19 Best Jobs With Dogs – A Dog Lover’s Career Path

Have you ever dreamed of turning your passion for dogs into a paycheck? Well, the canine industry is expanding faster than a puppy outgrowing its bed and opening doors for those who love dogs! Jobs with dogs are not just about being a vet or a dog walker anymore. Imagine waking up excited every morning, knowing that your day will be filled with wagging tails and wet noses. Whether you’re medically inclined, love the outdoors, or have a knack for training, a perfect dog-related career is waiting for you. Dive in and explore this list of dog-centric jobs and let your journey to a fulfilling career begin!

What are the best jobs to work with dogs?

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

Pet Dog Trainer

Photo by John Tuesday on Unsplash

Average Salary: $16.81 per hour

As a pet dog trainer, your primary role involves imparting behaviors and skills that range from foundational cues to advanced obedience techniques. If you are not a people person, be warned! This job is more about the humans than it is about spending time with dogs, and you will have to engage intimately with many dog owners. If the synergy of building bonds while enhancing canine manners appeals to you, then dog training might be your ideal profession!

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

Animal Behaviorist

Average Salary: $15.99 per hour

Delving 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

Average Salary: $16.44 per hour

Service dog trainers are dedicated to training canines for crucial real-world tasks and equip dogs with advanced obedience skills tailored to specific roles. These dogs might assist with guiding the visually impaired, alerting individuals of an impending seizure, or even detecting low blood sugar levels for diabetics. If you have a passion for making a tangible difference in the lives of individuals with specialized needs, becoming a service dog trainer offers both challenge and reward.

Police K9 Trainer

Photo by Jusdevoyage on Unsplash

Average Salary: $25.44 per hour

Merging the worlds of canine expertise and law enforcement, a Police dog trainer plays an instrumental role in preparing dogs for specialized tasks in the field. These canines might be trained for tracking down suspects, uncovering concealed substances, or even dual tasks. For those drawn to the thrilling intersection of dog training and police work, a career as a K9 trainer offers a unique blend of challenge, excitement, and fulfillment.

Military Working Dog (MWD) Handler

Average Salary: $44,626 per year

Embarking on a path as an MWD handler calls for unwavering commitment and precision. These canines undergo rigorous training to assist in critical missions, including search & rescue, airstrike coordination, detection of explosives, and secure transportation. For those passionate about serving their nation while forging a deep bond with a canine companion, the role of an MWD handler is both a duty and an honor.


Image Credit: seventyfourimages

Average Salary: $121,459 per year

Delving into the intricate world of veterinary medicine opens doors to a rewarding profession for those captivated by canine care at a medical level. While the journey to becoming a veterinarian demands intense commitment, persistence, and a genuine zeal for animal welfare, the outcomes are profoundly gratifying. The vast field spans general care to specialized branches like oncology and reproductive practices. Embarking on this path means committing to extensive graduate and hands-on clinical education. But for those who are passionate, it’s a vocation that combines purpose with passion.

Veterinary Technician

Average Salary: $18.71 per hour

For those who wish to immerse themselves in the realm of animal healthcare without the extensive educational commitment of a veterinarian, becoming a veterinary technician might be the perfect fit. These professionals are the backbone of veterinary care, offering crucial support to veterinarians by handling tasks like gathering lab samples, overseeing medication schedules, and tracking vital statistics. Their role in nurturing the bond between pets and their owners and their profound impact on animal health makes this career both fulfilling and impactful.

Veterinary Assistant

Average Salary: $15.74 per hour

Diving into a career as a veterinary assistant opens doors to a fulfilling profession for those genuinely passionate about animal well-being. As the linchpin of many veterinary practices, these individuals take on diverse responsibilities ranging from administrative duties, like managing appointments and records, to more hands-on roles, such as aiding in medical procedures by safely handling animals. Furthermore, their empathetic touch often offers solace to pet owners navigating the challenges of ailing or injured pets, making their presence indispensable.

Doggy DayCare Attendant

Average Salary: $13.55 per hour

For those who thrive amidst the playful barks and wagging tails, a role as a doggy daycare attendant might be the perfect fit. This energetic position offers the chance to engage with diverse breeds, each flaunting its unique temperament. Although demanding at times, the joy of being surrounded by our furry companions is unparalleled. For aspiring professionals in the canine world, starting in a dog daycare offers a foundational experience that can be a stepping stone to numerous other dog-related careers.

Kennel Attendant

Average Salary: $33,766 per year

Kennel attendants play a pivotal role in ensuring the well-being of dogs in various facilities, be it boarding houses, shelters, or veterinary centers. Their duties span from ensuring the cleanliness of the kennels to ensuring the dogs are well-fed and regularly exercised. Embarking on a career as a kennel attendant serves as an enriching entry point for those fresh to the canine industry. Many seasoned professionals fondly recall their time in this role as the foundation upon which they built their diverse dog-related careers.

Dog Groomer

Average Salary: $23.23 per hour

Ensuring dogs present their best selves, both in appearance and health, dog groomers stand as vital professionals in the pet care industry. Their expertise extends beyond mere coat care; they meticulously manage the dog’s eyes, ears, and nails, ensuring holistic grooming. Each grooming session, not only enhances the dog’s physical appearance but also contributes to its overall well-being. A career as a dog groomer, though demanding, is abundantly fulfilling for those passionate about canine care.

