Things to Know About Working in a Pet Shop

Are you considering working in a pet shop? Sure. Why not? As someone who has experience working for one, all I can say is go for it. If you’re an animal lover, you’ll find you’ll fit right in.

You may even gain some mild envy from your friends who don’t get to handle animals all day every day.

Except that you don’t. You heard right.

You don’t get to handle animals all day every day. In fact, if that’s the main motivation for you to work in a pet shop, it’s better to find something different.

It’s still work

It’s true that you’ll get to interact with animals and you can afford to take them out of the cage and even have a five-minute cuddle with your favourite critter. But there’s a lot of work that has to be done in-between.

You’ve to arrive before opening hours, feed the animals, clean their cages and the shop floor. Once the shop opens, you’ve to observe every single customer to make sure nobody tries to steal anything or to pet the animals. Plus, you’ve to serve them and advice the best option for their pet.

Depending on how large the shop you work for is, you might have to collaborate with groomers or vets. So, before you get the chance to catch a break and lovingly smother your favourite animal, there’ll be plenty of work to do.

Be prepared to deal with dead animals

Either by your own hand or by selling them as food. Some may have frozen carcasses already prepared to sell as feed, but not all shops may be equipped with that. So, you’ll have to catch certain animals and sell them with the knowledge that it’ll be fed to a predator.

There’s also a darker part. This mainly occurs with rodents, but it’s something to be prepared for. Animals do bully each other and, sometimes, you’ll come to the shop only to find a half-dead hamster.

There are several options you can do in such case: put it in a separate container and give it some time until it, hopefully, heals. Or, if its condition’s hopeless, leave it there. It’s cruel, but sometimes, letting others finish it off means giving it a faster death than falsely hoping that it survives.


No burn-out!

It’s known that animals help with decreasing stress.

Working in a place where you can hear chirps and squeaks the whole day and, of course, handle animals does de-stress you.

Yes, working in a pet shop is still plenty of work. But do you see the difference working 8 hours in an office compared to a place full of animals?

The drama, problematic customers and a large workload won’t affect you as much. Because you can afford to interact with animals and that’ll, in turn, decrease your stress levels.

It’s the perfect job for students

If you’re studying and want to work at the same time, then definitely do consider working as a pet shop assistant. The hours are flexible and you definitely don’t need to be at work all day every day. Add the previous point of no burning out and de-stressing yourself at work, being a pet shop assistant’s a good choice for the work-study balance.

All in all, there are several points to remember before applying for any job position. Can you balance the workload with other aspects of your life? Can you commit? Will it harm any other areas of your life? If the answer to the last question’s yes, re-think about getting a job at this point. If not, I wish you best of luck.

Inspiring Interns is a recruitment agency specialising in all the internships and graduate jobs London has to offer.