19 Best Jobs With Dogs | Career Paths for Dog Lovers

Ever feel like your dog judges you for having a 9-5 office job?

Yeah, I’m sure they do, too. 

But hey, what if you could ditch the spreadsheets and turn that doggy adoration into a full-blown career?

The world of canine companionship is full of fulfilling opportunities, whether you’re into training or just want to play with dogs all day (no judgment here).

Let’s explore more awesome jobs with dogs, but trust me, your dream career is out there – so, what are you waiting for?

Let’s dive in!

The Best Jobs to Work with Dogs

Considering a career surrounded by furry companions? Here are some top choices for dog enthusiasts:

three dogs and their owners training in a group dog training class

Pet Dog Trainer

As a pet dog trainer, you’ll teach everything from basic manners to complex commands.

But, plot twist: you’re actually training the humans as much as the dogs.

Yes, your job involves teaching dog owners how to understand and communicate with their furry friends and make the training stick. If you’re a people person with a knack for dog behavior, this gig is like hitting the jackpot.

Pet dog trainers often offer services such as private lessons, group lessons, board and training, day training, or a combination of services packaged together.

Aggressive jack russell terrier dog with bared fangs.

Animal Behaviorist

Deeper than standard training, animal behaviorists integrate their knowledge of dog genetics, psychology, and broader animal behavior patterns.

These experts specialize in addressing and modifying complex behavioral challenges like reactivity, separation anxiety, general anxiety, and aggression.

If you’re passionate about understanding the intricacies of canine psychology and helping dogs overcome their unique challenges, a role as an animal behaviorist might be your calling.

Service Dog Trainer

Service dog trainers specialize in preparing dogs for life-saving roles, from guiding the blind to detecting medical emergencies. It’s a career path that demands patience, dedication, and a deep understanding of dog training techniques.

Plus, the reward of seeing your trained dogs make a real difference in someone’s life? Priceless.

Image credit: Unsplash

Police K9 Trainer

Blend your passion for dogs with a thrill for law enforcement, and you get the dynamic role of a police dog trainer. These trainers prepare dogs for a variety of critical tasks, from sniffing out illegal substances and weapons to tracking suspects.

It’s a job that requires a mix of rigorous training methods, an understanding of police work, and a strong bond with your canine counterparts.

Military Working Dog (MWD) Handler

For those with a call to serve, becoming an MWD handler offers a unique way to answer it alongside a four-legged partner. These handlers train dogs for various military operations, forging a bond that’s as strong on the battlefield as it is off.

It’s a career that combines discipline, courage, and a profound commitment to working with dogs in some of the most challenging environments imaginable.


If you’re drawn to the medical side of animal care, becoming a veterinarian might be your dream job. It’s a role that lets you diagnose, treat, and heal, making a direct impact on the health and well-being of dogs.

Be warned, though: it requires a significant educational commitment, but the reward of saving lives and supporting the human-animal bond makes all those years of study worth it.

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Veterinary Technician

Acting as the right hand to veterinarians, vet techs are crucial to the day-to-day operation of any animal clinic or hospital. They handle everything from taking blood samples to assisting in surgeries, all while providing comfort to pets and their owners.

It’s a career that offers a hands-on role in animal healthcare without the lengthy educational path of becoming a vet.

Veterinary Assistant

Stepping into the role of a veterinary assistant opens the door to a world where every day is about supporting both pets and their people. From administrative tasks to assisting with animal care, this job is about ensuring the smooth operation of veterinary practices.

It’s an excellent entry point for those looking to start a career in animal healthcare.

Doggy DayCare Attendant

For those who can’t think of anything better than being surrounded by dogs all day, working as a doggy daycare attendant might just be the perfect fit.

It’s a job that’s as fun as it sounds, filled with playtime, cuddles, and, yes, the occasional chaos. You’ll be responsible for keeping all the furry clients happy and safe, making it a great starting point for a career in the pet industry.

Kennel Attendant

Kennel attendants are the unsung heroes of animal care facilities. They ensure that dogs are well-cared for, comfortable, and healthy during their stay.

The job involves feeding, cleaning, and sometimes offering a reassuring pat to a nervous pup. It’s a role that might not always be glamorous, but it’s crucial in providing quality care for dogs away from their homes.

Dog Groomer

If you have an eye for style and a gentle touch, dog grooming could be your calling. Groomers do more than just make dogs look good—they play a key role in maintaining a dog’s health through coat care, nail trims, and more.

This type of work combines creativity with animal care, perfect for those who want to ensure every dog looks its best.

Image credit: Unsplash

Grooming Assistant / Bather

Dipping your toes into the grooming world starts here. As a grooming assistant or bather, you’ll prep dogs for their grooming sessions, getting hands-on experience with different breeds and temperaments.

Being a bather is an essential role in any grooming salon, providing a foundation for those aspiring to become full-fledged groomers.

