What It Takes to Be a Pet Professional

A Pet Professional is someone who cares about animals enough to work with them for a career. A Pet Professional usually gains training and experience through a college, trade school or an apprenticeship program. The career of Pet Professional can include many different vocations, including Dog Trainer, Dog Walker, Pet Sitter/Border, Doggy Daycare Worker, Professional Groomer and Dog Breeder. A Pet Professional usually gets a foothold in the industry through on the job training, and most hold a high school diploma or GED. A veterinarian requires a doctorate degree. Learning basic aspects of animal health and behavior are an important part of training. Groomers keep animals healthy and hygienic and trainers teach obedience that keeps both animals and their companions happy and safe.

Pet Groomers

A pet groomer keeps your pet looking its best. They do everything from teeth brushing to bathing, brushing fur and clipping nails. They fulfill the owners wishes and also make suggestions in regards to the general care and health of the animal. A groomer always keeps tools in top condition and as clean as possible. Avoiding infection and disease transmission are very important and a groomer’s first priority is to keep their equipment and working area spotless. Workstations can be in a number of places whether in their own homes, pet supply stores, a mobile unit or in a veterinarian’s office. The skill of dog grooming is most commonly learned from an “apprenticeship program” and from someone with a more established business, more experience and sharper skills. There are also licensed pet grooming schools with extensive programs that cover all aspects of this business from behavior, breeds and bathing to everything in between.

What Does a Pet Professional Make?

If you are thinking of Dog Groomer as a career, it is not only a growth industry but the Bureau of Labor Statsitics lists the median annual salary for this profession around $25,000. In talking to groomers we know, the earnings potential extends way beyond this with an active list of clients.

What About Dog Trainers?

Dog Trainer is also a growth industry with similarly good compensation. This aspect of the canine industry is dedicated to teaching dogs to obey commands, to work as guard dogs, assist people with disabilities or who need emotional support and last but not least to perform tricks! Trainers teach dogs to be comfortable with human touch and close contact, to accept training and the positive reinforcement to learn correct behavior for their assigned jobs. Trainers develop very close relationships with the animals they work with by using both verbal and physical signals and cues. They also teach owners how to properly work with and handle their animals. Dog trainers can work for anyone who has a business that includes canines. Some of the most common are: Dog kennels, shelters, performing dog businesses (hunting or show dogs) and circuses that include dogs. They also work frequently with private individuals. Good trainers teach dogs how to be great companions and loving family members, fearless competitors and even show dogs or movie stars. Trainers also climb the ranks through apprenticeship programs with highly skilled handlers.

What Certifications Do I Need to Become a Pet Professional?

The very highest levels of dog training may require a degree, these include: professional service, performing and working dogs in industries such as film, television, security, law enforcement, border services, etc. Canine courses exist at colleges and trades schools, they tend to focus on obedience, safety, canine theory and problem-solving. Dog groomers keep Rover looking his/her best, trainers keep them well behaved, dependable companions and breeders ensure their best attributes are passed down to future generations of “man’s best friend.”

Take a deep dive into the various pet professions:

More to come!