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When you’re a 30-something living in one of the most expensive places in the world during a time of economic uncertainty, a side hustle can be a necessity.

Many people take a part-time job in retail or food service out of necessity, but even when I was broke as a joke, I know that wasn’t the path for me. I’m a homebody who thrives on time spent on the couch with a dog in my lap. Even though finances were tight, I had two doggos at home and the idea of being apart from them a lot was a deal-breaker for me.

We were younger then. I was blonder. Filled with wide-eyed dreams and student loan debt.

I didn’t start out blogging as a business. In fact, 10 years ago (in the dark ages) when I started, blogging for profit was barely a thing.

It was certainly uncommon in the pet industry. Instead, I started taking canine nutrition classes through a University online. My goal was to be able to feed my own dogs better – and to help other dogs owners navigate the murky world of pet food and for a few years, I did. Working with local vets and pet food stores, I helped pet parents manage elimination diets, trying new foods and helping them to define what a high quality, healthy pet diet meant to them.

But I was answering the same questions a lot and it was bothering me to charge families who just wanted to give their pets the best for my help. Many times, I saw owners grab something cheap and easy for their own dinner while grabbing top of the food for the dog.

I can’t state strongly enough how terrible cell phone photos were when I started and how absolutely terrible my dogs were at posing.

These days, Kol’s Notes is more about fun than function.

My passion for food – human and canine – persists, but now I’ve channelled it into homemade dog treat recipes and dehydrator dog treat ideas. I discovered a love of design and find the process of creating craft tutorials to be a dream come true. The evolution has allowed me to grow my blog from a quiet corner of the internet to a thriving side-hustle. Who says you can’t mix business with pleasure? I wake up every day feeling amazed and blessed I get to come here and do this with you guys.

There are so many ways you can turn a passion for pets into a profitable side-hustle.

Dog Walking

Photo by from Pexels

Everyone I know works more than they’d like to and sometimes that can mean their furry best friend is left at home alone. Hiring a dog walker can be a great way to make sure your dog is getting the stimulation they need.

But expect pet parents to be very, very fussy about who they give their house keys to – and even fussier about who they’ll allow to walk their precious pooch.

Expect to need: A criminal record check to be bonded & insured, and to have killer references. Certifications in pet first aid and training can be a huge asset.

Where to find work: Sites like Rover can help match dog owners to walkers in their area, but for trusted recommendations, ask your own pet care providers if they’d allow you to put up signs and consider using you as a client referral.


I am IN LOVE with this new trend of homeowners with awesome dog-friendly yards renting them out so apartment dwellers, travellers and dogs who just love discovering new smells can explore. People will pay you to hang out in your yard!

This low-key, passive side hustle doesn’t even require you to be home when your yard is used for a sniffing adventure.

Expect to need: A well maintained, fenced pet-friendly yard and liability insurance.

Where to find guests:

Handmade Pet Products

I made dis. With my own two hands and one of Felix’s paws.

If you’re crafty like me, you might find your calling in creating handmade products from pets. Handmade is HOT right now. Whatever crafty talent you have can easily be turned into handmade collars, custom-designed dog toys, ceramic bowls and more! Don’t stop at things for the dog, include products like jewelry and apparel for pet owners and you could have a home run. The only limit to what you can make and sell is your own imagination.

Expect to need: Enough space to make and store crafts, a website or another space to market & sell your creations and the ability to travel to local markets to sell your wares.

How to get started: Research markets in your area, build your own website or sign up for Etsy. Start creating and listing your products for pets that were made with love.

Pet Sitting

Photo by Christian Domingues from Pexels

Being away from your pet is hard and many pet owners are turning to pet sitters to give their pet all the comforts of home while they’re away. Pet sitters can host pets in their own home or stay at clients homes depending on the situation.

Expect to need: A criminal record check to be bonded & insured, and to have killer references. Certifications in pet first aid and training can be a huge asset.

Where to find work: Sites like Rover, Fetch Pet Care and Cares can help match pet sitters to clients, but personal recommendations can’t be beat. Ask your network of trusted friends and family to recommend you.

Pet Photography or Artist

Painted by the fabulous AJ at Fly Away Pip

If you’ve got mad skills when it comes to art or photography, this is something pet parents will pay you handsomely for. Pets are notoriously hard to capture an amazing photo of, so dedicated pet photographers are taking over the scene with tried and true techniques to get the perfect shot, while pet-centric artists are bringing pet personalities to life in one of a kind portraits.

Expect to need: The tools of your trade be it a great camera and editing equipment for photographers or paint, pencils and digital design software for artists.

How to find work: Photographers & artists can partner with pet-friendly venues on one of a kind events, advertise on Facebook and offer services through ads. Art can be sold through your own website or on etsy.

Pet Treat Baker

Do you love to work in the kitchen? Is making pets happy right up your alley? You might just love baking homemade pet treats in your spare time. You can even make iced treats that look like human cookies using dog treat specific pet-friendly icings!

Expect to need: Cottage baking and pet treat laws vary by states, so you’ll need to contact your department of AG, as well as make sure you’re covered with liability insurance.

Where to sell treats: Try selling treats at local farmers markets and craft fairs. Try approaching local pet-friendly businesses like dog daycares, pet stores and dog parks for more ways to sell. Facebook pages and online stores can also be wildly successful.

Pet Writer or Blogger

Pet blogging has changed my life. If you have a passion for words and pest, this just might be the side hustle for you. It’s not without its ups and downs though. . I love it because it pushes me to find new experiences for Kol and me to share (then write about) and it means work time, is also cuddle time. There’s not a single post on this site that wasn’t written with a puggle in my lap.

Expect to need: a computer, a camera and a willingness to share your expertise

How to get started: When Kol’s Notes was born, there was almost no info out there. Learning how to create, write and market your own blog can come with a bit of a steep learning curving. Luckily, Carol Bryant and Maggie Marton are taking the guesswork out of pet blogging with their new book, Pet Blogging for Love and Money. They’ve been doing this as long as I have (or longer) and know exactly what it takes to build a successful, profitable pet blog. It’s a fantastic resource for new pet bloggers or bloggers who want to take the next step to level up their fledgling blog filled with actionable tips, real advice and you can join their Facebook group for a ton of encouragement. (And I’m not just saying that because I was honoured to be featured in one of the chapters.)

Do you want to work with pets for love, not for money?

So many shelters and rescue organizations are understaffed and underfunded. They need you.

Your skills and time can be so valuable to these groups as a volunteer. Today, I’ll be joining the Surrey Animal Resource Centre at it’s first-ever Home Fur the Holidays event. Yesterday, we sent 43 pets to their forever homes. With less than 20 pets to go, it’s our dearest hope to clear the shelter this weekend. My experience as an event planner, along with a team of amazing volunteers, allows me to make the most of these events and help free up shelter staff to do the important work: adoption counseling and matching each pet in our care to their perfect family. These events wouldn’t be possible without volunteers, nor would the shelter’s day to day operations which rely on volunteers to help provide care and enrichment. I can’t think of a better place to give of my time and my heart.

Monday update: This weekend SARC was able to place every single adoptable cat and dog in their care in a new home, as well as many of the guinea pigs, rabbits, and other animals in their care.

Do you have a pet-related side hustle?

Share it! We’d love to hear about what you do, why you love it and how you got into it in the comments!

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