On a recent visit to the local supermarket in my neighbourhood, I found an entire section dedicated to pet care products. I was amazed to find a wide variety of biscuits and toys for pet dogs, more than I could find for my nephew who was already raiding the snacks counter! It then hit me what a huge market pet care has become. I recently read somewhere that you can get a massage or aromatherapy treatment done for your pet!
With the animal care industry booming, why not cash in on it by getting a qualification in the field and making a career out of pet care?
If you love animals and just can’t get enough of them, pet care or animal management would be a good career option for you. Till a few years ago, pet care ended with becoming a veterinarian, but the market has now opened up and skilled, qualified people are finding lots of opportunities in this industry.
A few institutions abroad offer animal welfare management or pet care courses which train you in the care and welfare of both domestic and exotic animals.
What the courses cover
Courses in animal care and management are offered at different levels including BSC degrees,
Diploma and Certificate programmes. Theory and practice are combined to produce multi-skilled graduates who are able to gain employment within many areas of the animal industry. The courses provide a solid understanding of applied animal sciences, together with a comprehensive insight into a number of key disciplines crucial to animal management, such as welfare; nutrition; conservation and behaviour. A complete pet first aid course is also provided by some colleges.
You will benefit from highly practical hands-on training using purpose-built animal management facilities on campus. You will also benefit from talks by leading industry organisations. At the end of these courses, students are usually equipped to work in a variety of different places, from animal rescue centres to pet shops and veterinary surgeries.
Another interesting area of training is pet grooming. Lots of shops and parlours have cropped up in the US and UK, and the trend is spreading to India too. Clipping, styling and other skills are taught to equip you to work in a grooming centre.
If you are doing your degree abroad, you will also benefit from the close ties the colleges have with a number of different organisations including the Wildlife Heritage Foundation, as well as local zoos, wildlife parks and rare breed centres. You will get to meet and learn from internationally renowned animal experts too.
You can use these courses as a vocational pathway toward employment in these industries. Courses are also offered online and through distance education.
Typical employers would be animal rescue centres, animal charities, zoos and wildlife parks, as well as educational institutions and retail outlets. You can work as an animal care technician or assistant, a vet, retail pet care manager or a pet sitter.
Some courses also cover management and business skills necessary to run your own pet business or advance your career while working for someone else.
Where to study?
The following institutions offer accredited bachelor’s, diploma and certificate courses in animal care management:
- Hadlow College, UK
- ACS Distance education
- Australian School of Petcare Studies
- National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (Online Certification Course)
Pet sitting is currently one of the fastest growing industries in the US. Pet owners are increasingly looking for trained pet sitters who can look after their dogs or cats while they are away from home. Expertise can be gained in caring for pets by doing a short course in the subject.
For the list of all courses in animal care
Grooming centres and salons are all the rage abroad. Animal trainers train animals for riding, security, performance, obedience, or assisting people with disabilities. Trainers in shows work to display the talent and ability of an animal, such as a dolphin, through interactive programs to educate and entertain the public.
Image Courtesy: Tina Phillips