Holistic Animal Care Courses and Schools

Explore strategies for incorporating holistic animal care courses into veterinarian training, and what degrees and classes are necessary to become a vet. Learn the signs of a veterinary school that supports holistic animal care. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

There are not many programs that focus on holistic medical care for animals. You may be able to take courses on the use of holistic medicine for people and adapt your skills to animals, or supplement your learning with a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine. These programs are offered by universities and colleges.

Schools Training is offered by some colleges and universities
Programs Certificates and degrees in holistic health for humans are available; you may then choose to pursue a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine
Courses Biofeedback, traditional Chinese medicine, environmental toxicology, homeopathy, nutrition, Bach flower remedies therapy, anesthesiology, pharmacology, radiology, feeds and feeding and animal surgery

What Will I Learn in Holistic Animal Care Courses?

Holistic animal care providers use holistic methods as a complement to veterinary medicine. As a holistic animal care veterinarian, you'd consider many factors, including an animal's genetics, behavior, diet, environment and stress factors, when diagnosing and treating the animal. You might apply the complementary practices to animal patients that are used with human patients, including acupuncture, energy therapy, magnetic field therapy, herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, nutritional therapy, massage and aromatherapy.

Some American colleges and universities are beginning to offer courses in holistic animal care; however, courses are few and offered as individual electives or continuing education courses. If you're interested in treating animals holistically, you might choose a traditional veterinary medicine education that allows you to supplement your education with these types of courses.

Which Degrees Could I Earn?

Undergraduate degrees in holistic animal care don't exist, and courses aren't abundant. You can find certificate and degree programs in holistic health or alternative medicine for treating humans. These programs provide training in the principles and methods of alternative medicine, which may be applied to animals by a knowledgeable veterinarian.

Schools rarely offer a pre-veterinary medicine degree program. If you want to practice as a veterinarian, you typically major in one of the life sciences, such as animal science, biology or zoology. These programs prepare you to attend a post-baccalaureate professional school where you can earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). If you major in holistic health and plan to go to veterinary school, additional math and science courses may be required to meet veterinary school admission expectations.

What Courses Will I Take?

To get a good foundation in veterinary science and holistic animal care, take courses in the life and physical sciences, as well as math. Organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular genetics, microbiology and animal science courses all prepare you for a holistic animal health career.

You can also find a wide variety of courses offered by various holistic health programs. Online, on campus or hybrid courses are available. Typical holistic medicine courses include:

  • Biofeedback
  • Traditional Chinese medicine
  • Environmental toxicology
  • Homeopathy
  • Nutrition
  • Bach flower remedies therapy

Completing a D.V.M. program typically takes four years; you spend the final year or two completing clinical rotations. Advanced biology and public health courses, as well as multiple animal health courses, comprise the program. Some specific subjects covered in veterinary school include:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Radiology
  • Feeds and feeding
  • Animal surgery

How Do I Choose the Right School?

Look for an undergraduate school with an American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) student chapter. Student AHVMA chapters sponsor meetings, speakers and conferences that help you learn about holistic animal care and network. Since most D.V.M. programs require you to have work or volunteer experience with animals, look for undergraduate programs with internships, work-study or other hands-on opportunities. When choosing a veterinary school, look for faculty members with research interests or specializations in holistic animal care.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

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