Courses that cover holistic animal nutrition are available at only a select number of institutions, typically through their continuing education departments. A much larger number of schools offer courses in general animal nutrition through undergraduate and graduate programs in animal science. Some common concepts covered in these courses include:
- Symptom analysis and treatment evaluation
- Nutrition and the digestive process
- The physiology of digestion
- Daily nutritional requirements
- Nutritional disorders
List of Common Courses
Veterinary Homeopathy Course
Typically offered as a continuing education course for professional veterinarians, this course details a variety of approaches to homeopathic animal care. Beginning with diagnosis and evaluation of symptoms, the course goes on to cover such subject material as the homeopathic effect and curative response, adjunctive therapies, chronic disease and vaccination. Discussion of nutraceutical medicines (the use of nutrition to heal) and the ways in which they differ from standard pharmaceuticals are also included. Veterinarians learn the proper applications of holistic medicine to animals, what the benefits of these medicines are, how to tell if they're working and how to talk to pet owners about veterinary homeopathy. The format for this class usually involves a number of successive professional seminars.
Animal Nutrition Principles Course
This course covers the basics of domestic animal nutrition from the fundamentals to feeding and ration balancing. Other topics can include the economics of animal agriculture, genetics, reproduction and nutrient absorption. Emphasis is placed on creation and analysis of the proper formulas used in animal feeding. Though the subject matter covers both mammals and birds, this course, like most animal science program courses, is specifically interested in cattle, horses, pigs and poultry. This typically 1-semester course almost always includes a laboratory element.
Animal Anatomy and Physiology Course
Animal anatomy and physiology is an important subject to understand when dealing with animal nutrition because nutrition is bound up with the anatomy and physiology of digestion. This course delves into the form and function of cells, tissues and organs. It also explores circulation, digestion and reproduction. How animal physiology is affected by environmental factors is another common topic. A lab component is part of the course.
Small Animal Nutrition Course
The small animal nutrition course examines principles behind the proper feeding and care of dogs, cats and other domestic animals. These courses introduce students to the stages of domestic animal life, the function of nutrients and various applications of therapeutic nutrition, most notably prescription diets and foods. Some small animal nutrition courses involve in-depth studies of domestic animal anatomy and metabolism, including digestive tract and stomach size and functions, feeding habits and nutritional requirements. Nutritional disorders such as obesity and pancreatitis may also be covered. Courses dealing with the anatomy, physiology and metabolism of domestic animals may be prerequisites for this course.