Learn about the care and welfare of all types of pets.
This Pet Care course covers dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, amphibians, rabbits, hamsters and mice.
Course credentials: This course was written, developed, and is tutored by highly qualified and experienced professionals (including veterinary surgeons, former wildlife park manager, university lecturers).
Studying with this course will provide you with an outstanding opportunity to extend your knowledge, perspective and capacity to care for all types of pets.
COURSE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT
Course Duration: 100 hours.
Start Date: Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support for the duration of your studies.
Lessons: The course comprises 8 lessons as outlined, below.
Lesson 1. Introduction to Animal Care
Laws and licenses, Animal Charities and Societies (e.g. RSPCA, WSPA, Blue Cross), Pet Care Needs (feeding, watering, shelter, containment, fencing, caging, protection), Maintaining Health, Hygiene.
Lesson 2. Cats
Breeds (Lang Haired, Semi Long Haired, Short Haired, Oriental etc.), Cat Selection, Allergies, Containment, Sexing, Desexing, Breeding, Newborn Kittens, Exercise, Behaviour, Hygiene, Feed and Nutrition, Amount of Food, Watering, Grooming, Travelling, Care for a Sick Cat (Signs of illness, Temperature, Common ailments, Skin disorders, Ticks), Cats and Wildlife.
Lesson 3. Dogs
Dog Selection, Breeds (Pure and Mixed), Varying Size and Temperament, Grooming, Skin Care, Inherited Traits (aggression, deafness), Containment, Breeding, Desexing, Exercise, Behaviour, Feeding, Canine Nutrition, Bones, Watering, Training, Travelling, Identifying Sickness.
Lesson 4. Birds
Bird Selection, Breeds (e.g. Canaries, Finches, Budgerigars, Small Parrots etc.), Sexing, Desexing, Containment (Aviaries – selection, design, size, management),
Feed and Feeding, Watering, Grooming (Wing trim, Beak Trim, Nail Trim), Hygiene, Catching and Restraining, Travelling, Caring for the Sick Bird, Signs of Illness, Temperature, Supportive Therapy, Common Ailments (e.g. Abscesses, Alopecia, Apoplexy, Aspergillosis, Breathlessness, Constipation, Parasites), Safety in the Home.
Lesson 5. Fish
Fish Selection, Inside or Outside, Warm or Cold Water, Number of Fish, Types of Fish (Tropical, Marine, Cold Water), Costs, Size, Equipment (Tanks, Ponds, Pumps, Aquariums, Night lights), Water Quality, Changing Water, Feed (Pelleted, Live Feed – Daphnia, Brine Shrimp), Illnesses (Fungal, Bacterial, Parasites, Environmental).
Lesson 6. Rabbits
Rabbit Breeds (Large, Small and Dwarf), Selection, Legality (Illegal in some areas), Containment (Hutch or Cage), Environment (Temperature etc.), Feeding, Nutrition, Watering, Feed Quantities and Routine, Grooming, Handling, Moulting, Transporting, Sexing, Breeding, Identifying illness (Coccidiosis, Snuffles, Myxomatosisis, Sore Hocks, Pasteurellosis, Ear Canker, Heat Stroke, Cannibalism, Calcivirus Disease),
Care of Sick Rabbits
Lesson 7. Reptiles and Amphibians
Types (e.g. Salamander, Frogs, Venomous Snakes, Non-venomous Snakes, Shingle-backed Lizard, Tortoises, Terrapins, Axolotls, etc.), Selection, Legal Issues, Housing, Environmental Requirements (Moisture, Humidity, Warmth, etc.), Terrariums, Problems (e.g. Dehydration, Stress, External and internal parasites, Blisters, Scale Rot, Mouth Rot or Canker, Colds/pneumonia, Constipation and Diarrhoea, Cannibalism, Incomplete sloughing of the skin - shedding of the skin), Feed and Feeding, General Care.
Lesson 8. Guinea Pigs, Hamsters and Mice
Varieties, Selection, Containment, Sexing, Breeding, Grooming, Feeding, Watering, Illness (e.g. Skin Problems, Abscesses, Mites, Ringworm, Fleas, Respiratory Infection, Vitamin C Deficiency, Otitis, Salmonella, Stripping etc).
- Discuss the general principles of pet care, as they relate to a wide range of different types of pets.
- Describe routine care for cats. Compare the characteristics of different cat breeds.
- Describe routine care for dogs.
- Compare the characteristics of different dog breeds.
- Describe routine care for birds as pets.
- Describe routine care for fish · Describe routine care for rabbits as pets.
- Describe routine care for reptiles and amphibians.
- Describe routine care for rodent pets.
WHAT YOU WILL DO IN THIS COURSE
- Develop timetables for husbandry tasks to be undertaken over a typical week, caring for a specific breed of animals.
- Recognize things that indicate a dog is sick – diet and temperament.
- Develop a checklist of things which should be done regularly to ensure the good health for pets.
- Determine things a person should consider when trying to decide what type of pet to acquire.
- Compare the requirements and restrictions for keeping different animals as pets in your locality.
- Discuss the advantages/disadvantages of keeping different types of cats.
- Explain why is it particularly important to de-sex cats and when de-sexing should be carried out.
- Discuss the nutritional requirements of a cat, and identify the cause of N.S.H., and its early signs.
- Describe problems associated with long haired dogs.
- Discuss a dog’s sleeping requirements if it lives in a temperate climate.
