Pet ownership is growing, meaning an increased demand for veterinary care and pet information, products, and services. While this might sound like the perfect opportunity to hold off on spending money on marketing your pet business and let customers or clients come to you, remember how many pet businesses there are. If you’re a pet business owner and want to stand out, regardless of whether your focus is grooming, pet food, sharing information, or providing health care, a strong marketing plan is essential.

Key takeaways

– You’ll need to really understand your pet business and your ideal customers
– Decide on your marketing goals and create a plan, then review it regularly
– Leverage your online presence, your content, your email lists, targeted ads, and partnerships to maximise your reach
– Periodically measure your success against your marketing goals, and change things that aren’t working

Those who share their lives with a dog, cat, or another furry, feathered, or scaly friend will consider them part of their family, going to great lengths to provide care, toys, food, treats, and other paraphernalia. This presents a great opportunity for those working in the pet and vet industry to grow their business and reach their goals.

Here are my strategic marketing steps for pet business success:

1. Understanding Your Pet Business

Marketing is all about communication. You’ll want to communicate your value, brand, and product or service to potential clients. That’s why it’s so important to know and understand your pet business inside and out – because once you know your brand and the value you have to offer, you’ll be much more effective at spreading the word. Determine your unique selling points (USPs) and target audience, and review these regularly to keep your marketing communication relevant to your ideal customer.

2. Crafting a Pet Business Marketing Plan

The best business marketing plans don’t just rely on ‘having a go’ or trial and error. Although you should get stuck in and learn from mistakes, marketing efforts should be part of a well-thought-out plan to deliver a streamlined message and the best possible results.

One step in formulating your pet business marketing plan is deciding your budget. How much you want to spend will influence your strategy, campaign length, and how focused your goal is. If you have a larger budget, you might want to include more varied content in various formats but don’t use a large budget as an excuse to keep your strategy loose or to utilise every marketing medium all at once. A focused campaign and strategy create a clear message to the target audience.

If your goal is business growth, try to create one or more focused and specific goals within this overall goal. Your goal should be realistic, and you should be able to monitor your progress towards it. An example could be increasing your social media followers or mailing list subscribers by 10%, in which case you could aim to schedule regular, valuable content via social media or a nurture sequence. However, you might choose a sales-focused goal based on increasing revenue within a specific timeframe, which could require a combination of social media posting, newsletters, paid adverts, and media campaigns.

If you need a marketing plan, you can find an online template with a layout that works for you or use ChatGPT for something more customised.

If you own a vet business, you can find out more in our article Marketing for Veterinarians: Making a Marketing Plan.

3. Leveraging Online Presence

You need potential customers visiting your website to make your pet business successful. But don’t forget that website traffic isn’t the end of the process! Consider what impression your website gives to potential customers viewing it for the first time – does it look professional? Is the branding clear? Is the copy free from errors? Is the website functional? Answering these questions and resolving any issues damaging your new customer’s first impression will make your website a valuable marketing asset.

As well as having a professional, user-friendly website, you’ll need to increase your online presence so people can find you. To do this, use SEO keywords on your site, encourage existing customers to write online reviews, and post regularly on social media with content that provides value and encourages interaction and engagement. Check out our list of low-competition pets keywords and qualities to look for in a vet copywriter for your pet website to help get you started.

4. Content Marketing for Pet Businesses

Content marketing allows you to engage your target audience, share your value, and stimulate interest in your brand, product, or service without focusing on sales. Pet owners want to trust a brand and feel sure that a product is right for them and their pet before they buy, and content marketing is perfect for building that trust.

When creating content, find your brand’s voice and unique selling points and use these to decide the type of content that’s best suited – helpful, informative, funny, or cute. Remember to include captions encouraging post interactions or use the poll feature on social media, as good engagement will ensure your posts stay visible.

For instance, I’m part of the team at Petlearnia, who create online courses for pet owners to help them understand their pets’ health conditions. We use a weekly slot on social media schedule to share a ‘vet’s opinion.’ One of their vets is interviewed every week and answers a pet-related question with their honest opinion. The post provides value without the need to purchase anything, and the lack of a sales pitch or direct mention of their products means that potential customers feel they are getting something extra, which they appreciate.

