Pet Sitting and Animal Care
worldwide opportunities

50,000+ projects

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162 Countries

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Low cost travel

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Pet-sitting and animal care with Workaway

With Workaway you can find 815 hosts and organisations for pet-sitting and animal care work around the world.
Low cost travel without having to pay expensive agency fees.

Pet sitting and Animal care Opportunities around the world

Feedback from Workaway members

There are 8362 reviews for 638 Workaway hosts for Pet-sitting and animal care help from Workaway members.
638 Hosts for Pet-sitting and animal care were rated at least 4.9/5!

Best place to land in Australia !
Amazing place for sure Graeme built this amazing house and Meg use of permaculture to design this beautiful garden ...


I spent a week with Agni and Kali as my first workaway experience and I had a lovely time. Kali is a very sweet dog, she is full of energy and really ...


i lived at michelle's house for about 6 months, from january until july 2023.
she is a lovely person, she is sweet and fun!
i was with my car so i wa...


We were welcomed with love by Claire and Phil in their campsite which is located in the same place as the hospital. We didn't know what to expect, we ...


I stayed here for 2 weeks in June-July and it was a very good experience.

I worked from 8 to 11/11:30 and from 15 to 17 six days a week, always with ...


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Animal Welfare

Are you ready to embark on a wild adventure where furry cuddles meet meaningful impact? Calling all animal lovers, pet whisperers, and wildlife enthusiasts - pack your passion and sense of adventure because we're diving paw-first into the world of animal volunteering abroad!

Workaway is your passport to an animal-lover's paradise, where wagging tails, soothing purrs, and heartwarming moments are part of the daily norm. If you're eager to swap your routine for a dose of adorable chaos, join us in discovering how volunteering with animals can be both fun and incredibly fulfilling. It's time to unleash your love for our four-legged, winged, and scaled friends while creating lasting paw-sitive memories!

What is Animal Welfare Volunteering?

Animal welfare volunteering involves dedicating time and effort to support and care for animals in need. It encompasses a wide range of activities aimed at improving the lives of animals, including wildlife conservation, rehabilitation of injured or abandoned animals, working with domesticated animals in sanctuaries or shelters, and contributing to research projects focused on animal behaviour or habitat preservation.

Sound like your kind of gig? Check out our beginner’s guide to Workawaying with animals for more inspiration, info and tips.

Types of Animal Volunteer Work

With over 50,000 opportunities across 170+ countries, you could say there is a type of volunteering to suit all personalities. Animal volunteer work is no exception. There are so many varieties and ways to get involved, such as:

  • Wildlife Conservation: Volunteers often work in natural habitats both on land and at sea (such as marine conservation). This type of animal volunteer work involves monitoring and tracking wildlife populations, collecting data for research, and helping to protect endangered species.
  • Animal Rehabilitation: This involves aiding injured, orphaned, or abused animals by providing medical care, rehabilitation, and fostering until they can be released back into the wild or find a suitable home. Just like this wildlife rehabilitation centre in the heart of the Amazon jungle.
  • Shelters or Sanctuaries: Volunteers assist in animal shelters or sanctuaries, caring for and socialising animals, helping with feeding and cleaning, and sometimes participating in educational programs to promote responsible pet ownership. For example this animal refuge on the Algarve, Portugal which is a haven for cat and dog lovers.
  • Pet Sitting: There are so many benefits to house sitting with Workaway, the pet pals are simply a bonus! Pet sitting involves caring for someone's pets and home while they are away, ensuring the well-being of the animals while maintaining their home too. Learn more about house sitting vs volunteering here.
  • Ethical Animal Tourism: There are many tourism initiatives that have been set up to prioritise the welfare, wellbeing and conservation of animals. Through tours, ethical encounters and responsible wildlife watching, there is an emphasis on education rather than entertainment. Visitors can observe animals in their natural habitats while learning about their behaviours and the importance of being respectful. Like this whale watching camp in Canada or eco-tourism project in the jungle in Thailand.
  • Farmstay: Workaway offers over 5000 farmstay experiences many of which focus on volunteering with animals. From a husky farm in Norway to a sheep farm in South Africa - the options are endless! Farmstays can include assisting on ranches where livestock like cattle, sheep, or horses are raised for food, wool, or recreational purposes; contributing to dairy farms where cows are raised for milk production; and participating in animal sanctuaries or rescue farms focused on the rehabilitation and care of rescued or abandoned animals. Think you’re ready for farm life? Check out this self confessed city girl’s guide to volunteering on a farm for a peek behind the scenes.
  • Homestays: If you don’t feel ready to dive into farm life, how about a homestay first? They are the perfect balance between house sitting (where the host isn’t present) to farming (where there’s lots of animals) as you’ll live with a family and their fluffy friends too. Homestays are perfect for a first Workaway experience and an amazing way to test the waters of animal volunteer work. Some homestays even let you take your pets along with you! Our guide to workawaying with pets covers all you need to know.

