An Overview of Pet Care Jobs and Opportunities

There are a wide range of pet care jobs available today for everything from dog massage therapists to veterinarians. If you have a passion for all animals, not only dogs or cats, then one of these animal care jobs may be right for you.


A veterinarian's main role is to diagnose health problems in all types of animals. Physical exams, vaccinations, prescribing medications, setting broken bones, treating wounds, putting animals down and recommending animal care for pet owners are also parts of veterinary work. Education requirements include state licensing and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Most vets deal with companion animals like cats and dogs but must be prepared to see birds, ferrets, turtles and any other pets. Other vets work in mixed animal offices where livestock and sometimes wild animals may be brought in along with household pets. Veterinarians may also choose to work in basic and applied research to find new information on animal health.

Pet Sitter

Many pet sitting jobs are informal arrangements but this can be a career choice for dedicated animal lovers. Pet sitters should be familiar with animal health in case any pets in your care are on medication or if something goes wrong. It is important to have insurance, and some states may require licenses for pet sitting businesses. While animals are in your care, pet sitters must provide proper food, exercise the animals, administer any medication the animal is already taking, and take care of any special needs.


As one of the most popular pet care services, grooming offers various options for people looking to enter the industry. Groomers can work at pet salons, vet's offices, pet stores, kennels, animal shelters, or visit people's homes for a more convenient service. Responsibilities include sterilizing and maintaining grooming equipment, scheduling appointments, bathing animals, trimming and brushing hair, cutting nails, cleaning ears and styling. Groomers should also look out for medical conditions like hot spots or ear infections and alert owners. From time to time groomers will have to deal with uncooperative animals that don't want to be groomed, so patience, physical strength and a caring demeanor is important.

Animal Trainer

Trainers can work with animals for several reasons including obedience training, to help disabled owners, to provide security or to rehabilitate an animal. Horses, dogs and marine mammals are the most common animals to be trained. Animals like dogs will not only learn new tricks but will stay calm while traveling, visiting a vet, or meeting new people. Patience is an essential quality for animal trainers due to the amount of repetition and conditioning required to train any animal.

Kennel and Animal Shelters

At a kennel or animal shelters, workers are generally responsible for cleaning up cages and other areas and feeding and exercising the animals. Senior staff may provide basic animal health care, grooming, and obedience training. At shelters, workers keep records of the animals at the facility and their vaccinations and health records, plan adoptions with owners, educate new owners about pet care and neutering and sometimes euthanize sick or unwanted animals.