Turning Devotion for Dogs Into Jobs

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Careers For Dog Lovers Abound

By Kendle Frank, age 16, Parker, Colorado

Every person has unique dreams, obsessions, and hobbies, some of which can be turned into professions. With a growing demand for all things dog, we are in an era where dog lovers can easily turn their passion for pooches into a well-paying job. Here are just a few of the many careers dog enthusiasts can pursue:

Veterinarian

People who love helping animals might consider becoming a veterinarian. This job offers animal lovers a great opportunity to take care of and meet many furry friends. It is best for people who have communication, empathy, business, and technical skills, as well as knowledge of animals, anatomy, biology, and pharmaceuticals. Daily tasks may include regulating medicine, preparing and performing surgeries, treating sick or wounded animals, and reading X-Rays and lab results. Although these professions aren’t the best for the faint of heart, knowing that you are helping beloved pets is an amazing feeling.

Groomer

People who respect animals, beauty, and fashion may think about becoming a groomer. Since breeds have different types of hair and owners often have unique requests for their pets, the job requires much skill and patience. Loren Theriot, a groomer for Paradise 4 Paws, in  Denver, said that her profession has taught her, “patience, and persistence, and has solidified my love for dogs of all types.” It is crucial to learn animal behavior. Theriot said, “My one piece of advice would definitely be to get into the dog/pet care industry as soon as you can, as the more experience you have with animals, the better you will fare later on.” Dog grooming is a “learn from experience” career, so dedication and time are required. This job is suitable for people who have good hand-eye coordination, are precise and pay attention to detail, and don’t mind a little fur!

Business Owner   

Owning a business that deals with the dog industry is a great way for go-getters and dog lovers to make money in a fun way. Dog businesses include boutiques and shops that sell dog supplies. This work requires skills in retail, marketing, and business. Selling dog products or supplies is beneficial for man’s best friend and dog lovers alike.

Sitter or Walker

Most people go on vacations, work for an extended amount of time, or have demanding schedules. There isn’t always time to give dogs the exercise or time that they require, so there is high demand for dog walkers and sitters. People who consider these jobs must be responsible, mobile, dedicated, and loving individuals. The pay range is vast, however it can be enjoyable hanging out with people’s dogs, whether you’re just checking in on them or taking them for runs or walks. Dog sitting and walking isn’t usually a full time job, but it can be a great way to earn a little cash, make new friends, and stay active in a fun way.

Trainer

What’s better than spending day in and day out with pups? Trainers have the opportunity to teach dogs different skills, for dog showing, dog sports, disc throwing, basic obedience, service work, or tricks. Dog training doesn’t require advanced education, however it may be helpful to get degrees in animal training or a trainer’s certificate. Trainers have to be patient, knowledgeable of different methods and animal behavior, and have skills in marketing, business, and communication. The secret to being a good trainer is to not only be knowledgeable, but to also understand and respect each dog’s uniqueness. It’s crucial to think of the dog as an animal and friend instead of just a client. Trainer Sara Carson and her trick dog, Hero, who perform all over America and placed fifth place in the 2017 season of America’s Got Talent, have found much success in training. Sara explained that, “Performing is a lot more than just putting on a good show—‑you have to truly be having fun with your dog. If the dog’s tail isn’t wagging, something isn’t right.”

Breeder

The world wouldn’t have beautiful purebred pups without reputable dog breeders. Breeders are responsible for the health and care of all their animals. Responsible breeders always test for hereditary diseases and work closely with veterinarians to ensure that the mother and her puppies are healthy, properly cared for, developing normally, and receiving felicitous nutrition. People who have good communication skills, know about genetics, and can put the time and money into breeding dogs may find enjoyment out of this career.