5. Email Marketing and Customer Engagement

Many of us receive marketing emails daily. Some go straight into ‘Junk’ or get deleted without being opened. Successful email marketing can keep your customers engaged with your brand and keep your products fresh in their minds so that when they’re ready to make a purchase, your website is where they’re heading. While overuse of marketing emails or irrelevant content can damage your relationship with your customers, marketing emails have the opposite effect when used appropriately.

If you want to create a successful email marketing campaign, keep communications regular but not too frequent (weekly, fortnightly, or monthly might be appropriate) and consider a nurture sequence of emails to take them on a journey of getting to know your brand and learning why your product or service is right for them. Keep emails concise and relevant to the customer, provide value, and use a balance of text and pictures or videos to keep things visually appealing.

Don’t forget to direct customers to your website to find out more and make buttons and clickable links as clear and easy to use as possible. Read our top tips for running great email campaigns.

6. Advertising and Promotion

Regardless of your budget, you’ll get the best results if you incorporate an element of paid, targeted advertising into your marketing plan. This will ensure your brand, service, and message reach your target audience. With targeted advertising, your options include pay-per-click (PPC) and social media ads.

For instance, take Cats Protection. Although I haven’t manually looked up Cats Protection’s social media account, my browsing habits and demographic data mean Instagram identifies me as interested in pet content. Therefore, I’ve seen their recent campaign, ‘Little Paws Club,’ multiple times as a sponsored ad. While I may scroll past much of the sponsored content on social media platforms, this one got my attention because it was brightly coloured, dynamic, and commanded my attention with ‘Psst!’

7. Building Partnerships and Collaborations

Want to increase your reach? Collaborating with other brands or individual influencers whose values align with yours can increase your exposure. Depending on the arrangement, you could gain social media followers, expand your email contacts, and increase sales. Collaborate strategically because partnering with lots of brands could dilute your message and detract from your values. An ill-thought-out collaboration could damage your reputation, so choose carefully and make sure you have the opportunity to provide or review copy and images used when referring to your brand.

One example where collaboration works really well is YuMOVE collaborating with influencers from the animal world. We all know that creating social profiles for your pet that document their lifetime of adventures is really popular and lots of these accounts have many thousands of followers – so imagine the positive effect of having a high-profile pet showcasing or reviewing your product or service!

8. Measuring Success and Adjusting Strategies

Sometimes plans need adjusting, and marketing plans are no different. Hopefully, when creating your marketing plan and setting your goals you’ve chosen measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can track your progress. For example, if you are a groomer, one KPI could be gaining more clients who own multiple long-haired dogs, to maximise client loyalty and improve efficiency.

It’s important to assess your KPIs regularly and, if you’re not on track, check your data and analytics to find out why. You can spot trends in your target audience’s behaviour and tweak your strategy to maximise your success. Are your social media followers now most active at a different time of day? Change your scheduling to match. If your radio advert’s discount code has been used less recently, revisit your target customer’s values, lifestyle, and behaviour, and assess whether a different timeslot or radio station would reach more of them. Where is your website traffic coming from, and what do visitors do during their site sessions? This knowledge can help you streamline the customer experience and focus your marketing efforts in the most effective areas.


With so many marketing formats available these days, and with so many big pet businesses seemingly nailing their social media and online presence, it might feel hard to compete. However, if you follow the tips above, you’ll be able to make an impression on your customers regardless of the size of your pet business.

Dr Hannah Godfrey MRCVS

Dr Hannah Godfrey MRCVS

Hannah graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011. She has a passion for soft tissue surgery, ultrasound, and canine and feline dentistry, having completed additional training in these areas. She has now moved from permanent clinical veterinary work to become an Editor for a global medical communications company. She hasn't given up clinical work altogether, though, and still does regular locum shifts at her local veterinary practices.