To find your path in the dog world, or the next step on your journey, ask yourself what you would love to do. Then consider; if there were no money and no bills to pay, would you still be doing what you’re doing now?
If so, that’s great. If not, why are you still doing it?
When I left school the opportunities available now to dog lovers were few. I could get a job (which is what I thought was the only possibility) in kennels, move away from home and live in at a dog care facility or work at a veterinary surgery. I ended up doing all of these and much more but didn’t really enjoy any of them. I now know that I’m not suited to a job at all and believe I’ll never have one again.
These day, whatever your age, your options are vast and exciting. As a dog lover desperate for a career change, you can study and build a business based around dogs. As an established canine professional you can teach others what you already know. As a curious dog walker you can become a canine behaviour specialist via distance learning and practical application.
You can write books and self-publish them without ever getting a publisher’s rejection, taking your word directly to your audience and creating a passive income from a lifetime of consistent sales. I have a friend who was long-term poorly and often housebound, yet has used her natural magic and love of dogs and created a huge Facebook page where she shares everything ethical. She’s having a ball and people are approaching her with freebies and even cash, to share their goods and services.
I only ever touch, love and interact with my own dogs and never do consultations or teaching in the real world anymore. Yet through my specic skills I get to touch many dog’s lives, and the life of their people, which is highly, highly motivating. My point for you is that you don’t have to choose from three or four specic routes to be a dog professional. You can if they make you happy, but you don’t have to. You can nd a path that’s dierent, unique even and something that no-one else has ever considered.
Let’s throw some ideas around and get you thinking:
If you love running or hiking, create a niche exercise service for energetic dogs Open a dog day care where enrichment is paramount Counsel other canine professionals on building their websites, or becoming social media experts Draw pet portraits or create excellent graphics for canine understanding Perhaps create a blog and open it up to donations Make a series of videos Coach the canine professionals Do good dog guardianship classes Organise events with excellent speakers and sell tickets Become a brand and sell reviews Create a social following for the life of your own dog and monetise it. The options are endless for finding your exact path, the one that gets you bouncing out of bed in the mornings. A wise thing to do is mix and match if you can. The wonder of the internet now is that we can create multiple income streams. For example, you might already be a successful and established dog walker which provides a good income, great. Yet you also have an amazing skill that would benefit others in the most spectacular ways, so why not use that skill to make a series of videos on how to create a brilliant dog walking business and offer them over the internet to people who want to make that first tenacious step into self-employment. If videos make you shrink a little, write a book. Once it’s written, it’s there for good and will bring a second income stream for the rest of your life, with only fundamental updates and marketing for a few minutes here and there.
There is a niche with dogs for you if you want it and finding it is easy when you start really looking.