Kinds of Help Hosts Need

Now you know just how diverse animal volunteer work can be, it's time to learn what skills you need. This list is just a handful of ways you can make a difference to animals abroad:

  • Feeding and Watering: Providing animals with their food, ensuring they have access to clean water, and monitoring their eating habits/diet for any abnormalities.
  • Cleaning and Maintenance: Cleaning enclosures, stalls, or living areas, including removing waste, changing bedding, and maintaining a clean and hygienic environment for the animals.
  • Animal Health Monitoring: Observing animals for signs of illness or injury, reporting any concerns to your host, and assisting with basic health care routines such as giving medication or treatments under supervision.
  • Exercise and Enrichment: AKA - walkies! Engaging animals in physical activities, exercise routines, or providing enriching activities to stimulate their mental and physical well-being.
  • Assisting with Handling: Depending on the program, volunteers may assist in handling or grooming animals, such as brushing, bathing, or walking them.
  • Supporting Rehabilitation: For programs involving rescued or injured animals, volunteers might help with rehabilitation activities, aiding in the recovery process and preparing animals for potential release or adoption. This can simply mean cuddles and socialising so animals get used to humans before finding their forever home.
  • Data Collection and Research Assistance: Contributing to data collection efforts by recording observations, assisting with research projects, or participating in studies related to animal behaviour or conservation.

Top Tip: If you’re familiar with any of these tasks mentioned, make sure to include photos of them on your profile and don’t forget to keep your profile updated as you learn new skills before your next adventure. This will help your Workaway profile stand out and prove to potential hosts that animal volunteer work is your vibe!

Reasons to Volunteer with Animals Through Workaway

After a quick online search you might find thousands of ways to get started with volunteering with animals - both at home and abroad. So why choose Workaway? Firstly, our mission is to do things differently. That’s why we have built a thriving community of global travellers who genuinely want to see the world, whilst giving back to the places they visit.

We connect these travellers to welcoming hosts who need their help and currently offer over 50,000 volunteer opportunities across 170 countries! We are also aware of how truly life-changing animal volunteer work can be (both personally and professionally.) That's why we champion this style of travel and offer the platform to make it happen!

Alongside this, there are several benefits to using Workaway to find animal volunteer work, these include but are not limited to:

  • Safety –Safety is imperative to us, as we know staying with strangers (and foreign animals) can be a daunting prospect. We have extensive safety protocols in place, including 24-hour support via email or live chat, an emergency help and child protection guidelines. We also encourage our community to leave detailed reviews for both host families and Workawayers with each profile being manually screened by our team before publishing, as well as the option of ID verification. These steps ensure only those with genuine intention use Workaway, for a cultural exchange that’s safe, inclusive, and fun.
  • Low cost, high impact – Unlike other volunteer platforms, we put people before profit. While some charge expensive agency fees per project, we charge a nominal annual membership. Not only for solo travellers, but you can join as a couple - saving even more money! This fee means only those who are genuinely committed to our ethos join the site. It also allows us to fund our team (of actual humans) who are ready to help optimise your profile, offer travel advice, vet users, and make your experience volunteering abroad with animals as epic as possible.
  • Global membership – Why stay with a host in one country when you can find furry friends in over 170 countries? Whether it’s turtle conservation in Costa Rica or an alpaca farm in Peru you have the opportunity to engage with volunteer opportunities all over the globe.
  • Join solo, as a couple, or as a family – While volunteering is one of the best ways to meet people while travelling, you don’t need to be a solo traveller to join Workaway. We offer a variety of membership options including couples and friends. There are even host families who welcome families, so you can travel with kids too.

