4 jobs that put your pet to work

All the love – and let’s face it, money – that you’ve invested in your fur-babies may have you fantasizing about them having a few side gigs of their own.

And why not? A well-behaved pet can open the door to some income-earning opportunities.

But don’t count on getting rich.

Their best “job” may turn out to be the unconditional love they give every day. Studies show that pets help their owners live longer, healthier lives. They ease stress and loneliness, boost heart health and even help with socialization.

So keeping that in mind, here are four ways your adorable pets may be able to earn some extra money.

Instagram star: Everyone automatically has dreams of Grumpy Cat merchandising deals, but the reality is that viral overnight stardom is rare. If your pet has a great personality and you have time to consistently post to Instagram two to three times a day, you can build relationships in this growing, tight knit pet community. If you’re looking to score some free pet swag, tag a few local or specialty companies when you post.

Modeling: Maybe modeling is more your pet’s speed. Pet modeling agencies are a thing, so send your pet’s photo to some reputable modeling agencies to see if you have the next big animal star. You can also snap a few pictures on your own and sell them on stock image sites.

Bug sniffing dog: With bed bug infestations popping up across the country, scent detection companies that use trained dogs are growing. However, be forewarned: this job requires a significant upfront investment in time and money for training and certification. It is NOT a quick fix or typical side gig. According to Bedbugs.org, dogs best suited for the job are eager to please their handlers and have unbelievable scent skills. Ideally, training should begin between eight and 12 months of age and handlers are looking at anywhere from 800 to 1,000 hours of training for your dog to be eligible for certification from the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association. But once trained, bug dogs earn an average of $325 an hour.

Snuggle buddy: If humans can get paid to give hugs or be a friend (Yes, there’s an app for that. It’s a real thing.), why not your furry friends? The health benefits of pets are well publicized, so consider “renting” out yours to people who want the benefits of a pet without the hassle of owning one. Maybe Fido could even be someone’s fitness “coach” by being a running companion.

Myriam DiGiovanni

Myriam DiGiovanni

After writing for Credit Union Times and The Financial Brand, Myriam DiGiovanni covers financial literacy for FinancialFeed. She is also a storytelling expert and works with credit unions to help ... Web: www.financialfeed.com Details