Grooming Franchise

The Best Locations to Start a Dog Business in America: Top 25 List

Want to start a dog business but don’t know of the perfect location? Luckily we did all the hard work for you. We went through an extensive process to figure out the best locations to start a dog business in America and narrowed it down to pick our favorite 25. These 25 locations were chosen based on their unemployment rate, average income, and even “dog to human” ratio! Take a look below and see if you find your city on this list.

1. Los Altos, California

best locations to open a dog businessLos Altos, a city in Santa Clara County, California, is home to tons of pet-friendly people. The area of Los Altos is booming with tech-minded entrepreneurs who typically move to the area to raise families. This is the perfect location to invest in a dog business because this area has an incredibly low unemployment rate of 2.1%. All of these reasons are why Los Altos is number one on our top 25 best locations for dog business list. 

2. Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is a beautiful area which is growing at an alarming rate. Did you know that over 70% of millennial own pets? Most restaurants welcome dogs to join diners on the patio, and the temperate climate is perfect for eating outside. There are many swimming spots for dogs as well in Austin, which is why we ranked them number two on our top 25 locations for dog business list.

3. Dayton, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio is one of the most friendly locations on this list. With many dog friendly options to choose from, Dayton is a great place to own a dog grooming business. Ohio in general is a dog friendly state, with many dog parks available in the Dayton area. There are many ways to make money in the dog industry, and Dayton, Ohio is a great location to start.

4. Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville is one of my favorite locations on this list because it’s surprisingly filled with loads of dog business potential with very little competition. Owning a dog grooming business in Knoxville is a great opportunity that you should consider if you live around the area or have always wanted to move to Tennessee.

5. Wilmington, North Carolina

best locations to open a dog business

Wilmington is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Home to many dog friendly restaurants and dog parks, Wilmington is ripe for the picking. We believe all parts of both North and South Carolina are some of the most profitable areas for dog grooming businesses in 2019 and beyond. In particular, Wilmington is an excellent place to invest in a dog grooming business.

6. Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan is a high income area that homes the University of Michigan. There is tons of potential in Ann Arbor considering there are tons of millennial dog owners that live in the area. Did you know that over 60% of millennials buy clothing for their pets? Ann Arbor, Michigan rounds out our top 5 of dog friendly locations for business.

7. St. Petersburg, Florida

Sunny St. Petersburg, Florida is one of the best cities in the world for owning a pet and/or pet franchise. There is tons of things to do in the Tampa and St.Petersburg area for dog owners. There are many dog grooming businesses in the Tampa/St.Pete area, however, none of them stand out which is why this is a great market to invest in as well.

8. Yorba Linda, California

37 miles from downtown Los Angeles in Orange County is the town of Yorba Linda. Orange County’s beautiful landscape and proximity to downtown Los Angeles attracts an affluent group of residents. This group of residents is prominent for their high income and it also helps they nearly 70% of residents are reported to have an animal in the household. Yorba Linda is a fantastic place to invest in a dog business.

9. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina is a fantastic place to live in if you’re a dog/dog owner. Mount Pleasant has one of the highest average income cities in South Carolina, which makes it a great place to own a dog business. If you’re in the South Carolina area, we highly recommend you considering investing in a dog grooming franchise in the Mount Pleasant area.

10. Rochester, New York

best locations to open a dog business

Rochester, New York is a great place for dog business owners. There is tons of potential in Rochester with very little dog grooming competition to speak of. We recommend Rochester because it has one of the largest dog populations in the state of New York. This is a city loaded with dog business potential.

11. Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines is a fantastic place for both dog owners and dog business investors. We love Des Moines because of the high-income and low-competition this city has to offer. Des Moines is one of the strongest investment areas for dog businesses because there is much more demand than there is supply in 2019. If you’re in the midwest and are looking to invest into the dog grooming industry, we highly recommend you check out Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique.

12. Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona is a great place to own a dog because of all the dog parks in the local area. This is a fantastic place to also invest in a dog business, whether it be dog grooming or something else, there is a high demand for eco-friendly dog supplies in this area. Scottsdale, Arizona rounds out our top 10 because there is just too much potential in this town and not enough dog businesses!

13. Milton, Georgia

Milton, Georgia is the highest earning income city in Georgia, right next to Peachtree City, Georgia, which is actually home to one of the most successful Splash and Dash dog grooming locations. We believe Milton has even more potential than the Peachtree City location and that’s saying a lot! If you’re interested in invested in a dog grooming franchise in Georgia, we highly recommend you check out Milton.

14. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Nature may seem like a distant fantasy to city-dwellers, but not for dogs and humans who live in Colorado Springs. Not only are there plenty of dog parks, there are places like the Crags Trail through Pike National Forest, or Seven Falls, a canyon filled with beautiful waterfalls. This is the perfect place to invest in a dog business, there is just so much opportunity in Colorado Springs. It’s an incredible city which is why we included it on our best locations for dog franchises list.

15. Torrance, California

best locations to open a dog businessTorrance, California is a small coastal town in Los Angeles County. Torrance ranks 3rd for average business revenue when compared to every other city across California. Nearly 60% of all citizens in this area have reported owning a dog. This is a great place to invest into, and an even better place to have a dog franchise.

16. Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia is the second largest city in South Carolina which means its a perfect location to invest in a dog business! The people in Columbia love dogs and treat them like family, which works well with the Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique motto “Dogs are treated like family!” This is a great place to own a pet business, and an even greater place to raise a family.

17. Cary, North Carolina

Cary, North Carolina is one of our favorite locations on this list because there is just so much potential. There isn’t too much dog grooming competition in Cary and it’s the perfect time to invest! 2019 will be a huge year for dog businesses, a market that grows on average 10% a year and shows no signs of slowing down!

18. Gainesville, Florida

Gainesville, Florida is another cute “college town” that offers load of doggy potential when you look at the millennial market that spends loads of money on their pups! Many entrepreneurs are surprised at how much money the 25-34 age group spends on their pets, however, they shouldn’t be surprised to find out that a recent study by the Yale University found that nearly 85% of the younger generation considers their pets a part of the family. It’s never been a better time to invest in the dog industry than now.

19. Forest Hills, Tennessee

Forest Hills, Tennessee is one of the highest earning cities in Tennessee. This is the perfect location for a dog grooming business when you look at the lack of competition and possibility of potential in the Forest Hills area. We believe Forest Hills is a “diamond in the rough” considering the average earning income and the lack of competition in the surrounding area. This is one of our favorite investment areas of 2019.

20. San Francisco, California

best locations to open a dog businessThe tech boom has helped San Francisco become one of the strongest business communities in the U.S. You probably interact with many San Francisco-based businesses on a daily basis: AirBnb, Gap, Levi Strauss, Lyft, Twitter, Uber, Square, and Yelp are just a few of the thousands of companies that call San Francisco home.

21. Huntington Woods, Michigan

Huntington Woods, Michigan is another area that has a massive disparity in average income and competition. This works perfectly with the Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique business plan. Splash and Dash likes to target high income areas because they cater to the “boutique” dog grooming industry. Eco friendly dog toys and organic dog treats is what makes Splash and Dash the perfect investment for the Huntington Woods area.

22. Houston, Texas

Houston is one of the biggest dog markets in the world. With over 2 million people living in the greatest Houston area, there is tons of dog business opportunities. There is so many possibilities when you have a high populous area, and Houston is the highest populated city in the big state of Texas. Texas in general is a great place to invest in the dog business, with many dog parks and swimming holes available all over the state.

23. Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida is a massive market that includes multiple sports teams, colleges, and hundreds of thousands of dog owners. This is the perfect location for dog owners and an even better location for dog business investors. High per-capita areas such as Jacksonville, makes it a perfect location for a Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique because the “bath and brush” membership offers the comfort and reliability of monthly revenue.

24. Thousand Oaks, California

Thousand Oaks is located 35 miles northwest of Los Angeles in Ventura County. Thousand oaks actually has the 3rd-highest median household income in California currently. There are several corporate headquarters and regional offices, including Amgen, General Dynamics, Verizon, and Volkswagen. What’s there not to love about Thousand Oaks when you have so much opportunity to invest in such a successful area.

25. Fort Worth, Texas

best locations to open a dog businessFort Worth is another Texas location which is perfect for dog business investments such as dog daycares and dog grooming. Fort Worth is the perfect mix of both Austin and Houston, they offer a good population and average income stream. Last but not least, Fort Worth rounds up our top 25 best US Cities for dog grooming locations list.

dog franchise

The Best Pet Franchises to Invest In Now

There has never been a better time to own a dog franchise. Nearly half of all American Households have dogs, thats an estimated 90 million dogs and growing. Pet ownership has been on the rise every year during the past two decades with no end in sight. All of the factors above contribute to strong revenue growth in the Pet Franchise and dog grooming industry

So what does this information mean for possible pet franchise owners?

Investing and managing your own pet franchise has never been easier. Pet care services is a $80 billion (and growing) industry, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA).

