Summary: A kennel assistant is someone who works in a place where owners can leave their pets if the owner needs temporary care for their pet. Their exact function varies largely depending on the nature of the kennel company they work in. In general, they assist in the all-around care of animals.
Duties: As a Kennel Assistant, one must ensure that the animals get their regular exercise by giving them walks or guiding them while they roam in a large space. Kennel assistants are responsible for providing the animal’s food and water as well as following special feeding instructions if a certain animal follows a strict diet. They also need to make sure pets are cleaned and well groomed, so they may perform tasks such as providing baths, trimming nails, brushing fur as well as cleaning pens and cages to ensure animals are living in sanitary conditions. Kennel assistants who work for veterinarians may be responsible for providing basic health care to sick or injured animals. Under the supervision of the veterinarian, they may administer medications or change dressings. They may also monitor an animal’s appetite to see if it goes back to its normal eating habits.
Education and Training Requirements: The minimum requirement for Kennel Assistant position is a High School or General Education diploma. Having related experience and training is also a plus. No formal training is required although some people who are pursuing a degree in veterinary choose to work in shelters to gain experience in dealing with animals.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: This job is best for people who enjoy working with people and animals. Essential skills needed for this job include organizational skills, basic mathematics skills, interpersonal and communication skills, basic computer skills and telephone etiquette. He/she must also be well organized, observant, detail-oriented and work well independently or as part of a team. Kennel assistants must also be comfortable in handling animals on a daily basis.
Working Conditions: Kennel assistants usually work in boarding kennels, animal shelters, veterinarian’s offices, or other locations where a large number of animals are being taken care of. Since pets require 24-hour supervision, they are expected to work evenings, weekends, or holiday hours. The job also requires a lot of physical activity, and kennel assistants are routinely exposed to adverse environmental conditions.
Salary: The typical salary of a Kennel Assistant is $21,000. This can vary greatly due to enterprise, area, industry, experience, and benefits. Depending on their employer, some Kennel Assistants receive benefits such as health and dental insurance, paid time off, continuing education reimbursement, and retirement savings plans.