How to Make a Petting Zoo

Updated March 21, 2017

Animal lovers often enjoy a trip to their local petting zoo. It gives them an opportunity to be near their favourite farm animals and to engage with them on a regular basis. Those who do not have local petting zoos may be considering making one. A petting zoo can be a profitable and enjoyable business.

Establish a business plan. Determine how much you will charge for admission fees, how much buying the property and animal housing you desire will cost, how much it will cost to care for the animals and whether you will need to hire employees.

Secure property large enough for your petting zoo. The size of the property should be determined by the number and type of animals you wish to have (for example, horses need more room than pigs). A standard petting zoo is anywhere from 10 acres to 20 acres.

Build stalls and fenced areas that can accommodate the animals. Make sure the building you acquire can also house all the feed and the cleaning supplies necessary to properly care for the animals. Set up sanitising stations for visitors as they enter and leave the petting zoo.

Register your petting zoo business with your local government licensing agency and obtain a business permit or license and purchase petting zoo insurance. Then, begin advertising using your new business name, location and hours of operation. To do this, you can use social media, media marketing, TV or radio commercials, flyers or word of mouth.

Purchase, rent or adopt the animals you desire to be in your petting zoo. Generally, non-hostile farm animals are used in petting zoos. Post instructional signs on how to pet, feed or handle each animal and keep the contact information for an emergency and regular farm veterinarian close at hand in case of an accident and for routine farm animal checkups.

Brief all employees on how to handle emergency situations and on common petting zoo procedures for your business. Launch your petting zoo.

Things You'll Need

  • Petting zoo insurance
  • Business permit/license
  • Property
  • Housing for animals
  • Sanitising station
  • Animals
  • Animal food
  • Veterinary contact information
  • Instructional signs
  • Advertising collateral
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About the Author

Tessa Holmes has been writing professionally since 2007. Her short stories and articles have been published on and in the "Cypress Dome." She has worked with the "Florida Review." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Central Florida.