There’s so much choice when it comes to pet related jobs. Below are some of the best jobs for pet lovers, so you can take your passion for animals and find an interesting career that involves your furry friends.
Pet ownership in the UK rocketed in 2020, with 59% of households now owning a pet. As people are now able to return to work, go on holiday and generally get out and about, these pet owners are turning to pet sitters to help look after their fur babies.
Pet sitters will either look after pets in their own homes or visit the owner’s home to spend some time with the animal, keeping them company, feeding them and giving them some exercise. Some pet sitters can also accommodate overnight boarding, for when the owners are going away and are unable to travel with their pet.
There are no specific qualifications needed to be a pet sitter, but you should get insurance and you may need a licence if you will be boarding animals in your home. You might find it beneficial to gain qualifications in animal first aid and animal behaviour or care, so you and the owners know you are fully capable of looking after their pets.
Dog grooming isn’t just for aesthetics! Most dogs will need regular grooming to keep their coat healthy and strong, to help them regulate their temperature and to prevent matts. Removing old fur can also help with shedding. Groomers will often do a full treatment of the dog, including cleaning their ears and trimming their claws.
Groomers will either work in a dog salon or travel to people’s homes to groom the dogs there. They can also offer advice to owners on how best to look after their dog’s coat.
Dog grooming qualifications can be obtained through a college or by working on the job as an apprentice. You’ll learn the grooming standards for specific breeds as well as the knowledge on how best to maintain a healthy coat. You’ll also learn all the health and safety practices you need to know to safely groom a dog.
Sometimes pets will exhibit worrying behaviour that has been ruled out as a medical condition by the vet. That’s where an animal behaviourist will come in. If a pet is behaving unusually, like being particularly aggressive, destructive or showing extreme nervousness, a behaviourist will try to resolve the problem in the best way for both the pet and the owner.
Pet behaviourists will study how animals behave to determine what factors contribute to specific behaviours. They will go into homes to observe the animal (and often the owner too!) so they can identify the problem and find the right solution, usually applying individual behaviour modification programmes.
You will need a degree or higher in areas specific to clinical animal behaviour or animal psychology. These can be obtained in various institutions around the UK.
Animal Welfare Inspector
Animal welfare inspectors help fight animal cruelty as part of their day-to-day job. They assess for neglect and cruelty following a complaint, rescue wild animals that may be injured or trapped, advise owners on the proper care of their animals, and inspect animal establishments like kennels and pet shops.
This job can be hugely rewarding but highly demanding. Animal welfare inspectors often have to deal with upsetting and dangerous situations. They work both indoors and outdoors in all weather conditions and will frequently travel across large areas.
You will have to undergo six months of intensive training to become an animal welfare inspector. You need to have a good level of physical fitness to begin training, as well as having a full UK driving licence. Experience working with animals is a must, so you might want to start as a volunteer with an animal welfare charity.
We couldn’t talk about the best pet related jobs without mentioning veterinarian work. Veterinarians are vital in making sure our furry friends are kept healthy and happy. They will conduct check-ups, diagnose and treat health issues and also carry out surgeries. Veterinarian assistants support vets with procedures and consultations and also prepare animals for their treatments.
The work can be emotionally challenging at times but also extremely rewarding. In veterinarian work you’ll be able to look after animals every day and also offer advice to owners about how they can best take care of their pets.
To become a veterinarian, you will need to complete a five-year course at a specialist university. To qualify as a veterinarian assistant takes less time, with a degree or level 3 diploma course in veterinary nursing taking about two years.