will be a lot of work, but i'm up for a challenge. i'm actually a junior in high school, i'm asking now because i wanna know what i should take for extra classes in high school and what i should take for courses in college. i've heard you need animal management and business management, anything else? and what's your experience? (from people who have opened a pet store.) how hard was it, and how much money did it take? do you earn a decent salary? and where/how do you get your animals/supplies?
fish will probably be my main focus, but i'm going to include all small rodents/birds. i may sponsor dogs/cats from animal shelters to help out. i'm also going to have a large variety of supplies.

I have built and owned 3 pet stores and grooming salons for over 40 years. I think it is wonderful that you want to train for this occupation.
There are magazines that will teach you many aspects and seminars to attend. They are listed in PSM magazine ( Pet Supplies Marketing), also Pet Dealer Magazine, Groom & Board Magazine, Pet Business Magazine, Groomer to Groomer Magazine by Barkleigh Publications. These are free to stores, you may have to purchase subscriptions. They are worth it. If you truly study these magazines, go to seminars, get a business education you should do well. At this age I would join a Herpetology organization and attend meetings. Volunteer at your local pet store a few hours a week to get a feel for what you like. Anything to do with animals. Find bird breeders clubs attend meetings. Learn how to hand feed baby birds. Volunteer at veterinarians or local shelters to learn to recognize healthy/sick animals and why.
Most stores have 70% of their sales in fish. So, if fish is not your interest, it needs to be learned to be able to make it. PetsMart has become famous for hosting humane societies adoption days. It makes you the "good guy" without stocking puppies and kittens. You are welcome to ask me questions, I will answer. I work full time as a groomer so it may be a few days to answer.

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