Spending time with dogs is fun – all that running, playing, slobbering and cuteness. Did you know that you can actually make a decent living by working with the furry creatures?
Of course, you probably know all about vets, especially if you have you own pooch to care for. But there are an abundance of other opportunities for dog lovers, and unlike the vet career path, they don’t all require many extra years of education.
1. Dog walker
Active dogs need daily exercise and walks, but any pet lover with a job knows those are difficult to fit into a busy day. That’s where dog walkers come in. As a dog walker you’ll walk dogs either individually or in groups. You’ll be able to work for a company or even have your own business. Dog walkers often have flexible schedules, which means you won’t be stuck in a 9-to-5 type of job. A dog walker’s salary depends upon how many clients you have and how much you charge, but on average you can expect $28,000 a year.
2. Attendant at a doggie daycare
Dog owners love their pups, but it’s inevitable they’ll have to respond to other commitments sometimes. A dog daycare takes care of dogs throughout the day and even overnight, if necessary. As a doggie daycare attendant you’d likely be playing with dogs all day – but it’s not all fun and games. There’s also meal times, breaking up fights and cleaning up any accidents that occur. However, for real dog lovers, spending all day with man’s best friend has pros that outweigh the cons. Doggie daycare attendants make an average of $30,000 per year.
3. Pet store salesperson
Working at a pet store is a great option for someone who wants contact with dogs, but not too much contact. Pet owners often bring Spot in while they’re picking up food, toys and supplies. You’ll greet them when they enter the store or help them complete their purchase at a register – and maybe give Spot a treat, too. You’ll average $26,000 per year.
4. Dog sitter
Dog sitters step up to the plate at times when pet parents aren’t able to care for their pooch for whatever reason. Often you’ll hang out with the dog at home, give it lots of hugs and playtime, stop by for meals and potty breaks and occasionally do extra tasks like bringing in the mail. You might take care of one dog or multiple dogs at the same time, and you can either work for someone else or have your own business. All of those factors will affect your bottom line, but the average dog sitter makes $28,000 a year.
5. Dog groomer
Like humans, dogs need baths, haircuts and nail trims. As a grooming professional, you’ll be trained and knowledgeable about all such aspects. You’ll clean a dog up and hand it over to an appreciative owner, but do know there are some drawbacks. Some dogs aren’t crazy about grooming and may put up a fight. And if you want to have a happy human customer, you’ll also have to be attentive when the owner tells you exactly what kind of haircut they want. Dog groomers make about $30,000 per year.
A dog trainer’s duties can very extensively, as can the average salary of $49,000 per year. Whether it’s working for a company where you’ll teach multiple classes from puppy socialization to basic obedience or owning your own business where you focus on specific behavior issues, trainers cover a wide range. Trainers need to be comfortable working with both dogs and humans with a wide variety of needs. They often need some type of special training themselves, like certification from The Association of Professional Dog Trainers.
7. Animal shelter worker
With this job, you’ll help abandoned animals find their forever homes. You need to care for the animals at the shelter, assist families in finding their perfect pet and maybe even round up some donations to keep everything working smoothly. In addition to having heartwarming work, you’ll also make some money, of course – an average of $27,000 per year.
What do you think? Do you love dogs enough to peruse any careers on this list? If so, with some training and determination you can say good-bye to your current job and jump into a fun, dog-filled profession!