Put Your Pet to Work for You
If you find that your beloved Fido or Fluffy has a natural knack for acting, you might want to consider putting them to work for you. While it can take some time and and does require a lot of effort on your part, it is possible to make your pet the next star of your favorite brand. Even better, your pet could be cast as a family member for the next big TV show or movie!
Prepping Your Pet for Hollywood
The first consideration about whether or not your pet will be suited for stardom is to evaluate his or her temperament. Are they comfortable with strangers? What about bright lights, crowds and lots of movement around them? How do they behave with other animals around?
To be considered for any role on TV, the animal must be well trained in all aspects of basic obedience. For dogs, this means being able to sit, stay, heel, speak and even jump. For cats, it's more about the animal interacting with humans and animals in a friendly, welcoming way. Of course if you're able to train your cat to do special things (such as channeling his inner Mr. Jinx from Meet the Parents), this will definitely help the cat's chances at being cast. Once you have the basics down, move on to teaching your pets bigger, better tricks.
You'll also want to consider your own schedule and lifestyle as the demands of Hollywood are highly variable. There will be times when you're called in at a moment's notice, there will be long days on set (if you're even allowed to be there), and you'll really need to understand all of your pet's mannerisms and signals so you can assist if there are any issues.
Beyond the Basics
Once you've trained your pet and are sure they'd be comfortable with the environment of a Hollywood set, you'll need to move beyond the basics. This can include teaching your dog special tricks like fetching multiple things, recognizing the names of common household items or even teaching them to be a messenger.
You also should carefully evaluate the health of your pet and consider whether or not it can travel, that its vaccines are up to date and that it's always well groomed and ready to go.
Getting Your Pet on Camera
There are plenty of resources for finding pet casting opportunities. One of the more famous options is the Animal Planet Casting Couch where you can apply for various TV shows. You wont' receive any money this way, but you will get your pet on camera and have much more exposure. There are also a plethora of companies that cater to animals on film and in print, such as Hollywood Paws and many independent companies who offer pet representation.
Good Luck, Penny Hoarders!