Benefits of Volunteering with Animals

Perhaps you want to volunteer with animals for the unconditional love and companionship? Perhaps you crave responsibility and routine? Maybe you’re simply mad about monkeys or daft for dogs? As well as all those, here are even more benefits to volunteering with animals:

  • Make a Difference: By volunteering with animals abroad, you directly contribute to the well-being and conservation of various species. Your efforts can have a lasting positive impact on the lives of animals and their ecosystems.
  • Get over your fear: Terrified of snakes? Find birds intimidating? Did you know volunteering with animals can actually improve your mood and promote the release of the feel good hormone oxytocin! Not to mention get over your fears or anxieties surrounding animals. Just like this Workawayer who decided to face her fear of dogs, by volunteering at a dog rescue in Peru.
  • Boost your CV: Did you know we can even help create a reference letter from your volunteering experience? This is ideal for those applying for competitive courses or roles, for example veterinary studies, marine biology or zoology!
  • Cultural Immersion: Volunteering with animals abroad involves immersion in a different culture and community. You not only work with animals but also interact with locals, learning about their traditions, lifestyle, and how they perceive and interact with animals.
  • Keep fit: Animal volunteer work can be a fun way to keep fit on the road. From supporting their daily exercise (like horse riding or dog walking) to cleaning out enclosures or even feeding or grooming can be physically demanding.
  • Global Perspective: While there are many Workaway experiences for Eco warriors, animal welfare is a firm favourite. Experiencing animal welfare efforts in different parts of the world provides a broader perspective on conservation challenges, animal rights, and the interconnectedness of ecosystems globally.
  • Creating Memories: Last but not least, volunteering with animals abroad creates lasting memories and friendships - with both humans and non-humans alike! It's a chance to meet like-minded individuals from diverse backgrounds, sharing a common passion for animal welfare and make a meaningful difference to the creatures who also call this planet home.

How to find Animal Volunteer Work with Workaway

Ready for a wild adventure? Here’s how to find your dream project volunteering with animals in just four simple steps:

  1. Join
    It is super easy to Join Workaway! Remember you can sign up solo, as a couple or as friends. Each new sign up will also add a tree to the Workaway forest which means more essential habitats and food sources for wildlife. Then it’s time to perfect your profile remembering to mention any of the skills above that proves volunteering with animals is your dream gig.
  2. Filter by Destination
    Now it's time to filter to find your furry friends! You won’t be able to snorkel with turtles in Scotland or protect elephants in Canada, so it’s handy to know a few destinations that focus on the type of animal volunteer work you want to do. For example:
    • Costa Rica: There are so many reasons to volunteer in Costa Rica but in particular, the country is renowned for its sea turtle and sloth conservation efforts.
    • South Africa: Ideal for wildlife conservation, including activities like monitoring and caring for big cats, especially in the national parks or private reserves.
    • Thailand: There are so many amazing places to volunteer in Thailand, many of which focused on rescuing, rehabilitating, and providing a natural environment for elephants previously used in tourism or logging. For example this host who rescues elephants at their Eco Lodge in Chiang Mai.
    • Greece: If you dream of volunteering at animal shelters, destinations like Crete and Athens have shelters that focus on rescuing and rehabilitating stray dogs and cats but you’ll find these types of shelters throughout Europe.
    • Australia: The wildlife in Australia is the reason many people want to visit, but also the reason many people fear visiting. Sure, there are deadly snakes, sharks and crocodiles but there are also cuddly koalas and kangaroos that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Truly a unique destination for animal lovers!
  3. Use Keywords
    Another tip to narrow your search is to use keywords you’d associate with your ideal animal volunteer work. These are keywords that align with your own values or are skills you’d love to learn more about.
    For example: Wildlife Conservation, Marine Conservation, Animal Rescue, Elephant sanctuary, Animal Care, Dog Shelter, Pet sitting, Farmstay etc.
    Once you have found a few hosts, you can add them to your favourites list. We recommend you then personalise your introduction message, don’t be tempted to copy and paste as it sends a lazy vibe! Share what you’d bring to their team, why the animals will love you as much as you’ll love them, not forgetting why you want to visit their country and what you hope to learn.
  4. Pack your bags
    Once you and your host have agreed dates, projects and expectations it’s time to pack the essentials. While there’s no mistaking animals are cute (probably 99% of the reason you want to volunteer with them in the first place) , animal volunteer work does come with its own risks. This means booking travel insurance is essential before you head off. Bags packed and insurance bought - you’re ready to embark on your wild Workaway adventure!

Feeling prepared for a whirlwind of wagging tails, gentle purrs, and those heart-melting moments? When it comes to volunteering with animals abroad, the journey doesn't just end - it leaves an irreplaceable paw print on your heart. Each furry friend embraced, poop scooped or insect bite cared for contributes to a story of compassion and change. It will be challenging, rewarding, fun and utter chaos at times but nothing can compare to the paw-sitive memories of being a champion for the voiceless. After all, the world of animal volunteering is an endless safari of joy and purpose.