Is the Pet Niche Good for Dropshipping?

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There has never been a time when people have spoilt their pets more. A dog’s bed used to be an old blanket in a dog house outside if they were lucky!

Times have changed a lot. Nowadays, it’s not unusual for a dog to sleep inside on a memory foam mattress whilst wearing a wool jumper and taking calming supplements to help them sleep.

This is why pet products are the ideal product for dropshipping. There is an abundance of products available on AliExpress and Alibaba, and trust me, pet lovers will buy them no matter how obscure you think they are. People are making a fortune selling cat socks online, which still amazes me!

One of the most important factors to make a profitable dropshipping niche is selling to a passionate audience of buyers. Pet lovers are definitely in this category. If you can show a pet lover a unique product to make their pet happy, alleviate a pet problem or make their pet look cute, it’s an easy sell.

The pet niche is also ideal for using Facebook ads. With Facebook, you can target specific audiences who have pet related interests and pet products are often visually pleasing and will stop people scrolling through their Facebook feeds and actually take notice.

Like children, pets now get spoilt during Christmas. Pet products are in high demand during Q4 and you can expect to scale your business in a big way from October to December. Take a look at the screenshot of Google trends below. You can see the search term “Dog toys” consistently spikes during Q4 each year and has done so for the past 5 years.

Google trends showing the search term for dogs toys over the past 5 years

Is the Pet Niche too Saturated?

There’s no doubt about it, the pet niche is competitive. Dropshippers know the potential of pet products and there is a variety of pet Shopify dropshipping stores.

Does this mean the pet niche is too saturated? Not in my opinion, here’s why.

Most new dropshipping stores make a big mistake which I see all the time. They copy what other dropshipping stores are doing and end up looking exactly like a dropshipping store, which is what you want to avoid.

Most pet dropshipping stores I see tend to sell the latest trending pet products, they use a free Shopify theme, as well as images and videos from AliExpress and run generic ad creatives on Facebook. This is the lazy strategy of dropshipping and it will not work in the long term and probably won’t work in the short term either.

Basically what I’m saying is, the easy way of creating a pet dropshipping store is saturated, but creating a unique pet dropshipping store is unsaturated. This means putting in the work to source unique pet products from reputable suppliers, creating unique content and ads and building a professional and trustworthy Shopify store.

Another point to remember is the pet niche is extremely evergreen. What I mean by this is, not only will people continue to buy pet products for years to come, there are new buyers entering the market every day who are searching for pet products.

Many products have a short lifespan and once they have been exposed to their potential customer base, the product becomes saturated. This usually happens with products you only need one of and there are no alternative ways to sell the product to find an entirely new audience of buyers.

With pet supplies, dogs, cats and most other pets have a reasonably short life. Meaning a single family may purchase new pet products several times as each new pet enters their lives. Add to that the destructive nature of pets destroying products and requiring new products regularly, especially dogs.

Think about how many products are purchased for a single dog throughout its life. How many beds, toys, bowls, leads, leashes, treats, supplements, clothing, houses and everything else? Times this by the 76 million dog owners in the USA alone and you get an idea of how big and evergreen this niche really is!

If you’re looking to source dropshipping suppliers of pet products outside of China I have a few free lists you can use:

Best & Worst Pet Products to Dropship

It can be a little confusing when you’re just starting out to know which pet supplies you should actually be dropshipping. A good rule for pet products is, avoid selling anything generic.

If the product is sold at Walmart, Target or any mainstream store, chances are it’s not a good pet product to dropship. Why would anybody buy a regular dog bed, lead or collar from you when they can go to Walmart and buy it at a lower cost with no shipping times?

This does not mean you can’t sell dog beds, leads or collars? No, it just means you need to sell a unique version of such products that can’t be sourced locally. Instead, the bed you sell might be a specially designed calming bed for dogs with anxiety or a hands-free bungee dog lead specifically for jogging with your dog.

The best pet products to dropship usually have some kind of unique selling point that allows you to target a specific audience. If you can target the right audience with the right product, it’ll make your job far easier. For some more pet related products, I have an article on 30 pet niche ideas to sell – profitable & uncommon.

Good & Bad Examples of Pet Products to Dropship

Here are some examples of good and bad pet products to dropship. Let’s say you want to target dog owners who take their dog swimming and they need some kind of dog towel before the dog gets back into the car.

Bad Example

Dog towel

A regular towel with a paw print on it to prove it’s a pet towel. There is no unique selling point and provides no compelling reason someone should actually purchase the product.

Good Example

dog bathrobe

A better example is an absorbent microfibre dog bathrobe. It’s far more unique and practical. It’s not only a towel but a way of keeping your dog warm after a swim and reducing the problem of having a wet dog in a car for the drive home.

Dog toys are another very popular product and there is a never ending number of different toys so it can be a little confusing for a beginner.

