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6 Ways to Earn a Living as a Dog Lover

They say the key to being happy in your career is to do something you love. So if you love dogs, why not find a job that involves spending time with canines? There are several options, so whether you want to work indoors or outdoors, with one dog at a time or multiple, you’re likely to find something perfect for you! Ready for a career change? Consider one of these cool jobs where your clients are canine!

1. Dog Walker

One of the easiest dog jobs for a dog lover to ease into is being a walker. The only real requirements are physical stamina and the ability to walk a dog. Owners can’t get away from work, or are in capable of providing their dog with adequate exercise; they turn to professional walkers to get their dog out and about. An efficient walker will be referred over and over again. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. Need to brush up on dog walking skills? Volunteer at the local animal shelter. They are always looking for help to exercise the dogs throughout the day.

 2. Dog Sitter

If the dog walking business begins to flourish, one may want to branch out to dog sitting. Owners hire sitters when they have to leave town. A little more responsibility is added than merely walking. Caring for the overall well being of a dog, may intimidate some people. Especially if distributing medication is involved. It is recommended that a dog sitter be certified in pet first aid, but by no means a requirement.

 3. Dog Taxi

Another branch of dog walking or sitting is becoming a dog taxi. Occasionally owners are unable to get their dogs to the vet, the groomer, or out to the dog park. A larger vehicle would be needed for this, a van or SUV and appropriate dog restraints (Doggy seatbelts, crates for smaller dogs, car leash clips, etc…) There are some requirements which are insurance related. Check with an insurance agent to see what policies are required and what are recommended.

 4. Dog Trainer

There are many different avenues that a certified dog trainer can branch into, behavioral; service dogs; search & rescue; special sports training, etc… Whichever route is chosen, first and foremost is receiving the necessary certifications. There are several online schools that provide the tools needed to become a trainer. Take some time, volunteer at the local animal shelter. If there is a trainer or resident dog person on staff, ask to work with them. Become familiar with what is expected in this line of work. Being a people person is also a large aspect to this line of work. A trainer gives an owner the tools to work with their dogs.

 5. Dog Groomer

Grooming isn’t just bathing a dog; there is more to it than that. Certain breeds have special needs when it comes to their coat care. A certification is required at most pet spas/salons but there is a way to break in before investing in an education. Talk to some local groomers; ask about getting hired on as a bather. Read up on breeds and their specific grooming requirements. Brush up on basic people skills, some clients (dogs and people alike) may be very particular on what they want.

 6. Dog Handler

Becoming a handler at dog shows is an obtainable position for someone who is willing to work hard, study a lot and who loves to travel. A handler must know about the breed they are handling, knowledge of breed specifics for many different dogs is required. Attending dog shows often will give a potential handler an understanding of the process, what is expected and how to handle themselves.

Most of the positions listed are considered self-employment. Taking some marketing and business classes through a local community college or community classes through the city would benefit a small business start up. Contact the local chamber of commerce to inquire about other networking opportunities.


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Written by Renee Moen
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