Dog Lifestyle, Pets and Family

7 Unique Careers for Dog Lovers: Discover the Best Jobs Related to Dogs

Dogs are man’s best friend, and for many people, working with dogs is a dream come true. Whether you’re a dog lover looking for a career change or a recent graduate trying to figure out your next steps, there are plenty of careers with dogs to explore. From training and grooming to healthcare and rescues, the possibilities are endless.

Dark haired woman in white coat palpating a brown dog taking care of him outside.

If you’re a dog lover, you know that spending time with your furry friend is one of life’s greatest joys. But what if you could turn that love into a career? There are so many jobs related to dogs that offer both fulfillment and a steady paycheck. Whether you’re looking for a job that allows you to work from home, work outdoors, or work with a variety of different breeds, there’s something for everyone.

But it’s not just about finding the perfect job for you; it may also be about finding the perfect job for your dog. Many careers for dog lovers offer the opportunity to bring your furry friend to work with you. Imagine having your loyal companion by your side all day long! Not only does this provide comfort and companionship for your dog, but it also makes going to work a whole lot more enjoyable for you.

So whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or just starting out on your journey, there are plenty of unique careers working with dogs to explore. And with the demand for dog-related services on the rise, there’s never been a better time to pursue your passion for our furry friends. So get out there and start exploring the best jobs for dog lovers!

7 Unique Careers with Dogs: Jobs Related to Dogs

Some of the more traditional jobs for dog owners include dog trainer, dog groomer, veterinarian, dog walker, and animal shelter worker. Each of these careers requires a different set of skills and qualifications, but all offer the opportunity to work with dogs on a daily basis. And let’s be honest, what could be better than spending your days surrounded by wagging tails and wet noses?  

However, there are even more options to work with dogs that you may have not considered so lets learn about some more unique professions that involve working with dogs.  

Dog Lover Jobs That Make Dogs Feel Better

Canine Physical Therapist

Canine physical therapy is a specialized field within animal rehabilitation that involves working with dogs to help them recover from injuries or surgery, manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, and improve their overall mobility and quality of life. To become a canine physical therapist, one typically needs to have a background in physical therapy and complete additional training and certification in animal rehabilitation.

Here are the general steps to become a canine physical therapist:

  1. Earn a degree in physical therapy: To become a physical therapist, one typically needs to earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited program.
  2. Gain experience as a physical therapist: After earning a DPT, one typically needs to gain some experience working as a human physical therapist before transitioning to animal rehabilitation.
  3. Complete additional training in animal rehabilitation: There are several organizations that offer training and certification programs in animal rehabilitation, including the Canine Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Tennessee’s Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner program.
  4. Gain experience working with dogs: It is important to gain experience working with dogs in a variety of settings, such as veterinary clinics or animal rehabilitation centers, to develop the skills and knowledge needed to provide effective canine physical therapy.
  5. Obtain certification in canine physical therapy: After completing the necessary training and gaining sufficient experience, one can obtain certification as a canine rehabilitation practitioner through organizations such as the Canine Rehabilitation Institute or the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The specific requirements for becoming a canine physical therapist may vary depending on the country or region where one is practicing. It is important to research the specific requirements and regulations in your area to ensure that you meet all the necessary qualifications.

Two woman vets in blue scrubs with a cattle dog on the floor of a vet clinic.
Canine Physical Therapists can support many types of dogs with many issues

Canine Massage Therapist

A canine massage therapist provides therapeutic massage to dogs to help relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve overall health and well-being.  Canine massage therapy is a growing field that offers a unique opportunity for dog lovers to combine their passion for animals with a rewarding career. As a canine massage therapist, you’ll work with dogs to alleviate pain, reduce stress, and promote overall wellness.

Your job as a massage therapist for dogs will involve using specialized techniques to manipulate the muscles and soft tissues of your canine clients. This can include deep tissue massage, acupressure, and stretching. Through your work, you’ll help dogs recover from injuries, manage chronic pain, and improve their range of motion.

Not only is canine massage therapy beneficial for the dogs you work with, but it’s also a rewarding career for you. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping improve the quality of life for your furry clients, while also building meaningful relationships with their owners.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a canine massage therapist, there are a few different paths you can take. Some programs offer specialized training in canine massage therapy, while others require you to first become a licensed massage therapist for humans before transitioning to working with dogs.

