Dumb and Dumber Predicted the Dog-Grooming Van Boom

Dumb and Dumber, 1994 Courtesy New Line/Everett Collection

In the 1994 comedy Dumb and Dumber, Jeff Daniels’s character Harry Dunne spends his life savings converting a utility van into a mobile dog-grooming business—called Mutt Cutts and made up to look like a sheepdog—then ditches the business to go goofballing across the country with Jim Carrey. That is to say, Dunne is a classic case of an entrepreneur who gives up on a good idea too soon.
In the two decades between the first movie and the sequel, Dumb and Dumber To, which opens Friday, what Americans spend on pets exploded to $56 billion last year, from $17 billion in 1994, according to the American Pet Products Association. Meanwhile, the number of pet-care businesses—groomers, trainers, kennels, and doggy day-care centers—more than doubled to 14,000 from 1998 to 2012.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.