Although dogs were the first to bite – many other pets are stretching their wings and trying their paws at the 9-5 life! Working animals generally have instincts that are honed with intensive training to perform specific vital tasks or roles. Scoot over humans, machines, and robots, and make way for super skilled pets doing human jobs (arguably, better than we do).
Animal-assisted therapy involves using trained, certified animals as part of a medical patient's therapeutic plan. Today the list of furrapists includes dogs, cats, miniature horses, cows, and the list goes on.
Today, virtually any animal can be used as an emotional support animal without training. Emotional support animals provide comfort or aid to an individual through companionship, unconditional positive regard, and affection.
Hounds are the apparent top dog in policing, but horses have just as long and prominent careers as dogs in this field. These animals can be trained to assist the police and other law-enforcement agencies in the line of duty and chase down criminals. In some cases, K-9s (i.e. ‘police dogs’) might be trained to sniff out all manner of substances.
Cats, birds, snakes, and other pets are also used to provide emotional support to officers who experience trauma in the line of their duty.
‘Fetch’ & rescue
Search-and-rescue dogs have great agility and exceptional senses of smell and hearing. These highly trained animals serve in many fields, including tracking, specialised search, avalanche rescue, and cadaver location.
This field is still primarily dominated by dogs. There has not been much PEE (Pet Economic Empowerment) transformation in this sector. Herding dogs work with various types of livestock, such as sheep and cattle.
Blind people and others living with mobility impairments, especially from spinal-cord injuries, employ animals such as monkeys and dogs to lend a helping hand or paw. These animals can be trained to perform various daily tasks, from turning appliances on and off, to picking up dropped items, and getting their companions from point A to B. Typically, only capuchin monkeys are used, whereas dogs offer a plethora of options.
We’ve heard of dogs sniffing out explosives. Now, the military has enlisted dolphins to perform various tasks, most notably detecting underwater mines. Dolphins can easily detect mines in murky waters or at great depths with their advanced sonar-like system.
Dogs lead the pack when it comes to the 9-5 life. Because of their incredible sense of smell, dogs can also smell/detect cancer, low blood sugar, and even depression. In addition, dogs are sometimes employed to alert their owners to upcoming epileptic seizures. However, researchers are uncertain if seizure dogs respond to smells or subtle behavioural changes.