For animal lovers who would like to pursue a career working with pets, a job as a kennel assistant is one way to get started. Kennel assistants report to a kennel supervisor or veterinarian and perform tasks like feeding, bathing and exercising the animals. No specialised training is typically required, although experience working with animals is beneficial. According to PayScale.com, dog kennel assistants with one to four years of experience earned between £4.40 and £5.70 per hour as of 2010.
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Exercise and Training
Kennel assistants ensure that the animals get regular exercise. This can involve taking dogs for walks or possibly giving cats some room to roam if the facility includes an enclosed area that prevents their escape. If the kennel offers obedience training, the kennel assistants may also participate in the training activities.
Kennels assistants also provide the animals with food and water. If the kennel is part of a veterinary clinic, the kennel assistant needs to follow any special feeding instructions provided by the veterinarian. Assistants who work in a boarding kennel may need to follow special feeding instructions or diets in accordance with the pet owner's wishes.
Cleaning and Grooming
Pets that are boarded for a long period of time will likely need bathing, which is a duty performed by the kennel assistant. The assistant may also preform grooming functions, like trimming an animal's nails or brushing its fur. The assistant will clean out pens and cages on a regular basis to ensure that the animals are living in sanitary conditions.
Experienced kennel assistants who work for veterinarians may have the responsibility of providing basic health care to sick or injured pets. They may administer medications under the direction of the veterinarian or change dressings. They may monitor a pet's appetite to see if it is resuming normal eating habits.
Some kennel assistants may be assigned additional duties besides tending to the animals. They may perform groundskeeping and general maintenance tasks around the property or perform clerical duties, like data entry or answering telephones. They may also be asked to run errands, like shopping for pet food or other pet supplies.
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