Kennel Assistant Career Profile

How do I become a kennel assistant?

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UPDATED:

4 January 2024

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What is a kennel assistant?

Kennel Assistants work at kennels to assist in the care of the visiting dogs. Kennels are places where dog owners can take their dogs to stay over, while they might be travelling. It’s like a hotel for dogs.

Some kennels also offer boarding services for cats, rabbits, exotic birds, and a variety of other pet species, though these animals are kept in a separate area away from the dog kennel.

Dog 2

Alternative names for Kennel Assistant

There are various alternative names or titles that might be used to refer to someone who performs the duties of a kennel attendant. The specific title can vary depending on the organization or facility. Here are some alternative names for a kennel attendant:

  • Dog Caretaker
  • Canine Care Specialist
  • Pet Care Associate
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Pet Boarding Attendant
  • Animal Caregiver
  • Pet Lodge Assistant
  • Dog Boarding Specialist
  • Animal Lodging Attendant
  • Pet Resort Staff
  • Dog Daycare Attendant
  • Pet Hotel Attendant
  • Animal Welfare Assistant
  • Pet Retreat Attendant
  • Canine Concierge
  • Doggy Daycare Supervisor
  • Pet Hospitality Specialist
  • Animal Lodge Caretaker
  • Pet Vacation Caregiver
  • Dog Retreat Coordinator

These titles reflect the diverse nature of roles that involve the care and well-being of dogs in various settings, from traditional kennels to pet resorts and daycare facilities. The choice of title may also be influenced by the specific services offered by the facility and the overall image it wishes to convey.

Career Categories

The Kennel Assistant career can be found in the following career categories:

  • Animal Care

What does a Kennel Assistant do?

With which Groups of animals does a Kennel Assistant work with?

Dogs List Icon OZT
Dogs

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With whom does a Kennel Assistant work?

A kennel assistant typically works in an animal care facility, such as a boarding kennel, veterinary clinic, animal shelter, or dog daycare centre. In the course of their duties, Kennel Assistants may interact and collaborate with various individuals and groups. Here are some key stakeholders and colleagues with whom a Kennel Assistant may work:

Dog Owners:

Communicate with dog owners regarding their pets’ care, providing updates, and addressing any specific needs or instructions.

Kennel Manager or Supervisor:

Report to and take directions from a kennel manager or supervisor who oversees the overall operation of the kennel.

Veterinarians:

Collaborate with veterinarians and veterinary technicians for the health and well-being of the dogs, administering medications or providing information about any observed health issues.

Fellow Kennel Assistants:

Work closely with other kennel assistants to ensure the smooth operation of the facility, sharing responsibilities such as feeding, cleaning, and exercising the dogs.

Dog Trainers:

In facilities that offer training services, Kennel Assistants may work with dog trainers to support the training programmes or reinforce basic commands.

Groomers:

Coordinate with groomers for basic grooming tasks, such as brushing, bathing, or nail trimming, depending on the services offered by the facility.

Animal Control Officers (if in an animal shelter):

Collaborate with animal control officers in the case of stray or abandoned animals and assist in the intake process.

Administrative Staff:

Interact with administrative staff for scheduling, record-keeping, and handling customer inquiries or concerns.

Volunteers:

Supervise and work alongside volunteers who may assist with various tasks related to animal care and facility maintenance.

Pet Care Professionals:

Collaborate with individuals involved in related pet care professions, such as pet sitters, pet walkers, or pet daycare providers.

Customers or Clients:

Interact with customers or clients when they drop off or pick up their pets, providing information about the dog’s stay and addressing any questions or concerns.

Effective communication and collaboration with these stakeholders are crucial for maintaining a positive and organized Environment in a kennel facility, ensuring the well-being of the dogs under the care of the Kennel Assistant.

What are the different specialisations or career directions that a Kennel Asssistant can venture into?

Kennel assistants play an essential role in the care and management of animals in boarding kennels, veterinary clinics, animal shelters, and pet care facilities. They can explore various specialisations and career directions within the animal care industry. Here are different paths that a kennel assistant can venture into:

Veterinary Assistant/Veterinary Technician:

Advance to a role in veterinary care by becoming a veterinary assistant or technician. Kennel assistants can gain experience and training in assisting veterinarians with exams, treatments, surgeries, lab procedures, medication administration, and animal care protocols in veterinary clinics or hospitals.

Animal Shelter Worker/Adoption Counsellor:

Transition to working in an animal shelter or rescue organisation. Kennel assistants can take on roles such as animal care technician, adoption counsellor, or shelter manager. Responsibilities may include caring for animals, assisting with adoptions, conducting behavioural assessments, coordinating rescue efforts, and promoting responsible pet ownership.

