Animal Care Apprenticeships

Dogs, lions, birds, elephants, you name it.

An Apprenticeship in animal care can offer you the chance of working with any animal you can think of all over the world, you don’t just need to limit yourself to the UK.

Have you always had a love for animals since a young age? Would it be your dream job to work within the animal care sector? John Grogan, (the author of Marley and Me) once said ‘Animal lovers are a special breed of humans, generous of spirit, full of empathy, perhaps a little prone to sentimentality and with hearts as a big as a cloudless sky’.

There are so many areas of animal care you can work within, think sea life centres, zoos, pet shops, kennels and assisting with animals who have been mistreated. You can make a difference. Your heart will connect with every living thing on this planet. If you’ve dreamt of working with animals from a young age and this is what you really want to do, an animal care Apprenticeship will give you the underlying knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the animal care sector.

Depending on the role you choose your duties could range from cleaning, feeding and medicating animals, to educating the public on animal welfare and preparing animals for rehoming. You might also have the opportunity, with further training, to move into more specialised roles.

There is no denying that working with animals will include facing many challenges; expect to be working long hours, it can be both physically and emotionally demanding, especially if you are working with animals that have been abused and neglected. However, knowing you have contributed towards animal health is very rewarding, for example think about how it must feel seeing an animal that has been abused and neglected being rehomed to a loving family, that’s what makes all the hard work you put into this Apprenticeship worthwhile.

Different roles within the animal care industry requires different responsibilities and daily duties:

Zoo/Sea life Apprenticeship – In this sector of the animal care industry you are likely to work with a particular type of animal. This allows you to get to know the animal in your care well, which in turn allows you to spot any signs of diseases, stress of injury. Your daily role will include cleaning, feeding and medicating animals, checking enclosures and for any signs of damage, and keeping records. You will also be involved in educating members of the public, perhaps giving an informative talk on the animals based on their natural behaviour and habitat in the wild whilst answering questions from the public about the animals.

Kennel Workers – Boarding Kennels and Cattery look after dogs and cats of those who have gone on holiday or need someone to look after their pets. In this Apprenticeship you’ll be responsible in the daily grooming, cleaning of the kennels, feeding, walking and petting of the dog, you’ll ensure that no dogs are ever mixed. If working in a cattery you’ll ensure they are fed, cleaned out, fussed and also kept separated as well as checking on the pets health.

Pet shops – As worker in a pet shop you’ll give advice to customers considering buying a pet, ensure they have all the equipment needed for the animals such as cage, food, water bottle, brush ect. You’ll be working with a range of animals anywhere from rabbits, rats, hamsters, birds and more. Your daily duties will include, giving food and water to the animal, cleaning out cages, grooming and exercising animals, selling pet care products, maintaining stock levels, dealing with deliveries, keeping the store clean and tidy, checking water temperature and chemical balance in fish tanks and checking all animals regularly for illnesses.

Animal Welfare/Veterinary Assistant – You’ll work in veterinary environment and assist with the care of animals under direction of qualified veterinary staff. The work involves the provision of basic veterinary care, including handling animals, upkeep of accommodation, provision of food and water and assisting in veterinary procedures. You could also work within the RSPCA helping to prevent cruelty, promote kindness and alleviate suffering of all animals.

If you truly care about animals and have a passion for them, take some action, gain hands on experience working with animals and a nationally recognised qualification, go for it, no matter what pathway you choose in life or what you decide to do, you can use your voice to educate other people and help the cause. Realise your potential. You never know where it can take you.

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