If youre interested in learning how to start a petting zoo business, you should first be aware of the challenges that await you. Taking care of animals could be a lot of fun, but might be quite harder than you think.
No matter how many nature shows or documentaries you have already seen on television, nothing beats having real, live animals in your own backyard; or in this case, in your acres and acres of land.
Luckily, Im here to give you a heads up on how to start a petting zoo business. You dont have to follow everything in detail just as long as you understand the important points.
Tip # 1: Take care of all the legalities.
Starting a petting zoo business is no small feat. There are many legal processes you have to go through first, depending on where you intend to build your petting zoo.
Some of these requirements include registering not only your business, but perhaps some of your animals as well. Keep in mind that some places prohibit the existence of certain types of animals.
As daunting as the paperwork seems, it will all be worth it in the end. In case certain issues pop up, you have the right documents to back you up.
Tip # 2: Have enough land for your animals.
You cant squeeze all your animals in a small barn. Make sure there is enough space for both the animals and the people.
Be mindful that some animals have a prey-predator relationship. Dont keep these animals in the same vicinity. Some types of birds, for example, may be threatened by the existence of other birds. This can lead to extreme stress and even death. So do your research well and ask the help of an animal specialist or expert.
Tip # 3: Avoid black market transactions.
Bringing in new animals may be a little pricey, but dont let that tempt you into purchasing an animal from a suspicious source.
Buy your animals from a licensed vendor and make sure they come with all the necessary documents. Buying from an unknown source could lead to complicated situations.
If you want to know how to start a petting zoo business, youre going to have to learn how to do things right.
Tip # 4: Have a vet present around-the-clock.
Once your petting zoo is good to go, dont forget to get yourself a dependable veterinarian. Vets are necessary in case one of your animals gets sick. After all, you dont want an outbreak to happen in your petting zoo now, would you?
You should also build a clinic and a rest room for your visitors. In case one of your guests (and they would most probably be kids) is scratched or bitten (hopefully not, but well never know), you need to have a veterinarian around to handle the situation.
Remember that word-of-mouth is very powerful and one bad experience might ruin your whole business.
Tip # 5: Pull out sick animals from the zoo.
If one of your animals gets sick, you have to have a barn ready for it. Sick animals should not be allowed to interact with other animals, as well as with your guests. And as previously mentioned: word gets around. If a visitor chances upon a sick animal, get ready for a wave of animal activists banging on your door.
These are some of the points you have to understand if you want to know how to start a petting zoo business. However, the real work begins once your petting zoo is set up and you settle into a new routine.