13 exciting jobs working with dogs and their primary duties

Updated 25 July 2023

Image description

A woman hugs a dog with her arm next to a list entitled, "Example career opportunities in dog care" with these jobs:

  • Dog daycare attendant

  • Dog trainer

  • Veterinarian technician

  • Pet groomer

  • Kennel assistant

Because people look for qualified professionals to care for their pets, there are a range of job opportunities related to dog care and management that you can explore. Many people that love dogs are interested in a career path where they can work closely with dogs and develop a bond with the animals in their care. By looking for a job in dog care, you can have companionship with the animals you love while also creating a satisfying career. In this article, we discuss common requirements for dog care positions, review 13 careers that involve working with dogs and discuss some of the key skills for these roles.

What are the requirements for jobs working with dogs?

When pursuing a job in animal care, it's important to be able to provide a high standard of care. You often look after people's pets, so they may have special requirements and expectations for their dogs. Many jobs in dog care provide on-the-job training where you can learn about feeding, hygiene and healthy exercise expectations for dogs. Depending on the type of job, other positions may require you to have particular qualifications, ranging from certificates in dog care to degrees in veterinary medicine. For example, a dog groomer may complete a training course with an employer, while a veterinarian requires years of training in university.

13 career opportunities in dog care

Below are some good job opportunities involving dog care and management:

1. Pet groomer

National average salary: £9.93 per hour

Primary duties: The duties of a pet groomer involves cleaning and maintaining the dog's hygiene and appearance. This includes bathing them, trimming their fur and cleaning their teeth. They communicate with the dog's owner about what type of grooming services to provide and any special considerations to know about the animal's behaviour. Pet groomers watch out for ticks, mites and fleas that cause skin irritation or any signs of infection that may require treatment from a vet.

2. Pet sitter

National average salary: £8.56 per hour

Primary duties: Pet sitters take care of people's dogs when they're away for work or vacation. They perform several duties like bathing and feeding the dog. Also, they exercise and play with dogs to stimulate them both physically and mentally. Pet sitters may even take animals to the veterinary doctor for check-ups, diagnosis and treatment when necessary. They report back to the dog's owner about their pet's behaviour after each appointment.

3. Kennel assistant

National average salary: £9.13 per hour

Primary duties: Kennel assistants often take care of dogs at dog boarding homes, shelters or veterinary hospitals. They clean and maintain the dogs' hygiene by bathing them, cleaning the dogs' kennels and giving them medicine when necessary. In some cases, the kennel assistants help the dogs with training and exercise. They give special care to stressed dogs and ensure that dogs have their veterinary procedures at the appropriate time.

4. Dog walker

National average salary: £9.91 per hour

Primary duties: A dog walker provides dogs with physical exercise to keep them healthy and enriched by taking them on walks and runs or going to the dog park. Dog walkers may work with one dog at a time or take multiple dogs along the same route, keeping them focused and moving at a steady pace. They ensure that the dogs stay safe during the walk and make note of the length, time and location of each excursion. After the walks, they may refill food and water bowls.

Related: A step-by-step guide on how to become a dog walker

5. Animal control officer

National average salary: £14.24 per hour

Primary duties: Animal control officers investigate cases of animal neglect and rescue escaped animals. They reply to calls relating to animals in danger, help injured animals get treatment, move animals to shelters and testify in a court regarding pet abuse. Additionally, they communicate with dog owners about animal welfare laws to ensure that the dogs get appropriate treatment. This job category is broad as it encompasses other job positions like dog wardens, animal investigators and dog catchers.

6. Dog trainer

National average salary: £23,136 per year

Primary duties: A pet trainer has the sole duty of training a dog to improve its behaviour. Your job might require you to train several dogs or puppies at once. Dog trainers also retrain rescued dogs before they go to new homes. Dog trainers work with dog owners to teach their pets to answer specific actions and commands. They can also train dogs to perform specific services, such as training guide dogs or medical alert dogs.

