There are many jobs working with dogs that can be perfect for a dog lover to try. Whether you're looking for a simple job to be more involved with dogs or if you want a dog-oriented professional career, there are many options to choose from.
Being a veterinarian is one of the most popular jobs that lets you work with dogs, but it is not always the best choice for a soft-hearted dog lover. Veterinarians often have to make difficult decisions with ill or injured animals, which might make other jobs working with dogs a better choice.
If you love puppies, consider becoming a dog breeder. You will be responsible for maintaining the purity of the dog's breed, caring for the mother during gestation, assisting during the puppies' birth, and providing the initial training for young dogs. This can be a demanding career, requiring midnight vigils and late night feedings for young pups.
A dog groomer helps primp dogs and keep them cleaned and trimmed. This career requires knowledge of different types of grooming for different dog breeds, as well as being able to cope with dogs that may not want to be groomed or bathed. Other services such as nail trimming and flea dips may also be provided by a groomer.
Many rescue workers use dogs as part of their team. This is particularly true for search and rescue personnel, when a dog's keen nose and hearing are invaluable in finding stranded, lost, and injured persons. This career can be very physically demanding, however, and may require odd hours depending on the situation.
A dog trainer does more than teach dogs basic obedience. Many trainers help hone a dog's abilities to compete in agility courses, hunting matches, and other competitive events, all of which can be fun and rewarding to do.
Many therapists work with dogs to bring comfort to senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and special needs children. This career will require advanced education in therapy and pet therapy techniques, but the results can be astonishing.
Many people enjoy getting professional portraits of their pets, and if you specialize in canine photography you will be able to work with dogs in many different situations, from posed holiday portraits to action shots to family pictures with the four legged family members included.
Show Dog Trainer
Dog lovers who appreciate beauty, poise, and dignity may want to consider jobs working with show dogs such as being a show handler or judge. This type of career requires patience, a good eye for detail, and a strong bond between the person and their dog.
Police officers with K-9 units work with dogs on a daily basis. Different jobs may include training attack dogs, working with drug detection dogs, or having a canine partner out in the field.
Doggie Spa Owner
Pet pampering is on the rise, and luxury loving dog owners often visit doggie day spas. Services may include washing and conditioning the dog's coat, canine massage, obedience training, nail clipping, and gourmet treats for these pampered pooches. Boarding or kennel services may also be available, and this can be a good job for a dog lover to try.
Many people love their dogs but don't have the time to give them the exercise they need. A professional dog walker will take the dogs to safe areas for regular exercise that may include not only walking but also time off the leash, playing fetch, and other tricks. This can be a great part-time job for a dog lover who may not be able to have dogs of their own because of allergies, expense, or living arrangements.
Humane Society Volunteer
Humane societies and animal shelters need many workers and volunteers to care for animals awaiting adoption. Workers may clean out kennels, feed the dogs, and provide socialization time through walking or playing with the animals. Other workers may not be as directly involved with the dogs but are needed for office work, assisting adoptions, and fundraising, all to help get dogs into loving homes.
Assist Animal Trainer
Specialized trainers work with receptive dogs to train them as assist animals. This work will involve intense training with the animal as well as helping the person receiving the animal become accustomed to working with their four legged friend.
Many farmers work with dogs to help control livestock or protect the land. This involves training the dogs to behave appropriately around other animals, and many farmers also take their dogs to show trials to demonstrate their skills.
There are many jobs in the dog and pet-related industry that may not be working directly with dogs, but that can benefit every breed. Formulating nutritional dog food, designing leashes and other accessories, lobbying for animal rights, and researching canine diseases are just a few options.
Interested in more animal related jobs? Check out Careers in Zoology for more great jobs for animal lovers.