Summary of the Pet Detective Career Profile

Do you want to work as a Pet Detective?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for the career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools, while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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02 August 2023


What is a Pet Detective?

A Pet Detective is a highly skilled person who uses various techniques and equipment to locate missing pets and reunite them with their owners.

Rabbit 1

Career Categories

The Pet Detective career can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Business

What are the easiest lost pets to find?

Cats seem to get lost the most, but they are also the easiest to find again, as they tend to hide and not move around that much

Techniques Used?

Pet Detectives can use the same methods as used to find lost people, and can even use technology such as thermal scanners

What does a Pet Detective do?

Groups of animals a Pet Detective works with

Cats List Icon
Dogs List Icon OZT
Critters List Icon OZT
Mammals List Icon OZT
Birds List Icon OZT
Reptiles List Icon OZT

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With who does a Pet Detective work?

Besides working with all of the animals, Pet Detectives  will need to interact with other people while doing their daily tasks. The people might include fellow staff members (if working for an agency) or the public.

Fellow staff might include:

  • Supervisors/Managers
  • Operational staff, such as Human Resources, Finance and Maintenance

What does a Pet Detective focus on?

Pet Detectives focus on the search for lost or missing pets by using various known techniques and equipment. A very strong knowledge of the specific species is required.

Some detectives use tracking dogs as search companions.

What are the daily tasks of a Pet Detective?

  • Discuss the brief with the owners
  • Gather as much information on the lost pet
  • Create and distribute flyers or post on social media
  • Ensure equipment is in working order
  • Check local shelters and talk with people in the neighbourhood
  • Set traps in suspected areas to capture scared animals
  • Relocate found animals
  • Care for search dog (if using one)
  • Administrative duties

The work Environment of a Pet Detective

Where does a Pet Detective work?

Environment –

A Pet Detective mainly works outdoors, which can include various locations, such as in the city and in rural areas.

Places of Employment –

As an emerging market, detectives will mainly be self employed.

What is the average annual salary of a Pet Detective?

The average income will depend on many factors, but can average around US40,000 per year. The salary will depend on the country and the number of pet owning people where you work.

Can a Pet Detective be promoted?

Self employed means being the boss, doing the hard work. This means that you are no going to get any promotion opportunities.

Promotion is possible where you work for an existing detective agency.

Possible Levels:

Intern -> Jonior Detective -> Senior Detective

What kind of difficulties may a Pet Detective face?

Searching for lost pets can be time consuming, and will require working well into the nights, over weekends and holidays. In some cases the terrain and weather conditions might be tough. Scared animals, when found, can fight back, causing cuts, bites and bruises. The death of a missing pet is always difficult.

​Future Growth and Possibilities

Due to the staggering growth in people owning pets, there will always be a higher number of missing pets. The demand for pet detectives, especially if you market yourself properly, will be high. Average annual growth of this career could be around 7% to 10%

Availability of Jobs


Which Skills are required by a Pet Detective?

The skills required for a career as a pet detective can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, 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

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills

Career Skills

  • Basic understanding of animal behaviour
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Basic computer literacy
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at School to prepare for this career?

These subjects are the ones recognized around the world. 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 Pet Detective?

Minimum Requirements

The minimum requirement for knowledge and entry into the career is ideally a High School Certificate, but it’s not compulsory. Completion of good short courses will add credibility in this field.

Study Focus

Major –


Short Courses –

A good set of short courses to take will cover things such as Animal Behaviour, Animal First Aid, Tracking Skills and where possible, Detective Services

Study Duration

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

Possible Career Preparation Paths

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 your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

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):

Training and apprenticeship

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal-related careers, most of the skills you will need will be acquired through on-the-job training. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment (if you join an existing detective agency), after you have successfully applied.

Learning the necessary skills while in junior positions will allow for practical implementation and greater business success.

Join the Pet Detectives Group in the OZT Community to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education for those entering the career

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

Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

In certain countries detectives need to be certified.

Learn more about requirements by joining the OZT Community.

Professional Associations

  • None added yet

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 behaviour and first aid.

Do you want to Contribute?

Do you have information that you would like to contribute to this career?

My Story




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Join the OZT community and Pet Detectives Group

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a Pet Detective.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a Pet Detective, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu.

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