Animal care is the care of non-human animals. It includes a wide range of activities aimed at bettering animal health, well being, development, and the protection of animals in the wild and in captivity. Animal welfare is usually debated largely by animal welfare organizations, lawmakers, and academia, but vary mostly on the extent of regulating these activities.
Some animal care groups offer certification programs for people wanting to pursue careers as trainers or zoo educators. These certifications, though not a prerequisite for entry to jobs within the animal care industry, are a great benefit to anyone seeking to advance their career. Many organizations require potential applicants to have obtained a high school diploma or the equivalent in order to be considered for a job as a trainer in any of their establishments (zoos, shelters, animal hospitals etc.) A high school diploma is also required for many jobs within the zoo and animal care professions.
Aside from these qualifications, animal care workers and trainers must possess a number of other traits, most notably compassion and an ability to work under stress, among other things. Often, caring for animals requires making difficult decisions under pressure, as well as developing skills in dealing with troubled or angry animals. Pet sitters who are certified animal care professionals may sometimes serve as a volunteer in animal care facilities, as well. Individuals who demonstrate these qualities can often find steady employment as pet sitters, obedience instructors, animal trainers, or zookeepers, in a variety of organizations.