Oxbow Bend, Snake River

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Seasonal Work and Pets – Challenges and Considerations

You might see the following question on a seasonal employment application: “Are you applying with a friend or spouse?” Answering this question would help the employer keep applications together during the hiring process – to ensure that logistics like start and end dates, housing and location assignments are coordinated.

There’s another challenge for applicants – when the friendly face you might be hoping to have as a traveling companion comes with four legs and a tail!

Each of us on the CoolWorks team has at least one of these furry friends at home – so we understand the struggle you might have in making decisions about an upcoming adventure. Here are some thoughts for you to consider.

  • Most seasonal employers offer a shared housing situation. For the most part, Pets cannot be accommodated when people share spaces on an intimate basis. Housing units can be small by human standards and if you bring your pet into a tight shared space, then in essence your roommate has a pet too. This issue can get even more complicated with pet allergies, and your roommate not having the level of care and responsibility towards your pet as you do. Throw in the likelihood of opposite work schedules, the potential for fewer creature comforts such as A/C, and a seasonal job isn’t a very fun or enjoyable prospect for your pet.
  • Thinking about the health and safety of your pet – vets could be hours away. Chances are your work schedule will change frequently – so there’s no “routine” to count on. As my dog-loving sweetie says often, “Dogs like routines.”
  • With Jobs in Great Places®, your adventure often begins the minute you clock out (or the hours before you clock in!) – What’s your evening hold? Where are your friends headed for the weekend? Camping? Road tripping? White water rafting? Big city run? If all those questions get you excited about a seasonal job, you will be hard-pressed to take advantage of those opportunities and also take good care of your pet. And if you’re working in a National Park, domestic animals are often not allowed on trails, so your off-hours possibilities will be limited.
  • Would it be possible to have your pet stay with family or a friend for the months you’re on an exciting excursion? It’s not forever – but just for now! You might think of this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If the answer is no – you might have to revisit the seasonal lifestyle until your situation changes, or read the suggestions below. (PS – Don’t worry – seasonal gigs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon – when you’re ready they’ll be here waiting!)

These are just a few things to consider. Please keep these in mind when you’re pondering your possibilities to keep your expectations realistic. Many seasonal employers simply cannot accommodate pets in their employer housing. Because every scenario you might never imagine could happen, keeping large numbers of staff, guests, and pets safe makes employers allowing pets in shared dorm-style housing unpractical.

We know that some of you just wouldn’t have it any other way than having your beloved furry pal with you. There are some ways to make this work.

  • A very fresh addition to the site is the option to SEARCH for employers who have stated that they might be able to accommodate a pet. Use the FIND A JOB tab at the top of the page, then click on SEARCH – one of the options you’ll see is PET FRIENDLY. Searching the site with this keyword will greatly assist you in finding employers that might be a good fit for you.
  • Some employers offer a housing option for RV sites. You’ll be responsible for providing your own self-contained RV and adhering to RV site policies – which sometimes also have National or State Park policies as well. (For example – a max of 2 animals per site, sometimes under a specific weight or size limit, and dogs must be on a leash and must not be left unattended when outside.) Please note: when using the SEARCH option mentioned above, employers who provide RV sites would not necessarily appear as “pet friendly” in a search because the RV site option may only apply to a limited number of their employees. Check out this page if the RV situation seems like a good fit:
  • Another option would be to seek out an employer who does not offer a housing/room and board situation on site. If you’re responsible for making your own housing arrangements, obviously you’ll make your decisions accordingly!

We wish you all the best as you consider your options and make the best decision for you and your pet!