<small>Certificate in </small><span>Companion Animal Studies</span>

Certificate in Companion Animal Studies

Course Code VAG024
Qualification Certificate
Payment Options Upfront & Payment Plans
Delivery Online & Correspondence
Duration 600 Hours

Learn about animal health care, and develop business and management skills, that are valued for a career working with pets or providing support services within the pet industry.

When completing this course you will learn about animal husbandry techniques, develop business and management skills, and acquire other knowledge needed to start a career working with pets, or providing support services within the pet industry.

What is covered by some of the Core Modules?

Pet Care

This has eight lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction to Animal Care
  2. Cats
  3. Dogs
  4. Birds
  5. Fish
  6. Rabbits
  7. Reptiles & Amphibians
  8. Guinea Pigs, Hamsters & Mice.

Animal Behaviour

This has eight lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction: Influences and motivation.
  2. Genetics and Behaviour.
  3. Animal Perception and Behaviour.
  4. Behaviour and the Environment.
  5. Social Behaviour.
  6. Instinct and Learning.
  7. Handling Animals
  8. Behavioural Problems.

Animal Health Care

There are twelve lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction to Animal Health Care
  2. Common Health Problems in farm animals and pets
  3. Animal Behaviour
  4. Signs of Ill Health
  5. Veterinary Facilities
  6. Safety Procedures
  7. Administration of Animal Health
  8. Animal First Aid
  9. Preventative Health Care
  10. Routine Health Treatments
  11. Health Problems in Domestic Pets
  12. Rehabilitation Care

Starting A Small Business

This covers all of the basics of running a business, and provides valuable and necessary skills for anyone involved in a Pet or companion animal business. It involves twelve lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction to Small Business Types of business and communication, types of language, office equipment.
  2. The Business World Consultancy services, law and business, the landscape industry, business letters, communication systems.
  3. Your alternatives - different types of ventures Buying and starting a business.
  4. Marketing What is involved in marketing, advertising, selling, communication.
  5. Planning Organising and planning to ensure the success of the business.
  6. Basic Bookkeeping Financial statements, balance sheet, profit and loss statement,insurance.
  7. Sales Methods Selling, sales method, telephone canvassing.
  8. Budgeting Assets and liabilities.
  9. Developing a 12 month business plan Protection, planning and production.
  10. Implementing a business plan Communication with employees, planning the development of the business.
  11. Reviewing progress in a new business Research, evaluate and decide on business plan updates.
  12. Improving profitability Increase profit and reduce expenditure


Elective Modules:    In addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 13 modules.

  •      Animal Anatomy And Physiology (Animal Husbandry I ) BAG101
  •      Animal Grooming BAG106
  •      Aquarium Management BEN105
  •      Dog Care BAG108
  •      Horse Care I BAG102
  •      Ornithology BEN102
  •      Sales Skills VBS108
  •      Animal Feed & Nutrition (Animal Husbandry III) BAG202
  •      Cat Psychology and Training BAG222
  •      Dog Psychology and Training BAG221
  •      Natural Health Care for Animals BAG218
  •      Animal Breeding BAG301
  •      Diagnosing Animal Diseases BAG219
  •      Pigs BAG209
  •      Goat Husbandry BAG223
  •      Dairy Cattle BAG205
  •      Horse Breeding BAG307


The range of employment opportunities for people in animal and pet industries is huge; and a course like this can be an excellent move toward working in jobs such as the following:

  • Veterinary Support Staff- veterinary technician, animal lab technician, veterinary assistant, animal hospital clerk
  • Pet Therapist, Groomer
  • Pet Shop owner, staff
  • Animal Trainer, Groomer, Breeder
  • Animal Welfare Officer, Animal Shelter staff
  • Zoo or Wildlife Park staff

There are always lots of people who would love to work with animals; but applying for a job can be competitive; and to be selected above others, you need to stand out. Here are some ways you can stand out and give yourself that competitive edge:

