“Follow your passion and money will follow you.” Timothy Etsabo is one person who decided to adhere to this adage by focusing on what he had always desired from his childhood; keeping and staying with dogs.
Timothy started this business of dealing with dogs officially in 2018 after getting the necessary certification and authorisation from the relevant authorities. Interestingly, he never saw it as a business but just a hobby.
“This started as a hobby; I have had a passion for dogs since I was young. Later in life, I was able to afford Pedigree Breeds. When they got puppies, friends got really interested and paid good money hence; I saw it as a business opportunity and started breeding more” Timothy tells city biz adding that “The new dog owners always called for food supplies and dog accessories making me also venture into pet food store”
At the moment, Timothy is concentrating on keeping Japanese Spitz and German shepherd.
His reason? “Majority of my friends and customers prefer pet dogs (Japanese Spitz) and family-friendly dogs/ guard dogs (German shepherd)”
Most of Timothy’s clients are his friends who then refer other clients to him. However, the resident of Upper Hill estate has also exploited social media platforms and gotten good deals. Through his social media handles K9 Creations, he has managed to grow his business through more breeds.
“I have seen the potential in social media as the market is wide and you get more exposure” Timothy observes
The average price for a three-month-old German shepherd puppy is Sh50,000. These are fully vaccinated (complete with a vaccination card), registered, dewormed.
For Japanese Spitz puppies, the price for a three-month-old puppy is Sh15,000. Currently, Timothy has 18 grown dogs.
However, earnings depend on the number of puppies and quality as well because some clients are sensitive on what they want. There are guidelines to the number of puppies a bitch should deliver which are issued by the East Africa Kennel Club and which dog breeders like Timothy are required to adhere to. A bitch should deliver once every 18 months to two years.
“The more bitches you have, you can do a rotation based on the guidelines to have constant puppy supply in short periods from different bitches” he discloses.
Timothy claims that on average, he can make about Sh250,000 in a good month; by selling a minimum of five German shepherd puppies and an average of Sh120,000 from selling Japanese Spitz. This leads to an average of Sh370,000 a month
However, Timothy claims that he always gets more money from his pet food store than even from his puppies. In a good month, he can make about Sh400,000.
“The pet food store is very reliable when there are no puppies to sell as it caters for expenses and costs of running the business”
For Timothy, it is not possible to succeed in this type of business without passion and patience. He advises that starting this form of business without passion and patience will be difficult- it can’t just work.
“I believe even in other lines of business, you just have to love what you do and the drive comes automatically” Timothy tells City Biz.
Timothy goes on to claim that he has refused offers exceeding Sh400,000 for his imported German Shepherd which he uses for his stud business and which is now four years old. He says he is sentimentally attachment to this dog.
The major cost and expenses for running this business are dog food and someone who takes care of them.
“I spend a minimum of Sh50,000 a month to pay someone who takes care of the dogs plus food. Dogs have to be fed well with calcium boosters, deworming pills, dog shampoos, grooming shampoos, and cleaning detergents since dog breeding needs top-notch quality”
Due to this high demand, Timothy has initiated programmes to expand his business even more by keeping more breeds, dog food supply stores not only in Upper Hill where he stays but also in other parts of the country.
“My dream is to expand this business into other parts of the country with constant supply of dogs and their food portions,” says Etsabo.