Animal Care

What to expect from a career in Animal Care

Dedicated animal lovers who enjoy both the technical side and handling aspects of caring for animals are in high demand. As a result, animal care programs at Ontario colleges prepare students for a career that has countless opportunities. As an animal care graduate, you’ll assist veterinarians, develop nutrition and wellness plans, provide companionship to a wide range of animals, and much more.

If you are patient and motivated, and you want to turn your love of animals into a career in animal care and behaviour, here’s what you need to know.

Animal Care Courses

Animal care programs prepare students in areas like animal behaviour, wellness, grooming, science and treatment. Students learn about treatment procedures and basic medical care, which is a valued skill in many veterinary practices, clinics and hospitals. Courses in animal care programs prepare students for roles similar to a veterinary assistant.

Common course subjects include:

  • Training
  • Breeding
  • Disease prevention
  • Husbandry
  • Animal adoption

As practical education, programs use live animals to provide real-life experience and teach students how to adjust to different types of animals and situations. Field placements are also a common part of the curriculum.

General Animal Care Program Requirements

Animal care programs at Ontario colleges require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including a grade 12 English credit. Students may also need a grade 11 or 12 math or science credit, though individual requirements will vary by program. Specific animal immunizations are also required for admittance.

Animal Care Jobs and Salaries

Ontario college animal care programs prepare students to work in a variety of settings, including (but not limited to):

  • Veterinary hospitals
  • Zoos
  • Dog care facilities
  • Shelters
  • Animal rehabilitation centres

The average entry-level salary for a job in animal care is in the low- to mid-$20,000s. Position and level of related experience could impact your starting salary.

Ontario Colleges Offering Animal Care Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of animal care programs at Ontario colleges.

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