Offering dog lifestyle services can be more fulfilling than you think. According to AmericanPetProducts.org, pet owners have spent $10.3 billion on training, pet sitting and grooming in 2019, alone. A survey conducted in 2017, showed that 89.7 million dogs were adopted in the US. So, with animal care and services expected to continue to emerge, there are a lot of opportunities if you have the right qualifications to build a career around dogs.
Dog sitters are often hired when dog owners are out of town. They are required to make multiple visits at the dog owner’s home or to bring the client’s dog into theirs. While there is no standard fee for this service, it would be best to negotiate depending on the duration of the stay and the special needs of the dog, if any. Because the nature of dog-sitting is a physical service, it would be best to consider insurance for pet sitting businesses for peace of mind. This will ensure that you, your clients, and the team will be well covered and protected.
Kennel managers can earn between $25,000 to $40,000, depending on the size of the kennel they manage. They are usually employed by dog breeders and dog show handlers because of the number of dogs they house. Their job is to stay in charge of the general welfare of the dogs by keeping the kennels clean, making sure the dogs are groomed and kept healthy by following their scheduled meals and exercise.
In addition, they must also report if there are any behavioral changes in the dogs they handle. While there is no education requirement to be a kennel manager, it is preferred to start out as kennel assistants to familiarize with the workflow.
Dog walkers pick up their clients’ dogs and return them at the end of the stroll. They usually walk more than one dog at a time and decide how many they could handle at a single stroll. Dog walkers usually charge by the session. There are no standard fees for dog walking. It would be best to know the running rate in the area and negotiate with potential clients.
Doggy Day Care
In doggy daycare, meanwhile, owners leave their dogs and pick them up again at the end of the day. For an extra fee, owners can leave their dogs overnight. Services include grooming, basic obedience training and group play with other dogs in the daycare. Pet daycares usually charge between $10-25 per day.
Dog trainers can specialize in different fields. They can conduct training for behavioral modification, service dogs, show dog handling and even focus on a certain breed. They can be self-employed or be hired by pet stores for their training programs. Animal shelters, veterinary clinics and kennels also collaborate with dog trainers.
For behavior modification, they will train the dogs but also teach owners how to sustain the effects of the training. While there is no educational background required to be able to train dogs, an apprenticeship under an experienced dog trainer and becoming certified are highly preferred. An experienced trainer can earn up to $40,000 per year.
Dog groomers are responsible for the hygienic and style aspect of dogs by making sure their fur, skin, teeth, nails and hair are well maintained. Dog groomers can self-practice or work in a grooming salon. In salons, they usually earn 50% of the price plus tips. Their earnings depend on how many dogs they can groom in a day. They also have the option to practice solo by doing a mobile grooming service. Aside from gaining years of experience as a grooming assistant, becoming certified is also preferred. Full-time groomers can earn between $30,000 to $60,000 yearly.
Dog breeders focus primarily on the production of purebred puppies that are meant to be show dogs, companions or breeding stocks. Apart from kennel management, they assist in problematic births, study pedigree and register their dogs in breed associations. They usually focus on hunting or house-trained dogs and make sure they are well-adept in the physical standards and behavior for the breed they choose. Breeders usually coordinate with veterinarians and groomers to make sure their dogs are in tiptop shape and style.
Not to mention, dog breeders can earn an extra income by offering additional services such as dog training, grooming and even kennel management. Dog breeders do not have a fixed income as it depends on their sales. While there is no degree required for dog breeding, being knowledgeable about animal science and business would be helpful.
Dog Show Handler
Dog show handlers are independent contractors that travel around the country with their clients’ dogs to look for championships. They usually specialize in a single breed. Show dogs usually stay with their handlers throughout the duration of their career. Dog show handlers earn from grooming and kennel management of their show dogs. They also charge their traveling expenses to their clients.
While no training is required to be a dog handler, it helps to be a dog trainer and dog groomer before entering the dog show handler business. To be recognized by prestigious handler membership groups, you need at least 7 to 10 years of experience in the dog show business. An established dog show handler earns $50,000 to $60,000 per year.
There are many job opportunities in working with canines. With the networks and a good amount of research, you can find apprenticeships that are available if you are determined to pursue this career path. But more than the training, the most integral part of this career path is not only to get financial fulfillment, but also to have a passion for pups. If you are passionate about dogs, it might be time to give these career choices a try.