Dog Groomer/Bather:

Specialise in grooming services for dogs. Kennel assistants can learn grooming techniques, bathing, brushing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and coat care to become dog groomers or bathers. They may work in grooming salons, pet spas, or mobile grooming services.

Dog Trainer/Behaviorist:

Develop skills in dog training and behaviour modification. Kennel assistants can transition to roles as dog trainers or behaviourists, focusing on obedience training, socialisation, behaviour assessments, and addressing behaviour issues in dogs. They may offer group classes, private sessions, or behaviour modification programmes.

Kennel Manager/Supervisor:

Advance to a managerial or supervisory position within a kennel or pet care facility. Kennel managers or supervisors oversee daily operations, staff scheduling, training, customer service, facility maintenance, animal care protocols, and ensuring compliance with regulations and standards.

Animal Control Officer/Animal Welfare Investigator:

Pursue a career in animal control, enforcement, or welfare. Kennel assistants can become animal control officers, cruelty investigators, or humane law enforcement officers, working with local authorities or animal welfare agencies to ensure the welfare, safety, and humane treatment of animals in the community.

Pet Store Manager/Retail Specialist:

Transition to roles in the pet retail industry. Kennel assistants can become pet store managers, sales associates, or retail specialists, providing customer service, product recommendations, animal care advice, and promoting responsible pet ownership in pet stores or specialty shops.

Canine Daycare/Boarding Facility Manager:

Manage a canine daycare, boarding facility, or pet resort. Kennel assistants can oversee daily operations, playgroup supervision, customer interactions, staff training, facility maintenance, safety protocols, and ensuring a positive and enriching experience for dogs in daycare or boarding.

Pet Nutritionist/Product Specialist:

Gain expertise in pet nutrition and products. Kennel assistants can become pet nutritionists, consultants, or product specialists, providing guidance on pet diets, nutritional supplements, grooming products, and pet care essentials to pet owners, veterinarians, or pet retail customers.

Animal Education Specialist/Educator:

Transition to roles in animal education and outreach. Kennel assistants can become animal educators, presenters, or outreach coordinators, developing and delivering educational programmes, workshops, and events to promote animal welfare, responsible pet ownership, and humane treatment of animals in the community.

These specialisations and career directions offer kennel assistants diverse opportunities to expand their skills, pursue areas of interest, and make a positive impact on animal welfare, health, and care within the animal care industry.

What does a Kennel Assistant focus on?

The main focus of a kennel assistant or attendant is to oversee the well-being of the visiting dogs. A good knowledge and understanding of the various breeds of dogs and their behaviour is recommended. One Zoo Tree has information on all these breeds to help you learn more about them.

What are the daily tasks of a Kennel Assistant?

The daily tasks of a kennel assistant can vary depending on the specific type of facility they work in, such as a boarding kennel, veterinary clinic, animal shelter, or dog daycare centre. However, here are some common tasks that a Kennel Assistant may perform on a daily basis:

Feeding and watering:

Provide food and water to dogs according to their specific dietary needs and feeding schedules.

Cleaning and Sanitising:

Clean and sanitise kennels, runs, and common areas to maintain a hygienic environment for the dogs.

Exercise and Playtime:

Take dogs for walks, play with them, or provide supervised group play sessions to ensure they get sufficient exercise and mental stimulation.

Medication Administration:

Administer medications to dogs as prescribed by veterinarians, ensuring accurate dosage and proper documentation.

Observation and Health Monitoring:

Monitor the health and behaviour of dogs, noting any changes or signs of illness. Report observations to supervisory staff or veterinarians.

Basic Grooming:

Perform basic grooming tasks, such as brushing, bathing, and nail trimming, to keep dogs clean and comfortable.

Record Keeping:

Maintain accurate records of each dog’s feeding schedule, medications, and any specific instructions provided by owners.

Customer Interaction:

Interact with dog owners, providing updates on their pets’ well-being and addressing any special requests or concerns.

Kennel Maintenance:

Perform general maintenance tasks, such as cleaning and repairing kennel equipment, to ensure a safe and functional environment.

Assisting with Intake and Outtake:

Assist in the intake process when new dogs arrive, including completing the necessary paperwork. Also, help with the checkout process when owners pick up their pets.

Training Support:

Assist with basic training activities or reinforce training commands under the guidance of dog trainers.

Supervising Group Play:

Monitor dogs during group play sessions to ensure a safe and positive social environment.

Handling Stray or Abandoned Animals (in shelters):

Collaborate with animal control officers to handle and care for stray or abandoned animals, providing them with a temporary home.

Following Health and Safety Protocols:

Adhere to health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of diseases and ensure the well-being of both dogs and staff.

It’s important to note that the tasks of a Kennel Assistant may also include additional responsibilities based on the specific policies and services offered by the facility they work in. Adaptability, patience, and a genuine love for animals are essential qualities for success in this role.

