Jobs Working with Animals

There are many ways to spend your days at jobs working with animals while earning a decent living. Even the jobs that require little or no education can provide a substantial income.

Have you been trying to decide what jobs you can do that let you work with animals? Depending on your current skills, whether or not you want to attend school or even if you would like to do something on your own, there are a number jobs working with animals.

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Here is a list of ideas if you are considering a career with animals:

Veterinarian:

A veterinarian is responsible for the medical care of people’s pets.  It requires 6 years of University as well as a Veterinary License.  You can work in a veterinary hospital or in a veterinary practice for someone else. Other employment options include animal rescues, zoos (requires additional studies for exotic animals) or you can open your own practice.

Veterinary Technician:

Veterinary Technicians work alongside veterinarians. They assist with preparing animals for surgery, doing lab work and caring for animals pre and post-surgery. Some also provide basic dental care.  Becoming a Vet Tech requires a 2-year education.  Vet Techs are employed at veterinary practices, veterinary hospitals, animal rescues and zoos (requires additional studies). 

Veterinary Assistant

A Veterinary Assistant is responsible for the basic care of the animals in a veterinary hospital.  They assist with the care and recovery of pre and post operative pets. Duties include ensuring the kennels are thoroughly cleaned, the dogs are walked and that they have been fed according to veterinary instruction. They perform any general care responsibilities required for the animals.  Vet Assistants may be asked to perform some of the office work, make phone calls to pet parents, book appointments and take payments.

Pet Store Associate

As a pet store associate, you would work with the animals in the store as well as serve customers.  You will learn about the care and feeding needs of a variety of animals. The job includes assisting people with the needs of their own pets. You may also provide instructions regarding the pets that they are purchasing.  You may work as a cashier or stocking shelves, or a combination of a variety of these duties. Usually, the only education required is a high school diploma or equivalent.

Dog Trainer

A dog trainer assists pet owners with the training of their puppies or adult dogs.  In some cases, you may be training a support, service or guide dog. These require very specific skills as they will be working with people who have physical and emotional challenges.  Dog training requires no formal education. Most learn through apprenticeship programs that provide on-the-job learning. There are online training courses to gain a basic understanding of the job, followed by practical training.  It takes many hours to develop the skills needed to work with the animals as well as the people who care for them.

Pet Groomer

A pet groomer will bathe and cut your pet’s fur/hair. They will remove matting, clip nails, clean ears and, in some cases, express anal glands to avoid impaction.  A dog groomer can work in association with a veterinary practice, at a grooming salon or in a pet store. They can choose to work out of their own home or even have a mobile service set up with a modified van.  There are many self-employment opportunities once you have the necessary experience caring for the animals. It is also important to learn how to interact with the pet parents.

The education required can be obtained via an online certification program. This includes a practical placement guided by an established groomer. An apprenticeship program with an established groomer is a very common way to learn grooming skills. Another option is by working in a pet store that provides grooming where you could train with the in-house grooming staff. 

Pet Sitter

Many people struggle to find pet care for their animals when they are out of town.  There are a lot of pets that do not do well in a shelter or with other animals. The best solution for them is to stay in their own home.  Pet parents will hire an individual to stay in their home and provide full time care for their pets. 

There is no formal education required for this position. Usually you would have to have some pet care experience, a referral from someone who knows your animal care background and a criminal background check. It is also recommended that you have pet care business insurance to cover you for liability.  You can find jobs through agencies or create your own business through advertising and word of mouth. 

Doggy Daycare

Doggy Daycares are becoming very popular.  These are places where people can bring their dogs to be cared for during the day. Many offer overnight stays or boarding while the famiily is away.  Working in a doggy daycare does not require a formal education, but experience with animals is a bonus.  You can be trained on-the-job to gain this experience. 

Home doggy daycares are a self-employment option if you have the space for the dogs to move around and play in the house as well as a big enough yard for them to get some exercise.   Experience caring for groups of dogs is recommended as it requires a lot of organization and supervision. Most jobs working with animals will require a criminal background check. Pet care insurance would be advisable when caring for other people’s pets.

