Wednesday, 24th April 2019


Pet shops are retail outlets that supply different animals and pet products for purchase. Pet shops normally have selection of smaller animals and fish on sale for purchase as pets, as well as selling pet food, supplies and accessories. Pet shop assistants work in these outlets caring for live animals and offering assistance to customers and selling animals or products.

Whilst dogs and cats are the most common companion animals and pets in the UK, very few pet shops now sell them. These days, pet shops are most likely to sell smaller pet animals such as fish, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds and, sometimes, exotic animals like lizards and snakes.

The main responsibility of a pet shop assistant is to look after the store, tending to the live animals, maintaining the stocks of products, selling animals and products and giving customers advice on the suitable animal care products and feed.

Typical tasks might include:

  • Dealing with enquiries about specific animal care and pet selection
  • Caring for live animals, feeding, cleaning, exercising them
  • Cleaning out cages, removing faeces and changing bedding
  • Cleaning out fish tanks and displays: replacing plants or fish, checking water temperature and chemical balance, unblocking filters etc.
  • Transporting animals and fish correctly when purchased
  • Serving customers and handling cash and taking payments
  • Taking deliveries and doing stock checks
  • Cleaning and tidying the store

Pet shop assistants may be asked questions about the best food, or accommodation for a particular animal’s needs. They, therefore, require vast experience in animal care and will usually have a wide range of knowledge about the animal care products on offer.

Working in pet shop is most likely to be indoors, working at weekends and weekdays. As well as being a full-time job, working in a pet shop part-time or whilst at school could be good experience for getting another job in animal care in the future.