With what kind of tools and technology (if any) does a Kennel Assistant work?

Kennel assistants work with a variety of tools and technologies to ensure the well-being of the animals under their care and to maintain the cleanliness and efficiency of the kennel facility. While the tools used may vary depending on the specific tasks and the size of the facility, here are some common tools and technologies that kennel assistants may work with:

Cleaning Supplies:

Kennel assistants use a range of cleaning supplies to maintain the cleanliness of the facility, including brooms, mops, scrub brushes, disinfectants, and cleaning solutions.

Food and Water Bowls:

Kennel assistants provide food and water to the animals using bowls or automatic feeders and water dispensers.

Leashes and Collars:

Kennel assistants use leashes and collars to safely handle and restrain dogs during walks, playtime, or when moving them between areas of the facility.

Grooming Tools:

Depending on the services offered, kennel assistants may use grooming tools such as brushes, combs, nail clippers, and hair trimmers to groom the dogs in their care.

Medication Administration Tools:

Kennel assistants may be responsible for administering medications to dogs. This may involve tools such as syringes, pill cutters, and pill dispensers.

Identification Tags and Microchip Scanners:

Kennel assistants use identification tags and microchip scanners to ensure that each dog is properly identified and matched with its owner.

Waste Management Equipment:

Kennel assistants use waste management equipment such as pooper scoopers, waste bags, and trash bins to clean up after the dogs and dispose of waste properly.

Communication Devices:

Kennel assistants may use communication devices such as walkie-talkies or mobile phones to communicate with other staff members, supervisors, or pet owners.

Computer Software:

Some kennel facilities use computer software for tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing client information, and keeping track of animal care records.

Security Cameras and Monitoring Systems:

In larger kennel facilities or those with multiple areas, security cameras and monitoring systems may be used to keep an eye on the animals and ensure their safety.

Automated Feeding and Watering Systems:

In some kennel facilities, automated feeding and watering systems may be used to provide food and water to the animals on a predetermined schedule.

Temperature Control Systems:

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems may be used to regulate the temperature and maintain a comfortable environment for the animals.

These tools and technologies help kennel assistants perform their duties efficiently, ensure the safety and well-being of the animals, and maintain a clean and organized kennel facility. Training on how to use these tools safely and effectively is typically provided as part of the on-the-job training for kennel assistants.

The Working environment of a Kennel Assistant

Where does a Kennel Assistant work?

A dog kennel attendant may work in various indoor and outdoor environments, depending on the type of facility they are employed in. Here’s an overview of the working environments and places of employment for a dog kennel attendant:

Indoor Environments:

Kennel Facilities:

Dog kennel attendants often work in indoor kennel facilities where dogs are housed in individual kennels or runs. These facilities are equipped with bedding, food and water bowls, and sometimes heating or cooling systems.

Veterinary Clinics:

In some cases, kennel attendants may work in veterinary clinics or animal hospitals, where they assist with the care of hospitalised or boarding dogs. This environment may include examination rooms and treatment areas.

Dog Daycare Centres:

Dog daycare facilities provide indoor play areas, rest areas, and sometimes training spaces. Kennel attendants in these settings oversee dogs’ activities and ensure a safe and engaging environment.

Animal Shelters:

Kennel attendants working in animal shelters may be responsible for the care of dogs awaiting adoption. The indoor environment includes kennels, adoption areas, and administrative spaces.

Grooming Salons:

In facilities that offer grooming services, kennel attendants may work indoors, assisting groomers with tasks such as bathing, brushing, and preparing dogs for grooming appointments.

Outdoor Environments:

Outdoor Play Areas:

Many kennel facilities and dog daycare centres have outdoor play areas where dogs can exercise and play. Kennel attendants supervise these outdoor activities to ensure the safety and well-being of the dogs.

Dog Parks (for Dog Daycare Centres):

Some dog daycare centres may have agreements with nearby dog parks for additional outdoor activities. Kennel attendants may accompany dogs to these parks for supervised play.

Animal Exercise Yards (for Shelters):

Animal shelters may have outdoor exercise yards where kennel attendants take dogs for outdoor activities and socialisation.

Places of Employment:

Boarding Kennels:

Kennel attendants are commonly employed in boarding kennels that provide temporary accommodation for dogs when their owners are away.

Veterinary Clinics:

Some veterinary clinics hire kennel attendants to assist with the care of hospitalised animals, boarding pets, or those awaiting medical procedures.

Dog Daycare Centres:

Dog daycare facilities employ kennel attendants to oversee the care and activities of dogs during the day while their owners are at work.

Pet Resorts:

Some high-end pet resorts or hotels employ kennel attendants to provide premium care for dogs during their stays.

