There are many people out there who love pets. However, for some pet parents, their love for dogs is so great that they want to carry it into their career. If you are incredibly passionate about your Fido or pets in general, there are a few different ways you can get into a field that supports your pet-oriented goals and find jobs to work with dogs.
Some jobs may require you to get a certificate or participate in training (such as dog training certifications), while others simply need you to be a huge pup-lover. From entry level jobs to professional work and experienced careers, there's a way for you to apply your love for animals to a worthwhile position.
Whether you want to work with dogs and their owners or simply work one on one with canines, there is a job out there that will meet your needs. Maybe you want a job in the veterinary field, or perhaps you're more interested in playing with pups and keeping them active? Here are six ideas for how you can start your career working with canines.
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6 Best Jobs For Passionate Dog Owners
1. Dog Walkers
This is one of the most basic jobs you can do that involves pups. Dog walkers will walk dogs or take them to the park while their owners are busy. There's not really any training or certification required for this job, but you should have plenty of experience with dogs.
You should be familiar with how to walk canines, of course, but if you have dogs of your own this should be a piece of cake – the walking part, at least! The thing you'll need to remember when looking for this kind of job is that places don't typically hire for this position. You'll need to be proactive and put yourself out there.
Dog walking is similar to starting any other small business! This can be daunting for many people, but with a little research, you'll be okay. Be prepared to advertise your services, either in local ads or with your own website and social media. This is how you'll get customers and make your dream a full-time job!
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2. Veterinary Technician
A veterinary technician assists a veterinarian in their offices, working with a variety of pets. They may run the front desk, process lab work, care for animals after surgery, take x-rays, and monitor pets while at the vet's office. Multi-tasking is common in this job!
Becoming a veterinary technician usually requires two years of school culminating in an Associate's of Science degree for Veterinary Technology.
If you want to go into this field, make sure you attend a school accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association's Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.
This will allow you to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination after graduating, giving you a boost to proper job placement!
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3. Pet Sitters
This is another job you can do with little to no experience. Pet sitters will watch someone's pets, either in their own home or the pet sitters' home, while they are away. This could be overnight, for a vacation, or even for months at a time.
Pet sitters are also used on a daily basis to walk or let dogs out during the day if their owner works long hours. If you want to be a pet sitter, you'll need to be comfortable with all kinds of pets – including various breeds of dogs. You should also have your own transportation.
Like dog walkers, you'll need to advertise your services yourself. One way to help yourself stand out among other pet sitters is to get insurance covering your services. This protects your clients in case of an accident, and shows you are a responsible contractor!
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4. Pet Groomers
Professional pet groomers are always in high-demand, especially for dogs with thick, unruly coats. A professional dog groomer will bathe, clip, and style dogs (and sometimes other animals too). They also need to be prepared to brush teeth, clip nails, and express anal glands.
Groomers can have a set location at a pet store or office, or they can be mobile, going to the dog using a van or truck. Although places do hire groomers to work for their company, many groomers are self-employed and treat their work as their own small business.
To start grooming, you'll need some training or experience. The National Dog Groomers Association of America has many certification programs and workshops to give you the training you need to get started. Be prepared to spend some money when you first go into this field, as you'll need to pay for:
- grooming supplies including brushes, shampoos, etc…
- a space to work
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5. Pet Photographers
Yes, this is a real job! Many people love to immortalize their pet in a beautiful photograph, so photographers are needed to capture the right moment. Pet photographers will have special skills in order to keep a dog's attention, capture them in motion, and more.
Photographers typically work as a self-employed contractor, and will have their own small business that they promote themselves in order to get clients and work. Photographers do not necessarily need to have formal training or schooling, but they do need to have a portfolio that wows. Examples of your best photographs of dogs are going to be what cinches the deal when getting new clients.
Don't forget that you will also need to have great equipment; this is a big part of getting the perfect shot. A high-end camera, flashes, and other attachments are going to be required. It's not cheap to get started, but once you build your business, you can start making pretty decent money working with pets.
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6. Dog Trainers
Here another popular option for people who have experience with their own pets. While you should have some training and certification before starting this job, experience training your own pup is going to be a great foundation.
As a dog trainer, you'll help other families teach their pet commands and basic obedience. Be prepared to work with all types of dogs, including incredibly stubborn ones!
To get started, you should have personal experience, but you'll also want to attend various workshops on dog training. Before you try to find clients, take the certification test available with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers to show you are truly an experienced candidate.
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Finding jobs to work with canines (or other pets) is not as difficult as it seems. Just like with any other career, you need to know exactly what you want, and spend some time learning the industry and the job itself before you completely dive into it.
With these six jobs, you have plenty of options available for working with animals, including dogs! Depending on how much time and effort you want to put into schooling and certification, these jobs can be a great fit.
Before you quit your day job, however, see if you can shadow someone in these fields for some time to learn more. It's best to start part-time or as a hobby and see if this new career choice is really for you. Once you're ready, start planning accordingly.
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