Nearly half of all American workers are anticipating that their employment situation will change in the coming months, thanks to the continuing pandemic — and as you might expect, they’re not entirely confident about those changes. Those who are lucky enough to have weathered the storm unscathed, job-wise, are clinging to their positions pretty tightly. Others, adrift on a sea of economic uncertainty in the wake of unemployment, are scrambling to look for new work.
If you believe that, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “out of adversity comes opportunity,” you might be more optimistic than others. Why not use that positive attitude to propel you into a new career — or at least an enjoyable, profitable side hustle?
Here are some out-of-the-box ideas for people who are passionate about puppies, pooches, and pets of all kinds. Best of all, they’re all low-to-no contact (with humans, that is), and most can be done from the comfort of your own couch or kitchen table.
1. Customer Care Rep for Animal-Related Company
Do a quick search for “remote customer service jobs” and you’ll be rewarded with a plethora of opportunities. Among those are some of your favorite animal-related companies: pet insurance, pet food producers, retailers, nonprofits and more.
Help out fellow dog parents by providing information, processing orders and problem-solving.
2. Remote Vet Care Specialist
In some vet tech roles, you could use phone, email and chat platforms to speak to pet owners whose pets are experiencing urgent (but not emergency) medical issues. Document patient details, triage cases, offer guidance and refer callers to other veterinary professionals.
Other positions might involve maintaining databases or medical record upkeep.
3. Virtual Veterinary Receptionist
This gig requires an affinity for pets and their people, in addition to superb communication, organization and administrative skills. These, along with an uber-friendly attitude, will serve you well as you answer and route telephone calls and emails, schedule appointments, and answer client questions for a veterinary practice.
Most virtual receptionist positions will ask for experience, so if you used to rock the front desk at a vet’s office or animal hospital, this could be a perfect way to pivot.
3. Telehealth Veterinarian
Got your DVM (or equivalent)? Licensed to practice veterinary medicine in your state? The field of telehealth needs you! This is a rapidly expanding model of medicine, and that goes for animals as well as humans. Put your experience and your technological savvy to work in video interactions with sick pups and their parents.
4. Dog Adoption Specialist
Remote work doesn’t get much more rewarding than helping animals get adopted into loving forever homes. A variety of roles and responsibilities, such as appointment setting, interviewing, customer service, data entry, and volunteer outreach, means more opportunities for you to help pair up pets with new families.
5. Pet Party Planning
Has your dog ever been invited to a friend’s birthday party? Maybe you’ve ogled some of the mind-boggling Instagram posts depicting elaborate events — invitations, decorations, refreshments, games, and guests — all centered around canines.
Help yourself to a piece of this increasingly popular market by calling on your entertaining experience and eye for aesthetics. (Visual marketing will be the key to making a name for yourself as a pup party planner!)
6. Canine Content Writer
Pet lovers who have a way with words can turn their writing skills into fun, flexible work. If you possess copywriting chops, offer up your services to marketing or content companies that specialize in animals. Or give freelancing a go by putting together a portfolio of pet-related clips.
7. Dog Blogger
Another option for flexing your lexicon is as a blogger. Start your own site to brag about your dog, curate canine content from around the web or hand out advice on anything you’re an expert about, from behavior to nutrition to pet photography.
This gig is best for go-getters, and it helps if you have a slew of social media followers, too.
8. Pet Communicator
Fancy yourself a latter-day Doctor Dolittle? Consider a career as a pet psychic, or “pet communicator,” as they often prefer to be called. You can take a course in how to talk to the animals. Or, if you have already demonstrated a predilection for extrasensory perception, offer up your telepathic telephone services on a more personal basis.
9. Remote Dog Trainer
Experienced (read: certified and credentialed) dog trainers can still find work in our new, socially distant society. Some training franchises have proprietary apps, while other companies use video communication tools that you probably already have on your computer.
No matter how you get in touch, as a remote dog trainer, you’ll teach your clients new tricks, address behavioral issues, and help owners learn to be responsible pup parents.
10. Pet Portraitist
If you are a dab hand at drawing or a prodigal painter, you’ll easily be able to transform clients’ photographs into artistic portraits. You know firsthand how people cherish images of their pets. Now, combine your passion for art and animals as a pet portraitist.
Your pièces de résistance could be realistic, abstract, whimsical or fanciful. Let your style and your artistic strengths dictate the direction you go; there’s a market for all of it.
11. Dog Clothing and Accessory Designer
Calling all creative types! Can you make sweaters, hats, bandanas, bows or collars? What about leashes, poop-bag caddies, hand-crafted tags or anything else crafty that would suit a canine or her companion?
Maybe you’ve bought such items from festivals, fairs, bazaars, or boutiques and thought to yourself, “I could make that!” Now is the perfect time to gather some supplies and make the darling little dog accoutrements of your dreams.
12. Dog Treat Baker
Plenty of people have spent at least part of the pandemic baking delicious dog treats. Ramp up production, source some pretty packaging, and start selling on Facebook, Etsy and elsewhere. Just make sure your snacks are up to snuff, regulation-wise.
13. Put Your Yard to Good Use
Do you have a big backyard or, better yet, acres of land that would make a perfect pooch playground? What about a pool you don’t splash in nearly as much as you could? Put these assets to work for you by listing them on Sniffspot.com. Basically, apartment-dwelling owners bring their bowsers to your land (and/or water) — while you’re not using it, that is. They pay an hourly fee for the privilege of letting their dog frolic in the great outdoors.