Animal Care

The Animal care industry is worth £1 billion to the UKs economies. It has 13,000 businesses, 78,000 employees and lots of volunteers. When talking about the animal care industry, we are generally referring to; boarding kennels, catteries, pet breeders, training, grooming, animal welfare charities, zoos, wildlife parks, public services and performing animals in film and television.

Other Animal Care Businesses include:

  • Pet shops
  • Animal boarding
  • Animal sanctuaries
  • Animal training (in entertainment, education, working animals such as uniformed/security dogs)
  • Pet grooming
  • Animal welfare charities
  • Animal care services (e.g. animal hydrotherapy, dog walkers/sitters)
  • Zoos and wildlife parks (including wildlife rehabilitation)
  • Animal visitor attractions
  • Animal related public services (e.g. dog/animal wardens).


Animal Care Facts

  • 47% of the UK’s population has a pet – there are 24 million pets in the UK
  • Pet shops, boarding establishments, dog breeders and zoos all require licences to operate
  • The UK pet food market was valued at just under £2 billion in 2008
  • Codes of practice for the welfare of dogs, cats, horses and privately kept non-human primates are available across the UK
  • Over one-fifth of animal care employees began their career through voluntary work
  • 71% of the workforce are women
  • 86% of animal care businesses employ five people or less.


Did you know?

  • The way everyone in the industry works has changed following new laws on domestic and captive animals – the Animal Welfare Act and the Animal Welfare Act Scotland. It requires the workforce meet the responsibility for duty of care of animals and to promote to others, so our welfare standards remain something to be proud of
  •  There has been a general reduction in pet ownership in the last two years, with more exotic and unusual species becoming popular
  • More people are visiting zoos and wildlife parks as there is an increase in the number of people holidaying in the UK
  • Many zoos are changing the way they work as part of their ongoing commitment to conservation, as well as generating income towards the care of animals and endangered species. For example, recycling ‘zoo poo’ and other waste materials
  • Pet owners are being more selective about which animal shows they compete at to reduce the documentation/licences and the travel costs that go with it
  • Costly vet bills and routine veterinary expenses have become too much for some households. This has led to a fall in welfare standards and a rising number of elderly animals, particularly horses, being sent to animal sanctuaries


What We Do For You

We work hard to create opportunities so you can make the most of training. After all, businesses who train their staff are two and a half times more likely to succeed than those who don’t.

By working together, we can help you:
  • Develop the skills to meet the future challenges of animal care
  • Ensure your staff have the right skills to help business grow
  • Find available funding
  • Find the training and development you need
  • Keep your workplace safe.


Industry Links