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Getting your pet into showbiz: A beginner’s guide

22 November 2021

Whether your puppy has outstanding obedience training or your cat has a stand-out look, you might be considering introducing your pet to the showbiz world. This growing industry has seen many animals turn from much-loved pets to TV, film or modelling stars overnight, and earning the fees to match. 

So, if you’re looking to turn your pet into an animal actor or model, where do you start?

Does your pet have star quality?

As with almost everything, COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the growth of pet influencers. With customers You, and maybe even your friends and family, love your pet, but whether they have star qualities or not is a question you need to consider objectively. Being an animal actor or model can be demanding at times, so certain personalities may find the experience more stressful than rewarding.

To ensure your pet will get the most from being in the showbiz industry, they need to have the following qualities: 

Good temperament:
When a pet is on set for a shoot, they will come into contact with strange sounds, smells and people. Despite this, pet stars need to remain professional and perform, whatever their surrounding environment. Therefore, having a good temperament is an essential quality of any pet star, particularly around other animals or strangers. 

Basic level of training:
No matter how young your pet star may be, it’s important that they can obey basic commands (such as sit, stay and lie-down) reliably. This ensures that they can be controlled on set and that the client gets the content they need easily. 

Happy to be handled:
Whether they’re lead-trained or happy to be held by strangers, any animal that wants to be a pet star needs to be comfortable being handled by strangers. 

Previous camera experience:
Even if it’s just you taking the photos, pet stars need to be used to posing in front of the camera and not be tempted to lick or sniff the lens! 

If your pet has all of these qualities, then following the tips below will help you take the first steps into the showbiz industry.

Promote their unique talents

What makes your pet stand out from the crowd? Is it their funny, energetic character? Do they have a cool, stylish look? Or can they perform as many tricks as Houdini? Whatever their unique talents are, you need to make them front and centre of your pet’s resume to help them stand out from other actors and models. 

Having been our companions for thousands of years, our brains are wired to respond and be empathetic towards Even if your pet has no previous experience, creating a resume that highlights these qualities will help them to get noticed. Consider paying for a shoot or taking some video to showcase these talents too.

Gain obedience awards

To help clients feel reassured that your pet won’t misbehave on set, consider entering them into an obedience competition or certification scheme. Even if your pet can only do the basics, an obedience award will show agencies and clients that they can do them well and reliably. 

For the more advanced tricksters, focus on certain talents to make your pet suitable for a range of briefs. Being handled by strangers (including children), maintaining obedience around food and the ability to learn tricks quickly are all fantastic qualities for a pet to have.

Start a beauty routine

True stars don’t just perform great, they look great too. Ensuring your pet star has a regular beauty routine will mean they always look good on set. Invest in grooming products and appointments, give them a bath if they get dirty or start to smell and ensure their claws and fur are well maintained.

Find some experience

Just like any actor or model, getting a range of experience is key to getting more work with better clients (and higher fees). Follow pet talent agents on social media and keep an eye out for casting calls, get in touch with local photographers and videographers to see if they have any jobs and be prepared to accept unpaid opportunities to get some experience on your pets resume.

Choose a reputable agent

From promoting your pet on social media to booking them jobs with big brands, employing a reputable pet talent agent will help to kickstart your pet’s showbiz career. As well as promoting your pet and their talents to their clients, agents will also guarantee the welfare of your pet and ensure they’re safe while working on set. 

Although agents will charge you regular fees for their services, they’ll handle any marketing, bookings and give you access to their expertise and clients, making it entirely worthwhile. 

As the UK’s largest pet talent agency, you can trust us to find the best jobs for your pet star. To find out more, get in touch with our expert team by calling 020 8161 6556 or emailing info@urbanpawsireland.com

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Sign up with Ireland’s leading animal talent agency! Add your pet to our “talent for hire” directory now and let their star shine!

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We’re constantly seeking fresh human talent, and if you believe you and your furry companion have the skills, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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