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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Care for animals - put your passion into practice!

Do you have a passion for the protection of animals? 

This course provides a solid foundation of learning that will help you to put into action your dedication to upholding the rights of all animals to be protected.

  • Learn about animal psychology, the protection, health, and rescue services dedicated to animals, and much more.

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Learn to Understand and Manage Animal Welfare

It is one of the most popular passions – to work in a role where you are helping animals.

In the past, careers in this industry may have been ‘few and far between’, but now, the animal care industry is booming.  There has never been a better time to convert your passion into a reality, with the last decade having seen an increase in job numbers and a greater variety of jobs in this field.  Globally, animal welfare concerns are being increasingly recognised and addressed across a multitude of industries, from wildlife to captive animals, from domestic pets to farm animals.

The world is becoming more aware – now is the time to make a difference.


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.

The course comprises 9 lessons.

Lesson 1. Scope and Nature of Animal Welfare

  • History
  • Definitions
  • Ethics
  • Physical functioning
  • Mental and cognitive functioning
  • Naturalness
  • Scope of animal welfare
  • Moral status
  • Indirect theories
  • Direct Unequal theories
  • Moral equity theories
  • Ethical theory
  • Kantian theory
  • Virtue theory
  • Humean theory
  • Utilitarian theory
  • Rights theory
  • Capability theory
  • Animal rights
  • Arguments against animal rights
  • Animal Welfare today
  • Animal slavery
  • Conservation and wildlife research
  • Entertainment
  • Animal testing and research
  • Other significant global issues

Lesson 2. Psychology and Sentience

  • Sentience
  • Sapience
  • Anthropomorphism and transference
  • Compassionate conservation
  • Sense and perception
  • Cognition - attention, memory, spatial cognition, reasoning and insight
  • Animal emotion - in primates, felines
  • Animal psychopathology - depression, stress, eating disorders
  • Activity anorexia
  • Over eating, Under eating, weight loss, pica, coprophagia, thin sow syndrome
  • Behavioural disorders
  • Compulsive behaviour
  • Lick granuloma
  • Stereotypies (Zoochosis)
  • Sentience influence on behaviour

Lesson 3. Managing Animal Welfare

  • Duty of care
  • Assessing animal welfare
  • Preventing disease and injury
  • Health checks and observations
  • Importance of nutrition
  • Providing water
  • Exercise and Stimulation
  • Appropriate safe environment
  • Controlling pest and disease
  • Veterinary Prevention

Lesson 4. Animal Protection Services

  • Protection organisations
  • Types of protection  activities
  • Companion animals
  • Protection of farm animals
  • Wildlife
  • Understanding Health Issues
  • Pathogens - Viral, bacterial, fungal protozoa
  • Parasites - ectoparasites, endoparasites
  • Fleas, lice, ticks, mites, nematodes
  • Genetic disorders
  • Pet breeding
  • Metabolic and nutritional disease
  • Inspecting animal health condition
  • Temperature, pulse, respiration
  • Signs of ill health
  • Differential diagnosis

Lesson 5. Animal Rescue Services

  • Introduction
  • Shelters
  • Health and welfare
  • Basic needs of animals
  • Animal first aid - aims, types of wounds (cuts, punctures, tears), treatments
  • Infection
  • Blood loss
  • Fly control
  • Bone and joint problems - sprains, broken bones, bone infections, Nutritional Bone diseases
  • Luxations
  • Tendon injury, Contusions, torn ligaments
  • Poisoning - chemicals, grazing, other
  • Restraining animals during first aid
  • First aid for wildlife

Lesson 6. Animal Health Services

  • Animal health services
  • Routine health treatments
  • Vaccination debate
  • Quarantine
  • Euthenasia
  • De-sexing
  • Complimentary health services - homeopathy, naturopathy, tactile therapies, natural nutrition, acupuncture, etc
  • Employment

Lesson 7. Animal Welfare for Pets, Work Animals and Animals in Sport

  • Welfare of companion animals
  • Work animal welfare
  • Welfare of animals in sport

Lesson 8. Animal Welfare for Farm Animals

  • Farm animal welfare
  • Intensive farming
  • Pigs
  • Cattle
  • Poultry
  • Organic farming
  • Welfare during transport
  • Animal slaughter
  • Animal welfare labelling
  • Welfare issues with animals bred for alternative products - down, wool, etc

Lesson 9. Animal Welfare for Wildlife: Free and Captive

  • Zoos and wildlife parks
  • Circus animals
  • Pet trade
  • Free wild animals 
  • Habitat destruction
  • Protecting from hunting and trapping
  • The land and marine environments
  • Legislation
  • Codes of practice
  • Animal behaviour
  • Environmental law enforcement
  • Case studies

Welfare Issues with Companion Animals

In a modern world, Animal Welfare organisations predominantly respond to issues surrounding the welfare of domestic animals. This includes rescuing, rehabilitating and providing new homes for ill-treated and abandoned pets. Some animals are very loved pets, yet the owners do not have the knowledge or resources to look after them properly.

Studying our Animal Welfare course will provide you with a good, solid knowledge that is applicable to working in the industry or owning your own business, particularly in relation to the pet industry.

Are you ready to work in Animal Welfare?
The welfare of animals is of interest to many people in most parts of the world, but it takes a special person to work in in this field. It takes much more than a love of animals and a yearning to stop their suffering to succeed in a career in Animal Welfare.

To work in the Animal Welfare industry you will benefit from:

  • Having compassion and empathy for animals.

  • Having some level of education in Animal Welfare.