Now is the perfect time to capitalize on the increasing demand and invest in one of the many successful pet franchises available. It’s not only time to achieve your financial goals and dreams, but to exceed them. The best part about owning a pet franchise is that it is one of the most stress-free careers possible, you’re dealing with adorable little doggie clients coming in for their dog grooming. No more typical office job, your daily routine will look completely different compared to corporate America.

should i invest in a dog groomer franchise

Should I invest in a pet franchise?

This depends, are you a pet/animal lover? The most successful franchisees are in love with dogs. This isn’t a skill that can be taught, however it is one needed to be truly successful in the pet franchise industry. No matter how much franchise training is completed, you need to be passionate about animals.

Do you need previous business experience?

Although previous business ownership is not required, it is important for a prospective franchisee to have the ability to make quick decisions and show good judgement. You want to be involved in the community in whichever city you end up operating your dog franchise in. It is important to be respectful and respected by the community in order to become a successful franchise.

dog groomer investments

What are the Pros and Cons of owning a Pet Franchise?


  • The biggest advantage of buying into an established franchise is the strength of the brand and loyalty of the customers.
  • Marketing support, Franchises often have the support of a national campaign, as well as prepared marketing materials for a local campaign.
  • The business support, there’s a saying in franchising “You’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself”, this is important because it’s less-stressful when you know you have a network of support always behind you.
  • Training, this is important because they know the best techniques to become the most successful franchisee possible.
  • Financial assistance, this is great because many franchisors provide loans and other assistance to help franchisees.
  • Billionaire Investors such as Jimmy Buffett (Krispy Kreme) recommend investing in franchises that have the most yearly growth.


  • The initial payout is always inevitable, however some Franchise fees and start-up costs can be very expensive.
  • Royalty payments can be also very expensive, and as long as you are a franchisee you will have to pay some percentage of the monthly gross back to the franchisor.
  • Limited Creativity can also become a factor considering most franchise contracts have very explicit standards (however this isn’t the biggest “con” considering these are usually in place for you to be as successful as possible, franchisors know the most successful techniques and they WANT you to be successful).


What is the best pet franchise for me to invest in?

Now that you have decided you want to invest in a franchise, specially a pet franchise, which one is the best franchise to invest in? We have chosen the best and most successful pet franchises available to invest in. All of these franchises have their own “pros” and “cons” so it’s ultimately up to you as the investor to choose which one best suits you.

franchise investment dogs

The Best Pet Franchises (no specific order)



Dogtopia is one of the biggest names when it comes to Dog Franchises, and for good reason.

Dogtopia is an award-winning dog daycare, boarding and spa provider. Dogtopia, prides itself on being a place where pets are valued as family and dogs enjoy playtime. Dogtopia does not breed discriminate and welcomes social dogs of all ages, sizes, and abilities. The company was founded by Amy Nichols in 2002 and began franchising in 2005.

From the Dogtopia website:

“Our modern facilities provide a health, safe and fun environment for dogs to socialize and play in, supervised by a highly trained and loving team. Our multiple, spacious playrooms allow us to separate our guests by size and temperaments.”

Dogtopia Pros:

  • Their target customer is the largest demographic in North American history – the female millennial, the secondary customer is the second largest, the baby boomer.
  • Strong business model with labor costs as the only key variable expense
  • Best-practice sharing workshops with leading franchises.
  • Being one of the biggest names means good brand recognition

Dogtopia Cons:

  • High turnover rate, which leads to owners having to constantly train more employees (quoted by a former employee)
  • The main problem with accepting every breed of dog no matter what is that many can cause conflicts and this can end with dogs being injured (or worse) from fights. (quoted by a CURRENT employee)
  • Overall negative employee outlook about the company and the high reported incidents of dog bites and dog fights.
  • Huge Upfront Investment (Nearly 200% greater upfront investment needed compared to the competitors on this list).


Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique is a relatively new and fast growing dog franchise that has been breaking growth records along the way. Splash and Dash has been featured in the Inc. Magazine’s 500 list of the country’s fastest-growing companies, not once but three times.

From the Splash and Dash website:

“Walking into a Splash and Dash is a unique experience. A bright and eye-pleasing color palette is the first thing customers notice – an inviting, upscale ambiance. Splash and Dash offers the healthiest all-natural foods and treats for their dogs. The toys are eco-friendly. The haircuts are adorable. Remarkable, the prices are affordable and very competitive compared to other pet franchises.”

