This is one of the most well known career paths for animal lovers. To be a veterinarian takes years of study but it is all worth it in the end for a true lover of animals. Veterinarians can work for a clinic, be employed full time by a zoo, or can work for themselves. They may specialize in large animals, or small, domestic pets, livestock, or wildlife. Most veterinarians are available on-call 24 hours a day for emergencies.
Animal Health Technician
Basically this person is a veterinarians assistant. Some work directly for veterinarians while others work for animal shelters and cover the basic needs of the pets in the care where vets are not part of the daily staff. To become an AHT a person must take classes although they graduate before veterinarians.
This is not a position that puts people in contact with the animals as they may think. It is an unskilled entry level position. A kennel assistant is basically the person who cleans the kennels in the veterinary office, at animal shelters, or in dog boarding kennels. They may provide basic care, such as walks. In zoos kennel assistants clean the cages and feed the animals and may speak to zoo visitors about specific animals.
Animal Cruelty Investigator
These people usually work with the local police and local animal shelter. They may work as dog catchers, and typically have to have professional training on the law and how to deal with tough situations.
There are many opportunities for a animal lover to work as a groomer. The most well known are dog groomers, who may take a proper course on grooming or may be instructed while working with a professional dog groomer. Cat groomers are less in demand. Grooms for horses are the people who care for the horses and prepare them for the trainers, whether they be show horses or race horses.
Dog trainers help people how to train their dogs, or may work one on one with a dog. Horse trainers may train horses for pleasure, show, or the racing industry. Most people get their start as trainers by working as grooms and learning the skills needed for training. Some will also go to College for professional education.
These are the people who trim horses feet and may equip them with shoes. Most farriers have many clients which they see every six to eight weeks. They usually go to College to learn their trade.
These people typically work for pet food companies to help them improve their foods. Some may work on their own to help people find appropriate diets for their pets.
Although this career choice is met with some skepticism it remains an option for the person who has the ability to read pets and promote this service.
One has to study the art of photography and be able to take good pictures in addition to being pet friendly. Most pet photographers work out of their own home, as well they may be hired by shows to take the authorized pictures of the winning animals. Wildlife photographers may work for magazines or as freelance workers.
In some areas there is a need to rehabilitate injured wildlife. These people often work with veterinarians, zoos, or zoologists. They usually have some years of study before entering their career field.
A zoologist is somebody who studies animals to learn more about them. There are many fields within zoology, from studying insects to elephants. To become a zoologist one has to study at University.
While many people assume farmers are not animal lovers at all, this is not always correct. Many people enter farming because they like being around animals. Not all farming ventures involve raising animals for slaughter. There are opportunities in the dairy industry, both for dairy cattle and goats. Free range chicken eggs are becoming more popular so this may be a venture worth consideration.
There are many other jobs available for pet lovers (some are not practicaly as careers), but they would be cautioned against working in a pet store. Pet stores often get pets from mass breeders, they exploit them for profit. As such this is not an ethical job for any pet lover. Breeding pets is also not a job consideration for a pet lover because in the current state of things more animals are produced every year than there are homes for. The reputable pet breeders do not breed for profit, it is not a career, or money making venture.