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Kennel Attendant Duties and Responsibilities

A kennel attendant's day-to-day duties greatly vary depending on where they work. However, there are several core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:

Clean Kennels and Cages Kennel attendants clean and maintain veterinary treatment spaces, kennels, and cages. They also prepare the workspaces and tools their coworkers use to treat animals. Sanitized kennels keep animals healthy and safe, and kennel assistants make sure cleanliness is maintained.

Provide Basic Animal Care It's the job of kennel attendants to bathe the dogs, cats, and other animals in their care. They also feed, medicate, play with, and facilitate exercise for the pets located in their facility. Keeping the animals clean and grooming them is another major priority.

Provide Friendly Office Help As visitors come to a site, kennel attendants are sometimes there to greet them. It's common for them to answer telephone calls, maintain records, take bookings, and process payments. Kennel assistants also help veterinarians or veterinary assistants with office work as directed.

Monitor and Observe Animals Kennel attendants closely monitor the animals in their care. They record vital information and health statistics of each pet. Kennel assistants observe animals' behavior, habits, and environmental conditions according to directed guidelines.

Manage Inventory Another key part of a kennel attendant's job is managing inventory. Attendants count and restock supplies as needed. When more supplies are needed, kennel assistants inform the appropriate person in order to help maintain inventory.


Kennel Attendant Skills and Qualifications

People with a passion for the animal care field and a friendly service-minded attitude will thrive as kennel assistants. Prior experience as a kennel assistant is generally not required, but some experience with animals is preferred. The following skills are essential to getting the job done:
  • Animal handing - confidence while physically handling animals is critical for kennel attendants. A major part of their role is patiently and securely working with animals in a variety of environments while performing essential tasks such as bathing, walking, and feeding
  • Cleaning and sanitation - excellent cleaning skills are a must for kennel attendants who clean kennels, scoop poop, sanitize play areas, and wash dishes
  • Customer service - kennel assistants often take reservations, answer phones, and schedule animal drop-off and pick-up appointments
  • Physical fitness - working at a kennel has certain physical requirements, such as the ability to lift a minimum of 50 pounds. Kennel assistants are typically on their feet for six to eight hours at a time and may have to lift larger breeds of animals
  • Communication skills - listening to and communicating with a wide range of people is an essential skill that kennel attendants must tap into as they work with clients and animals, answer phones, and quickly respond to coworker requests
  • Observation skills - since they help monitor animal care, kennel attendants must be able to notice small changes in animals' behavior and report any unusual actions. Kennel assistants pay particular attention to animals that are sick, elderly, or recovering

Kennel Attendant Education and Training

A high school degree or equivalent is required to become a kennel assistant. They usually receive on-the-job training from their colleagues on how to perform their duties, adhere to facility policies, and use equipment such as phones or scheduling tools. Although there are no formal experience requirements, some employers prefer candidates to have one year of animal care experience, even if on a volunteer basis.

Kennel Attendant Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for kennel attendants, categorized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as nonfarm animal caretakers, is nearly $22,950. Kennel attendants in the 10th percentile earn close to $17,880 a year, while the highest paid make $36,630. Overall employment for animal care and service workers is expected to grow 11 percent by 2024, which is faster than average for all occupations. Employment of kennel assistants in the pet services industry will continue grow to keep up with increasing pet ownership demand and the high turnover for kennel attendant positions. Depending on the work location, benefits such as healthcare and paid time off may be available to employees who work on a full-time basis. Many employers offer both part-time and full-time positions with expected weekend and evening shifts.

Helpful Resources

Ready to become a kennel assistant? We've come up with a list of excellent resources to help you on your way:

National Animal Care and Control Association - NACA offers training and resources that help those who work with animals provide the highest standard of care

Animal Care TV - impress at your interview with insider tips and professional animal care training strategies from this video channel full of advice for becoming a successful kennel assistant

Kennel Assistant RED-HOT Career Guide; 2594 REAL Interview Questions - this cutting-edge career guide will equip you with time-tested advice to simplify your search process and help you land your dream kennel attendant job

I Work As A Kennels Assistant - this insider view of a kennel attendant's work life takes a detailed look at a busy kennel, showing what's required to take care of animals on a daily basis

Kennel Attendant Training - learn basic animal care skills from this free ACT certification video training series, which will help you become a successful kennel attendant

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