Kennel Worker

Job Description:

Kennel workers care for dogs and cats in kennels or catteries.

Job Category:
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

What you will do:

In this job, you will:

  • prepare food and feed the animals
  • keep animals clean and groom them
  • exercise dogs in a yard or take them for walks
  • clean out kennels and cages
  • maintain cages, runs and kennel grounds
  • look after elderly, ill or distressed animals
  • answer telephone calls and greet visitors to the premises


You’ll need:

  • the practical skills to handle a range of animals
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • good teamwork skills, as you’ll likely spend most of your time working with others
  • to pay close attention to detail, so you can notice changes in animals’ behaviour
  • a caring nature, as you’ll need to be motivated to look after animals
  • good communication skills, as you may work on a reception desk or take calls from the public
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition)
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a kennel worker, you typically don’t need specific qualifications. However, having a good general education, including some key subjects, can be helpful for securing a position and performing well in the role. Kennel workers are responsible for the care and maintenance of animals in kennels, so a love for animals and a willingness to learn and work hard are often more important than academic qualifications. Here are some subjects and skills that can be beneficial:

  1. English Language: Good communication skills are essential when interacting with pet owners, colleagues, and supervisors. You’ll need to keep accurate records and sometimes communicate about the animals’ health and well-being.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for tasks like measuring food portions, administering medications, and keeping track of inventory.
  3. Biology or Animal Care: While not mandatory, taking courses in biology or animal care can provide you with a better understanding of animal behavior, health, and welfare, which is crucial in this field.
  4. Physical Education (PE): Kennel workers often need to be physically fit and active to handle the physical demands of the job, such as walking dogs, cleaning kennels, and lifting heavy objects.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly


You could take a college course. In the UK, for example, courses include:

  • Certificate in Introduction to Animal Care
  • Diploma in Animal Management


You can do an intermediate apprenticeship as an animal care and welfare assistant.


Volunteering is a useful way to get experience and shows employers that you are enthusiastic and interested in working with animals.

You can find out about opportunities for volunteering in your area.

Direct Application

There are no set qualifications for applying directly to become a kennel worker. Experience of working with animals will be useful.

Career tips

Kennel work is very practical, so paid or unpaid experience of working with animals could improve your job prospects.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 35-40 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends/bank holidays flexibly.

You could work in kennels or at an animal welfare centre. Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers. You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could become a supervisor or manager, or set up your own kennels or cattery.

You could move into other kinds of work with animals, like dog trainer, inspector or veterinary nurse.