Related: How to become a dog trainer (with tips and FAQs)

7. Veterinarian

National average salary: £47,539 per year

Primary duties: Veterinarians are doctors who specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and injuries relating to animals. As a veterinarian, you perform important medical activities on dogs like general body assessment, drug prescriptions, vaccination and surgeries. Veterinarians also advise dog owners on significant issues like how to manage their dogs' medical conditions or provide appropriate nutrition.

8. Veterinary assistant

National average salary: £18,030 per year

Primary duties: A veterinary assistant's job is to aid the veterinarian in performing their job and giving treatment to the dogs. Their tasks include restraining animals during treatment or general assessments and gathering information about each case. They sterilise both medical and non-medical equipment, clean the working environment and give the dogs drugs that the veterinarian prescribed for them. These assistants ensure all records are up to date. Veterinary assistants can also schedule appointments and assist during emergencies. Sometimes, they clean and groom dogs.

9. Veterinary technician

National average salary: £24,817 per year

Primary duties: Veterinary technicians are laboratory technicians who work in vet clinics. They perform tests to ascertain the major cause of an animal's ailment or behaviour. During emergencies, the technicians give the dogs emergency care and treatment before they receive treatment from the vet. These technicians prepare the dogs for medical treatment, take x-rays, give medications and vaccinations and communicate with the veterinary team to provide comprehensive care.

10. Breeder

National average salary: £25,051 per year

Primary duties: Dog breeders care for dogs with the goal of having them mate and produce healthy puppies. They study each dog's pedigree and bloodline to identify purebred dogs and determine which animals to consider for breeding. They may focus on breeding dogs to achieve certain features like a level of intelligence or a calm temperament. Daily, they make sure the dogs eat well, play and receive adequate veterinary care. As a dog breeder, you write down and update all documentation regarding the health details of the dogs in your care. You also thoroughly research potential families who want to adopt a puppy.

Related: ​How to become a licensed dog breeder (with qualifications)

11. Veterinary receptionist

National average salary: £9.31 per hour

Primary duties: As a veterinary receptionist, you perform administrative tasks at the reception of a veterinary hospital. You pick up calls on behalf of the hospital and respond to emails, schedule appointments and process payments for the hospital. Additionally, you monitor the office needs, make purchases and make sure that organisations deliver the appropriate items to the hospital. Daily, you keep records of all incoming and outgoing patients.

12. Animal caretaker

National average salary: £19,058 per year

Primary duties: Animal caretakers support the overall wellbeing of animals in their custody by giving them food and water, bathing and grooming them, cleaning their cages, giving them their medicine when necessary, playing, walking and exercising with them. These caretakers give special care to pregnant dogs, monitor them throughout the pregnancy and also take good care of their puppies. Animal caretakers build relationships with their dogs such that they notice changes in their behaviour and can make adjustments to their environment to support their mood and health.

13. Handler

National average salary: £22,943 per year

Primary duties: Dog handlers work alongside dogs to complete specific tasks. They may work with dogs competing in dog shows to complete agility tasks or handle professional animals, such as dogs on rescue teams. Dog handlers have specific skills depending on the situation, but they also care for their dogs by bathing them, feeding them and maintaining their overall good hygiene. They also maintain the training and discipline of the dog to ensure they can complete specific tasks.

Related: How to become a dog handler in the army

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Related articles

12 First Jobs for Teens

Explore more articles

  • What does an administrative accountant do? (With skills)
  • What Is a Contract Employee? (With Benefits and Disadvantages)
  • What is vet work experience? (With FAQs and steps)
  • How to become a BIM manager (with definition and skills)
  • 16 examples of IT job titles (With duties and salaries)
  • 13 jobs with plants (with definitions and responsibilities)
  • How to become a mediator in the UK (step-by-step guide)
  • What does a production engineer do? (Plus salary info)
  • High paying computer science jobs (With salaries and duties)
  • 15 jobs with the highest starting salary (plus duties)
  • What does a media studies A-level involve? (With examples)
  • Role of a marketing manager: a comprehensive guide