smart spending

5 great pet jobs for animal lovers

Pet masseuse
6 of 7
Pet Masseuse

Don't view pet massage as a luxury business, say Ali O'Connor, a certified massage therapist and owner of Inko's Exemplary Pet Services in Naples, Fla., says pet massage isn't a luxury service. She works on referral from veterinarians.

A pet masseuse helps animals manage chronic pain and aging, and recovery from injury or surgery. "It's actually more of a maintenance and rehabilitative thing for animals," she says.

Income potential: Full-time pet masseuses may net $15,000 to $60,000 per year in these pet jobs, estimates Megan Ayrault, a licensed massage therapist and founder of

Hourly fees are comparable to what is charged human clients in the same geographic area, says Ayrault. That amounts to $25 to $150 per hour.

O'Connor provides massage therapy for two to five pets per week and charges $45 to $75, depending on how often the pet needs massage and the complexity of the massage.

Startup costs: You'll need formal training for these pet jobs; several states regulate the industry through their departments of health. Ayrault estimates educational costs at $900 to $7,000. You'll also need insurance.

Check out: The International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork in Toledo, Ohio, maintains a list of state regulations and a list of member schools.




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