Animal Care Course Overviews

Animal care courses focus on the health and well-being of animals and teach students about nutrition, grooming, hygiene and medical care. Animal care courses are available as part of degree programs at various levels. Community education courses in animal care are also available.

Essential Information

Various types of animal care courses can be taken through associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in animal care and animal science. Veterinary skills courses are offered in bachelor's degree programs in veterinary science, which may prepare individuals for veterinary school, as well as through veterinary technology associate's programs. Individuals working with laboratory animals also have to take courses in the care of those specific animals, such as rats and mice. Some common concepts covered in these courses include:

  • Animal behavior and training techniques
  • Grooming needs
  • Animal health and nutrition
  • Law and ethics for animal workers
  • Animal breeding and herd management

List of Common Courses

Animal Health and Nutrition Course

Candidates entering an animal care program can enroll in an introductory health and nutrition course that teaches them several aspects of basic animal care. Common topics include animal digestion and the absorption of nutrients, additives, common diseases and nutritional requirements for different types of animals. Students learn fundamental skills involved with dietary management and prescription diets that may be recommended.

Small Animal Grooming Course

Grooming is a key element to animal care of any kind, whether it is for a pet or an animal patient. A wide variety of techniques exist for brushing hair and fur, clipping and trimming nails and bathing different animals. This course typically focuses on these processes for specific breeds of dogs and cats. Other grooming factors discussed include methods for blow drying animals and cleaning their ears through use of proper handling techniques.

Kennel Hygiene and Management Course

Kennel operators must follow guidelines for hygiene and care. Students learn about proper sanitation and disinfection techniques, as well as proper methods for handling animals. They also learn how to deal with common health and behavioral issues. Specific information is also provided on feeding and watering different types of animals.

Animal Care Law and Ethics Course

Students receive classroom training on existing laws in the animal industry and discuss ethical principles for groomers, breeders, veterinarians, kennel operators and more. Specifically, the course focuses on animal cruelty laws and required reporting and accounting procedures for those operating an animal care facility.

Medical Care and Animal Nursing Course

Proper medical care techniques are covered in lectures and laboratories. On top of the basic procedures for physical examinations, restraint and bandaging, this course also explores emergency care options, surgical techniques, anesthesia administration and post-surgical recovery.

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