Dog Training Careers are on the Rise

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
-Henry David Thoreau

Now is a very exciting time to pursue a dog training career. The dog training industry continues to grow rapidly and it is becoming more professionalized each year. Dog training and care services are tied to a very strong pet industry whose passionate customers spend money because they want the best for their beloved animals.

Research shows that becoming a dog trainer offers a great opportunity for you to be successful.  Read on below for the details.

10 Reasons Why Pet Services is a Smart Industry to Join Right Now

  1. The U.S. Dept of Labor projects that the employment of animal care and service workers, and specifically animal trainers, is projected to continue growing from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Animal care and service workers will continue to be needed as the variety and number of pet services increases.See Figure 1 below.
  2. The 2016-2026 U.S. Outlook for Animal Care and Service Workers states that “many people consider their pets to be a part of their family and are willing to pay more for pet care than pet owners have in the past. As more households include companion pets…employment of animal care and service workers in kennels, grooming shops, and pet stores is projected to increase in order to keep up with the growing demand for animal care.”1
  3. Consumer spending on pets has huge numbers that continue to grow: In 2019, $95.7 billion was spent on our pets in the U.S. For 2020, The American Pet Products Association estimates that number will skyrocket to $99.0 billion.2
  4. Specifically in terms of the pet services arena, the American Pet Products Association reports that in 2019, training, sitting, walking and “all services outside of veterinary care” produced $10.3 billion in sales, with more growth on the way: $10.7 billion expected for 2020 (an increase of 400 million dollars in one year).2 This is even before factoring in the huge uptick in dog ownership during 2020, which should fuel the industry further for years to come. “All over the country, from New York to Wisconsin and North Carolina to Colorado and New Mexico, animal shelters are reporting massive upswings in the numbers of animals they’ve been able to adopt out or place in foster homes” – Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.3
  5. Adweek magazine writes, “A surge in animal fostering, adoptions and purchases has been followed by a boom in consumer interest in pet products and services.” “Speaking from a financial perspective,” Suzanne McDonnell, chief commercial officer and head of ventures and partnerships at Bark said, “history has shown us that people actually spend more on their pets in an economic downturn.”4
  6. “The pet industry has been experiencing explosive growth. According to The American Pet Products Association, almost 85 million households have a pet and over the last 30 years pet ownership has gone from 56% to 68% of all households.” 5
  7. The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) has seen their annual conference grow from just 250 participants a few years ago to 1,500 participants. The APDT membership has grown at a similar rate with over 5,200 members in 48 countries, the APDT is the largest association of dog trainers world-wide.6
  8. Time Magazine writes, “Nowadays, 80% of owners view their pets as family members, according to a survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).” Not only that, but they “also consider pets as the next step to actually starting their own human family. They consider their pets as an outward extension of themselves and their own personalities, so they want to be seen together, be it on social media, on trips, errands, even at the workplace,” said American Pet Products Association President Bob Vetere.7
  9. “America is pet obsessed. Pet ownership is up. Spending on pets is up. In fact, we actually spend more on our pets during a recession. Pet-care spending even grew during the past two recessions: 29% during the 2001 recession and 17% during the 2008-09 recession. Around 85 million U.S. families own a pet, according to the National Pet Owners Survey. That’s 67% of U.S. households. This figure has increased around two percentage points annually since 2011. But spending on those pets has increased almost 7% annually. This all points to a solid, recession-proof industry. It means pet-care companies enjoy predictable cash flows and sales growth.”8
  10. American pet spending has continued to rise every single year since 1994 – even during the 2007-2009 recession – reaching an estimated $72.13 billion in 2018 and now projected to hit almost $100 billion by the end of this decade. Specifically in terms of the pet services industry, dog training and pet care expenditures have been increasing with double-digit year-over-year growth.9

Learn More About Dog Training Career Paths

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1- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor
2 – American Pet Products Association
3 – Wired Magazine
4 – Adweek 
5 – Forbes Online
6 – Association of Professional Dog Trainers
7 – Time Magazine
8 – Market Watch
9 – Zoom Room

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