Talk to any dog lover who has a job working with dogs and you will find someone who knows the true meaning of job satisfaction. Their canine clients, whilst sometimes challenging, are endlessly affectionate, lovable and rewarding. You would be surprised by the variety of in-demand jobs for dog lovers. If you can imagine yourself in a job that involves working with dogs, read on to see some options that are available to you.
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Jobs for Dog Lovers Looking to Work with Dogs
Now when we talk about working with dogs, I should point out that there are many varied options available, some easier than others.
For example, if you are looking for a life-long career, then these jobs usually require training and qualifications. Not all, but most. And as you would expect from any career path, this, more often than not, would be paid work.
Some other types of jobs for dog lovers are more casual when it comes to whether or not a qualification or certificate is required.
Then there are the types of jobs that you can take on a part -time basis. Many of these do not require any type of qualification. However, training of some sort is usually considered advantageous.
Then there is the type of work that would come under the heading of volunteer work and thus services would be rendered free of charge.
So, let’s take a closer look at some jobs for dog lovers to see which type of work you are interested in.
1. Dog Careers that Require a Qualification
As mentioned, this type of career usually involves education and qualifications. We can find some truly rewarding career paths in this category:
Now, of course, this career path can be both very rewarding as well as challenging. Or should I say taxing. I am thinking of a particular student who wanted nothing more than to become a vet. When embarking on her work experience stint in a clinic, it just happened that an unusual number of dogs presented with terminal conditions that week, many having to be put down. However, getting through that week merely served to cement her determination to become a vet. And she loves her choice to this very day.
Courses vary in length depending on the country and university. But generally, you could expect anywhere between 4 and 7 years, even 8 with post graduate studies.
Naturally as a vet, you can expect to see other animals, both cute and large. But, depending on the clinic where you work, your most frequent client would most likely be a dog. So, this career definitely comes under the heading of popular jobs for dog lovers.
- Veterinary Nurse
Here you would be looking at a 3- or 4-year course to qualify.
As a vet nurse, you can expect your entire day to be filled with pet interaction.
Both of these career paths can be equally rewarding.
2. Dog Careers with Relaxed Qualifications
I say relaxed because some jobs for dog lovers can be taken with or without qualifications.
- Dog Groomer
Many groomers choose to enrol in courses leading to a number of different qualifications. And, of course, many of these courses provide invaluable knowledge, hands-on experience and clipping guidance under the supervision of an experienced groomer.
Other groomers choose to enhance their skill level on the job, working under the supervision of a salon owner or stylist.
As a groomer you will be working on dog-coat health in general, taking care of such tasks as bathing, brushing, clipping, styling etc.
But your work will not stop there. Many dog owners are nervous about trimming the nails of their own dogs. So, nail trimming is a task that you could be asked to do on a regular basis.
Groomers can also have clients who like to show their dogs. Therefore, the groomer needs to master a wide range of show dog styles.
- Dog Trainer
There are many courses and educational programs that one can undertake to enhance your skills for training dogs. Whilst specific qualifications are not mandatory, equipping yourself with a high level of expertise is definitely advisable.
3. Part-Time Work with Dogs
- Dog Walking Jobs
I have a friend who graduated from working with dogs in a rescue centre to setting up her own business as a dog walker. It proved to be very satisfying work and a job that allowed her to determine her own hours.
One point to keep in mind, if taking up work as a dog walker, is that of travel costs. When advertising your services, you need to work out how long it will take to go from one walking job to the next. The kms of travel required can eat into your part-time income. Similarly, if the distance travelled between jobs is excessive, it can become difficult to make each appointment on time.
- Dog Siting Jobs
In this role, you can hire out your services to people who require someone to feed their dogs and or to provide company for their dogs for a certain period of time a day. This could be the situation where the owners have to work long hours and thus require someone to come in during the day to feed and or play with the dogs.
- In-House Dog Boarding
We had a period of time when we utilised such a service. Our dogs were always stressed if they had to go to a kennel. So, we found a lady who, for a comparable fee, looked after 5 dogs at a time in her home. This was ideal. In fact, our dogs enjoyed that environment so much that one in particular was reluctant to come home again.
