By Charles Javelona
Veterinarians complete eight strenuous years of schooling to become doctors of veterinary medicine, and for good reason! Unlike their human counterparts, animals aren’t able to tell the doctor what hurts—which makes a vet’s job hard work.
Vets help make sure dogs are healthy and happy and help animals who are sick. A career as a vet is very rewarding, though it also sees a lot of sad days.
Not ready for 8 years of hard schooling? Veterinary technicians, and vet assistants also give tremendous care to our four legged friends after just 2-4 years of post graduate work. Animal care is demanding but rewarding work.
Veterinary assistants require no certification or degree, but there are many programs to help you in this career path offered through technical and community colleges. This field of study plus on-the-job training could help you step up to a vet tech certification in the future.
Vet tech programs are typically two years, and can have a range of specializations from dentistry to internal medicine.
Increasingly, we consider our dogs members of family. But sometimes, with travel and busy lives, we need to find additional pet care. That’s where pet sitters and dog walkers come in.
Whether the dog’s parents are headed out for the workday or a two week-long getaway, someone has to care for their beloved pet.
Options include dog walking, dog sitting, doggie daycare, and drop-in visits.
Want something less time-consuming? Consider dog walking! It’s not only a fabulous way to get the dog(s) some exercise, but yourself, too—plus it’s a great way to explore your city.
Interested in becoming a sitter? Click here to learn how Rover.com can help!
If you’ve got a whole lot of patience just ready to be spent, a career as a dog trainer may just be the job for you.
Whether you’re teaching basic commands to an untrained dog one on one, leading a puppy manners class, or temperament testing rescue dogs for future forever home placement, the key to dog training is understanding the inner workings of a dog’s mind—and knowing how to help mold it.
The Certified Pet Dot Trainer program requires 300 hours of classwork, plus continuing education to keep your accreditation.
While schooling is helpful to become a dog trainer, it’s not absolutely necessary, and skills can be learned from shadowing a reputable trainer in your area.
Training a service dog is a fantastic way to help people and dogs by teaching them how to interact with one another. To train service dogs means not only training a dog to do the work, but also training the human half of the partnership to work with their dog, and to help train and refresh existing dog-human partnerships to new commands and tasks.
There are a number of service dog organizations across the country that train and place service animals that you can look into, and learn more about volunteering, apprenticing to train, or getting involved with a service puppy raising program.
An animal or dog behaviorist studies the way dogs behave, and attempts to discover the influences that encourage certain types of behavior.
Working as a dog behaviorist often means entering homes to observe the relationship between a family and its dog to pinpoint—and correct!—trouble areas, much like a psychologist or psychiatrist would do with its patients.
There are both Masters and Doctorate level programs in Animal Behavior. An undergraduate degree in biology or psychology is a plus.
K9 police dogs are specifically trained to help police sniff out drugs and hazardous materials, find missing people and crime scene evidence in search-and-rescue missions, and serve and protect their police officer counterpart.
To become a K9 handler requires 1 to 2 years of policing experience and a love of both animals and working with the public, as police dogs always receive a lot of attention when they’re out in uniform. On the job training for dog handling roles is provided by the department.
Dog grooming requires an apprenticeship—on the job training with an experienced groomer. Once you get a feel for the craft, you can become certified by the National Dog Groomers Association of Canada. the NDAGC offers a 35 hour program to teach you all you need to know about bathing animals for your certificate and licensing as a Bather in the Animal Pet Industry.
There are tons of more esoteric jobs for dog lovers out there, like becoming a dog photographer, dog show handler, search-and-rescue dog handler, or owning or working in a pet store.
If you’re not looking to delve into a career that’s all about dogs, look for a dog-friendly working environment! Many workplaces—including Rover’s—allow its employees to bring around their non-human BFFs. Now that’s what we like to call a win-win.