Course Description

The Certificate in Animal Care has been specially custom designed for pet owners and it will teach you all the things you need to know about how to properly care for your pets and animals.

This course teaches you all the things you wish you knew about your pet – how to administer first aid, correct nutrition, health and identifying disease. You'll also get heaps of included learning materials and access to Open Space, the online learning community portal, so you can share your learning with other pet lovers online.

This course could even be a stepping stone to a career in the pet care industry, or towards other Animal Care courses available through Open Colleges. The course even covers information on shelters and animal shows as well as grooming and bathing, with a focus on cats and dogs.

If you love your pet and want to learn more about animals, this course could be a great way to learn. You can achieve this course in your own time, at your own pace, paying as you go via Open Colleges’ flexible payment structure, building this course around your current work or study commitments

Potential career outcomes

  • Animal Care Attendant
  • Pet Shop Employee
Course number E0015
Course name Certificate in Animal Care
Course duration Maximum 18 months
Delivery Method Online
Assessments Multiple choice questions, Written assessments
Awarded by
  • Open Colleges (Provider number: 90796)


There are no formal education entry requirements for this course.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 16 years old. If you are under 18 your enrolment form will need to be signed by a parent or guardian.


This course involves reading and undertaking a range of written assessments, as well as engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 10 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 10 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate II level or higher; or
  • 2 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to by Open Colleges.


You will need access to a computer and the internet and have basic computing skills. Minimum specifications for your computer are:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 or equivalent
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 2GB of RAM
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Adobe Reader XI or equivalent
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher.
  • Access to printer and associated software
  • Access to scanner and associated software
  • Digital imaging software
  • File compression software.

Windows users:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 8 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Mac OS users:

  • Mac OSX v10.5 or higher (Mac OSX v10.6 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.

  • Background to animal care
  • Education for animal care
  • Safety, and effective handling of animals
  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Other companion animals
  • Care of birds and fish
  • All about horses
  • Terminology in the field of animal care
  • Introduction to the anatomy of animals
  • Arthrology and mycology
  • Blood vascular system
  • The digestive system
  • The genitor-urinary and respiratory systems
  • The nervous system
  • The endocrine system
  • Signs of health and disease
  • Common diseases of dogs and cats
  • Canine infectious hepatitis
  • Hygiene/sanitation in the care of animals
  • Basic first aid for animals
  • Bandaging/wound dressing for animals
  • Immunity, vaccination and quarantine
  • Animal care products
  • Weights and measures
  • Animal foods and diets
  • Pet shops
  • Shelters, hospitals, kennels and catteries
  • Grooming, manicuring and bathing
  • Animal shows and competitions



What are my payment options?

Pay in full

If you pay your course fees up-front in full, you’ll benefit from a discount. When you pay in full, we don’t have to spend extra money on administration for tasks such as payment plan processing. Instead, we get to pass this saving onto you in the form of a discount.

ZipMoney Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility in your finances, and want to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, you can switch to a zipMoney payment plan. Essentially, zipMoney pays your course fees for you, and you pay this loan back over 24, 36 or 48 months. As long as you are eligible, you can switch to a zipMoney plan at any time.

Payment Plan

Pay for you course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

Find out more

Catherine Ford

Catherine has been a veterinary nurse for over 30 years and has been involved in many areas of the industry and worked with many different species. Her first position in the industry was working with the Animal Welfare League as an animal attendant, where she enrolled in a course called Animal Care, today known as Animal Studies, and Veterinary Nursing.

Catherine’s career has included working at a variety of specialist hospitals, as well as Waratah Park, Abbott Animal Health and TAFE. She is also involved in the Greyhound Adoption Program.

Included materials (valued at $135)

  • Small Animal Care & Management textbook
  • Physical Examination & Bandage Care DVD
  • Handling & Restraint of the Horse DVD
  • Small Animal Nursing DVD

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Weekly and fortnightly payment plans are also available when you pay online.

Click Enrol Now and choose a payment plan or call an Education Advisor on 1300 161 345 for more details.