Career Development

What Does a Kennel Assistant Do?

Find out what a kennel assistant does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a kennel assistant.

Kennel assistants are responsible for the day-to-day care of animals in a kennel. They may be tasked with feeding, watering, and cleaning up after dogs or other pets while also providing basic medical care such as administering vaccinations or medications.

Kennel assistants may also be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of their facility. This might include sweeping floors, washing dishes, disinfecting cages, etc.

Kennel Assistant Job Duties

Kennel assistants have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Cleaning kennels and feeding animals in accordance with the pet owner’s instructions
  • Providing any special care or attention needed by animals in order to keep them healthy and comfortable
  • Welcoming visitors to the kennel and providing assistance as needed
  • Feeding, bathing, exercising, grooming, and playing with animals to keep them healthy and happy
  • Maintaining records of animal activities and care including feeding schedules, medications administered, and exercise routines
  • Preparing dogs for shows by clipping nails, brushing coats, and bathing them
  • Cleaning cages and enclosures, disinfecting toys and accessories, and replacing food and water dishes
  • Helping to arrange adoption events, foster care arrangements, or other socialization opportunities for animals in need of good homes
  • Performing other tasks related to animal care such as repairing fencing or cleaning kennels with disinfectants

Kennel Assistant Salary & Outlook

Kennel assistants’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the company they work for, and the geographic location of their job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $25,000 ($12.02/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $57,500 ($27.64/hour)

The employment of kennel assistants is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

As pet ownership increases, more people will want to take their pets with them when they travel. This should lead to increased demand for pet-sitting services and kennels.

Kennel Assistant Job Requirements

A kennel assistant position may require the following:

Education: Kennel assistants are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some kennels may prefer to hire candidates who have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in animal science, veterinary technology or a related field. These programs teach students about animal anatomy, physiology, behavior, nutrition, reproduction and genetics.

Training & Experience: Kennel assistants typically receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or managers. This training may include learning how to clean and care for animals, how to prepare food and how to handle medications. Training may also include learning how to use cleaning equipment and how to properly dispose of waste.

Some kennel assistants may have previous experience working with animals. Working with animals can provide a kennel assistant with valuable experience that they can apply to their job.

Certifications & Licenses: Kennel assistants do not require any certifications to earn their position. However, there are certifications available for kennel assistants who wish to increase their earning capacity or to help with advancement in the pet care industry.

Kennel Assistant Skills

Kennel assistants need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Kennel assistants often work with veterinarians and other animal care professionals, and communication is an essential skill for interacting with others. You may also need to communicate with pet owners about their pet’s health or behavior, so it’s important to be able to speak clearly and concisely.

Organization: Kennel assistants should be able to maintain a clean and organized kennel. This means keeping the kennel free of clutter and waste and keeping track of all the animals that are in the kennel. Kennel assistants should also be able to organize the kennel’s supplies and paperwork.

Customer service: Kennel assistants interact with pet owners and other staff members, so it’s important for them to have excellent customer service skills. You can help pet owners feel more comfortable by answering their questions and explaining the process of caring for pets. You can also help them feel more comfortable by petting the animals and explaining their behavior.

Attention to detail: Kennel assistants should have excellent attention to detail skills to ensure they follow the proper protocols for their job. For example, if a veterinarian tells you to give a pet a certain medication, you should follow their instructions exactly to ensure the pet’s health. Attention to detail can also help you notice any potential issues with the animals, such as a change in their behavior, so you can alert a veterinarian.

Physical stamina: Kennel assistants often work in large animal hospitals or pet stores, where they may be on their feet for long periods of time. Physical stamina is important for kennel assistants to have as it allows them to work for long periods of time without getting tired.

Kennel Assistant Work Environment

Kennel assistants work in animal shelters, animal hospitals, pet stores, kennels, and grooming shops. They may also work in private residences caring for pets while their owners are away. Most kennel assistants work full time, and some may work evenings, weekends, and holidays. The work can be physically demanding, and kennel assistants must be able to lift 50 pounds or more and stand for long periods of time. They also must be able to handle animals of all sizes and temperaments and be comfortable working around cleaning chemicals and other potentially hazardous materials.

Kennel Assistant Trends

Here are three trends influencing how kennel assistants work. Kennel assistants will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

More Focus on the Human-Animal Bond

The human-animal bond is becoming increasingly important in our society, as more and more people are realizing the benefits of having a pet. This is leading to an increased demand for services that focus on the bond, such as dog walking and boarding.

Kennel assistants can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in the care and management of pets. They can also develop relationships with clients and help them find the right service for their needs.

More Pet Owners Are Willing to Pay for Quality Care

As pet owners become more educated about the importance of quality care, they are willing to pay for it. This means that kennel assistants who provide high-quality care will be in high demand.

In order to be successful in this field, kennel assistants will need to be able to provide excellent customer service and ensure that all animals are happy and healthy. They will also need to be familiar with current trends in pet care, such as the increasing popularity of doggy daycare.

More Attention Paid to Animal Welfare

As the public becomes more aware of animal welfare issues, businesses that deal with animals are being forced to change their practices. This is resulting in a greater emphasis on humane treatment of animals in kennels, as well as better training for employees.

Kennel assistants can take advantage of this trend by becoming certified in humane treatment methods. This will allow them to set themselves apart from other candidates and show employers that they are committed to providing the best possible care for animals.

How to Become a Kennel Assistant

A career as a kennel assistant can be a great way to get started in the pet care industry. It’s a good idea to start by volunteering at a local animal shelter or rescue group so you can learn about different breeds and temperaments, as well as gain experience handling animals. This will also give you the chance to see what it’s like to work in a busy kennel environment.

Once you have some experience under your belt, look for jobs as a kennel assistant. This is a great opportunity to learn more about dog behavior and training, as well as how to care for dogs in a professional setting. You may even be able to take on additional responsibilities such as grooming or walking dogs.

Advancement Prospects

Kennel assistants can advance to become kennel technicians, kennel supervisors, or kennel managers. With experience, kennel assistants may also move into other animal-related careers, such as veterinary technician, animal trainer, or animal control officer. Some kennel assistants may eventually open their own pet-care businesses.

Kennel Assistant Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we love animals, and it shows in the care we provide at our state-of-the-art kennel facility. We are looking for a kennel assistant to join our team and help us provide the highest level of care to the dogs in our care. The ideal candidate will have prior experience working with animals, preferably in a kennel or veterinary setting. He or she will be comfortable handling dogs of all sizes and temperaments, and will have a genuine love for animals. The kennel assistant will be responsible for feeding, walking, and exercising the dogs in our care, as well as cleaning and disinfecting the kennels.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Feed and water all animals in the kennel, according to schedule and instructions
  • Clean and disinfect all animal cages, bedding, and food/water bowls daily
  • Exercise and socialize all animals in the kennel, according to instructions
  • Administer medications to animals, as needed and under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian
  • Keep accurate records of all animal feedings, medications, and exercise sessions
  • Assist with bathing and grooming animals, as needed
  • Maintain cleanliness of the entire kennel facility, including sweeping, mopping, and laundry
  • Dispose of all animal waste in a sanitary manner
  • Restock all supplies, food, and medications as needed
  • Answer phones and schedule appointments for potential adopters
  • Greet potential adopters and provide them with information about available animals
  • Help match potential adopters with appropriate animals

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • 6 months experience in customer service or related field
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure and handle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Flexible schedule, including weekends and holidays

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or higher in animal science or related field
  • 1 year experience working in a veterinary clinic or animal hospital
  • 2 years experience working with animals in a professional capacity
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and other common computer programs

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