  • Having a positive attitude.

  • Having good people skills.

If you work in the field of Animal Welfare you must consider the following:

  • You may be required to work antisocial hours.

  • Emotionally, you will experience massive ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ and feel both joy and heartbreak.

  • There are limited resources in this industry so you will not receive great financial benefit.

But if you are truly passionate about the well-being of animals, there are a lot of various opportunities for working in Animal Welfare.


There are many varied roles in Animal Welfare. The Pet Industry, in particular, has numerous areas where animal welfare is relevant including:

  • Working for animal protection and rescue services, as:
        - Rescue Officers.
        - Office Staff.
        - Emergency Phone Call        Operator.
        - Ambulance Driver.
        - Animal Rehabilitator.

  • Having your own business or working for a company that provides pet products and services, in:
        - Animal Grooming.
        - Animal Training.
        - Pet Sitting.
        - Dog Walking.

  •     - Pet Shop Assistant.
        - Pet Resort Attendant.
        - Animal Carer.
        - Veterinary Assistant.

  • Educating the community about responsible pet ownership.


You can start the Animal Welfare course at any time.

It 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.


  • Reliable and long standing - we are an independent distance learning school, and have been established for over 37 years.

  • Quality teaching and course materials - our courses are written and taught by experienced professionals.

  • Flexible studies - you can start the course at any time and study at your own pace, fitting your studies around your own busy lifestyle and existing commitments.

  • Choice - we offer a choice of learning methods - online or eLearning.  This allows you to choose the most appropriate option for you, enabling you to determine where and when you study.


Learn the foundations of providing care and compassion for animals - understand animal needs and how you can support animals.

It is important to choose the right course for you.  If you have any questions, our pet care tutors will be more than happy to help you.  Please get in touch with our pet care specialists today - people who share your passion.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Alison Pearce (animal)B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Masters Degree in Ecotourism. P.G.Cert. Ed. (Science). Alison's first job was in 1982 as a stockwoman, working with pigs in Yorkshire. Within a few years she of that she was working for the University of Western Australia as a Research Technician and instructor with their school of Agricultural Science.In 1989 she moved to Melbourne University as Unit Manager and Instructor in Animal Husbandry. By the mid 1990's she moved back to England to work in Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing at Cambridgeshire College of Agriculture. Throughout her career, Alison has developed and delivered courses in veterinary nursing and animal sciences for vocational colleges and universities in Australia, New Zealand and Australia. She has built a high level of expertise and an outstanding international reputation as an expert in animal sciences.
Dr. Gareth PearceGraduated from the University of Nottingham in 1982 with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Between 82 and 85 worked as Research Assistant and Demonstator in Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Over more than 30 years he has furthered his studies, obtaining eight significant university qualifications including degrees in Veterinary Science, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour. Gareth has significant teaching experience around the world as a faculty member at eight different universities including Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Director of Studies in Veterinary Science at Cambridge University. He has over 100 prestigious research papers published, and enjoys an outstanding international reputation in the fields of animal and veterinary science.
Cheryl McLardyA scientist, teacher, writer and animal scientist, with more than 20 years experience including: Sports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager. Cheryl has travelled widely, working in England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand; and is now based in Scotland. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons), Higher National Diploma in Horse Management, and a City and Guilds Teaching Certificate.

Check out our eBooks

Caring for DogsA book for both students and dog owners. This book has been designed to complement our dog care and pet care courses; but also to provide a sound foundation for choosing the right breed, and caring for a dog whether as a pet, or a working animal. Contents cover Breeds, Creating a healthy home for dogs, legal issues, dog biology, recognising poor health, parasites, illnesses, nutrition, reproduction, dog psychology, behavioural development, training tips, behaviour problems, grooming, working in the dog industry, and more.
Cat Care This ebook is a comprehensive guide to caring for and understanding our feline friends. The association between humans and cats—dates back about 5000 years — although this is not long in the history of human life. The exact origin of cat domestication is often debated by historians. It is known that Egyptian populations held cats in high esteem. In fact, cats were an object of worship. Some figures of cats exist in gold and bronze and numerous paintings depict the importance of cats in Egyptian life. The Romans later recognised the useful nature of cats for pest control in grain stores or in military bases for example. It is thought the distribution of cats throughout Europe can be attributed the Roman Empire’s original use of cats. Cats as pets now outdo their canine equivalents today across the globe, and it is estimated there may be around 90 million cats as pets living in homes in the USA. Cats may be considered a better choice of pet than dogs for people living busier lives or who live in relatively confined spaces (e.g. flats or townhouses), as they require less exercise than dogs, and tend to their own needs and are generally more independent. The explosion of pet cats over the recent decades has led to the emergence of many cat care industries. There are specialists across veterinary health, rehoming and adoption facilities, pet boarding properties, grooming, breeding and reproductive health and the behaviour and training industry. If you are going to keep a pet cat, you need to be prepared to provide for its basic needs as an absolute minimum: food, water, shelter, stimulation (mental and physical) and appropriate health care. Additionally, it is responsible to control cats within reason, reducing any impact upon neighbouring property or wildlife. This is called containment.
Animal HealthUnderstand animal health issues, diseases and how identify and manage illnesses and injuries. Animals can become sick for many different reasons -diseases caused by infections, injuries, poisoning, genetic disorders, poor nutrition and other things.
BirdsIdeal for Ornithology students or the budding bird enthusiast, this ebook offers an ideal foundation on birds. Learn to identify birds from around the world with over 130 colour photographs and 117 pages of fascinating bird facts.