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A kennel technician is a person who is hired to provide care and maintenance to animals that live in a kennel. This could be in a boarding kennel, a private show kennel, a veterinarian's office, a shelter or a grooming facility. Some of the kennel technician's responsibilities include walking the animals, feeding and watering them, administering medication, scooping poop as well as cleaning the kennels.
A kennel technician works in animal boarding houses, shelters, and veterinary clinics. They often work with dogs and cats, but may also care for other domestic animals like birds or rodents. They are in charge of the upkeep of any animals that are in their care by making sure the animals are clean, healthy, and happy.
Many owners place their pets in boarding house kennels temporarily for a variety of reasons, like if an owner is going on vacation and is unable to bring their animal along. An animal shelter also functions as a kennel, where animals are housed and await adoption.
The work of a kennel technician varies depending on the nature of the kennel and where he or she works. The technician’s job is to make sure that the cages are cleaned every day, that the animals get sufficient exercise, and that they are given food and water. Some animals have specific health or dietary needs that will need to be fulfilled. If the kennel technician is working in an animal shelter, the technician may keep track of the animal’s behaviour on a chart. That information will be analyzed later by a specialist. If someone is looking to adopt an animal, they will then know a bit more about their temperament and any issues it might have.
Kennel technicians may also have to interact with people, whether it be the owner that has come to pick up their pet, or with people who are looking to adopt a pet.
Kennel technicians may work in animal shelters, boarding kennels, or veterinary offices. A technician typically works 40 hours a week and may be expected to work early in the morning. Some weekends, evenings, and holidays may be required as animals need care around the clock.
The most important part of becoming a kennel technician is having a love for animals. This job requires interacting with pets all day, so enjoying being around animals is a must. Kennel technicians must be strong enough to handle very large dogs on a leash and not be afraid of maintaining control of them. When working within a shelter, many of the animals may have experienced some form of neglect or abuse. It’s the kennel technician's role to help the animal trust people again and associate human interactions with positive experiences.
There is no formal education required in order to become a kennel technician, though a high school diploma may be requested. Employers tend to prefer people who have had experience working with animals. The easiest way for someone interested in getting into this career is to volunteer at an animal shelter. It is an excellent way to learn some of the skills needed, such as cleaning the cages, giving food and water to the animals, taking the dogs on regular walks, and performing some grooming tasks.
Although no post secondary education is required, some schools offer associate degree programs or certificates in animal care and management. In these programs, students will learn how to restrain, handle, and care for animals. They will also learn basic safety procedures to work with injured or ill animals. They'll also be introduced to lab equipment and sterilization techniques.
Volunteering at an animal shelter can be a rewarding experience with many benefits. It also helps shelters that are low on labor continue their endless care of animals.
The job descriptions of a kennel tech and a vet tech are similar, but several differences define each position.
A day in the life of a pet care technician in a small animal hospital.