Dogs bring so much joy to our lives. Imagine working around them every day and getting paid for it! If you love dogs, chances are you have wondered how you can turn that passion into a living. Does the idea of a job with perks like unlimited tail wags and kisses from countless canine companions make your heart happy? If so, check out this list of careers that allow you to be surrounded by your favorite animal.
Dog Day Care Owner or Worker
It’s a huge responsibility to take care of other people’s dogs. But it’s also rewarding and lots of fun. There are few jobs where you literally get paid to play with a pup. This is one of them.
Love to teach but prefer that your pupils have four legs instead of two? Becoming a dog trainer might be the right move for you. It takes plenty of experience, understanding of dog behavior, and specific skills to teach canines and their humans, but your classroom will always be filled with adorable students.
If you have a good eye for angles and lighting — and a whole lot of patience — why not try pet photography? It’s gratifying to give families a forever photo they can cherish today and long after their beloved dog has passed away. Kristen Andersen of Kristen Andersen Photography says, “Every day is the best day on the job. When you are taking photos of a litter of Dalmatian puppies, and they are crawling all over you, how can you not be happy?”
Groomers do more than primp their clients — proper grooming is an integral part of a dog’s health. Often, groomers alert owners to issues such as hot spots and ear infections. If you’ve already started your career as a groomer, consider enrolling in the AKC S.A.F.E. Grooming Program to support the grooming industry’s self-regulation effort through education.
As with dog sitting, reliability and trustworthiness are essential for dog walking. Patience in handling several dogs at once, a willingness to be outside in all kinds of weather and a love for dogs are important.
Fees are usually based on a flat hourly rate. Again, as with dog sitters, many dog walkers only work part- time. However, there are definitely opportunities to own a dog-walking business with part-time employees.
Boarding Kennel Assistant
Just like hotels for humans, boarding kennels for dogs are a temoporary place for pets to stay. Dog owners place their dogs in boarding kennels when they travel or cannot be at home.
Some of the job opportunities that are available by working in a boarding kennel include owner, manager and assistant. Owning your own boarding kennel and having someone else manage it may be the most ideal situation, but to start out, assisting or managing a kennel is more likely.
K9 Police Unit
Maybe you want to work with dogs in an effort to serve others. If so, life as a police officer in the canine unit might be right up your alley. What’s better than fighting crime alongside a furry partner? You’ll see firsthand how intelligent and intuitive dogs really are.
If you love the idea of making dogs (and other animals) feel better, this is a natural choice. Though it takes a lot of schooling, you’re saving lives on a daily basis. While many dream of becoming a veterinarian, it takes a lot of time, money, and proficiency in science.
Individuals who love helping animals, but don’t necessarily want to sign up for a lengthy stint in veterinary school, should consider becoming a veterinary assistant or technician. Depending on your state, getting certified can take just 1-2 years. You may even find some college programs that offer a veterinary nurse course.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in any of the above fields, talk to people who have experience. They’ll be able to help you decide whether this is the right path for you.