What does a Nonfarm Animal Caretaker do?

Feed, water, groom, bathe, exercise, or otherwise care for pets and other nonfarm animals, such as dogs, cats, ornamental fish or birds, zoo animals, and mice. Work in settings such as kennels, animal shelters, zoos, circuses, and aquariums. May keep records of feedings, treatments, and animals received or discharged. May clean, disinfect, and repair cages, pens, or fish tanks.

Jobs Roles

  • Feed and water animals according to schedules and feeding instructions.
  • Answer telephones and schedule appointments.
  • Examine and observe animals to detect signs of illness, disease, or injury.
  • Respond to questions from patrons, and provide information about animals, such as behavior, habitat, breeding habits, or facility activities.
  • Provide treatment to sick or injured animals, or contact veterinarians to secure treatment.
  • Collect and record animal information such as weight, size, physical condition, treatments received, medications given, and food intake.
  • Perform animal grooming duties such as washing, brushing, clipping, and trimming coats, cutting nails, and cleaning ears.
  • Exercise animals to maintain their physical and mental health.
  • Order, unload, and store feed and supplies.
  • Mix food, liquid formulas, medications, or food supplements according to instructions, prescriptions, and knowledge of animal species.
  • Clean and disinfect surgical equipment.
  • Discuss with clients their pets' grooming needs.
  • Observe and caution children petting and feeding animals in designated areas to ensure the safety of humans and animals.
  • Find homes for stray or unwanted animals.
  • Adjust controls to regulate specified temperature and humidity of animal quarters, nurseries, or exhibit areas.
  • Anesthetize and inoculate animals, according to instructions.
  • Transfer animals between enclosures to facilitate breeding, birthing, shipping, or rearrangement of exhibits.
  • Install, maintain, and repair animal care facility equipment such as infrared lights, feeding devices, and cages.
  • Train animals to perform certain tasks.
  • Sell pet food and supplies.
  • Do facility laundry and clean, organize, maintain, and disinfect animal quarters, such as pens and stables, and equipment, such as saddles and bridles.
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