Overall, being a canine massage therapist can be a fulfilling career for those who are passionate about helping animals. With the demand for dog-related services on the rise, there’s never been a better time to explore this unique career path.

Careers for Dog Lovers That Love Training Dogs

Canine Search and Rescue Handler

A canine search and rescue handler works with specially trained dogs to locate and rescue missing or lost persons.  There are certain certifications and training required and many handlers have their own dogs.  

Learn all about Cadaver dogs and other search and rescue dogs in our Amazing Dog series.

Conservation Dog Handler

Conservation dog handlers can work in a variety of settings where their skills are needed to help conserve and protect wildlife and the environment. Here are a few examples:

  1. Wildlife Conservation Organizations: Many wildlife conservation organizations use conservation dogs to help locate and track animals in the wild. Conservation dog handlers may work for organizations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society or the World Wildlife Fund.
  2. Government Agencies: Government agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service may hire conservation dog handlers to help with conservation efforts and law enforcement activities.
  3. Environmental Consulting Firms: Environmental consulting firms may hire conservation dog handlers to help with ecological surveys, habitat restoration projects, and other environmental assessments.
  4. Search and Rescue Teams: Some conservation dog handlers may work as part of search and rescue teams, helping to locate missing hikers or other individuals in wilderness areas.
  5. Universities. Some Universities use conservation detection dogs in their research to study a particular species or the environmental impacts to certain species such as bees.
  6. Private Companies: Private companies may hire conservation dog handlers to help with environmental monitoring and compliance activities, such as detecting the presence of invasive species or monitoring for pollutants.
Fawn colored dog with long ears smelling yellow flowers.
Conservation detection dogs can help support conservation of many species.

Medical Detection Dog Handler

A dog trained as a medical detection dog can work in a variety of settings where their skills are needed to detect medical conditions in humans and are quite different than a service dog but may also qualify as a service dog in their own right. Here are a few examples:

  1. Medical Facilities: Some medical detection dogs work in hospitals, clinics, or research facilities, where they help detect medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or bacterial infections.
  2. Private Homes: Medical detection dogs can also work with individuals in their homes, alerting them to changes in their body odor that may indicate a medical condition.
  3. Public Places: Some medical detection dogs work in public places, such as schools or airports, where they can help detect medical conditions in large groups of people.
  4. Nonprofit Organizations: Nonprofit organizations such as the Medical Detection Dogs organization in the UK train and deploy medical detection dogs to work with individuals and medical professionals in various settings.
  5. Research Institutions: Some medical detection dogs work in research institutions where they can help advance the understanding of the capabilities of medical detection dogs and develop new applications for their skills.

These are just a few examples of the types of settings where medical detection dogs may work. The specific job duties and requirements will depend on the employer and the specific medical detection dog training and skillset.

Canine Fitness Trainer

A canine fitness trainer is more than a dog walker (although another great profession!) and works more to help dogs stay healthy and fit by providing specialized exercise routines and nutritional guidance.  

Canine fitness therapy is an emerging field that focuses on improving the physical fitness and overall health of dogs. As a canine fitness therapist, you’ll work with dogs to develop personalized exercise and rehabilitation programs to help them build strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Your job as a canine fitness therapist will involve assessing the physical condition of your canine clients, identifying areas where they need improvement, and creating a tailored exercise program to address these needs. This can include exercises such as agility training, strength training, and stretching.

Man working with German Shepherd on agility training in front of a blue ramp.
Canine trainers work on exercises with dogs such as agility training, strength training, and stretching.

In addition to creating exercise programs, you’ll also work with dogs to rehabilitate injuries and manage chronic conditions such as arthritis. By working closely with veterinarians, you’ll help to ensure that the exercise and rehabilitation programs you develop are safe and effective for your canine clients.

To become a canine fitness therapist, you’ll typically need a background in canine anatomy and physiology, as well as certification in dog training or canine fitness therapy. Some programs also require a degree in a related field, such as physical therapy or veterinary medicine.

