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Animal Caregivers & Trainers

 
 
 

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an animal trainer feeding a horse Animal care and service workers are employed in a number of animal-related positions, including animal caretaker, animal trainer, kennel attendant, groomer, pet sitter, groom, and zookeeper.  They are employed by boarding kennels, pet stores, animal shelters, rescue leagues, veterinary clinics, stables, laboratories, aquariums, natural aquatic habitats, and zoological parks.
  • Kennel attendants work in a boarding kennel and care for animals while their owners are away.  They perform basic tasks like cleaning cages and dog runs, filling food and water dishes, and exercising the animals.  Some attendants may also be responsible for bathing and grooming the animals, and providing basic heath care.
  • Animal groomers work in kennels, veterinary clinics, animal shelters, and pet supply stores.  Some operate their own business from a salon or make house calls.  Groomers brush and comb animals, clip their fur and nails, clean their ears, bathe them, and blow them dry.
  • Caretakers working in animal shelters take care of the basic needs of the animals, in addition to keeping records and interacting with the public.  Experienced caretakers may be responsible for vaccinating animals and euthanizing severely ill, injured, or unwanted animals.
  • Pet sitters look after pets in the owner's home while the owner is away.  They feed, walk, and play with the animal(s).  They may also bathe, groom, and train them.
  • Grooms take care of horses in stables.  They are responsible for saddling and unsaddling horses, rubbing them down, and walking them to cool off after a ride, as well as feeding, grooming, and exercising each horse.  They also clean the stalls and replenish bedding, polish saddles, clean and organize the tack room, and store supplies and feed.
  • Zookeepers work in zoos, preparing animal diets and cleaning their enclosures.  They also assist in raising very young animals, and keep a record of animals' behavior.  Many keepers also answer questions for the visiting public.
  • Animal trainers train animals for purposes such as riding, security, performance, obedience, and disability assistance.  Dogs, horses, and marine mammals are the most commonly trained animals.  Trainers often work in circuses, marine parks, aquariums, animal shelters, dog kennels, or horse farms.
Many animal service positions require on the job training, but some, such as that of a marine mammal trainer, require a bachelor's degree and additional skills.  Earnings are relatively low compared to the national average, but job outlook for most positions is excellent, except in the highly competitive careers of zookeeper and marine mammal trainer.  For information about becoming an advanced pet care technician, visit the Pet Care Services Association website.  Additional information about pet grooming careers can be found at the National Dog Groomers Association of America website.

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About Animal Caregivers & Trainers