Bad Example

dog toy duck

The dog toys above are far too generic to expect pet lovers to buy them online and wait for them to be shipped.

Good Example

dog carrot toy

A far better example of a pet product is the carrot toy above. It’s not a toy that is easily found in retail stores and it’s a great product to create custom videos around.

Can you Dropship Pet Food?

Dropshipping dog and all other pet food may seem like an obvious item to dropship, however, it’s not as easy as it first appears.

Most pet food brands will not approve online stores to dropship their products. They need to vet each seller and usually only approve experienced and reputable retailers to ensure their brand’s reputation stays strong.

Well-known and high-quality pet food brands need to trust the sellers of their products, any bad customer experience reflects badly on their brand. This is why they usually only work with suppliers who have proved themselves.

As a dropshipper, you can’t provide the same kind of experience as a standard retail store can which makes it difficult to persuade pet food brands to allow you to dropship for them.

In addition to that, there is a lot of competition with pet food. This means the margins are already thin and for a dropshipper purchasing products individually, it’s almost impossible to compete.

How You Should Dropship Pet Products!

Instead of dropshipping regular pet products like many stores are doing, opt for a very specific niche within the pet industry or build a one-product store focusing on a unique product.

Personally, I would go one of two ways when it comes to pet products.

  1. Focus on targeting a very specific problem pet owners face and try to solve the problem with a product they may not have been exposed to.
  2. Go for the cuteness factor. Animal lovers can’t resist anything adorable when it comes to their pets!

Firstly, let’s talk about the problem many pet owners face.

Instead of looking for products to sell, look for problems pet owners face and solve those problems with products they may need. This way you’re targeting a specific audience who actually needs your product instead of hoping your audience will need your product.

For example, a big problem dog owners have is the health issues of their ageing dogs. Think about some products which can be sold to reduce this problem.

  • Orthopedic dog beds
  • Supplements
  • Rehab equipment
  • Ramps
  • Incontinence pads

Another good example of a successful online pet store that solves a problem is, Cat Genie. A very annoying issue for cat owners is dealing with their cat faeces and this one-product store sells a unique self-cleaning cat toilet with several accessories and cleaning solutions used as up-sells.

Next is the cuteness factor. If you can find a product to dropship which is unique and adorable, pet owners just can’t resist. This works so well because it stops people in their tracks and makes them take notice of your ad.

Another big advantage of cute products is the powerful UGC (User generated content) it provides as pet owners love sharing their pets on social media. Encouraging your customers to share their videos and photos of their pets is highly valuable, free advertising!!

When people see other pets using a cute and unique product, it helps them visualize their own pets using it and increases the chances of making another sale.

Pet clothing and costumes are very effective with the cuteness factor but a more unique example is Crown & Paw. They have custom pet portraits, clothing and other merchandise using print-on-demand. People love customised items and share it like crazy which brings a lot of free organic traffic.

Advantages of Dropshipping in the Pet Niche

AdvantagesReason
EvergreenThe pet niche is very popular and people will continue to buy pet products even during hard times.
Passionate BuyersPet lovers are up there with parents as some of the most passionate groups of people who love buying items.
User Generated ContentThere is an abundance of viral videos and photos on social media of pets using their new toy, wearing a cute outfit or sleeping in their new bed, which is amazing for UGC and social proof.
Many Products & NichesIf you think outside the box there are some really unique pet products to dropship and unsaturated niches to target which will help you find cracks in the market.
It’s FunThe pet niche is a fun niche for dropshipping. Designing the website, creating your own images and videos and building a social presence is a much more enjoyable experience compared to some random products you don’t really care about.
Advantages of the pet niche. Source: dropshippinghustle.com

Disadvantages of Dropshipping in the Pet Niche

DisadvantagesReason
CompetitionOnline merchants are aware of the potential of the pet niche which makes it a reasonably competitive niche.
Generic ProductsThere is a plethora of generic products in the pet niche and they won’t succeed if you’re dropshipping from China.
Limited High Ticket ProductsMost high ticket items in the pet niche are larger items such as, aquariums, bird aviaries and large dog beds, which are difficult to dropship profitably from China.
Low QualityThe quality on AliExpress is hit and miss and the pet niche is no different. It may take some time to source suppliers with quality pet supplies.
Disadvantages of the pet niche. Source: dropshippinghustle.com

Summary

I think you can guess that I’m a fan of the pet niche and I believe even with the abundance of competition, there are still opportunities if you can put in the work and find ways of differentiating your business from the masses.

With most niches, there are often several downsides to consider when dropshipping, but pet products don’t tend to have many downsides.

For example, with clothing the return rate is high, electronics often break and are complicated, furniture and home decor are often large and expensive to ship, Facebook is very strict on what can be advertised on their platform and various products may have issues or delays through customs.

These problems are minimal with pet products and I would definitely recommend this niche as a beginner.

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