It’s never too early to start preparing for a career with dogs. A career with dogs requires a love and compassion for animals. Working with and for animals now will prepare you with skills you may need in your career. Many careers such as veterinary medicine require a college education, which makes it important to maintain good grades in school and develop self-discipline. This will allow you to get into a veterinary college of your choice.  Below are a few things you can do now to prepare for a career with dogs.

  • Choose electives in high school that will help you get into the college or trade school of your choice.
  • If you want to become a Veterinarian, develop an aptitude for chemistry, biology, and physics.
  • Volunteer to feed, walk, or bathe local dogs when their owners need assistance.
  • Volunteer to collect supplies or money for local animal shelters and other animal related organizations.
  • Study dog breeds by reading and researching them on the AKC’s web site www.akc.org.
  • Write to government officials about issues facing the dog population. Ask your teachers to help locate contact information. Visit the Canine Legislation section of the AKC Web site for issues in your state.
  • Get involved in the dog show world by joining Junior Showmanship.
  • Visit dog shows in your area. Talk to handlers and observe dogs and handlers in the ring.
  • Join 4-H and get involved in canine activities.
  • Find part-time or volunteer work in the field you would like to go into.
  • Interview or job-shadow someone in the field you are interested in to learn more about what they do.
  • Find ways to promote responsible dog ownership in your community, i.e. ask permission to post responsible dog ownership flyers located on the AKC Web site in your local grocery of veterinarian’s office.
  • Attend a local obedience class with your dog and practice training skills daily.