The working hours for a kennel attendant can vary, and the nature of the job often involves shifts, weekends, and holidays since the care of animals is a round-the-clock responsibility. Additionally, kennel attendants may be required to work in various weather conditions when taking dogs outdoors.

What is the average annual salary of a Kennel Assistant?

Salaries for a dog kennel attendant can vary widely based on factors such as location, experience, the specific employer, and prevailing economic conditions. It’s important to note that these figures are approximate and can change over time.

USA:

In the United States, the average annual salary for a dog kennel attendant can range from $20,000 to $30,000 or more, depending on factors such as location and experience.

Canada:

In Canada, the average yearly salary for a dog kennel attendant is typically between CAD 25,000 and CAD 35,000.

UK:

In the United Kingdom, the average annual salary for a dog kennel attendant may range from £15,000 to £20,000 or more.

India:

In India, salaries for a dog kennel attendant are generally lower compared to Western countries. The average annual salary might range from INR 150,000 to INR 300,000.

Australia:

In Australia, the average yearly salary for a dog kennel attendant can range from AUD 40,000 to AUD 55,000 or more.

New Zealand:

In New Zealand, the average annual salary for a dog kennel attendant may range from NZD 35,000 to NZD 45,000.

Nigeria:

In Nigeria, salaries for a dog kennel attendant may vary, and the average annual income might range from NGN 500,000 to NGN 1,000,000.

Kenya:

In Kenya, salaries for a dog kennel attendant might range from KES 200,000 to KES 400,000 or more on an annual basis.

South Africa:

In South Africa, the average annual salary for a dog kennel attendant may range from ZAR 60,000 to ZAR 120,000 or more.

Regional Averages:

South America:

Salaries in South America can vary widely by country. In general, the average annual salary for a dog kennel attendant might range from $10,000 to $20,000 or more.

Europe:

Salaries in Europe can vary by country and economic conditions. On average, a dog kennel attendant in Europe might earn between €15,000 and €25,000 annually.

South East Asia:

Salaries in Southeast Asia can be lower compared to Western countries. On average, a dog kennel attendant in this region might earn between $5,000 and $15,000 annually.

Keep in mind that these figures are general estimates, and the actual salaries can vary based on the factors mentioned earlier. Additionally, economic conditions and wage trends may change over time, so it’s advisable to consult more recent sources for the latest salary information.

Can a Kennel Assistant be promoted?

The career progression for a dog kennel assistant can vary based on factors such as experience, skills acquired, additional training, and the specific policies of the employer. While the hierarchy may not be as formalised as in some other professions, there are potential levels of advancement or promotion that a dog kennel assistant may achieve. Here’s a general outline:

Junior Kennel Assistant

Entry-level position where individuals start gaining hands-on experience in caring for dogs, cleaning kennels, and assisting with basic tasks.

Kennel Assistant

After gaining some experience, individuals may be promoted to the role of Kennel Assistant, taking on more responsibilities such as administering medications, basic grooming tasks, and supervising play areas.

Senior Kennel Assistant

With additional experience and a demonstrated ability to handle more responsibilities, a kennel assistant may be promoted to a senior position. Senior kennel assistants may take on leadership roles, overseeing junior staff, and playing a key role in daily operations.

Kennel Manager

With significant experience and a proven track record of effective management, a kennel assistant may advance to the position of Kennel Manager. This role involves overall management of the kennel facility, including staff supervision, customer relations, and administrative tasks.

What difficulties does a Kennel Assistant face?

Working as a Kennel Assistant can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some difficulties that a Kennel Assistant may face in their role:

Physical Demands:

The job often involves physical tasks such as lifting, cleaning, and being on your feet for extended periods. Kennel assistants may need to handle dogs of varying sizes and temperaments, which can be physically demanding.

Emotional Challenges:

Dealing with sick, injured, or aggressive animals can be emotionally taxing. Kennel assistants may form strong bonds with the animals they care for, making it emotionally challenging when animals are adopted or face health issues.

Work Schedule:

The nature of the job often requires irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. Kennel assistants may need to be available during peak times, which can impact work-life balance.

Cleaning and Odours:

Maintaining a clean environment is essential, but it also means dealing with odours and cleaning tasks that some may find unpleasant. Kennel assistants need to be comfortable working in an environment where cleanliness is a priority.

Handling Difficult Dogs:

Some dogs may exhibit challenging behaviours, such as aggression, fear, or anxiety. Kennel assistants need to be skilled in handling a variety of temperaments and behaviours to ensure the safety of both the dogs and themselves.

Health and Safety Risks:

Kennel Assistants may face health and safety risks, including the potential for bites, scratches, or exposure to Zoonotic diseases. Following proper safety protocols and using personal protective equipment is crucial.

