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A green career? Don't panic, just think organic

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Interested in a career with pets?  Starting your own eco-friendly pet business is tempting.   You look at the burgeoning environmental movement in the United States, and think to yourself, “Now that’s a trend for me.” Good money, growing pet market, socially responsible cachet, and maybe even a great pick-up line at the bar on Friday nights.

But trying to harness the green trend in the pet career market isn’t the way to go, experts say.

In fact, eco-pet business owners maintain that career-minded individuals should take a lifelong mindset – and not give in to the trendiness of green living – into the eco-friendly pet care market.

“It’s no secret that people who want to get in to the green pet care business should have the passion and business know-how to succeed,” said Gina Quiroga, co-founder of Olive Green Dog, an Austin, Texas, provider of healthful and environmentally conscious pet care products. “But the last thing I think we are – and the last thing I would advise – is to try to cash in on the trend factor in green businesses. So our business model is pretty simple. We stock only high-quality dog products that are made to last and ensure responsibility when it comes to their environmental impact.”

“It’s as much a business model as it is a green business model,” she said.

Here to stay

One thing’s for sure – the green pet care market, trendy or not, is here for the long haul.

“I think the market for green pet professionals is large and getting larger,” said Ralph Rossdeutscher, president of Natura World, a natural bedding and sleep accessories manufacturer. As consumers grow more health conscious and seek the benefits of natural and organic goods, the idea of living “green” benefits their pet, as well.

Rossdeutscher said his own dog, Sheeba, an Afghan hound, sleeps on a “green” bed and reaps the same sleep benefits as the rest of the family.  “Americans are showing that they want the same environmentally sound benefits for their pets as they do for themselves,” he said.

But Americans won’t sacrifice quality for living the green life – a fact that should not be lost on green pet career professionals. “Americans’ first concern is quality, added Rossdeutscher, “and that’s what people going into eco-friendly pet careers should know that matters most. So my advice to green pet professionals is to make sure that your product or service is just as good or better than what's already out there.”

Credit: Reviewed by Amy I. Attas, V.M.D.
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