- Explain problems can arise through over feeding a dog.
- Identify ideal diet for a dog.
- Explain why puppies under 6 months should be allowed to exercise themselves.
- Determine common signs of a general disease condition in a dog.
- Explain why birds moult.
- Discuss the characteristics of large, open aviaries, and all their requirements.
- Discuss how a small bird should be caught in its cage.
- Explain what breathlessness indicates in a bird.
- Discuss factors are common in the care of all fish.
- Explain why it is important to maintain the correct level of oxygen in water for fish.
- Discuss differences in requirements for caring for salt water fish compared with freshwater fish.
- Explain the handling, caging, feeding and other aspects of rabbit care.
- Discuss different colours and breeds of rabbits.
- Discuss the environmental/caging needs of all reptiles.
- Discuss the feeding requirements of reptiles.
- Explain the handling of reptiles.
- Discuss the care of both sick and healthy amphibians and reptiles.
- Explain how to determine the sex of a guinea pig, and the age do they reach sexual maturity.
- Explain the temperature to keep guinea pigs at, and what happens if the temperature drops.
- Explain the feed and nutritional needs of rodents.
- Discuss what can happen if a female hamster with a litter is disturbed.
- Explain how many litters a year could a female mouse produce if not prevented from doing so.
- Explain health and disease problems associated with mice.
HOW THE COURSE WORKS
The Pet Care course is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies. Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way. If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.
Each lesson includes set tasks, and is completed with an assignment which the student submits to their course tutor. The tutor will mark the assignment and return this to the student with comments and suggestions for further reading.
WHY STUDY WITH ACS?
- Quality - Our courses are written and taught by experienced professionals, so you know you can expect a high quality of teaching and support.
- Flexibility - Study at your own pace and fit your studies around your own busy lifestyle - we provide full tutor support for all the time you are studying.
- Options - choose from online study or eLearning options, to enable you to study where you want to.
WHO SHOULD DO THIS COURSE?
- People who work in pet shops.
- People who aspire to work with pets (e.g. as a breeder, in an animal shelter, etc).
To enrol, simply go to the enrolment box at the top right-hand side of this page. If you have any QUESTIONS, please, contact us - use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE to get in touch with our specialist animal and pet tutors. Choosing the right course is important and they are there to help and advise you on the making the right choice.
General Requirements For Keeping Pets
No matter what type of pets you are looking after there are some general needs that must be fulfilled. These include:
All animals will require sufficient food, of the right type/s, and at the right intervals. This will obviously vary considerably from animal to animal, for example dogs usually have diets with a high meat component, some birds will have diets high in seeds, some birds may require such things as insects or meal worms, rabbits and guinea pigs may be fed on grasses and vegetable scraps, while reptiles may be fed with live food (e.g. mice, frogs).
Understanding what types of food your animals require is very important, it is also important that you understand differing food requirements at different stages of their life (e.g. young versus mature animals, when pregnant or feeding young). To ensure the best health of your animals, only use good quality food that has been properly stored (e.g. not perished, or mouldy, or infested with pests). Discuss with your vet to ensure your animals are receiving adequate nutrition from their diet, and to determine ways in which you might need to modify it to improve their all round nutrient intake.
Although it can seem nice to treat pets to human foods and sweets, or to leave food constantly available to your pet, it can be very detrimental to their health. Certain foods that are fit for human consumption can in fact be toxic to pets. Allowing your pet to eat constantly, or providing them with a poorly balanced diet can lead to obesity. This is an increasing problem and has serious complications for animals, they are unable to move as freely and become sedentary, and they can develop joint problems such as arthritis, as well as injuries related to the stress on their spines from the additional weight. Heart disease is also more likely along with complications such as obesity related diabetes.
Nearly all animals will require regular watering, some having high water requirements. Water should be of high quality, and plenty provided.
The types of water containers provided should be suitable to the types of animals you are watering, for example deep, steep-sided containers may pose a drowning risk to small animals, including birds, while containers or troughs used by multiple numbers of a particular pet should provide sufficient room (access) so that there is not any great degree of competition between the animals for the water - this is particularly important on days of high water need (i.e. very hot days), or with more aggressive animals.
Water containers/sources should also be placed in suitable position where they are stable (not easily dislodged or knocked over), where they will not be contaminated by debris or animal droppings falling into them, and easily accessed by both your pets to drink, and you to fill them. For some animals the containers may need to be placed in a position that provides some degree of shelter and/or protection from other animals. Placing water in a position sheltered from the sun will also reduce evaporation rates. Ideally at least two, and depending on the space available and animals you are watering, possibly more separate containers should be available, in case one becomes fouled, or is knocked over. Animals can quickly suffer or die if sufficient water is not available on a hot day. Containers should be regularly inspected for damage, and regularly and thoroughly cleaned to minimise pest and diseases problems. Any automatic watering systems should be regularly maintained, and regularly checked to ensure they are operating properly.
Shelter/Containment/Protection Caging and fencing can serve a number of functions. These include:
- Containment - ensuring you pet/s don't escape.
- Shelter - providing protection against the elements.
- Protection - both against other animals (predators), and to protect other animals and protecting people from your animal/s (e.g. snakes, aggressive dogs).
If you have any QUESTIONS, please, contact us - use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE
to get in touch with our specialist animal and pet tutors. Choosing the
right course is important and they are there to help and advise you on
the making the right choice.
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