Overall, being a canine fitness therapist is a rewarding career for those who are passionate about promoting the health and wellbeing of dogs. By helping dogs improve their physical fitness and manage chronic conditions, you’ll have a positive impact on their quality of life and create meaningful relationships with their owners.

Best Jobs for Dog Lovers With a Creative Flair

Canine Photographer

A canine photographer specializes in taking high-quality photographs of dogs, often for use in advertising, marketing, weddings or personal portraits.  While there may not be specific degree programs in canine photography at arts schools, there are photography programs that may offer courses or workshops on pet photography or animal photography in general.

Photography programs typically teach students the technical and artistic skills needed to produce high-quality photographs, regardless of the subject matter. This can include courses in composition, lighting, exposure, and image editing.  

Additionally, some arts schools may offer courses or workshops specifically focused on photographing pets or animals, which may include dogs. These courses may cover topics such as how to work with animals, how to capture their personalities in photographs, and how to edit and present pet photographs.

If you are specifically interested in canine photography, you may want to consider seeking out specialized workshops or online courses in this area. There are also many professional pet photographers who offer mentorship or training programs for aspiring photographers who want to specialize in photographing pets, including dogs.

Canine Social Media Influencer

We are no stranger to the love of sharing our pets on social media as one can tell from our Instagram dog resources.  If you want to take it up a notch a canine social media influencer uses social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to showcase their dog’s unique personality and lifestyle, often partnering with brands to promote products.  

Learn about top dogfluencers that you will rub shoulders with as a canine social media influencer and test your knowledge with our Dog Influencer Quiz.

As a canine social media influencer, you’ll work with your furry friend (or solo if you are a dog professional) to create engaging and entertaining content that captures the hearts and minds of your followers.

Your job as a canine social media influencer will involve creating and sharing photos, videos, and stories featuring your dog on social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Through your content, you’ll showcase your dog’s unique personality, talents, and adventures, building a loyal following of fans and followers.

To be successful as a canine social media influencer, you’ll need to have a knack for creating engaging content, a strong social media presence, and a deep love for dogs. You’ll also need to be comfortable being in the public eye and have a willingness to share your personal life with your followers like those featured in our articles on funny dogs on Instagram, senior dogs on Instagram and talking dogs on Instagram!

One of the biggest advantages of being a canine social media influencer is the ability to monetize your content. Many influencers partner with brands to promote products and services to their followers, earning income through sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and advertising.

Overall, being a canine social media influencer is a fun and rewarding career for those who love sharing their dog’s adventures with the world. While it may not be a traditional career path, it offers the opportunity to combine your love of dogs with your creativity and social media skills, creating a unique and fulfilling career.

Careers Working With Dogs That Help Dogs and Their Families

Dog Death Doula 

A dog death doula, also known as an end-of-life doula or pet loss doula, is a professional who provides support and guidance to pet owners who are facing the death of their beloved dog. Similar to a human death doula, a dog death doula provides emotional, physical, and practical support to the pet and their family during this difficult time.  

Learn more about doulas in Motherpuppin’ Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s.

A dog death doula may help pet owners prepare for the death of their dog by providing information about the dying process, offering emotional support, and helping to create a plan for end-of-life care. They may also provide support during the dying process itself, by helping to keep the dog comfortable and providing support to the family.

After the dog has passed away, a dog death doula may help with tasks such as making arrangements for cremation or burial, creating a memorial or tribute to the dog, and providing ongoing emotional support to the family as they grieve.

A dog death doula can be a valuable resource for pet owners who are struggling with the impending loss of their dog and may need additional support and guidance to help them through the process.

Pet Flight Attendant or Animal Air Transportation Specialist

Yes, there is a dog profession involving flying dogs in planes. This profession is called a “pet flight attendant” or “animal air transportation specialist.”

Pet flight attendants are responsible for transporting animals, including dogs, by air to their destinations safely and comfortably. They work with pet owners, airlines, and veterinarians to ensure that all necessary paperwork and travel arrangements are in order and that the animals are properly cared for during the flight.

