Kennel workers care for dogs and cats in kennels or catteries.
They feed and groom the animals, exercise dogs, keep the premises clean and care for animals who become ill or distressed.
Kennel workers may be employed in boarding kennels, which provide care for animals whilst their owners are away for short periods, or by organisations such as the RSPCA, which look after stray, abandoned or mistreated animals.
Some administrative work may be involved, including keeping records, taking bookings and handling payments.
Some kennels may specialise in racing, breeding, hunt, quarantine or training.
Kennel workers work about 40 hours a week, usually starting early in the morning. Hours are variable, and weekend and night work is common. Part-time work may be available.
Kennel work can be physically demanding, and involve working in noisy, dirty or smelly conditions. Kennel workers have to work outdoors in all weathers conditions.
To be a kennel worker you should be:
There are only about 3,500 people working in kennels across the UK, and competition for vacancies is often high. In quarantine kennels the demand for workers has decreased significantly now that fewer dogs have to spend time in quarantine.
It is possible to become a kennel manager in a larger organisation. There are also possibilities for self-employment. Some kennel workers use their experience to move into other animal careers, such as dog trainer, RSPCA or SSPCA inspector or veterinary nurse.
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