Make a Difference!
Animal jobs offer meaningful employment for those who have a passion for the furry, feathered, or scaly. Some jobs are just that: jobs, but choosing a career working with animals allows you to actually change lives. This may sound like hyperbole, but stop for a moment to consider the difference a dog groomer, veterinary assistant, zookeeper assistant, aquarist, dog trainer, or yes, even a cat trainer can make in the life of an animal.
Is There a Dog Under All That Hair?
One of the most familiar animal jobs is that of dog groomer. Dog groomers do more for your pet than make her look pretty. Failure to take care of your dog’s grooming needs not only looks bad, it can cause serious health problems. An unkempt coat can harbor fleas and ticks, hide cysts, cause wounds or infections, and, in severe cases, cut off blood flow.
Dog groomers learn to recognize skin problems and spot bumps and knots that could indicate underlying health problems. They attend to ear and dental hygiene and keep nail growth in check, all of which contribute to a dog’s health.
Many shelter animals owe their lives to dog groomers willing to tackle their matted and filthy coats.
Veterinary Assistants Help Care for Patients
Veterinary assistants wear many hats and work in a variety of animal facilities ranging from clinics and private practices to research labs. They do clerical work and sanitization, but they also help directly care for animals by restraining frightened patients, calming and comforting those in distress. Vet assistants may even provide first aid until a vet can see a patient. In addition, they feed, medicate, and exercise animals as needed.
Earning your veterinary assistant certification prepares you for a career in which you help maintain animal welfare as well as assist in saving lives!
Zookeeper Assistants Get Up Close and Personal with the Exotic
If your passions tend toward exotic animals or species conservation, zookeeper assistant certification allows you to prepare for a great career in a zoo. Zookeeper assistants get to do most of the tasks a head zookeeper performs, putting them up close and personal with every variety of animal imaginable!
Zookeeper assistants not only fulfill important roles in the daily lives of their charges by feeding them, cleaning their habitats, and providing enrichment, they also help animals by educating zoo visitors and by assisting in breeding programs to save endangered species. Their work is both fascinating and vital.
Fish Need Love, Too!
One of the animal jobs with which you may be less familiar is that of aquarist. An aquarium maintenance program prepares you for a career keeping captive marine life healthy. Who has not seen a poorly maintained aquarium and cringed for the creatures struggling for life in scummy, filthy water? Aquarists help businesses and individuals set up and maintain pristine aquariums that are healthy for their inhabitants and attractive to humans.
Get That Animal Under Control!
One of the biggest differences you can make in the life of dogs is to become a dog trainer. A dog that knows no basic commands, jumps up on people, barks uncontrollably, nips, tears up furniture, or is not housebroken is, through no fault of his own, a menace. Such dogs often get yelled at, hit, locked in crates, chained outside alone, or surrendered to the local humane society. We have all seen their heart wrenching stories shared on social media.
Dog trainers, however, can turn around the lives of exasperating animals and make them a joy to be around. Dogs seem hard-wired to want to please, but they are not born knowing what to do. A well-trained dog is far likelier to lead a happy life. By teaching owners how to properly work with their dogs, trainers foster a bond between them that is mutually beneficial.
Training Service Dogs to Be Invaluable Helpers
Service dog trainers teach dogs to provide support for people with a variety of disabilities or limitations. These highly trained animals undergo rigorous training in order to make them valuable companions and helpers for their owners.
Most people are familiar with the concept of dogs who aid their blind owners in navigating the world, but service dogs can be trained to help people with other physical disabilities as well. For instance, service dog trainers can teach dogs to master complex tasks like pulling a door open, hitting an elevator button, or helping reposition a paralyzed limb.
Psychiatric service dogs provide a different sort of support. Not to be confused with therapy dogs or emotional support animals, specially trained psychiatric service dogs learn to do such things as wake a person during a nightmare, bring medication, get help, allay fears in social situations or crowds, and calm someone during times of emotional turmoil. They can even help with disorientation, such as when their owner gets lost in a store.
These amazing dogs can also assist their owners with mobility issues. For example, specially equipped harnesses help steady their owners when they have balance problems or need help standing or sitting. They can also retrieve dropped items. Service dogs fill a critical role by allowing their owners to live independently.
Did I Read That Last Animal Job Correctly?
Cat trainer? Your eyes did not deceive you. Cat training, while a much smaller field than dog training, is a real job. Similar to dog training, cat training makes living with your pet so much more pleasant.
While cats are not generally taught to do a lot of tricks–though they can learn tricks–their unwanted behaviors can be curbed by cat trainers. Clawing, counter surfing, litter box fails, and spraying are just a few of the more common negative feline behaviors that prompt cat owners to seek help. Teaching a cat better manners saves pets and their owners a lot of grief.
Be a Life Saver!
By embarking on a career working with animals, you cannot imagine the good you will be doing. Providing good grooming, health care, maintenance, or training helps insure that animals lead longer, happier lives, and that is definitely a worthy pursuit.