“This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.”
If you’re one of those people who visit your friends only to play with their dog, you may be pleased to hear that there are ways to surround yourself with fluffy pups on the regular and even make a living from it. Even without investing a large amount of money into careers like veterinary work, it’s possible to still work hands-on with pets on the daily. But where do you start, and how do you know when you’ve found your calling? Luckily, there is a broad range of options to choose from!
Looking forward to just spending some time with a furry friend? Pet sitting is the perfect option for you! This is one of the unique side-jobs where you might not even need to quit your other full-time job if you don’t wish to. To get started, consider first spreading the word around your neighborhood to get friends and community members talking about what skills you’re offering. You could also tap into dog communities online to promote your pet-sitting services.
Further, it’s recommended to have a schedule in place and handy for the times you’re available, making it easier for pet parents to call and talk about working with you. In terms of skills, a general affinity for pets and the ability to deal with pet emergencies is a must, but as a pet-lover, these are probably skills you already possess.
Dog Trainer or Behaviorist
Adopting a new dog can be intimidating at first, but dog trainers can help ease the stress of the process. Behaviorists also step in when a new owner is facing a specific problem with their dog, such as them being moody or fussy or not listening to commands/not taking to new training. All these are indicative of underlying issues which behaviorists can address.
If you’ve ever felt like you can speak a dog’s special language, or feel a special connection with even the most difficult of pups, you might consider looking into what it takes to become a professional trainer or behaviorist to help owners, new and old, develop stronger relationships with their new best friends.
Depending on your level of creativity, becoming a pet photographer comes with a lot of glamour and very few cons! Not only can it potentially pay well once you’ve established a client base, it also allows you to spend time with furballs of all breeds. You can dress them up, take them out, and play with them as much as you want while getting the best shots.
Despite the seeming easiness of this profession, however, being a successful pet photographer requires a lot of skill and patience. Photography skills aside, being a pet photographer requires the ability to quickly connect with clients and their dogs, maintaining composure even in moments of frustration, fully understanding photography and all the tools necessary, as well as the ability to adapt to changing situations during shoots.
Generally, your pay depends on the kinds of projects you take up. You might consider private photoshoots for pet parents, or branded ones for large-scale manufacturers and companies. You could also organize your own photoshoot and then sell your work online, host exhibitions, or contact pet care brands who would need the pictures for promotional material.
If fashion is your first love and dogs are what you live for, you can combine the two and become a dog groomer. From giving them the latest look to making sure their coat and nails shine, this career includes spending a lot of time making pups look their very best.
To build some initial traction and find clientele, not unlike many of the other jobs suggested, it’s essential to appropriately publicize your skills and services via social media. Consider platforms like Instagram for behind-the-scenes photos, Facebook for connecting with potential clients, and LinkedIn to show off your professional history. Once the regular customers are hooked, you can slowly start to establish your own studio/ boutique.
Since the start of the pandemic and with a growing wave of the workforce moving remotely, a large number of people have begun to adopt pets for companionship. For any business in this category, this means that there is an expansion of the customer base. In simple terms, your services are more in demand now than ever before. No doubt, working with pets is heart-warming and fulfilling — a career option that will surely make you a happier person.
Jori Hamilton is a writer from the pacific northwest. You can follow her on twitter @HamiltonJori and see more of her work at writerjorihamilton.contently.com.