While over five million jobs were lost in the past few months as a result of the recession, Animal Behavior College understands why the pet industry has proven resilient during tough economic times. Are you an animal lover looking for a career change? A pet career might be the perfect transition to get you excited about working again.
Those employed in the pet industry have a unique kind of job security. “Pet services are always going to be in high demand, regardless of the economy,” said Steven Appelbaum, president of Animal Behavior College. “The family dog is just that—part of the family; most people will do anything to make sure he is healthy and well taken care of, even if that means cutting their personal expenses to ensure it. This willingness to spend is best illustrated by the fact that even though the last year has been the most economically challenging time since the great depression, pet business spending increased by billions of dollars.”
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), Appelbaum is correct as pet spending reached $43.2 billion in 2008. For 2009 the APPA estimates that Americans will spend $45.5 billion on pet training, grooming, boarding, and veterinary care.
Julie Beller is a Certified Dog Trainer from Animal Behavior College (ABCDT). “Despite the recession, I haven’t felt much of a decline in my business,” said Beller, “Pet parents are always in need of a good trainer. I help make their lives with their pets more enjoyable—from potty training a new puppy to rehabilitating an aggressive dog.” Beller currently teaches 12 obedience classes a week at various locations in Southern California. As a small business owner, she also conducts two-to-five private in-home dog training lessons a week.
Veterinary care has proven to be the most crucial aspect of pet ownership. Regardless of financial constraints, most owners do not neglect preventative and emergency veterinary care for their pets. Failure to seek necessary care leads to costly veterinary bills in the future. Since pet care is a essential, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants and office personnel are vital aspects of the pet business economy.
Aside from becoming veterinarians and dog trainers, there are a myriad of career options for animal lovers. Groomers, veterinary technicians/assistants, pet sitters, and kennel and shelter workers are just a few of the different kinds of prosperous pet professionals. Many career experts seem to repeat the same dictum about looking for a new career— to look within yourself and do what you love. It may appear to be a simple motto, but for many who are working in the pet industry, it has become their saving grace.
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