Limited Advancement Opportunities:

In some organizations, the career path for Kennel Assistants may be limited. Advancement opportunities may depend on factors such as the size of the facility and the availability of higher-level positions.

Limited Pay Scale:

The compensation for Kennel Assistants may be relatively modest, particularly in entry-level positions. This can be a challenge for those seeking financial stability or career growth.

High Turnover:

Due to the physically and emotionally demanding nature of the job, some kennel facilities may experience high turnover. This can lead to a constantly changing work environment and increased workload for remaining staff.

Customer Relations:

Interacting with pet owners and addressing their concerns or questions requires strong communication skills. Dealing with emotional or dissatisfied customers can be challenging.

Weather Conditions:

Kennel Assistants may need to work outdoors in various weather conditions, which can be challenging during extreme temperatures, rain, or snow.

Despite these challenges, many individuals find the role of a Kennel Assistant to be incredibly fulfilling, especially if they have a genuine love for animals. Overcoming these difficulties often requires resilience, effective communication, continuous learning, and a passion for providing excellent care to the animals entrusted to them.

Future growth and possibilities of the career

​The prospects of future growth in this industry is 8%

Some general insights into the trends and factors that may influence the future of the dog kennel assistant industry.

General Trends and Possibilities:

Growing Pet Industry:

The pet industry has been experiencing consistent growth in recent years, with an increasing number of households owning pets. This growth contributes to the demand for various pet care services, including boarding and kennel facilities.

Humanization of Pets:

There is a trend towards treating pets as members of the family, leading to increased spending on pet care services. Pet owners are more willing to invest in quality care, including boarding services, for their animals.

Rise in Pet Ownership:

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend of increased pet adoption and ownership. Many individuals sought companionship during lockdowns, leading to a surge in pet ownership.

Focus on Animal Welfare:

There is a growing awareness and emphasis on animal welfare. Pet owners are increasingly choosing facilities that prioritise the well-being and proper care of animals.

Specialised Services:

Some kennel facilities are expanding their services to include specialized offerings, such as dog training, grooming, and spa services. This diversification responds to the demand for comprehensive pet care.

Technology Integration:

The integration of technology in pet care services is a rising trend. This may include online booking systems, webcams for pet owners to check on their animals, and mobile apps for communication and updates.

Increased Regulation and Standards:

As the pet care industry grows, there may be an increased focus on regulations and standards to ensure the safety and well-being of animals. Facilities that adhere to high standards may have a competitive advantage.

Career Outlook:

The specific projections for the annual growth of the dog kennel assistant career market may vary based on geographic location, economic conditions, and the overall growth of the pet industry. However, it is generally expected that the demand for pet care services, including kennel assistants, will continue to grow.

Factors such as urbanization, busy lifestyles, and a desire for quality care for pets contribute to the sustained demand for kennel services.

The industry may see an increase in job opportunities as more specialized and upscale facilities emerge to meet the evolving expectations of pet owners.

As the importance of professional pet care is recognized, there may be opportunities for career advancement and specialization within the field, such as in dog training, behavior consulting, or management roles within larger facilities.

To obtain the most current and specific information regarding the projected growth of the dog kennel assistant career market, it is advisable to refer to labor market reports, industry analyses, and relevant government agencies for the latest data and projections.

Availability of Jobs

Average

Which Skills does a Kennel Assistant require?

The skills required for a career as a kennel assistant can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills and personality traits, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills and Personality Traits

Dog kennel assistants play a crucial role in caring for dogs in boarding kennels, animal shelters, or veterinary clinics. Here are some specific personality traits commonly found in successful dog kennel assistants:

Compassion and Empathy:

Kennel assistants must genuinely care about the welfare and happiness of dogs. Compassion allows them to understand and respond to the individual needs and emotions of each dog they care for, providing comfort and support as needed.

Patience:

Working with dogs requires patience, as they may be anxious, excitable, or untrained. Kennel assistants should remain calm and patient when interacting with dogs, allowing them to build trust and form positive relationships over time.

Physical Fitness:

Caring for dogs often involves physically demanding tasks such as walking, feeding, and cleaning kennels. Kennel assistants should have good physical fitness and stamina to perform these tasks safely and effectively.

Attention to Detail:

Kennel assistants must pay attention to detail when monitoring the health and behaviour of dogs, as well as when maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in the kennel environment. Attention to detail ensures that dogs receive proper care and that the kennel facility remains sanitary and comfortable.

Adaptability:

Dogs have different needs, personalities, and preferences when it comes to feeding, exercise, and socialisation. Kennel assistants should be adaptable, able to tailor their care routines to meet the individual needs of each dog in their care.

