Nothing beats coming home to your dog after a long day at the office. Exuberance, glee, and a wagging tail… And what could possibly top that?
How would you like to be paid to hang out with dogs all day? If you apply for and get one of the positions here, it’s possible.
Find below a list of the top available careers for canine enthusiasts. These jobs are great for people who enjoy spending time with dogs because they are entertaining, satisfying, and, in some cases, financially lucrative.
The only downer is breaking the news to Fido that you’re seeing someone else while you’re on the clock.
Best jobs for dog lovers
Animal Welfare Inspector
Do you long to play a pivotal role in ending animal cruelty? You can if you work as an animal welfare inspector for the RSPCA (England and Wales), the SSPCA (Scotland), or the USPCA (Northern Ireland). In addition to helping injured or abused animals, inspectors may also press charges against those responsible for their mistreatment. A career in this field allows you to significantly improve the lives of dogs and other animals.
The work has the potential for high rewards but is also very difficult and specialized. Inspectors of animal welfare must be able to deal with stressful and upsetting situations, as well as undergo 6 months of intensive training. The ability to work well under pressure with both people and animals is crucial. You’ll need a valid driver’s license in the United Kingdom, plus you should be in good health and able to swim well.
A dog or animal behaviorist’s job is to help dogs with behavioral issues by studying dog behavior, identifying the factors that encourage undesirable behaviors, and then correcting them. Dog behaviorists, like psychologists and psychiatrists, often visit clients at their homes to identify problem areas in the human-canine bond and work to improve things there.
Several universities in the United Kingdom offer undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in animal psychology and animal behavior.
Water healing, or hydrotherapy, has historical roots in Egyptian, Greek, and Roman cultures. Water is used as part of a low-impact physiotherapy treatment to aid in the exercise of muscles and joints. Whether your dog is getting back on their feet after an operation, injury, or illness, or if they just need to get in shape or shed a few pounds, canine hydrotherapy can help them get back to doing the things they love. If your dog hasn’t yet learned how to swim, a canine hydrotherapist can help.
If you want to work with dogs as a hydrotherapist, you’ll need to be able to swim, of course, but you’ll also need to be observant, curious, and have a knack for science. Throughout the United Kingdom, there are educational facilities where one can earn a Level 3 Certificate or Diploma in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals. To become a member of the Canine Hydrotherapy Association (CHA) or the National Association of Registered Canine Hydrotherapists (NARCH), you must complete training that is recognized by these organizations.
Vet Tech or Veterinary Assistant
If becoming a veterinarian seems like too much of a commitment, you can still help dogs (and other animals) by working as a veterinary assistant or veterinary technician.
A veterinary technician’s duties include assisting veterinarians with in-clinic procedures, consultations, anesthetic monitoring, and medication administration. You can earn a level 3 diploma or a degree in veterinary nursing to enter the field. Courses typically run for two to three years. Not all veterinary science programs meet the standards set by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, so it’s important to double check before enrolling.
Veterinarian nurses and veterinarians rely on the help of veterinary assistants to care for sick and injured animals. A veterinary assistant must have completed the second level of an animal nursing program. If you couple this with on-the-job training, you may be able to work your way up to veterinary technician.
Police Dog Handler
Police dogs receive extensive training to assist officers with a wide variety of duties. Hostage rescue, crowd management, missing person searches, criminal or property searches, and the detection of drugs and explosives are just some of the situations in which police dog units prove invaluable.
To become a dog handler, you need to have a deep appreciation for canines, an abundance of patience, and a penchant for public interaction (uniformed police dogs attract a lot of attention). After serving as a police officer for two years, those interested in joining the police dog unit can apply to take a trial course with a dog that has been trained to follow commands from any handler. When your dog retires at around 9 years old, he or she will become a member of your household and a pet.
A kennel worker’s primary responsibility is the care and exercise of the dogs under their supervision. Regular duties include taking the dogs for walks, filling their water and food bowls, and cleaning their kennels. They may also be responsible for providing basic training and caring for the dogs’ physical needs, such as bathing and grooming. The job has its challenges, but it also has many benefits. Kennel workers frequently develop emotional attachments to the dogs in their care, and they take great pride in making a positive impact on the canines’ lives.
Groomers ensure that a dog’s coat is healthy and presentable. Dog groomers may operate out of a salon or make house calls. Dog groomers spend a lot of time with animals, so they should have a genuine affection for dogs. They need to be kind and patient, as some dogs will fight them off if they try to groom them. Their duties may include bathing the dog, grooming its teeth, and cleaning its ears. They might also bathe the dog and set its fur in a particular style. You need to be comfortable working with canines of varying sizes and personalities.
