By definition, pet care is the care and medical treatment of pets. Thus, pet care service is any job that has to do with taking care of pets. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of pet care services and professions out there! And what does it take to become a professional?
Fur Parents Love Their Pets
The United States has 136.4 million homes. This doesn’t even take into account the people who can’t have pets for various reasons. ArcGis puts the average number of people in a household for 2022 at 2.6. This statistic makes sense that there are 272 million pet lovers.
If you like animals, you’ve probably thought about getting a job that involves caring for them. How cool would it be to do what you love for a living and spend your days with animals? I’m sure you know at least one person who has fun at home with their pets and doesn’t need to go anywhere else.
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9 Types of Pet Care Professions and Services
If you think of pet care professionals, top of the types of pet care services list would be the ‘vet’. Also called a veterinary physician or a veterinary surgeon, veterinarians not only care for our pets but also contribute to society by working to improve public health. To do this, they research diseases and medical conditions of a wide variety of animals and diagnose and treat pets and livestock.
A veterinarian is a doctor who treats animals, but their tasks might actually be a bit more complicated. An animal doesn’t get to a vet’s clinic all by itself. There has to be a human that helps the animal seek medical attention. This means that the veterinarian will have to deal with at least two individuals ALL THE TIME.
What does it take to be a veterinarian?
- A bachelor’s degree. They have to graduate with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from an accredited college of veterinary medicine.
- Communication skills. Vets have to be able to give the best care possible to our pets. They also need to make sure that their instructions to their staff are clear and understood correctly. This is especially important when it comes to explaining options and recommendations to pet owners. Lives literally depend on it.
- Compassion and empathy. Kindness and respect are both very important when dealing with animals, and it is equally very important to be sensitive when they deal with the owners. When dealing with pets that are sick or dying, compassion makes a lot of difference in terms of relating to the animals and their owners.
- Manual dexterity. Because a veterinarian will find himself having to do surgical procedures on his patients, he has to be able to use his hands very skillfully.
- Problem-solving and decision-making skills. These two go hand-in-hand and are most critical when it comes to diagnosing and treating their patients. The most tricky part is that our pets can’t tell them exactly what they’re feeling and the vets can’t ask them probing questions.
It takes a lot to become a doctor and it takes a lot to continue to be one. But the rewards are definitely worth all the hard work.
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They help with duties at the clinic, but more importantly, they help with exercising the pets and they also help with kennel work. This kind of job will require someone to be compassionate, patient, keen on details, and organized. Someone who can handle situations where pets are very ill or undergo euthanasia.
Exercise is as important to dogs as it is to humans. So, for very busy people, hiring someone to walk their dogs is just natural. To be a dog walker, one can either join an existing company. You can also be a private dog walker, or join a dog walking app for starters and get a feel of how things go and how much you can potentially earn from it.
The job seems pretty simple, but there still are prerequisites to this profession. At the very least, a dog walker should be familiar with state laws, should know how to handle all kinds of dogs, and have the proper training for emergency situations.
Pet sitting pretty much works the same way as babysitting does, except that you’ll be taking care of a pet. This can also include dog walking, depending on the agreement between the pet owner and the pet sitter.
Pet sitters need to earn the trust of the owners of their pets before they can start a long-term business relationship with them. Trust is important because the pet owner is letting a stranger into their personal space. And it is not just the safety and security of the pet at stake, but every member of the household.
They can even stay overnight when the pet owners have to go out of town. Pet owners can ask for a different rate for overnight stays or discuss additional fees depending on how much work is needed. A pet sitter can either have a different rate for overnight stays or simply discuss additional fees depending on how much work needs to be done.
Pet Boarding or Kennel Attendants
Pet boarding attendants are a combination of a pet sitter and a veterinary assistant. The main difference is that pet boarding attendants don’t get to choose the pets they look after as pets are taken to a pet boarding business. Pet boarding assistants may be required to work on holidays, especially if the business is open 7 days a week.
If you are someone who just loves seeing those poodles and chow chows with their hair trimmed, and the Maltese that looks like it has its hair brushed more times in a day than you brush your hair in a week, then the dog grooming profession wouldn’t be alien to your ears. When you’re the creative type, or maybe even a frustrated hairstylist, perhaps dog grooming would be twice the fun for someone who loves pets.
Pet trainers teach our pets to listen, be obedient, and ‘have manners’. Well-trained pets are also able to help their owners by being less of a headache when it comes to having to clean up after them. They can be dog trainers, cat trainers, or any other type of animal (whether domesticated or not) that requires a lot of expertise in animal behavior.
Veterinarians who practice acupuncture as part of a pet’s treatment are called veterinary or animal acupuncturists. Their median salary, on average, is $48,400.
Dog or Cat Breeder / Assistant
Someone who is a big fan of puppies and kittens would perhaps find dog/cat breeding very appealing. The wonderful thing about being a breeder or an assistant to the breeder is that you get to spend a lot of time caring for the little ones while running the business of maintaining high genetic standards at the same time.
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Basic Qualities Needed In Most Types Of Pet Care Services
As with any job opportunity, there are certain skills that someone who chooses to care for pets should have. These include:
- Being reliable, responsible, and trustworthy.
Pets are almost always considered ‘family’ by their owners. So, leaving a pet in someone’s care is like leaving a child to a nanny or babysitter.
Being able to put oneself in the shoes of another to understand how they feel is important. This not only enables one to respond appropriately, but also to be able to do it with sincerity.
- Being physically fit.
Most types of pet care services will either require a job applicant to be able to handle/lift big dogs or be able to stand/walk for long periods of time. Endurance is equally important, especially for those who work long hours.
- Being patient / having great customer service skills.
Pet care professionals deal with different types of owners and different types of pets on a daily basis–and they all have their own personalities. One must be able to adjust quickly and have the patience to deal with the more difficult customers.
- Having excellent communication skills and strong interpersonal skills.
Whenever a job requires an exchange of instructions and information, it is always important that those involved can both understand and communicate clearly. Along with this is the inherent ability to be able to get along with all kinds of people from all walks of life.
- Being attentive and keen on details.
This quality can never be understated. Having high attention to detail is especially very important when we deal with their lives. There is no room for error (or forgetfulness) when it comes to administering medicine, taking note of allergies, and even anxiety triggers.
If you are interested in getting yourself into a pet care profession, it’s important to take note of the qualities that will help you become successful in your chosen field. There are jobs that do not require a college degree or formal training. Ask yourself if you are willing to put in the time and effort.
A kennel attendant, for example, is a good entry-level position that an undergraduate or high school graduate would be qualified for. The same goes for being a pet sitter, especially if you are just doing this part-time and taking care of your neighbors’ pets.
Things To Consider as a Pet Care Professional
Consider the hazards that go with various types of pet care services. There are pet care insurance policies that are meant to cover the needs of these types of pet care professionals. But if you plan on starting your own business and hiring an employee or more, then you’d have to look into the relevant insurances designed to provide protection to the business and its employees in the event that any untoward incident happens. It is always better to be prepared than sorry.
Don’t risk the safety of your clients!
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Pet Care Professional Insurance from Advantage Insurance Solutions is what you need if you’re planning to own your own business and hire an employee or more. It covers pet boarding, pet grooming, pet walking services and more.
Call (877) 658-2472 for a quote.