Communication Skills:

Effective communication with kennel managers, fellow assistants, and dog owners is essential for providing updates on dog behaviour, health, and well-being. Kennel assistants should be able to communicate clearly and professionally with others involved in the care of dogs.

Teamwork:

Kennel assistants often work as part of a team, collaborating with colleagues to ensure that dogs receive proper care and attention. Effective teamwork is essential for coordinating tasks, sharing responsibilities, and providing a positive experience for both dogs and staff.

Observation Skills:

Kennel assistants must be observant and attentive to the behaviour and needs of the dogs under their care. This allows them to recognise signs of stress, illness, or injury and take appropriate action to address any concerns.

Adaptability:

Working in a kennel environment can be dynamic, with new dogs arriving and departing regularly. Kennel assistants should be adaptable and able to adjust their routines and priorities to accommodate changes in the kennel population.

Love for Dogs:

Kennel assistants should have a genuine love and appreciation for dogs, motivating them to pursue opportunities to care for and interact with canine companions. This love forms the foundation of their dedication and commitment to providing excellent care for dogs.

Overall, successful dog kennel assistants possess a combination of compassion, patience, physical fitness, attention to detail, adaptability, communication skills, teamwork, observation skills, adaptability, and love for dogs, enabling them to provide nurturing care and support to the dogs under their supervision.

Life Skills
50%

Career Skills

  • ​Basic animal handling and care techniques
  • Customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Basic computer literacy
Career Skills
50%

Which subjects must I have at School to prepare for this Career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become a Kennel Assistant?

Minimum educational requirement

A high school certificate or its equivalent is generally the minimum educational requirement for entry-level positions as a dog kennel assistant.

Study Focus

Subjects for Further Study:

Biology:

Gain a foundational understanding of biological concepts, including anatomy, physiology, and health, which are relevant to animal care.

Animal Science:

If available, consider taking courses in animal science to deepen your knowledge of various species, behaviours, and husbandry practices.

Communication Skills:

Develop strong written and verbal communication skills, as clear communication is essential when interacting with pet owners, colleagues, and veterinary professionals.

Mathematics:

Basic math skills are important for tasks such as measuring food portions, calculating medication dosages, and managing schedules.

Advanced Studies (If Necessary):

Veterinary Assistant or Animal Care Courses:

While not always required, pursuing advanced studies in veterinary assistant programmes or specialised animal care courses can provide in-depth knowledge and skills relevant to the role.

Optional Short Courses:

Pet First Aid and CPR:

Consider taking a short course in pet first aid and CPR to develop skills in responding to emergencies and providing basic care.

Dog Behaviour and Training:

Courses in dog behaviour and training can be valuable for understanding canine behaviour, which is essential for a kennel assistant dealing with various temperaments.

Basic Grooming Techniques:

If you’re interested in expanding your skill set, short courses in basic grooming techniques can be beneficial. This may include brushing, bathing, and nail trimming.

Animal Welfare and Ethics:

Courses focusing on animal welfare and ethics can provide insights into responsible and ethical practices in the care of animals.

Kennel Management:

Some institutions offer short courses specifically in kennel management, covering topics such as facility organisation, scheduling, and customer service.

Study Duration

The duration of short courses differ, but can range from a few days to a few weeks.

FREE Career Path Plan

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A preparation path is like a road map to where you want to be.

​Possible Paths:

Here’s a comprehensive guide for a high school student interested in pursuing a career as a dog kennel attendant, based on the provided points:

  1.  Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

Participate in career guidance sessions at school or community events to learn about various career options in animal care.

2.  Research All Possible Careers:

Explore different careers related to animal care, including roles like dog kennel attendant, veterinary assistant, animal shelter worker, etc.

3.  Explore Educational Paths:

Research educational paths such as vocational programmes, certificate courses, or associate degrees in animal science, veterinary technology, or a related field.

4.  Align High School Subjects:

Take relevant high school courses such as biology, chemistry, and environmental science to build a foundation for understanding animal biology.

5.  Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent:

Focus on academic success and graduate with a high school diploma or equivalent.

6.  Learn About Animals:

Gain knowledge about different dog breeds, behaviours, and basic animal care through self-study or online resources.

7.  Align Post-School Path:

Decide whether to enter the workforce directly after high school, pursue further education, or explore entrepreneurship in the animal care field.

8.  Gain Experience:

Volunteer at local animal shelters, veterinary clinics, or dog training centres to gain practical experience. Seek internships or mentorship opportunities.

9.  Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Join clubs or organisations related to animal welfare, such as a school’s animal care club or a local 4-H club.

10. Join Professional Associations:

Connect with professional associations related to animal care, like the International Boarding and Pet Services Association (IBPSA).

11. Gain Specialized Skills:

Acquire specialised skills through workshops, online courses, or training programmes in areas like animal first aid, dog behaviour, and kennel management.