Animal Control Officer

This job is all about making a difference in the community, ensuring both animals and people live together safely.

Animal control officers handle everything from stray pets to animal cruelty cases to wildlife encounters, working to protect, rescue, and sometimes rehabilitate animals in need. Passion for animal welfare and public safety are key features in this role.

Young woman taking a picture with her camera of her Yorkshire dog outdoors.

Dog Photographer

Combine your love for photography with your adoration of dogs, and you’ve got the makings of a dog photographer.

This niche profession allows you to capture the personality and beauty of dogs, providing cherished memories for their owners. It requires a good eye, patience, and, of course, an ability to get your subjects to sit still (good luck).

Image credit: Unsplash

Dog Sitter

For a more flexible approach to working with dogs, dog sitting offers the chance to care for pets in their own homes. This job with dogs requires trustworthiness, reliability, and a lot of love for dogs.

Whether it’s for a day or a couple of weeks, you’ll be providing essential pet care and companionship, making it a rewarding option for dog lovers.

Image credit: Unsplash

Dog Walker

Turn your daily steps into a career by becoming a dog walker. It’s not just about giving dogs their much-needed exercise; it’s about providing them with socialization and a break from their daily routine.

For those who love the outdoors and want a job that keeps them moving, dog walking is a perfect fit.

Dog Show Handler

For the competitive at heart, being a show dog handler combines the love of dogs with the thrill of competition. Handlers present dogs in their best light, aiming for top honors in the show ring.

This type of work requires a deep understanding of dog breeds, standards, and, of course, the ability to travel.

Pet Office Receptionist

Be the face of a pet-focused business, whether it’s a vet clinic, grooming salon, or training center. As a receptionist, you’ll manage appointments, greet clients (both human and canine), and ensure the business runs smoothly.

It’s perfect for those who are organized, personable, and, naturally, love dogs.

Image credit: Unsplash

Dog Sport Trainer

Dive into the world of dog sports, from agility to obedience, by becoming a dog sport trainer. It’s a niche that requires not just a love for dogs, but a competitive spirit and a dedication to training.

Whether you’re coaching for fun or for competition, it’s a dynamic way to engage with dogs and their owners.

Can I make a living working with dogs?

Yes, absolutely! The pet industry isn’t just growing; it’s exploding with opportunities for those who are passionate about dogs. In fact, according to Globe Newswire, the pet industry is projected to gross $358.62 billion by 2027.

As more people consider their pets as part of the family, the demand for dog-related services is shooting through the roof.

Whether you’re into training, grooming, healthcare, or even walking dogs, there’s a career path waiting for you. The key is combining your love for dogs with a service people need – and if you start your own business, understand how to market your services.

What qualifications do I need to work with dogs?

For many dog-related jobs, the main requirement is a genuine passion for dogs and a commitment to learning about their care and behavior.

Beginners are often welcomed with open arms into roles like dog walking, daycare, or even as assistants in training centers.

However, if you’re setting your sights on more specialized fields—think service dog training, advanced training concepts, behavior, veterinary medicine, or working as a K9 officer—then yes, you’ll need specific training or certifications. The path varies widely depending on the profession, but expect a mix of hands-on experience and formal education.

What is the highest-paying pet job?

When it comes to the pet industry, veterinarians, particularly specialists, tend to earn the highest salaries. The field of veterinary medicine is not only rewarding but also lucrative, with specialized vets commanding impressive salaries thanks to their advanced training and the critical nature of their work.

Achieving this level of expertise requires significant education and dedication, but for those who make it, the financial and emotional rewards can be substantial.

Final Thoughts on Jobs with Dogs

So, there you have it, a sneak peek into the world where every day is “Bring Your Dog to Work Day.” Making a career switch to working with dogs isn’t just a pipe dream; it’s a viable path for anyone willing to trade in their suit and tie for a leash and treats. From the hands-on happiness of being a pet dog trainer to the life-saving seriousness of veterinary medicine, the spectrum of jobs working with dogs is as wide as it is rewarding.

Remember, while the idea of spending your days surrounded by wagging tails and puppy kisses is appealing, each of these careers comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities. Whether it’s the years of education to become a vet or the patience required to train a stubborn pooch, dedication is key. But for those with a genuine love for dogs and a desire to make their lives better, the rewards far outweigh the challenges.

If you’re passionate about dogs and looking for a career that brings joy not just to you but to furry friends and their humans, it’s time to take the leap. Your future as a dog professional awaits, and who knows, it might just be the best decision you’ve ever made—for you and for the dogs you’ll help along the way.

Need guidance on how to start? Perhaps a nudge in the right direction or even some in-depth advice on navigating the dog industry? Feel free to reach out for personalized business coaching tailored to aspiring dog professionals like you. Together, let’s turn your passion for dogs into a thriving career.

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