Splash and Dash Pros:

  • The signature service membership is one of a kind and easily the biggest advantage when investing in a Splash and Dash franchise. No other franchise has anything like this. The signature service offers customers unlimited monthly bath & brush for a fixed price, which means a shop owner profits from the signature service with a recurring revenue stream.
  • Top of the line IT support and Proprietary software, this allows the owner to know that a franchisor is always 100% behind you. Their proprietary software helps a franchise owner run and operate their business, a key element for success. Shop owners receive extensive training to learn the Splash and Dash terminal software and have the corporate team at their disposal for IT support.
  • The marketing resources provided by Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique allow the franchises to be backed with a proven business plan. The company aims for franchisees to break even, six months after opening.
  • The online reviews are always 4 & 5 star unlike many other dog groomers. This is because of the extensive training and small business-type model Splash and Dash have created. The best thing that comes from these online ratings is that your Splash and Dash will rate the highest on Google Search so that customers will always see your business at the top naturally.
  • Modest overall investment compared to the competitors on this list. Low initial franchise fee.

Splash and Dash Cons:

  • Being a new and growing company means that Splash and Dash doesn’t have the highest name recognition yet.
  • Strict guidelines that are emphasized in order to keep franchisees on track, although this has been very successful for Splash and Dash dog franchisees in the past.
  • Big-Box competition from warehouse pet stores like Petco, although these type of dog groomers don’t offer niche products and services like small-scale franchises.


Camp Bow Wow

Camp Bow Wow provides a fun, safe and upscale environment for dogs to play, romp and receive lots of love and attention. They provide doggy day camp for clients wishing to drop their dogs off in the morning and pack them up in the evening, as well as overnight boarding for travels.

From the Camp Bow Wow website:

“Overnight campers play in the day camp program during the day and have their own individual cabins at night. Some of our camps also offer a variety of other services including grooming, training, and an assortment of retail items, including Camp Bow Wow branded dog bowls, collars, clothing, bandanas and more.”

Camp Bow Wow Pros:

  • Overnight dog boarding is a great service provided by Camp Bow Wow that isn’t common for many dog franchises.
  • Facilities are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Great business model that comes with good brand recognition.

Camp Bow Wow Cons:

  • Unfortunately the biggest “con” on this list is that the CEO Christina Russell has one of the worst ratings (2.6 out of 5) on Glassdoor. This can negatively impact the outlook possible future consumers can have on your franchise.
  • “Not a good screening program for dogs so some were very mean and hostile, breaking up dog fights and not being allowed to get band-aids from bleeding”. (quoted by a former employee).
  • Similar to Dogtopia and Woof Gang Bakery, there is a very high turnover rate which involves more training needed for new hires, and more bad reviews by former employees which gives your franchise a bad name.


Woof Gang Bakery

Woof Gang Bakery is a specialty retailer of pet food, pet-related supplies and pet grooming. The company is committed to the well-being, health and happiness of pets. Woof Gang Bakery is considered a dog spa while maintaining the dog franchise tag within local communities. Woof Gang Bakery Dog Franchise is mostly located in the South-Eastern part of the United States, with many of those locations being in Florida.

From the Woof Gang Bakery website:

“At Woof Gang Bakery, we know that pets are a part of our families, our faithful companions and they bring us great joy. We’ll help you show your love and appreciation for their unconditional affection and devotion.”

Woof Gang Bakery Pros:

  • Woof Gang Bakery offers quality products and a unique concept that aligns with a growing, million dollar industry.
  • Extensive training provided so that you can operate your own successful Woof Gang Bakery dog spa.
  • Woof Gang Bakery dog spa assists you with site selection.

Woof Gang Bakery Cons:

  • Brand recognition is very limited to only the South-Eastern part of the united states which is already overpopulated with Woof Gang Bakery dog spas.
  • Similar to Camp Bow Wow and Dogtopia, there is a very high turnover rate which leads to the need for owners to consistently train new employees. “Owner is very unprofessional, the high turnover rate with show that” (quoted by former employee).
  • Although it’s a small-business pet spa franchise, the CEO operates Woof Gang Bakery pet spa like it’s a corporation with very strict guidelines that owners must follow. “and to corporate, it is dangerous to put clueless people in charge of an animal’s well being, you should be fully educating your franchisees”. (quoted by a former employee).

pet groomer franchises comparison

The Final Say

Before deciding to own a pet franchise or dog franchise, one should do their due diligence and research prospective companies from inside out. Understanding how consumers already feel about a certain pet franchise and brand should be very important to a prospective franchisee. Also, understanding how current and former employees feel about the franchise should give you a great inside look on how operating a specific dog franchise will be like.

Investors should have a comprehensive understanding of local store marketing and community involvement to drive sales and a clear understanding of the real estate development process. Owning a pet franchise can be a very rewarding experience for an investor who is passionate about animals.