12. Network with Professionals:

Attend industry events, workshops, and seminars to network with professionals in the field. Connect with local dog kennel owners or managers.

13. Enter the Job Market or Finish Tertiary Studies:

Depending on the chosen path, either apply for entry-level positions in kennels, dog daycare centres, or veterinary clinics, or continue education in a related field.

14. Stay Updated and Pursue Continuing Education:

Stay informed about industry trends, advancements, and new practices. Consider continuing education or training to enhance your skills and stay competitive in the field.

By following these steps, a high school student can build a strong foundation for a career as a dog kennel attendant and pursue a path that aligns with their interests and goals.

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternative(s): 

Stepping Stone Career

A stepping-stone career refers to a job or position that serves as a transitional or intermediate step towards a long-term career goal. Individuals may take on a stepping-stone job as it requires minimum education or finances to enter, or to gain relevant experience and develop skills, or to make professional connections that will ultimately help them progress towards their desired career path.

These interim positions may not be the ultimate or dream job, but they provide valuable learning opportunities and contribute to the individual’s overall career development. Stepping-stone careers are often seen as a strategic approach to building a successful and fulfilling professional trajectory, allowing individuals to gradually move closer to their desired roles or industries.

A career as a dog kennel assistant can serve as a valuable stepping stone, offering individuals the opportunity to gain experience, develop skills, and explore various aspects of the animal care industry. While working as a dog kennel assistant, individuals may acquire transferable skills that can open doors to a range of related careers.

Here are some potential career paths that individuals with a background as a dog kennel assistant might consider:

Training and Apprenticeship

Becoming a dog kennel facilitator often involves a combination of on-the-job training, practical experience, and, in some cases, formal education. Here are the key components of in-house training or apprenticeship that may be required for a person to become a dog kennel facilitator:

Basic Kennel Assistant Training:

Individuals usually start as kennel assistants to gain foundational knowledge and hands-on experience in the daily operations of a kennel facility. This includes tasks such as cleaning kennels, feeding, administering medications, and providing basic animal care.

Observation and shadowing:

New hires may be required to observe and shadow experienced kennel facilitators or managers to understand the responsibilities of the role, facility protocols, and effective management practices.

Animal Handling Skills:

Developing effective animal handling skills is crucial. On-the-job training may involve hands-on experience in safely handling and managing dogs of various breeds, sizes, and temperaments.

Health and Safety Protocols:

Training in health and safety protocols is essential. This includes understanding and implementing procedures to ensure the well-being of both animals and staff, as well as preventing the spread of diseases.

Customer Service Training:

Kennel facilitators often interact with pet owners. Training in customer service skills may be provided to ensure effective communication, address inquiries, and handle customer concerns professionally.

Kennel Management Practices:

Aspiring kennel facilitators may receive training in kennel management practices, including scheduling, record-keeping, and organisational skills to efficiently run day-to-day operations.

Understanding Canine Behaviour:

In-depth training on canine behaviour is crucial for managing group play areas and ensuring the safety and well-being of the dogs. This training may cover behaviour assessment, recognising signs of stress, and handling challenging behaviours.

Medication Administration:

Kennel facilitators may receive training on administering medications to dogs, understanding dosage requirements, and keeping accurate records of medication schedules.

Emergency Response and First Aid:

Training in emergency response and first aid for animals is essential. Kennel facilitators should be prepared to handle various situations, including injuries or sudden health issues.

Certifications and Qualifications:

Some employers may require or encourage kennel facilitators to obtain certifications in areas such as kennel management, animal behaviour, or first aid to enhance their qualifications.

The specific training program can vary based on the policies and practices of the kennel facility, so individuals interested in pursuing this career path should inquire about the specific training opportunities offered by potential employers. Additionally, a willingness to learn, a genuine passion for animals, and effective leadership qualities are key attributes for success in a role as a dog kennel facilitator.

Average level of education of those entering the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certification, Registration and Professional Associations

Becoming a dog kennel attendant generally does not require specific licenses, but there are important certifications, legal requirements, and guidelines that individuals should be aware of to ensure they comply with industry standards and regulations. These may vary depending on the location and the specific services offered by the kennel facility. Here are some considerations:

Basic Legal Requirements:

Ensure compliance with local, state, and national regulations related to animal care and welfare. This may include business licences, permits, and adherence to zoning regulations.

Animal Care and Welfare Guidelines:

Familiarise yourself with and adhere to animal care and welfare guidelines set by relevant authorities or organisations. This includes providing proper nutrition, shelter, and veterinary care for the dogs under your care.

Insurance:

Kennel facilities may be required to have liability insurance to cover potential accidents or injuries that may occur on the premises.

First Aid Certification:

While not always mandatory, obtaining a certification in pet first aid and CPR can be valuable. It demonstrates your commitment to the well-being of the animals in your care.

