Job Description, Pet Store Employee

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Many animal lovers grow up dreaming of working in a pet store, but what is it really like to work in a pet store?

Pet stores are retail stores where pets, pet food, and pet supplies are sold. Staff is usually responsible for care of the animals and customer service. Additional employees sometimes work as dog groomers.

In a typical day pet store employees arrive early, before the store opens. They clean the cages, feed, and water, the animals. They remove dead fish from aquariums and check other animals for signs of problems. They vacuum the store and prepare it for customers.

Once the store is open for business usually the focus is on customer service. Bigger stores have people who work in each department, smaller pet shops might only have two people working at any time, one running the cash register, the other helping customers, they usually rotate jobs throughout the day.

Often a second group of staff come on later in the day, allowing for an overlap of employees during the busier middle part of the day. Throughout the day all employees are responsible for helping customers and checking to make sure the animal cages are kept clean and that the animals always have food and water. The second shift employees stay later and close the shop down for the night.

Pet store employees typically receive minimum wage to start, a very few stores pay commission on the sale of live animals, however some stores are phasing out selling live animals due to pressure by the public and animal welfare groups.

Basic Duties Include

  • Cleaning cages
  • Feeding Pets
  • Stocking Shelves (some items will be heavy)
  • Customer Service

Many people get into working in a pet store because they love pets and want to work with them, but pet stores are not really geared towards having people work “with” pets, rather the employee is working with the public and their role is to sell pets. Some people find working in a pet store to be very difficult because it was not what they were expecting.

Customer service and being friendly and outgoing are requirements for this job.

In most situations pet store employees should have knowledge about pets prior to applying for the job, as on the job training usually is geared more in regards to customer service and how to work the cash register rather than animal care. It is a good idea if a person can sex certain kinds of fish (particularly live bearers) and can sex most rodents, birds, and other pets.

Alternative jobs that people may find more rewarding, as they involve working with the pets more, include working at a veterinary office or working in an animal shelter.


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