Advanced Certificate in Animal Management (Pets)

This course in exceptional and unique in the quantity and quality of what you learn about working with pets. Gain an extensive foundation for a business or career in the pet industry. Learn all aspects of animal management and health.

Course CodeVAG062
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

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Become an Expert in Caring for Pets

Extend your knowledge and move towards an exciting career with companion animals. 

A superbly designed course, which is relevant and challenging, specifically aimed at people who desire working with animals in the billion-dollar pet industry! No matter what capacity you work in, the public demand knowledge and quality service from people working their animals. For many households, pets are part of the family.  Instill confidence in yourself and your customers, develop skills and get an education like no other.

Are you seeking career progression? Do you have a natural confidence with animals?


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Animal Management (Pets).
 Animal Health Care VAG100
 Pet Care AAG100
 Research Project I BGN102
 Animal Behaviour BAG203
 Animal Welfare BAG224
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 4 of the following 13 modules.
 Animal Anatomy And Physiology (Animal Husbandry I) BAG101
 Animal Grooming BAG106
 Bird Keeping (Aviculture) BAG108
 Dog Care BAG105
 Horse Care 1 SPECIAL OFFER BAG102
 Marine Studies I BEN103
 Marketing Foundations VBS109
 Animal Diseases BAG219
 Animal Feed & Nutrition (Animal Husbandry III) BAG202
 Cat Psychology and Training BAG222
 Dog Psychology and Training BAG221
 Herpetology BEN209
 Animal Breeding BAG301

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Animal Management (Pets) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


  • Explore the basis of animal behaviour. Animals have many specialised abilities that result from both innate programming and learned behaviours. It was once believed that logical thought was unique to man, but the more we study and observe animals, the more we learn that animals are sentient creatures.
  • Gain confidence in animal health care. As starting point for someone seeking to develop a career in the veterinary industry, or for a broad grounding or the health care of domestic pets, animal health care is essential.
  • Get the practical skills. Pet care is starting point for knowledge of the practical side of looking after animals effectively and professionally. The pet care module provides an outstanding opportunity for you to learn about various domesticated species and how to meet their many and various needs.
  • Gain insight into current issues in animal welfare. Animal Welfare is a branch of animal ethics that covers the interactions between humans and animals and the responsibility that humans have to treat them in a manner that promotes their well-being. This module will engage you to think about Animal Perception. You will learn how to Assess and Manage Animal Welfare and gain an understanding of Animal Protection, Rescue and Health Services.
  • Develop your skills as a learner and apply those to your work - learn to plan and conduct research. Discover ways that research skills can improve both the performance and sustainability of any business. Research Project 1 takes you through learning how to research in a very practical and methodical way. With so much literature available, honing skills in study and presentation is vital in this level of education and in the workplace.

What You Will Do

  • Activity Example 1.
    • Contact a veterinary service, animal welfare service or animal rescue service. Find out what their procedure is for providing first aid to an animal which has been hit by a car or other motor vehicle.
  • Activity Example 2
    • Observe an animal kept as a pet. It could be owned by one of your family members, a friend, neighbour, or someone else you know. Note how healthy the animal appears to be, how its owner(s) treat it, how it behaves, and if possible ask them about the animal's health history, any behavioural problems, and what (if anything) they have done to train it.
  • This course is packed with hands-on practical activities and tasks to ensure you are confident in a range of situations you may face working with animals. There is as least one activity for every lesson studied! Use your tutors for support and guidance on anything you might find challenging.

Start Your Career in Professional Animal Care

Studying at this level, you will become confident in recognising poor health. Below is some signs to watch out for in dogs specifically.  

There are degrees of ill health ranging from the animal that is merely being ‘off-colour’ to one that is desperately ill. A dog that looks "not quite right" should be observed closely until it appears fully recovered. Early diagnosis of serious illness is often necessary to save the dog. Checking the vital signs is the first step to establishing if the animal required further veterinary attention. Seriously ill dogs should receive immediate veterinary attention.

Signs of disease present in two different ways:

  1. A general disease condition where the dog is ‘off-colour’ and will not eat.

  2. A local problem (e.g. tooth decay, local abscess, or broken bone).

In the general disease condition, the dog is usually lethargic, in many cases because of fever, although it may be because of a sub normal temperature. Lethargy is normally accompanied by decreased appetite and subsequent loss of weight.  Loss of weight can also occur while a dog is eating its normal diet, due to diarrhoea, kidney disease, diabetes or bleeding in the intestinal tract. 

The first sign to watch out for is a dog’s refusal to eat or drink. A normally vigorous eater refusing its food is a sure sign something is wrong. Fussy or picky feeders can make this sign less obvious and knowing the dog well will help determine if changes in eating patterns have emerged. 

A second sign of feeding changes is to watch for an overly hunger dog. If you have not changed the quantity of food supplied and drinking water is disappearing faster than normal, it is evident your dog’s nutritional requirements may not be being met. The animal will either have diarrhoea or will become constipated. The passing of urine might also cease. Changes to appetite and eating behaviour often accompany the intake of medications.

Other signs include dull eyes, the mucous membranes may have dried or changed colour. Deep red membranes indicate fever; pale membranes show anaemia; yellow membranes indicate a liver disorder, while blue-red membranes show heart and circulatory problems, or pneumonia.

A slightly increased pulse rate suggests pain, while a rapid pulse suggests fever. An irregular pulse can indicate heart trouble. In a very sick animal, the pulse is weak and feeble. The vital signs of a sick animal will change. The temperature may go up or down. A rise in temperature of one or two degrees usually indicates pain, while a rise of more usually indicates infection.



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Cheryl Wilson

Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture, equine and education industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. She graduated with a B.Sc.(Hons), HND Horse Mgt, C&G Teaching Cert. For several years, Cheryl managed the distance
Alison Pearce

Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ACS students. She has worked as a University Lecturer, has also run a veterinary operating theatre; responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniqu
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