Training and Certification Programmes:

Some kennel attendants may choose to complete training and certification programs offered by reputable organizations in the pet care industry. These certifications can cover areas such as animal behavior, health and safety, and general care practices.

Health and Safety Standards:

Kennel facilities should adhere to health and safety standards to ensure the well-being of the animals and prevent the spread of diseases. This may include sanitation protocols and proper waste disposal practices.

Local Animal Control Regulations:

Familiarise yourself with local animal control regulations, especially if the kennel is involved in the rescue or adoption of animals. Compliance with these regulations is crucial.

Customer Contracts and Agreements:

Kennel facilities may use contracts or agreements with pet owners to outline terms and conditions of care, responsibilities, and any limitations of liability.

Record-Keeping:

Maintain accurate records of the dogs in your care, including their health history, vaccinations, and any special requirements. Proper record-keeping is often a legal requirement and contributes to effective management.

Occupational Health and Safety:

Kennel facilities should comply with occupational health and safety regulations to ensure a safe working environment for employees.

Environmental Regulations:

Depending on the size and scope of the kennel facility, there may be environmental regulations to consider, especially regarding waste disposal and environmental impact.

Fire Safety Compliance:

Comply with fire safety regulations, including having appropriate fire extinguishing equipment and evacuation plans.

Anti-Cruelty Laws:

Abide by anti-cruelty laws and regulations to ensure that animals are treated with kindness and in accordance with ethical standards.

It’s important to note that specific requirements can vary based on the location and the services provided by the kennel facility. Local animal control offices, health departments, and business regulatory agencies are valuable resources for obtaining information on the legal requirements in a particular area. Additionally, staying informed about industry best practices and participating in relevant continuing education can contribute to the overall professionalism of a dog kennel attendant.

Professional Associations

There may not be specific international professional associations exclusively for dog kennel attendants. However, there are broader animal care and welfare organisations that provide resources, support, and education for professionals working with animals. Here are a few organisations that individuals in the field of animal care, including dog kennel attendants, may find valuable:

International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP):

Website: International Association of Canine Professionals

National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS):

Website: National Association of Professional Pet Sitters

Pet Sitters International (PSI):

Website: Pet Sitters International

American Kennel Club (AKC):

Website: American Kennel Club

Pet Professional Guild (PPG):

Website: Pet Professional Guild

International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA):

Website: International Boarding & Pet Services Association

Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT):

Website: Association of Professional Dog Trainers

Humane Society International (HSI):

Website: Humane Society International

The Kennel Club (UK):

Website: The Kennel Club

International Society for Animal Professionals (ISAP):

Website: International Society for Animal Professionals

Please note that while these organisations may not specifically cater to dog kennel attendants, they focus on various aspects of animal care, welfare, training, and professional development. Dog kennel attendants may find relevant information, resources, and opportunities for networking within these broader associations.

It’s recommended to explore the websites of these organisations for the most up-to-date information on membership benefits, resources, and events. Additionally, regional or country-specific associations may exist, and local networking opportunities can be valuable for professionals in the field of animal care.

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal care

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in figuring out a path to prepare, as well as help you to gain further knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you FREE career development tools. There are almost a dozen free tools, but these are the three primary ones:

CAREER PATH PLAN

Use the career path plan above on this profile as an example to follow, or to work out your own path.

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STUDY GUIDE

Get a supercharged study guide that fits into the career path plan! Now that's really upping your preparation game! Join us for free to gain access!

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But, if you are still uncertain about choosing this specific career, and even where to start, then have a look at our special series of WHAT NEXT courses (link below). They take you through all of the questions you might have on how to choose the right career, what to do while at and after school, and even how to start your own business.

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Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
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  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
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Some of the best websites to help you decide on a career are:

Pet Business Magazine:

Website: Pet Business Magazine
Description: Pet Business Magazine covers various aspects of the pet industry, including trends, business strategies, and insights into pet care. While it’s not exclusively focused on dog kennel attendants, it provides valuable information for professionals working in the broader pet care sector.

International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA):

Website: IBPSA
Description: The IBPSA is an association dedicated to professionals in the pet care services industry, including boarding facilities. While not specific to kennel attendants, the association provides resources, education, and networking opportunities for individuals involved in the boarding and pet services sectors.

The Kennel Club (UK)

Website: The Kennel Club – Careers in Dogs
Description: The Kennel Club’s “Careers in Dogs” section provides information on various careers related to dogs, including roles in kennels and breeding. It offers insights into different roles within the dog industry and may be useful for individuals considering a career as a kennel attendant.

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Niki
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May 8, 2024 6:05 pm

I would like to find out the price and options for a comprehensive kennel assistants. online course.

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