Careers with Dogs and Horses

Dogs and horses are fairly easy to train and can therefore be used in several jobs that span different fields, from law enforcement to farming. Learn about some of the available jobs and their expected job growth rates and education requirements.

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Career Options with Dogs and Horses

Although there are few careers that involve working with dogs and horses at the exact same time, there are several careers that feature work alongside one of these animals or the other. Here you can explore some jobs with dogs and horses and learn how these animals are used in each career.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Veterinarians $88,770 18%
Animal Trainers $27,690 11%
Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers $66,360 7%
Recreational Therapists $46,410 7%
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers $59,680 7%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Careers with Dogs and Horses

Veterinarians

Veterinarians treat injuries and illnesses in a variety of animals, including dogs and horses. They must carefully examine each animal and perform any medical tests and x-rays needed to properly diagnose the animal's condition. To correct these issues and/or maintain an animal's overall health and wellbeing, veterinarians administer vaccinations, perform surgery, prescribe medication and dress wounds. Veterinarians must earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree after their undergraduate work and obtain a state license.

Animal Trainers

Many animal trainers work with dogs and horses to train these animals for obedience, competitions, performances or work as service animals. This requires the trainers to teach the animal to respond to a particular hand signal or voice command in a very specific way. Animal trainers also watch the animal for any sign of injury or illness as they work with them, and they may work to modify any bad behaviors or habits the animal has. These professionals typically have a high school diploma, but some may need a bachelor's degree.

Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers

Some farmers, ranchers or agricultural managers may work in establishments that have horses and a dog or two that may be kept for recreation and enjoyment, but are likely used to work and herd other livestock. These managers are responsible for overseeing all the activities of their establishment, which may include raising livestock, producing crops and purchasing necessary farming equipment. They also manage the establishment's finances and must carefully monitor market trends to make decisions concerning raising and selling their products. Most of these managers learn through work experience and hold at least a high school diploma.

Recreational Therapists

Recreational therapists treat patients through the use of various recreational activities, which may include equine therapy or the use of therapy dogs. These therapists use the animals to provide support to patients of all ages who may be disabled, ill or injured. Through these activities led by the recreational therapist, patients improve their overall wellbeing through social interactions, emotional support and physical therapy that help to decrease stress, anxiety and other conditions. Recreational therapists need to be certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) and have a bachelor's degree.

Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers

Not all police and sheriff's patrol officers interact with dogs and horses, but some special forces use police dogs to sniff out drugs or people and apprehend suspects. There are also mounted police officers on horses who use the animals to help them perform their daily tasks of patrolling areas and responding to various nonemergency and emergency situations. All types of these officers are responsible for enforcing laws and keeping the general public safe from criminal activity. Police and sheriff's patrol officers must be U.S. citizens, be at least 21 years of age, meet physical standards, complete on-the-job training and hold a high school diploma or college degree, depending on the position.

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