One option for those interested in holistic animal care is to seek out programs affiliated with the American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association (AHVMA), a non-profit association pertaining to holistic animal care. A 1-year certificate program in holistic animal care teaches students how to naturally care for domestic, farm and zoo animals. Students learn about animal anatomy and physiology and how holistic techniques can apply to animal care. Some certificate programs are geared more toward domestic or companion animals.
Because there is no degree granted upon completion of the program, students enrolled in the holistic animal care certificate program do not need to meet any specific educational requirements, although many possess undergraduate or graduate degrees in animal science and take the certificate program to improve upon their knowledge.
Certificate in Holistic Animal Care
In the certificate program for holistic animal care, students learn the basics on how natural remedies can be used in the care and treatment of animals. Examples of courses offered in the non-degree program include the following:
- Animal ailments and toxicology
- Animal anatomy and physiology
- Holistic health
- Alternative nutritional therapy
- Aromatherapy for animals
- Natural animal nutrition
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), job growth for the entire animal care industry, including holistic animal care, is rapidly increasing. Animal care and service worker employment during the period 2014-2024 is expected to increase 11%, which is higher than the national average. This is due in part to the growing number of pet owners with disposable income.
Popular Career Options
Those seeking employment in the holistic animal care field can find a job in animal hospitals, veterinary offices or farms. Examples of jobs available include the following:
- Animal nutritionist
- Animal massage therapist
- Holistic veterinarian
- Veterinary assistant
Continuing Education Information
Traditional veterinarians are required to complete continuing education requirements to ensure licensing for practicing medicine. However, those that wish to specialize in holistic animal care do not need to meet specific certification requirements.
Several schools offer AHVMA-affiliated clubs for undergraduate and graduate students looking to learn more about holistic animal care. The AHVMA regularly conducts conferences addressing topics in holistic animal care, including raw food diets, homeopathy and acupuncture.
Students wanting to learn how to naturally care for animals can earn a certificate in holistic animal care that can prepare them for careers as animal therapists, nutritionists, and veterinary assistants. The animal care industry as a whole should see faster-than-average growth in the coming decade.