Off the Beaten Career Path With Dogs
By Carol Bryant for The Dog Daily
Years ago, Googling “careers with animals” would have turned up such admirable professions as veterinarian, groomer, veterinary technician, trainer, or dog handler. Today, those results still surface, but so do a new host of other dog-oriented careers. In viewing this list, consider the educational implications, possible costs and the time needed to commit. If any of the following pique your interest, an initial first step should involve asking someone who is currently in the industry if you can talk to them and/or visit their place of business.
Pet Sitter: Complete with its own national nonprofit trade association (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters), pet-sitting provides thousands with a new trade. With an estimated 73 million dogs in United States homes, pet sitters are able to dote upon and care for dogs where they are most comfortable, surrounded by familiar sights, smells and sounds.
Dog Writer: The Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) reports that prior to Feb. 13, 1935, the dog writer as we know it did not exist. The DWAA was formed in the Westminster Kennel Club’s meeting room, and dog writers have been making their mark and marking their words ever since. The profession now finds itself on blogs, in breed-specific magazines, in general publications, in syndicated columns, in books and even in the pet product industry.
Canine Hands-on: From humane law enforcement to working with a search and rescue unit, canine cops, bomb-sniffing dogs, cadaver dogs and even dog detectives that find lost dogs have emerged as viable career options.
Pet Product Business Owner: From virtual storefronts on Etsy.com to the vast amount of vendors involved in groups like the American Pet Products Association (APPA), being a self-made entrepreneur has its merits. Proven to be almost recession-proof, pet product spending has shown to be on the rise and continues its upswing.
Beyond these four, other dog-themed careers to consider include website designer, pet photographer, dog walker, dog day care owner, mobile dog groomer, employee at a dog show arena, pet illustrator/artist, volunteer at a shelter, guide dog trainer, owner of a dog-friendly destination (i.e., bed and breakfast), and even pet masseuse. No matter the choice, one thing is certain: Dog careers are blossoming by leaps, bounds and wags.
Carol Bryant is the Social Media and PR Director for Fido Friendly magazine. A frequent media contributor, Carol is a two-time nominee from the Dog Writers Association of America, and she maintains her own dog blog, Fidose of Reality. Her articles have previously appeared in The Dog Daily.