Information and Requirements for Online Courses
Several educational institutions and online sites offer free online animal care courses in the form of printed lecture materials or videos. Students have online access to lecture notes, class assignments and reading assignments; however, students are responsible for obtaining their own textbooks. Some online courses offer quizzes and exams, often without answer keys. Courses do not conclude with grades or academic credit.
List of Free Animal Care Courses Online
Ohio State University (OSU)
- Basic Indoor Cat Needs contains suggestions on grooming, feeding, treating feline health issues and making your home cat friendly. It also offers ideas on crate training and litter boxes. To make reading easier, the training can be downloaded as one PDF file.
- Changes in Aging Pets provides information on aging dogs and age-related medical conditions, as well as how pet owners can recognize and deal with aging pet conditions. Readers learn what symptoms to look for in their dogs and how best to deal with them. The article also has a section on cognitive dysfunction syndrome (aka dementia) that includes information on diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
- For Cat Owners: Problem Solving includes topics on providing cats with activities, dealing with cat anxiety or separation anxiety, cat conflicts and determining cat personalities. Spraying, marking and removing cat urine is also discussed in this guide.
- Caring for your Senior Bird covers bird life spans and health requirements or special needs for geriatric/elderly birds. This educational guide, which can be downloaded as a PDF, offers information on nutritional needs, weight issues and bird-related health issues. Health topics covered include liver disease, heart and respiratory disease, eyes, nervous system, skin and kidney disease. Students can also access a products page featuring first aid supplies and medications for birds.
- Caring for Your Senior Rabbit provides information on nutritional needs, exercise, mobility and general health. Additionally, readers can click on links to find more in-depth information on specific food for rabbits based on needs and age, as well as information on cages and playpens. This guide also offers information on possible health problems, such as cancers, nervous system disorders and chronic respiratory diseases.
- Cold Weather Tips: Vet Chat provides helpful tips on caring for dogs during the winter months. Viewers will learn the different care methods required for both indoor and outdoor dogs. A veterinarian who is part of the Doctors Foster & Smith group of veterinarians provides the information in the roughly 6-minute video.
American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
- First Aid Tips for Pet Owners covers a variety of topics from basic first aid and traveling with a pet to handling natural disasters with a pet. Readers also learn what first aid supplies pet owners need, how to administer first aid and how to determine if an emergency requires medical care.
- Natural Cat Behavior offers information to individuals who own or plan to own a cat. It offers a variety of feline-related topics that include introducing cats to dogs, cat spraying, providing cats with routines and feline grooming. There's also a section on introducing the family cat to a new baby in the home. New cat owners may find this feline information helpful in making their home cat-friendly.
World Chelonian Trust
- Turtle and Tortoise Care Sheets is a collection of information on caring for various species of turtles and tortoises. The site, with a mixture of text and animal images, offers readers the choice of searching for a specific turtle by its common name or species name. The care sheets cover topics such as food, health and hibernation. Printable care sheets are also available. If readers still have questions after reading the care sheets, they can check out the site's FAQs section.
- Zoological Medicine focuses on the health and wellness of uncommon species, such as raptors or sea mammals. Online class materials cover the practice of zoological medicine in various environments, including zoos and wildlife preserves. Students have access to lecture notes from 30 sessions with text, illustrations and pictures relevant to the assessment, diagnosis and therapy of animals, as well as procedures crucial to the provisioning of animal care. Reading assignments instruct students in the principles behind conservation medicine. A selection of supplementary materials is available for download.