Do you remember being asked about what you wanted to be when you’re grown up? Your obvious answer was being a vet, right? But you just couldn’t commit to over four years of studying, and you realised that you only love man’s best friend (it’s totally okay to admit it). If you dream of spending over eight hours a day working with our furry friends and getting paid for it, too, there are many jobs out there to turn this thought into a reality.
Here is a list of the best-paying dog-loving professions on the market.
18. Doggy Day Care Worker
Median salary: $20,000 (£14,540)
To work in a doggy day care, you need to have more than a passion for pooches. Although a few hours of your day will be spent playing with the animals, the rest of your day will require cleaning after accidents, ensuring kennels meet hygiene standards, feeding your furry friends and keeping any brawls apart.
17. Pet Product Tester
Median salary: $26,000 (£18,900)
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), the US spent over $66.75 billion on pets. This means there’s a large market for pet products, so if you love animals but don’t want to get your hands too dirty, you could end up in a role testing dog products or even inventing one yourself.
16. Dog Sitter
Median salary: $29,500 (£21,440)
Chilling at home with man’s best friend and getting paid for it seems like a dream come true for us dog lovers. Yet it’s actually a real-life job that pays well, too! In order to look after other people’s dogs when they are away, you’ll need to establish trust within your clientele and a valuable name for yourself. Start off by looking after your friends’ pooches and rack up your reviews online.
15. Doggy Spa Owner
Median salary: $30,000 (£21,800)
Pet pampering is a popular pastime for luxury-loving dog owners. If you have the skills to manage a business and offer unique services for our canine friends, you’ll be on to a winner. You could also incorporate boarding kennels and training classes to be the go-to doggy sanctuary.
14. Dog Walker
Median salary: $30,837 (£22,410)
If you love dogs (as much as I do), this job will literally be a walk in the park. There are two vital interests you need to have: a love for dogs of all sizes and a love for walking. You could start off by walking a few pets at a time before racking up an uncontrollable pack.
13. Therapy Dog Handler
Median salary: $32,100 (£23,340)
Anyone who’s ever felt completely at peace from a poochie cuddle can attest to the fact that sometimes a helping paw from a furry pal is just what the doctor ordered. Therapy dog handlers train, register and look after these animals. If you have a love for helping humans with the power of a tail wag, this might be the path for you.
12. Dog Yoga Instructor
Median salary: $32,500 (£23,630)
Yes, doggy yoga (otherwise known as Doga) is a real thing! Our furry friends are getting involved in a little light exercise, too – and can you blame them? If you want to spend some time getting in shape and bonding with your pet, you could become an instructor to teach others how to do the same.
11. Dog Trainer
Median salary: $33,000 (£24,000)
Dog trainers must have a calm nature and the patience of a saint, be extremely comfortable around canines and know how to get them to obey and perform on command. Josh Weiss-Roessler writes: ‘You may want to start by focusing on a few specific problem behaviours and expand from there as your experience grows. And, of course, to be a trainer, you’ll need to spend a lot of time with dogs to gain that experience'.
10. Rescue Worker
Median salary: $34,000 (£24,720)
Many rescue workers have dogs as part of their team, and you could be the next Shaggy and Scooby-Doo working together to find stranded, lost and injured people. This career is hard, to say the least, as it can be very physically and mentally demanding and you may be required to work at odd hours of the evening or on shifts.
Median salary: $39,000 (£28,350)
There’s a lot more to becoming a breeder than selling purebred dogs to high-paying buyers. You need to have a passion for the specific pedigree and maintain good standards, keeping the pups happy and healthy. You also need to stay away from getting too attached to the pups you breed as you will need to give them to a good home when they are old enough.
8. Dog Behaviourist
Median salary: $40,000 (£29,080)
Also known as a doggy psychologist, these are the people whose expertise can come in handy when your fluffy pal is behaving out of character. They can help with separation anxiety issues, resource guarding and general training.
7. Dog Photographer
Median salary: $42,000 (£30,530)
If you have adoration for furry animals and a passion for photography, why not combine the two and take cute photos? You can do this remotely or be a mobile photographer, travelling to different locations to take high-quality images for people and companies.
6. Dog Artist
Median salary: $53,000 (£38,520)
If you are artistically inclined but don’t want to be covered in dog hair on a daily basis, why not paint or draw pictures of them instead? Dog artist Heidi D Hansen says: ‘I love capturing the individual dog’s personality and mood and motivations as seen in his or her eyes, posture, ears, snout, and overall body idiosyncrasies'.
5. K9 Police Officer
Median salary: $55,000 (£39,980)
If you want to fight crime with a loyal partner by your side, a K9 police officer might be the route to take. The handler is responsible for the dog at all times, as the dog lives with the officer and his or her family during off hours – which means you get a pet, too. In order to become a K9 police officer, you’ll need to complete a criminal justice degree and further police academy courses.
4. Dog Show Handler
Median salary: $61,000 (£44,350)
Dog lovers who appreciate beauty, poise and dignity may want to follow a career in the dog show world. You could be involved in training, pampering and participating in dog shows, or being on the judging spectrum. You’ll need a good eye for details and patience to deal with the pooches.
3. Animal Communicator
Median salary: $62,000 (£45,080)
If you believe you have a sixth sense and can communicate with pets on a spiritual level, why not become an animal reader? On the other hand, you could communicate with living animals to understand them on a more personal level.
2. Dog Fashion Designer
Median salary: $68,000 (£49,450)
Pet fashion is just as important as human’s. If you’re like me and have a separate wardrobe for your furry friend, why not choose a career in designing clothes and accessories for pets? If this is your dream career, start off by completing a degree in fashion design before setting up your own label.
1. Animal Rights Lawyer
Median Salary: $114,300 (£83,120)
It would be great if dogs could speak out for themselves and fight back against abuse, but seeing as they can’t, this is where animal rights lawyers step in. They fight against injustices and give canines a voice, while sticking criminals behind bars.
Working with dogs can be delightful. ‘It enables you to become part of a happy pack, says dog celebrity trainer Cesar Milan, ‘and having your passion for animals as the focus of your life brings enormous rewards. It’s a job that’s going to satisfy the intimate space. If your happiness has no price, go for it. Do whatever it takes.’
Do any of these dog-loving careers take your fancy? Let us know in the comments section below.
More of a cat person? Check out these purr-fect jobs for cat lovers!
Salary information is based on data compiled and published by PayScale. Currency conversions are based on rates supplied by XE.com on 16 January 2018.