Career Development

What Does a Kennel Technician Do?

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

Kennel technicians are responsible for the day-to-day care of animals in a kennel or shelter. They may be tasked with feeding and watering dogs, cats, birds, fish, etc., as well as cleaning their cages or pens. They may also be called upon to provide basic medical care such as administering vaccinations or treating minor injuries.

Kennel technicians must have strong communication skills since they often work directly with clients who are adopting an animal or dropping one off. They may also need to interact with other staff members to coordinate the care of individual animals.

Kennel Technician Job Duties

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

  • Cleaning kennels and cages, replacing bedding or toys as needed
  • Feeding and watering animals, administering medications as needed
  • Monitoring the health of animals in their care by observing for signs of illness or distress and reporting any issues to a supervisor
  • Participating in training sessions with new staff members on proper handling techniques for different kinds of animals
  • Training new employees on proper care procedures for animals in their care
  • Preparing animals for shows or competitions such as bathing them and clipping their nails
  • Cleaning and disinfecting areas where animals live or spend time such as cages, pens, and exercise areas
  • Supervising the care of animals by feeding them and providing medical treatment as needed
  • Cleaning the kennel facility and grounds, including sweeping, mopping, scrubbing floors, and disposing of trash

Kennel Technician Salary & Outlook

Kennel technicians’ 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: $36,000 ($17.31/hour)

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

As pet owners continue to treat their pets like family members, more people will want to take their pets with them when they travel. This should lead to increased demand for kennels and kennel technicians to care for pets while their owners are away.

Kennel Technician Job Requirements

A kennel technician typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Kennel technicians are typically required to have a high school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED). Some kennels may require 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 technicians typically receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or other experienced kennel technicians. This training may include how to clean and disinfect kennels, how to feed and care for the animals and how to handle and restrain animals. Training may also include how to use cleaning and disinfecting equipment, how to record and report animal information and how to handle and dispose of animal waste.

Certifications & Licenses: Kennel technicians usually receive certification through the American Kennel Club Canine Certification Program. This program allows kennel technicians to evaluate and treat common canine conditions and injuries.

Kennel Technician Skills

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

Communication: Kennel technicians communicate with pet owners, veterinarians and other kennel staff. They also communicate with animals, so they should be comfortable speaking to animals and understand their body language. They should also be able to communicate with pet owners about their pet’s health and behavior.

Organization: Kennel technicians should be able to organize their work space and the kennels they maintain. This is because they often have many tasks to complete in a short period of time. Being able to organize your work space and your daily tasks can help you work more efficiently and complete your tasks on time.

Medical knowledge: Kennel technicians should have a basic understanding of animal anatomy and medical conditions. This can help them identify and treat any health issues pets may have. Medical knowledge can also help them recognize and treat any injuries pets may have.

Attention to detail: Kennel technicians must be able to perform their duties with precision. This skill allows them to ensure the health and safety of the animals in their care. It also ensures the animals are comfortable and that they have everything they need to live comfortably. Attention to detail also ensures the kennel is operating efficiently and that the animals are receiving the correct treatment.

Empathy: Kennel technicians work with animals, and animals can be unpredictable. It’s important for kennel technicians to have empathy for the animals they work with, as well as the pet owners who bring their animals to the kennel. Empathy can help kennel technicians remain calm when an animal is sick or injured, and it can help them explain the situation to pet owners.

Kennel Technician Work Environment

Kennel technicians work in animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and other animal care facilities. They are responsible for the daily care of the animals in their facility, which includes feeding, watering, exercising, and cleaning the animals’ cages and kennels. They also administer medications and vaccinations, and provide other medical care as directed by the veterinarian. Kennel technicians typically work a 40-hour week, but they may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays to care for the animals. The work can be physically demanding, and kennel technicians must be able to lift 50 pounds or more. 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 Technician Trends

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

More Attention to 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 trend is leading to an increased demand for services that promote the health and well-being of pets, such as boarding, grooming, and training.

As a kennel technician, you can capitalize on this trend by becoming certified in animal care and behavior. This will allow you to provide high-quality services that meet the needs of both pets and their owners.

More Focus on Preventative Care

As veterinary medicine continues to evolve, so too does the focus on preventative care. This means that kennel technicians will need to be familiar with a wide range of preventive measures, such as vaccinations, parasite control, and dental care.

In order to stay ahead of the curve, kennel technicians should strive to keep up-to-date on the latest trends in veterinary medicine. This includes attending conferences and seminars, reading industry publications, and networking with other professionals.

Greater Emphasis on Animal Welfare

The animal welfare movement has been growing rapidly over the past few years, with more and more people becoming concerned about the treatment of animals in captivity. This has led to an increased emphasis on the role of kennel technicians, who are responsible for caring for animals in cages, crates, and pens.

Kennel technicians can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in animal welfare. This will allow them to better care for animals and understand their needs. In addition, it may also lead to opportunities for employment in animal shelters or rescue organizations.

How to Become a Kennel Technician

A career as a kennel technician can be both rewarding and lucrative. It’s important to start your journey by getting certified in canine first aid and CPR. This will show potential employers that you are committed to the safety of animals and prepared for any situation.

You should also build up your skills by attending workshops on grooming, nutrition, and behavior. This will help you better understand how to care for dogs and give them the best possible experience when they visit the kennel.

Finally, make sure to network with other professionals in the industry. Attend conferences and join online forums where you can learn from others who have more experience than you.

Advancement Prospects

Kennel technicians typically start out in entry-level positions and work their way up. With experience, they may advance to lead kennel technician or supervisor positions. Some kennel technicians may eventually open their own businesses.

Those interested in animal behavior may wish to pursue a degree in animal science, which can lead to a career as a veterinary technician or behaviorist. Those interested in business may wish to pursue a degree in business administration, which can lead to a career as a kennel manager or owner.

Kennel Technician Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we love animals, and it shows in the care we provide at our state-of-the-art animal boarding facility. We are looking for a kennel technician to join our team and provide top-notch care to our furry guests. The ideal candidate will have prior experience working with animals in a professional setting, as well as a passion for animal welfare. He or she will be responsible for feeding, watering, exercising, and cleaning up after the animals in our care, as well as providing them with love and attention. The kennel technician will also be responsible for keeping the kennel area clean and organized, and for following all safety protocols.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain a clean, safe, and healthy environment for all animals in the kennel
  • Perform daily cleaning tasks such as sweeping, mopping, laundry, and disinfecting of all animal areas
  • Sanitize and restock supplies such as food, water, bedding, toys, and enrichment items
  • Feed and provide fresh water to all animals according to their individual dietary needs
  • Exercise and socialize animals according to their individual needs and temperament
  • Administer medications and vaccinations to animals as prescribed by a veterinarian
  • Monitor animals for signs of illness or injury and report any changes to a supervisor
  • Keep accurate records of all animal care activities
  • Assist with adoption events and other public outreach programs
  • Educate the public on proper animal care and husbandry
  • Enforce all kennel rules and regulations
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Reliable transportation
  • Flexible availability, including evenings, weekends, and holidays

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in animal science or related field
  • 1-2 years professional experience working with animals
  • Professional certification, such as Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT), or Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT)
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and other common computer programs


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