Drug detection dog handler
We all know that dogs have keen noses, but how far can they actually detect something from? A career as a drug detection dog handler may be right for you if you have a passion for dogs and want to make a difference in the fight against drug trafficking. Warning, though: working in this field can be risky. A Colombian drug gang put a $70,000 bounty on the head of the drug detection dog Sombra, putting not only Sombra but also his handler in danger.
Many people envision a career in veterinary medicine as one spent solely caring for sick animals. And while that is an important function of vets, it is not the only one. Veterinarians help prevent disease by immunizing animals and advising pet owners on how to keep their animals healthy. They also offer services for animals that are otherwise healthy, such as checkups and spaying/neutering. In addition to their clinical duties, veterinarians frequently take on the role of animal welfare advocates.
When their human family members go on vacation, dog owners often rely on dog sitters to take care of their pets. This role typically takes place at the dog’s residence and may entail anything from dropping by once or twice a day to actually living there while the family is away. Many pet sitters also offer extras like walking for your dog.
While a pet sitter certification (which can be earned in as little as four weeks) is not strictly necessary, it does give you an edge over other applicants. Having worked with dogs as a hobby for a number of years is also useful.
Certified Dog Trainer
Professional dog trainers educate canine youngsters (and sometimes adults and senior dogs) on proper conduct and useful tricks. There are always new dogs to play with because most trainers host puppy classes, and new classes can begin as frequently as once a week.
Some dog trainers also handle dogs in competitions. The ability to connect with dogs on a personal level and instruct them is crucial to success in these competitive events, which evaluate dogs on a wide range of characteristics.
Get your certification after attending training seminars and putting in some practice time with a few dogs. Certified dog trainers can find full-time work at larger pet supply stores and training facilities. Although some apprenticeships last a year or more, certification can be obtained in as little as three months.
Dog breeders produce canines for sale to individuals and animal shelters. Despite the fact that these operations are typically governed by state law, if you know your stuff when it comes to breeding dogs, your canine companions can become the absolute center of your universe.
Start by registering your kennel and getting breeding dogs, then educate yourself as much as possible on breeding and business management. In addition to at least a year of experience breeding dogs, a bachelor’s degree in business administration is typically required for this, with a master’s degree being preferable but not mandatory.
Veterinarian dentists are in high demand because dental disease in dogs is a common problem. They can make as much as regular vets do, and they often avoid having to deal with the job’s more emotionally taxing aspects.
However, you’ll need to devote nearly a decade of your life to schooling if you want to succeed, so brace yourself.
Captive animals, such as those found in zoos or those raised for food, make up a large portion of an animal nutritionist’s clientele. More and more dog owners, especially those whose canines are afflicted with a serious illness, are turning to canine nutritionists for help.
Getting into this field may be challenging as it requires almost as much education as veterinary medicine. Once you’ve made a name for yourself, though, the pay off is worth it.
When trying to find survivors of a natural or man-made disaster, many SAR personnel will work in tandem with specially trained dogs. This is not a job for the weak of heart; it has the potential to be extremely satisfying, but also very difficult emotionally.
It’s also extremely demanding in terms of physical exertion, so make sure you’re up to the task before applying.
Animal Cruelty Investigator
Again, a passion for dogs and the ability to see them in the worst possible light are both required for this position. In this line of work, you will frequently suffer heartbreak, but you will also frequently save adorable dogs from terrible predators.
A degree in either criminology or animal science is required for this position. A background working with animals as a vet tech, trainer, or animal control officer is also beneficial.
Dog Show Handler
The job description reads like a breeze: just jog in a circle whenever your dog’s name is called. There’s more going on here than first appears.
It takes a lot of time and effort to break in, and you’ll need to become a walking encyclopedia of breed standards. In addition to extensive travel, you’ll need to have extensive knowledge in fields such as training, grooming, and posing.
The aforementioned occupations are excellent ways to support oneself while enjoying the company of canine friends. They cover a wide variety of fields and industries, so you can find one that’s a good fit for your expertise and personality. Clearly, working with animals doesn’t have to be limited to veterinarians.
However, keep in mind that adopting an animal is sometimes the most effective way to help animals. If none of the aforementioned jobs involve working with dogs, then go ahead and find one that does, and enjoy your time off by doting on your own dog.
The more money you make, the more fun things you can buy for your dog.