An animal caretaker is a person who takes care of the personal needs of an animal. The caretaker will perform the essential duties to ensure the animal remains healthy and stable. Another name for caretakers can be animal care attendants. This can be a very demanding job, as the hours may be long and the work can be strenuous on the body. The employment opportunities for a person pursing this position are generally numerous, with caretakers taking jobs in animal shelters, kennels and animal clinics.
The most important thing an animal caretaker may do is feed the animal. It is important that animals are provided with sufficient nourishment. Caretakers will generally provide a set amount of feedings per day for the animal in their care. Additionally, he or she may carefully choose the types of foods to feed the animal. Just like humans, animals should maintain diets that are healthy for their growth and well being, and part of the caretaker's job is to ensure the animals are eating healthy foods.
Exercise should be incorporated into the daily life of an animal. Remaining in good physical shape is necessary for an animal to lead an active lifestyle. The most general way to exercise animals is to walk them. An animal caretaker may spend a great amount of time walking the animal he or she is taking care of. The caretaker may also play with the animal, and this may include playing with toys or making up games for the animal to take part in.
Grooming is a major part of providing animal care. As an animal caretaker, an individual is generally responsible for the physical appearance of the animal. For this reason, he or she may spend numerous hours per week grooming the animal, which may include washing it and brushing its hair and teeth. The caretaker may also clip or trim the animal's nails. Many caretakers incorporate cutting the animal's hair as part of the grooming process as well.
The caretaker is generally accountable for monitoring behavioral and health changes in the animal he or she is caring for. Often, a sudden change in temperament or physical habits may be a sign that there is a problem. If an animal is on medication, administering the medicine may be another duty of the caretaker. Most animals visit the veterinarian a few times a year and an added obligation of the caretaker may be to take an animal to vet appointments. Generally, the job duties of an animal caretaker can be plentiful and it really takes a special individual to carry out such responsibilities with the love and care that these creatures deserve.