Grooming Assistant / Bather

Photo by Autri Taheri on Unsplash

Average Salary: $13.15 per hour

Stepping into the world of dog grooming, a grooming assistant or bather plays an essential role in the salon. They are entrusted with foundational tasks like bathing, drying, and tending to the dog’s ears and nails. Beyond hands-on animal care, they maintain the salon’s cleanliness, ensuring that kennels are spotless and all hygiene standards are met. For those eyeing a future in grooming, this position offers a practical and insightful introduction to the industry.

Animal Control Officer

Average Salary: $18.43 per hour

Serving at the forefront of animal welfare, Animal Control Officers tackle diverse responsibilities within their community. Their tasks span from probing into allegations of animal cruelty to addressing domestic animal predicaments and safely extracting wildlife from perilous situations. Each day presents a new challenge, making it an exciting and fulfilling profession for those dedicated to animal welfare.

Dog Photographer

Young woman taking a picture with her camera of her Yorkshire dog outdoors.
Image Credit: DaniDG_

Average Salary: $17.70 per hour

Merging a passion for photography with a love for canines could lead you to a career in dog photography. As more pet enthusiasts seek to immortalize moments with their four-legged friends, the demand for specialized dog photographers has grown. Mastering this craft means understanding the nuances of lighting, selecting the right props, and striking the perfect pose to ensure every shot tells a unique tale. If you have the talent and the vision, this might be the perfect intersection of your interests.

Dog Sitter

Photo by Conner Baker on Unsplash

Average Salary: $14.26 per hour

Embark on a journey as a dog sitter and find yourself forging strong bonds with both dogs and their owners, all while exploring diverse settings. From quick drop-in visits to overnight stays or more extended care, a dog sitter’s role varies based on client needs and personal schedules. Dog sitting provides that adaptable framework if you seek a career that molds around your availability, whether as a primary job or an additional income source.

Dog Walker

Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

Average Salary: $33.86 per hour

Step into the dynamic world of dog walking, a profession on the rise, with an ever-increasing number of enthusiasts embracing it. At the heart of this role is the task of ensuring dogs receive their much-needed walks, be it solo ventures or collective strolls in petite groups. In this profession, you’ll be offering dogs the triple benefits of physical activity, mental engagement, and the joys of companionship.

Dog Show Handler

Average Salary: $15.94 per hour

Delve into the world of dog shows with a role as a dog show handler. These experts are at the forefront of preparing and showcasing dogs for both performance and conformation exhibitions. Serving both breeders and dog aficionados, handlers employ their deep-rooted knowledge and finesse to spotlight their dogs, aiming for top honors in the competitive arena.

Pet Office Receptionist

Average Salary: $15.36 per hour

For those who enjoy a structured environment while maintaining proximity to dogs, the role of a pet office receptionist is a fitting choice. Whether it’s in a dog training center, veterinary clinic, daycare, or grooming studio, receptionists are pivotal. Their tasks span managing appointments, handling customer inquiries, and ensuring smooth day-to-day operations, all while being surrounded by our four-legged friends.

Dog Sport Trainer

Photo by Andrea Lightfoot on Unsplash

Average Salary: $16.81 per hour

Diving into the exhilarating world of dog sports? Dog sport trainers are at the heart of it, coaching canines in diverse activities like agility, dock diving, hunt trials, and even bite sports. Their commitment involves months, sometimes years, of rigorous training to perfect the skills for each specific sport. Typically, many trainers start with a personal passion for the sport before transforming it into a rewarding profession.

Common Questions About Jobs Working With Dogs

Can I make a living working with dogs?

Absolutely! The world of canine-related professions is vast and ever-expanding. With the rising number of pet ownership, the demand for professionals in this field is only increasing. Whether you’re training, grooming, or providing medical care, there’s a fulfilling career waiting for those passionate about our four-legged friends.

What qualifications do I need to work with dogs?

Many roles in the canine industry welcome newcomers, even those with minimal experience. The key is a genuine passion for dogs and a willingness to learn. Dog trainers and daycare centers often appreciate fresh perspectives, making it easier for newcomers to carve a niche.

However, for specialized roles like Military Working Dog handlers, Police K9 handlers, Veterinarians, and Veterinary Technicians, a structured educational pathway is essential. Each of these careers has designated training and educational programs, ensuring professionals are equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills for their specialized roles.

What is the highest-paying pet job?

Among professions centered on pets, the realm of Veterinary Medicine typically offers the most lucrative salaries. Specifically, specialized veterinarians often command higher salaries than general practitioners. For instance, a Veterinary Medical Officer can earn an impressive annual salary, potentially reaching up to $216,500.

Final Thoughts on Jobs with Dogs

Embarking on a new career or setting the trajectory for your future? If your heart resonates with the love for dogs, the path forward promises fulfillment. The dog-centric industry offers an expansive array of career paths for dog lovers, whether you want to train dogs, help animals, or become a dog groomer. Which canine-focused profession piques your interest?

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