The duties of a pet flight attendant may include:

  • Working with pet owners to plan travel arrangements, including securing necessary documentation and booking flights.
  • Coordinating with airlines to ensure that animals are transported in compliance with their policies and regulations.
  • Providing care for animals during the flight, including feeding, watering, and administering medication as needed.
  • Ensuring that animals are comfortable and safe during the flight by monitoring temperature, humidity, and air pressure levels in the cargo hold or cabin.
  • Communicating with pet owners throughout the flight to provide updates on their animals’ well-being and arrival times.
  • Ensuring that all necessary paperwork and documentation is completed accurately and submitted in a timely manner.

Pet flight attendants may work for airlines or for private companies that specialize in animal air transportation. They typically need to have a strong knowledge of airline policies and regulations related to animal transport, as well as experience working with animals and their owners.

Many shelters also need pet travel support volunteers learn more about volunteers helping newly adopted pets get to their forever homes in our articles featuring pet dads and volunteer opportunities for Volunteer Month.

Brown and white dog on a leash at the airport check in counter area.
Dog airline workers may provide help with travelling pets.

Certifications for Careers Working With Dogs

If one of these careers working with dogs captured your interest then you may want to obtain some certifications to bolster your chances of getting a great job working with dogs.  Even if the certification is in another area or profession they will reflect your interest and desire to obtain a job working with dogs.

There are several certifications available for those who want to become professional dog service providers. Here are a few examples:

  1. Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT): The CPDT certification is offered by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and demonstrates that the trainer has met specific education and experience requirements and passed a rigorous exam.
  2. Certified Canine Fitness Trainer (CCFT): The CCFT certification is offered by the University of Tennessee and requires completion of a comprehensive canine fitness training program and passing a certification exam.
  3. Certified Professional Dog Walker (CPDW): The CPDW certification is offered by the Professional Animal Care Certification Council (PACCC) and demonstrates that the dog walker has met specific education and experience requirements and passed a certification exam. Learn more about Dog Walking in our article How Much Do Dog Walkers Make? and 7 Ways Dog Walkers Can Make More Money.
  4. Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC): The CDBC certification is offered by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and requires completion of a comprehensive behavior consulting program and passing a certification exam.
  5. Certified Pet Sitter (CPS): The CPS certification is offered by Pet Sitters International (PSI) and demonstrates that the pet sitter has met specific education and experience requirements and passed a certification exam.
  6. Companion Animal End of Life Doula Certificate: Offered by the University of Vermont Professional and Coninuing Education Program.   Topics include Doula Essentials, Components of Compassionate Care, Pet Hospice and Palliative Care, as well as After-Death Options and Support.  Learners will develop a broad understanding of this difficult yet inevitable journey, with a focus on honoring and memorializing the enduring bonds between clients and their companions.

These are just a few examples, and there are many other certifications available depending on the specific type of dog service provider you want to be. It’s important to research and choose a certification that is reputable and recognized in the industry.


In conclusion, there are many exciting and rewarding careers available for those who are passionate about working with dogs or dog products. Whether you’re interested in healthcare, fitness, training, or entertainment, there’s a dog-related career out there that’s perfect for you.

As we’ve explored in this article, careers with dogs offer a unique opportunity to combine your love of animals with your professional skills and interests. From being a canine massage therapist to a social media influencer, the possibilities are endless.

If you’re a dog lover looking to turn your passion into a career, take the time to explore the different options available to you. Consider your skills, interests, and goals, and research the education and training required for each career path.

Whether you’re just starting out in your career or looking to make a change, there’s never been a better time to pursue a job related to dogs. With the demand for dog-related services on the rise, now is the perfect time to turn your passion for dogs into a fulfilling and rewarding career.

FAQ Dog Careers with Dogs

What job should I do if I love dogs?

There are so many jobs to do with dogs if you have a love for dogs, if you want to use your creativity you can be a dog photographer, or dog influencer, if you want to help dogs you can be a veterinarian, vet tech, animal chiropractor or animal physical therapist. There are so many more opportunities such as search and rescue, running a shelter and much more!

Can you make money working with dogs?

You can make money working with dogs, how much you will make will depend on your schooling and certification and what profession you choose. A vet is a high paying career you can work with dog and other support but groomers in certain areas along with other support staff also make very good money working with dogs.

Find more dog advice and fun stories in our popular book called Motherpuppin’ Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s the perfect companion for navigating the best life with your dog. Learn more about this loved book.