Tip of the Month

2/17/2009 Looking for an Animal Career?

Animal Careers

Working With Animals Can Be Very Rewarding

Have you ever wanted to train dogs, spending your work days romping around with cuddly canines instead of sitting behind a desk, staring at a computer screen? If you, like countless other animal lovers across the world, desire to re-assess your current career choice and embark into an exciting and fulfilling career such as dog training, kennel management, veterinary assisting, etc., you should put serious thought and consideration into your search for your new career. Here, we will discuss some career options.

In Louise Miller’s informative book, Careers for Animal Lovers and Other Zoological Types, she poses the following questions regarding choosing an animal career. According to Miller, if you can answer “yes” to all or most of these questions, then you have the necessary qualities to succeed.

• Do I genuinely care about the welfare of animals?

• Am I willing to work long hours doing stressful work?

• Will I be happy living on a modest income?

• Can I show empathy with people in times of grief?

• Do I have physical and mental strength and energy?

• Can I exercise good judgment and solve problems under difficult circumstances?

• Am I reliable and compassionate?

Now we will explore just a few of the many options available to animal lovers.

Animal Trainer – A certified trainer has a myriad of career options open to him or her. These professionals have the unique option of being an entrepreneur and servicing private clients. A dog trainer can be employed with major pet stores or county programs; he or she can collaborate with shelters and/or rescues to provide training programs at their facilities. An individual who desires this type of training career does not necessarily need to attend a vocational program or pursue certification; however, it is highly recommended. ABC offers a Dog Obedience Instructor Certification program, certifying dog trainers across the United States and in Canada.

Pet Care Specialist – The pet care specialist can perform many different duties. Pet care specialists can seek employment at specialty and major pet supply stores, grooming salons, dog walking businesses, doggie daycares, pet hotels, and more. A pet care specialist may also choose to continue his or her education to become a dog trainer.

Kennel Attendant – A kennel attendant may be employed with a veterinary hospital, boarding kennel, pet hotel, or any place where animals are boarded. The duties of the kennel attendant usually involve maintaining cleanliness within the facility. He/she may also be tasked to groom, feed, and care for patients, and he/she may even get the opportunity to train dogs. It is the kennel attendant’s responsibility to optimize each animal’s comfort and care.

Doggie Daycare or Pet Hotel Operator/Attendant – Doggie daycares and pet hotels are meant to serve pet owners with busy lives who do not want to leave their dogs/pets alone at home. In a career as a doggie daycare owner or operator, you would take care of owners’ dogs while they were at work or away from home (depending on whether you or your facility offers overnight boarding). A doggie daycare attendant walks, exercises, feeds, medicates, and plays with pets, and may even provide dog training (if he or she is certified).

Animal Shelter or Animal Rescue Worker – There are thousands of animal shelters and rescues in existence that serve the purpose of temporarily housing homeless animals until they can be placed with new owners. Rescues also accommodate homeless dogs, and are usually non-profit organizations. Both shelters and rescues are always seeking assistance from both paid staff and volunteers. An individual who has knowledge and experience in animal training is an asset to a shelter or rescue. This career can be both emotionally difficult and immensely rewarding.

Veterinary Assistant – The primary job of the veterinary assistant is to assist the veterinarian and veterinary technician(s) in completing vital tasks. While this position does not necessarily require certification, completing a vocational veterinary assistant program can provide immensely helpful training and preparation for this dynamic animal career. The veterinary assistant is an essential part of the veterinary team. If you are interested in becoming a Certified Veterinary Assistant, learn more about ABC’s Certified Veterinary Assistant program at www.BecomeAVetAssistant.com.

These are only a few of the numerous career options available to you as an animal lover. With dedication, persistence, and creativity, you could very possibly have a career that you truly love. Whether you want to train dogs or just play with them, there is a job out there perfectly suited for you. Simply be proactive and do your research, and consider completing a certification program such as ABC’s Certified Dog Obedience Instructor Training and Certified Veterinary Assistant programs. Remember that certification gets you noticed. Good luck!

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