Working with Dogs & Cats as a Career – Pet tip 174
Many people that love pets want to spend as much time as possible with them and perhaps the best way to do this is by getting a job that involves taking care of pets. It used to be that the only job people thought of in this regard was becoming a veterinarian. Although being a veterinarian is a great job, it isn’t easy to become a veterinarian. Veterinary school is extremely difficult to get into and once you get in it normally requires at least 4 years of intense study. Many states and provinces also offer 2 year veterinary technician programs and vet techs are able to work with veterinarians, laboratories, in shelters or do private consultations.
Given that more and more people consider pets to be part of the family, there are also a growing number of jobs involving pets that require less formal training. These jobs still allow people to get their ‘fix’ from working with pets without necessarily needing years of full time study. 3 jobs that fit this description are dog trainers, pet sitters and dog-walkers.
Dog-trainers are people that teach dog owners how to train their pets and normally give basic or advanced obedience classes. They get to meet many different dogs and dog owners and help solve common behavioural issues. Many dog trainers work at dog training schools or work as behaviourists to solve particular problems. Most dog trainers take courses or apprentice with existing dog trainers. There is no official organization that regulates dog-trainers in Canada so if you do decide to take a course with someone, make sure you get good references and recommendations.
Pet-sitting is another job involving pets that is becoming more and more popular. Many people work long hours and feel guilty about leaving their pets home alone all day. A pet sitter will usually spend 30 minutes to 1 hour playing or interacting with a pet in their own home. They may feed the pet, administer pills if required, or just do a house check to make sure everything is all right.
Dog-walking is also becoming a more and more popular job as pet owners find they are spending too much time at work. Dog-walkers will either walk dogs one at a time or will walk groups of dogs all together. Dog walkers should of course have no fear of dogs, be in great shape, and be prepared to ask potential clients for as much information about particular dogs as possible. They should also have some knowledge about particular dog breeds and know a bit about basic training as well.
If you do decide to try any of the jobs listed here one of the key concerns will be insurance. Many people will not hire you if do not have insurance because they don’t want to be sued if their pet does something bad outside of their care. Aside from this though, many people gain intense satisfaction from working with animals. Although some of these jobs aren’t the most lucrative, many are much less stressful than conventional jobs and will actually increase your quality of life despite the possibility of a lower salary.