  • Volunteers stand out - If you have worked anywhere with animals as a volunteer (eg. zoos, wildlife shelters, community farms), you will be demonstrating that your passion for this work goes beyond just earning an income; and that you probably have some experience and knowledge through that volunteering, which is different to other applicants
  • Applicants who have studied something a little different will stand out -If most other applicants have done a certificate that is a "national qualification" they will all look pretty much the same as each other....this course, with electives, allows each graduate an opportunity to make themself look to have a slightly different set of skills to other applicants -hence you will stand out! 
  • Experience, communication skills, industry networking, problem solving skill are things that employers often look for when interviewing staff; and these are things which this course tries to develop (To get this advantage you need to be doing an experimental based course rather than a competency based training course -which this is)

This course is a useful one to have on your resume!

This is a commonly asked question with no set answer. There are myriad possibilities open for people wanting to work with pets and animals. These range from:

  • working in pet shops or veterinary practices,
  • as wildlife carers, in a wildlife sanctuary or
  • zoo as animal attendants,
  • on horse and cattle studs as grooms and strappers, just to name a few.

These jobs are highly sought after and difficult to obtain. To gain employment you must actively market your skills and present yourself well to prospective employers.

Employers generally seek potential employees who already have substantial existing knowledge and skills - as it requires time and a large financial commitment to train new employees. If you already have these skills it will increase your competitive position in the job market. Alternatively, you can explore the possibility of setting up your own small business providing services to pet and animal owners.

For more information on this course, please request your free course information pack.

Finance options

If you are an Irish citizen you may be eligible to receive financial support, meaning you can defer payment of your course fees. Additionally, if you are a resident of Ireland, you may also be eligible to receive a student grant under the Student Grant Scheme

Student support

We live in a society where the pressures of daily living are high with financial expenses, personal and work commitments, and mortgage and rental obligations. Then there are the unexpected life challenges that also get thrown our way. With this in mind the thought of taking on study can be daunting for most people. Here at Learning Cloud we understand that life doesn’t run in a straight line it has many ups and downs.

As an enrolled student at Learning Cloud, you are entitled to access a variety of non-academic support services from the Student Services Unit. These supports are designed to walk beside you throughout your studies they will assist you in life’s ups and downs to provide you the best opportunity to successfully complete your chosen course.


  • Careers Counselling Service
  • General Counselling Service
  • Disability Liaison Service
  • Retention & Engagement Service
  • Student Activities
  • Accommodation
  • E Counselling
  • Your-Tutor
  • Parent support
  • Reasonable Adjustment Plan (RAP)

Call our student support today on 041 214 0000 or Email Faculty

Get more information

Want more information about financial and student support? Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

How will this course advance my career?

Learning Cloud programs have been developed in response to industry demand and are specifically designed to equip graduates with work-ready skills. Each participant will be trained and assessed in theory and in practical tasks and Real-world exercises are used throughout the program.

Studies prove, time and again, that college-educated workers earn more than those with only a high school qualification. College graduates often enjoy additional benefits, including greater job opportunities and promotions. Though the proof for greater earning potential exists, some might wonder whether the cost of the education warrants the overall expense in the long run.

College Graduate vs. Non-Graduate Earnings

The National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES) analyses employee earnings data biennially, according to education level. Findings indicate that workers with a qualification earn significantly more than those without. Since the mid-1980s, education has played a large part in potential wages, with bachelor's degree holders taking home an average of 66% more than those with only a high school diploma do. While college-educated workers' wages have increased over the past two decades, those with only a high school education have seen decreases in annual salaries in the same time period (nces.ed.gov).

How else will I benefit from studying with Learning Cloud?

  • Studying online or distance means you can study where you want and at your own pace.
  • Receive career-focused training with practical, hands-on learning.
  • All course materials are provided and all digital platforms are interactive, work on any device and designed to be fun.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning or Skills Recognition may be available for previous work experience, formal training or qualifications in this field.