If your house is suitable, and if such an arrangement suits your family, then this is one type of dog job that might appeal. In addition to providing a part-time income, it also provides plenty of canine company.
- Dog Blogger
Do you enjoy writing? Do you have a flair for creative design? If so, you might very well enjoy creating your own blog and writing about dog topics that interest you.
For example, you might be passionate about poodles. You could write endless topics just about poodles and their care and nature.
Once you have some articles published you could then look at monetising your blog with ads, digital products and affiliate marketing etc..
- Part-time Work in a Dog Kennel
These jobs are often advertised. You could be a fill-in worker for staff who are going on holiday. Alternatively, you could apply to work weekends, substituting for regular staff.
Some kennels look for workers to exercise the dogs or for workers to clean out kennels etc.
4. Volunteer Work with Dogs
I have a friend who loved applying for jobs where she could offer her services to help care for dogs. This was a way to get her ‘dog-fix’ and came under the heading of volunteering work. There are many options in this category of dog work. Here are just a few for you to consider:
- Rescue Centres
There are many varied tasks if you work in a rescue centre, from feeding to cleaning and exercising dogs.
- Walking Dogs
Busy friends would welcome assistance with walking and exercising their dogs.
Similarly rescue centers as well as kennels can advertise for volunteers to walk their dogs.
- Fostering Dogs
This was a task that I loved at a time when I was not able to have my own dog, because of work commitments. The local pet shop had adorable puppies that needed company during the weekend. So, each Friday, I collected a cute, adorable little puppy and took her home for the weekend, along with strict instructions on how best to feed a puppy.
I loved this volunteer work. Of course, it really tugged at the heart strings when I had to give the puppy back Monday morning on my way to work. But I consoled myself with the knowledge that I had provided company for the puppy all weekend while he/she was waiting for the next permanent home.
I don’t know if such an option still exists, but it is an example of some different possibilities.
- Assisting with Behavioural Problems
There are other forms of fostering dogs.
For example, Rescue Centres are finding that there can be a remarkable change in behaviour when dogs are fostered out while waiting for their next adoptive parent to fall in love with them. This is a great way to socialise dogs and make up for any past trauma they might have experienced.
You can find an absolutely wonderful story here about the character transformation in a dog that was taken out of the rescue shelter and provided a temporary home.
I guess many, if not most, of the dogs that end up in a rescue shelter have not had the happiest start in life. Many are nervous, some are even trembling. The staff at these shelters do a wonderful job, but as highlighted in the story just mentioned, it’s hard to beat the comfort and affection that a dog in the home can enjoy.
If you read that story to the end, you would have discovered the fascinating experiment that followed at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter. It’s simply mindboggling the difference that fostering made to the percentage of dogs that could then go on to be adopted.
Not only did fostered dogs end up being socialised and adoption-ready, but it also meant that they had to spend less time in the shelter. I strongly suspect that dogs brought into a shelter sense what other dogs are feeling around them, many of whom have been traumatised.
So, if you are at all interested in the idea of fostering, go for it. It is such a worthwhile pursuit. Check with the rescue center in your area. If they don’t have such a system in place, they can probably point you in the right direction. They might even ask about other success stories such as that at Fairfax.
- Assisting Seniors with their Dogs
This could involve, in addition to walking, transporting dogs to and from vet appointments, for example. But you might find that you are able to help in other ways such as washing or brushing a dog
- Serving on the Front Desk in a Rescue Centre Shop
Many Centres also sell dog products as well as grooming tools. You could enquire if they are in need of someone to take on one of the shop-assistant shifts.
Books on Jobs for Dog Lovers
If you would like some additional ideas on jobs for dog lovers, jobs that are endlessly rewarding, then these books can make interesting reading for you:
I hope this article has given you some ideas about the various jobs for dog lovers. As you can see, there is a wide range of possibilities when it comes to jobs working with dogs.