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Can’t Have a Pet? You Can Still Spend Time with Animals

woman holding dog
Branislav Nenin/Shutterstock

Not everyone can own a pet. Maybe you live in an apartment that doesn’t allow animals or you have an allergic family member. There are still opportunities out there that will let you spend time with critters.

Pets offer so much to the families that have them. Some studies say that owning a pet can decrease depression, increase motivation, and more. Even if you can’t own a pet, you can still reap the benefits of animals in your life with these ideas.

Volunteer at the Local Shelter

You can spend time with animals and give back to your community by volunteering your time at a local animal shelter. Most shelters are regularly looking for volunteers to help with walking, feeding, and socialization.

Many animal shelters require volunteers to keep their doors open, so your time there could save the lives of former pets looking for new homes.

You don’t need any experience to become a shelter volunteer. It’s a good way to get experience working with animals.

Become a Dog Walker

If you want to make a little cash on the side while spending time with man’s best friend, consider starting a dog walking business. If you like to go for walks, this may be the perfect side hustle for you.

Dogs need to go for walks; exercise is good for them. But not everyone that owns a dog has time to take their pooch for a walk. Whatever the reason dog owners have for not being able to walk their pets, you could be the one to help them.

The only experience you need to become a dog walker is the ability to keep a dog safe. Start by walking friend’s dogs, and work up from there.

Start a Pet Sitting Business

If you want to spend time with more than just dogs, consider getting into pet sitting. While some sitters have pets dropped off at their homes, many pet watchers visit the home of the owner, and sometimes they house sit and pet sit for the duration of the owner’s time away.

You’ll want some experience watching pets if you want people to allow you to watch theirs, whether you’re getting paid for the work or not. Volunteer at local shelters, watch your friends’ pets, get a job at a local boarding kennel, or start dog walking. Get some references that can validate your experience working with the types of pets you want to pet sit, as well as your trustworthiness with the welfare of people’s pets and homes.

Get a Job at a Pet Shop

Young woman with her labrador retriever puppy at pet shop
hedgehog94/Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a good part-time job and you love animals, consider getting a job at a pet shop. You’ll be able to work with animals of all sizes and shapes, from fish to puppies. Most pet stores will hire you with minimal pet experience as long as you have some retail experience and are interested in working with people and animals.

Visit Friends with Pets

If you don’t have the time or means to volunteer and aren’t looking for extra cash, consider making some plans with friends that have pets. You can get your cat, dog, or bunny fix while you have coffee or cocktails with friends and catch up on life.

If you have a friend that needs someone to let their dog out while at work, volunteer to be that person, and you’ll get pet time with very little commitment.

Visit a Cat Cafe

There are cat cafes and dog cafes popping up all over the place. These cafes generally charge a fee for you to hang out in a room with the animal of your choice. They are usually dogs and cats that are available for adoption.

The cafe part of the term comes from the coffee you can enjoy while you visit with the resident animals. In the United States, pet time and drink time are separated for food and health safety reasons.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow has been a professional writer for almost two decades. Yvonne has worked for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and much more as a writer and editor. She's also a published poet and a short story writer. Read Full Bio »

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