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68% of US households owned some sort of pet in 2016, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). However, for those that truly have a passion for caring for all pets, there are a wide variety of jobs or career paths that can provide a fulfilling and rewarding occupation. Whether you’d like something on the side or you wish to go to school in order to get a high paying career that focuses on pet health, here are just a few amazing paths worth taking.

Hands on grooming

For those who enjoy getting up close and personal with pets like dogs, then becoming a groomer is a worthy option if you have a high school diploma. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s much to learn, which is why you’ll likely undertake an apprenticeship or complete on the job training, though voluntary certification is also great to have. Tasked with maintaining a pet’s physical appearance via brushing, cutting, and styling the fur, you’ll also complete tasks like cleaning ears or clipping nails — something that requires a lot of patience.

Along with the amount of patience you’ll need as a dog groomer, another important thing to consider is the fact that like with any job, the potential of getting hurt while working is a real possibility. When dealing with pets in such an environment like grooming, a dog could easily and unexpectedly lash out and bite, especially if they’re uncomfortable while being groomed or if it’s their first time. Through ensuring that your company has good workers comp rates (something that varies by state) you can have peace of mind in knowing that any medical costs will be covered should such an event occur.

Healing through veterinary medicine

For those that wish to pursue a career in pet health, becoming a veterinarian seems like the obvious choice. However, it’s important to realize that this career path involves a lengthy course of education — in fact, those that wish to become a vet often spend eight years in higher education, with four being devoted to college and another four in vet school in order to earn a doctor of veterinary medicine, or D.V.M degree. However, the time that you spend in class will be more than worth it, as you’ll be able to help pets of all kinds maintain good health on a daily basis. Aside from the strict educational requirements, having a strong background of animal involvement (like volunteering at a shelter, or working at a pet store) is great for any vet to have.

For those who are passionate about pets, there are many possibilities in pursuing a job or career in a field that focuses on pets. From going to vet school to become a veterinarian to working as a dog groomer, both are fulfilling positions that will allow you to help out pets on a regular basis.

Aamir Iqbal

Aamir is crazy for pets, but not the traditional ones… In fact, he enjoys chilling with cold-blooded reptiles. He loves adding reptiles and amphibians, whom he terms as his family. His local community calls him, Amir the Beast Boy!