If you prefer not to fully run your own business, you can register with an agency like Rover.com who will connect you with people searching for daycare or boarding for their pets as well as insure your business.  You will still choose your own rates, hours and clients, but you will spend less time and money on advertising and insurance.

Dog Walker
Jobs working with animals include  grooming, dog walking, boarding and doggy daycare.
Jobs working with animals include dog walking, boarding and doggy daycare.

A dog walker will travel from home to home picking up the dog and taking him/her for a daily walk.  These walks may be individual or as a group.  It takes some experience to build up to groups of 5, so you should start with one or two and when you become confident, add more.

There are many agencies, such as Rover.com that connect the families with a suitable walker.  You can register with one of these agencies or you can own and operate your own dog walking business.  The agency will require some pet care experience, a few references and a criminal background check.  In exchange for a percentage of your hourly rate, they will pay for you to be insured and provide you with many leads to people who require pet care.  You will still choose your own rates, hours, days and clients, but without the added pressure of advertising and insurance payments.

Pet Photographer

It is becoming more and more popular to have pet portraits taken. People want specialized cards for Christmas, Mother’s Day, Birthdays or Valentine’s Day.  Pet photographers are hired for advertising, social media and marketing campaigns.  The ability to capture great pet photographs will provide you with the opportunity to sell them. You can sell on various platforms including Adobe Stock, Shutter Stock, Dreamstime or Getty Images.  You can work for yourself or you can find a job working for a photography studio.

Pet Treat Baker

Into baking?  Creating healthy, homemade dog treats can be a great business.  You can open your own shop or work from home.  This would require that your kitchen pass health and safety requirements.  As pet-oriented shops are opening in a number of cities, this business may allow you to find a job as an associate or baker in one of these locations.

Pet Massage Therapist

Many pets, especially rescues, are very anxious.  They find it difficult to relax.  They may be very sensitive to touch, depending on their experiences. Massage helps the animals to relax and learn to trust the touch of a human hand. It will also provide relief to pets with medical issues such as arthritis or hip dysplasia.  Massage will help an animal in the same ways that it helps a human. You may also work with pet parents to show them how they can massage their pets to help them to become comfortable at home. 

There is no specific education or licensing requirements for pet massage therapy. Online courses are available as well as the option to be an apprentice. By working with an experienced therapist you will learn the best practices. Employment opportunities are found in pet massage clinics. Once you have acquired the proper skills and experience you could open your own business. It is recommended that you obtain the proper insurance with any form of self-employment.

Doga Instructor

Recently, I am hearing more and more about Doga.  This is a form of yoga that you practice with your pet.  If you are already a yoga instructor, you can provide Doga classes for people and their dogs.  If you would like to become a Doga instructor, you can take a 200 or 400 hour online yoga instructor training course.  Once you become a yoga instructor, you can incorporate Doga into your classes. There are jobs available in yoga studios or in gyms. Once you have gained experience and are aware of the business requirements, you could opt to open your own studio. Some instructors choose to provide online courses for people who prefer practicing at home.

Pet Blogger

If you have a lot of experience with pets you can start a pet blog.  You can teach others if you are passionate about pet care and needs. If you enjoy writing you can share your knowledge and experiences about the various pets you have cared for.  You can write about any jobs you have had working with animals. Your niche can be about many pets or a very specific species. You could also choose a niche that revolves around pets, such as pet foods or grooming.  Many people who provide a service for pets also run a blog about their experiences. These blogs offer information to pet parents who may have questions or concerns about their pet’s care. 

Creating a blog takes only a few minutes and has very few costs associated with start-up.  You can make a part-time or full-time income from a blog.  Your earnings will depend on the time you have available to devote to your blog. This includes writing informative content and promoting it to an audience of pet parents.

There are many ways to spend your days at jobs working with animals while earning a decent living.  Even the jobs that require little or no education can provide a substantial income.  Many, such as grooming, walking, massage, Doga or baking, can be done on a part-time or flexible basis while attending school or working another job.

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