What Does An Animal Caretaker Do?
As their name implies, animal caretakers care for animals. This spans a lot of responsibilities, ranging from attending to their daily needs to giving them medication when they are sick to nurturing them with love and affection. For starters, animal caretakers provide food and water to the animals following the feeding schedules given to them by the veterinarian or head of the facility they work for. Feeding isn’t indiscriminate since the health and welfare of these animals are topmost in their minds. Thus, they make sure that they mix the food and supplements correctly so that the correct rations are given. They may also be tasked with buying the food and supplies, loading and unloading them and seeing to it that they are stored properly.
Aside from feeding and watering, animal caretakers also clean the cages and beddings of the animals. They also disinfect the animals’ sleeping quarters regularly. They also wash the dishes, toys and other things used by the animals frequently in order to avoid bacteria from accumulating and preventing the animals from getting sick. This can be one of the more physically demanding parts of the job since caretakers have to move cages, sweep and flush out fecal matter and contend with the heavy smell of animals.
Animal caretakers also observe animals for signs of sickness. They evaluate an animal’s injuries and see to it that it is immediately brought to the care of a veterinarian. Under the direction of a licensed veterinarian, animal caretakers will then administer medication at the proper times and at the right amounts. They also keep a record of the animals’ weight, physical condition, food taken, medicines received and other pertinent information that would guide the veterinarian in administering the appropriate treatment plan for the animal.
Keeping the animal neat and well-groomed is an important part of the job of animal caretakers. They may trim their nails, brush their hair and tail, clean their ears and brush their teeth. Grooming also entails giving them a bath and applying anti-flea powder on their coats. Animal caretakers have to be careful when doing these tasks because the dogs, cats, horses and other animals they groom can scratch, kick and even bite. It may be necessary to restrain them sometimes. In order to keep the animals healthy and happy, caretakers are also expected to take them out on walks or runs for their daily exercise.
A person needs to have genuine love for animals to last in this profession because nurturing the latter is an important part of their job. For example, they encourage positive response by stroking, giving treats and handling the animals gently. They also check the animal’s disposition and play with them to lift up their mood. If the animals still doesn’t respond and still continues to be lethargic, they refer it to the veterinarian for evaluation.
Animal caretakers work in a variety of settings—from animal shelters to zoos to kennels—and it is also part of their job to entertain clients and answer any questions they may have. This is why they have to know the animals they care for very well so that when clients ask about such details as breeds, habitat and the activities the facility does for these animals, caretakers can provide answers. Overall, the work that animal caretakers do can be tough but for those who genuinely love animals, all these challenges are simply all part of a day’s work.