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Pet Lovers

11/22/2021

5 Reasons We Love Working with Pets

We often hear employees of Holiday Barn Pet Resorts say, “This is my dream job!” I say it too. Only…

We often hear employees of Holiday Barn Pet Resorts say, “This is my dream job!” I say it too. Only genuine pet lovers will understand that sentiment. We have a unique opportunity to bring joy to pets and their families every single day. And they give that joy right back to us! It’s a great feeling to work with animals. We consider it a privilege!

Are you considering a career in pet care? Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to work with pets… like, is it really “work”? We get that question a lot. There is more to it than meets the eye, but if I had to describe it in just a few words, it would be fun, happy, meaningful, and rewarding. How can the workplace be anything but positive when you are working with pets?

Let’s talk about some of the warm-n-fuzzies that comes from working with pets and why we love it:

1. It feels good to be needed

Unlike their ancestors, our domesticated pets rely on us for everything. They need us. We must provide not only for their food, but for their medical needs, their shelter and comfort, their activity, and their emotional needs. When working with pets at Holiday Barn Pet Resorts, we are obligated to meet all those needs while our guest’s beloved owners are away.

The desire to be needed is ingrained in all of us. Some believe that the desire to be needed outweighs safety and security as based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. And it makes sense. Being needed gives us purpose. And purpose is the reason we get up every day before the sun comes up – including weekends and holidays – to take care of the dogs and cats that are depending on us. It’s a commitment.

2. It’s an important job

I read an interesting article in Harvard Business Review titled “The Only Thing that Really Matters”. It talks about our need to be valued. As human beings, we need to feel that what we are doing is important. We know that what we do at Holiday Barn Pet Resorts is incredibly important.

Caring for pets is a huge responsibility. Our customers must feel confident that they can trust us to care for their furry children while they are away. When we feel that what we do makes a difference for others, it gives us the motivation to do a good job, for our customers, and our guests.

3. It fulfills a fundamental need for touch

Touching another human being or an animal is vital for our mental and emotional health. Touch between a human and a dog can have tremendous therapeutic benefits for both species. One great example is the success of therapy dogs when visiting hospitals and nursing homes. Being able to pet and touch a dog lowers blood pressure and reduces anxiety and stress. It is profoundly healing and soothing.

We find that touching and petting our furry guests is very comforting to them as well, especially for the nervous pet who may be away from its owner for the very first time. It is hands-down the best thing about working at Holiday Barn Pet Resorts… the ability to embrace, stroke and cuddle our sweet guests. And they are always happy to reciprocate.

4. It’s not complicated

Basically, all our guests want is to be comfortable, loved, fed, and to have fun. Their needs are simple. As long as we are providing for their physical and emotional needs, they are happy. Although we have “process and procedural” manuals for the many things we do at Holiday Barn Pet Resorts, we don’t need a manual to show us how to love pets. If we did, we shouldn’t be working here!

5. Pets do not criticize or complain

I was watching a waitress interact with her customer at a restaurant the other day. Nothing she could do was going to satisfy them. The food wasn’t cooked right, it took too long to come to the table, their drink order was wrong… on and on. I felt bad for her. I couldn’t help thinking about the contrast of a restaurant patron to our sweet guests at Holiday Barn Pet Resorts. Our guests don’t complain. They are happy to eat when we feed them, potty when we take them out, cuddle and play on our schedule. We couldn’t ask for anything better than to have careers with animals.

There is always a “but…”

But if you think that working with pets is all about rubbing bellies and getting sloppy kisses all day, you would be wrong. Working with dogs and cats is hard work. While the warm-n-fuzzies definitely outweigh the not-so-appealing aspects of what we do, I don’t want to sugar-coat the facts.

• It’s a dirty job

Probably as much as we care for the pets at Holiday Barn Pet Resorts, we clean. It has to be 50/50 or close to it. Pets are messy….and they don’t care to spread it around! Their hair gets on everything. They drag dirt, mud, and leaves inside, and they are famous for spilling their food and water bowls – and then walking through it! If you have on clean clothes, they will think nothing of jumping up on you with muddy feet. If you are dry, they will be happy to get you wet! You simply cannot stay clean when you’re scooping poop, cleaning their rooms, bathing them… It’s just the way it is.

And well, it can be rather gross…

• It’s not for those with a weak stomach

Excuse me while I get “real” … If poop, pee, vomit, dingleberries, slobber, diarrhea, eye boggers, anal gland excrement, nasty smells, ear gunk, nose mucus, makes you dry heave, you may want to reconsider working with animals. Sorry to be so blunt. I mean, no one “likes” that stuff, of course, but you have to be able to “rise to the occasion” and deal with it when you work with pets.

Have you ever watched one of those forensic-type shows on TV and they’re eating a sandwich while performing an autopsy? How do they do that? So gross. But when I think about it, it’s no grosser than the lunchroom at Holiday Barn when we are all chowing down and discussing that morning’s poop check!

• It’s exhausting

I used to think when I went home from my 9-5 job (more like 7-6 job) that I was tired. Mental work can be very tiring, no doubt. But I didn’t really know “exhaustion” until working with animals. It can be mentally and physically tiring.

It depends on your position within the company, but overall, working with pets is a very physical job. If you are in administration, you still suffer from mental fatigue, but pet careers – including grooming, training, or any kind of pet handling – are physically draining. Oh, and then when you are finished, you have to CLEAN!

We certainly don’t mean to paint an ugly picture. In fact, we are hoping this blog will encourage you to pursue your dream of working with pets. The truth is, yes, it is all the icky things we said above, but it’s also a lot of fun and so very rewarding. A true animal lover should not be discouraged from working with pets.

Types of jobs that work with pets

According to the US Bureau of Labor statistics, the outlook for jobs in animal care and services is projected to grow 33 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all other occupations. Pet/animal care and service workers are employed in a variety of settings, including kennels, zoos, stables, animal shelters, pet stores, veterinary clinics, and aquariums.

At Holiday Barn Pet Resorts, we employ Dog Trainers, Dog Groomers, and Kennel and Daycare Attendants/Managers. We also have an administrative staff consisting of human resources, support, information technology, and marketing functions, indirectly involved in the care and happiness of our guests. We often have employees work with us for the experience they need to move on to other types of animal jobs, like veterinary technicians or veterinarians.  And then there are those (like me) who have been with the company for many years, simply love working with pets, and have no intentions of leaving!

Fringe benefits

At Holiday Barn Pet Resorts, our main guests are, of course, dogs and cats. But we have been lucky over the years to care for all types of birds, hedgehogs, ferrets, rats, gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, sugar gliders, guinea pigs, chinchillas… and even we had a pig come visit one time! Where else can you get that kind of experience?!?

If you are a genuine pet lover, you should be feeling pretty excited about a career working with pets! If you’re turned off because of the not-so-pleasant responsibilities these jobs entail, then read no further.

Visit our career webpage at https://holidaybarn.com/about/career-list/ to find out how you can get started in a FURRMAZING pet career!

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