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Pet care

Hey everyone! :)  My husband and I are gonna move to Germany and we are set to start a small biz there – open an online pet supplies store. We’ve got two pets and we adore them and, in fact, all animals. So, you know, for us it’s about more than just business and making money. It’s all about pet care. And love.
We’ve got several questions and do hope your answers will help us understand the lay of the land so to say. What do you pay attention to when choosing pet food or a collar, or any other item?  Price, design, delivery time, organic products – what really matters? We’d be also delighted to know about your favorite online pet stores – a link and your comment would be pretty handy. Many thanks in advance!

I buy cat food in a supermarket - the kind that I know from experience our cat likes.
The stuff is so cheap that no online store (with shipping costs) could ever beat it.
Other than that, we need no pet supplies. I never bought anything online. But if I needed to, I would google for pet supply stores and compare prices.
I visited a "Fressnapf" store (www.fressnapf.de) in the past and bought cat doors to install in our basement, but found nothing else worth buying and prices kind of high. But they also offer home delivery.

I guess, to have a chance for success (and profits), you need to focus on pets that need more than a supermarket offers - forget about run-of-the-mill cats, dogs, birds, guinea pigs, rabbits and all other "normal" small animals! Maybe horses, reptiles and insects are a better business?

Thanks a lot, Beppi! If i got you right, it makes no sense to compete with supermarkets and brick-and-mortar pet stores on pet food, for the prices will always be lower there. And what about meds? Say, dewormers, tick repellers, flea control products, and etc? Can you find them easily available at any pet care store, or do you need to vist a vet to get them?

I have no idea - never needed any of these.
When the cat was sick, we brought her to a vet.

I have to agree with Beppi. I doubt another online pet food/supply shop would have much chance in Germany since MANY such sites already exist. This might have been a market opportunity 10 to 15 years ago... Reseach it in the internet before you get your hopes up! We've always had cats, up to 5 of them at a time. I've only once or twice ordered anything for them online as there is so much availible at shops here. Adding in the shipping, there is little to be saved. Not only can one find a large assortment of animal food and supplies in most supermarkets but also in hardware stores, garden supply stoeres etc. It's an extremely competative market in Germany.

Thanks, Tomin. And what about meds? Flea and tick controls, dewarmers? I can't figure out so far whether you can find them freely available..

Easily available. This should be obvious by looking at the many online shops selling animal food and supplies. Medications against ticks, fleas  and worms etc. seem to be readily available. It sounds like you have to research the subject in the internet better to see if you find an unfullfilled market niche. You do know how to use Google or?

Many pet medicines also have human uses - and then are available only through pharmacies. Others are harmful to humans or the environment and can only be prescribed by vets and other trained personnel. It's a tightly regulated market.

beppi :

Many pet medicines also have human uses - and then are available only through pharmacies. Others are harmful to humans or the environment and can only be prescribed by vets and other trained personnel. It's a tightly regulated market.

I didn’t want to mention this because I don't know all of the legal details. There are also online pharmacies, so selling substances that are controlled is possible in certain circumstances. And rather than pet medicines used for humans, it is often human medicines used for pets. But when one gets a prescription from a doctor here, they need to go to the pharmacy to get it filled, or an online pharmacy. The doctors don't supply the medicines.

But it works differently for a vet. They get the medicines they need and sell them to the customers rather than give a prescription to be filled elsewhere. So for such medicines there will be no market opportunity. And I would assume any vet or animal clinic is buying wholesale from manufacturers or distributors.

I considered giving links to some of the many online animal supply shops I found but think it is inappropriate. I often post links here to information that many readers might need. But I would only be doing this to show you they exist and not to recommend or endorse them. I could do this by private message if you need but like I mentioned it is done in seconds at Google. Just put in "Tierfutter" (animal food) and/or “Mittel gegen Zecken für Tieren” (medication against ticks for animals) and one already finds plenty of such shops.

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