Animal Holistic Health Degree and Training Program Options

Read about a training program focusing on animal holistic health. Find out what one needs to enroll and what courses are typically offered in the curriculum. Get details about career options and employment information for veterinarians.

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Essential Information

Animal holistic health is a form of veterinary medicine that utilizes a complete picture of an animal's behavior, environment, nutrition, lifestyle and disease patterns in order to fully evaluate and diagnose a treatment. Animal holistic medicinal practices focus on using minimally invasive and gentle techniques by taking the least harmful path. By addressing all possible sources of causation, an animal may have a better chance at long lasting recovery. Treatment in animal holistic health may be combined with aspects of traditional Western medicine, such as surgery and drug therapy, in addition to holistic treatments that provide complementary healing.

At this time, there are no degree programs available in animal holistic health; however, certificate programs are available in holistic and homeopathic specialties, including acupuncture, homeopathy and nutrition. Commonly, certificate programs and seminars are available through The American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association (AHVMA) and The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy. Certificate programs in animal homeopathy must be approved by the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy, must meet accrediting guidelines and have a 6 month minimum time line. Certificates are available for veterinarians and other professionals who work with animals looking to further specialize their practice.

Educational Prerequisites

Animal holistic health training programs are primarily geared towards veterinarians who already have their doctorate degree in veterinary medicine. Veterinarians typically graduate with a bachelor's degree in biology or zoology before going on to train at an accredited school of veterinary medicine.

After completing a doctorate degree, a graduate may choose to earn a certificate in animal holistic health with an emphasis in a certain specialty, such as acupuncture, veterinary homeopathy, animal nutrition or physical therapy.

Program Coursework

Other certificate programs in animal holistic health, depending on the specialty, are typically offered as summer seminars or as self-paced programs on weekends and after hours. Some common courses that may be offered are:

  • Common animal ailments
  • Alternative animal therapies using the principle of resonance
  • Influences of nutrition on animal behavior
  • Allergies in pets
  • Usages of homeopathic medicines
  • Veterinary herbal medicine
  • Introduction to small animal osteopathy

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (www.bls.gov), veterinary practice is projected to grow by 12% in overall employment between 2012 and 2022, the average for all occupations. In addition, as of May 2013, the median average salary for a veterinarian was $86,640.

Career Options

A variety of options exist for veterinarians or zoologists who desire to specialize in the holistic and homeopathic sciences. Some possible career alternatives include:

  • Holistic veterinarian
  • Acupuncturist
  • Physical therapist
  • Animal nutritionist
  • Animal chiropractor
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