Careers in Animal Osteopathy

Have you considered a career in animal osteopathy? Or perhaps you’re the parent of someone who seems perfect for the job? Whether you’re a student considering your next step or an existing professional, if you’ve got a passion for animals, an animal therapy career is a great choice. Regardless of your background and whether you currently work with animals, there are re-training options to suit you. You can learn more about animal therapy here. Let’s find out how to become an animal therapist and what you can expect from this career.

What is Animal Osteopathy?

Animal osteopathy aims to maintain the functions of an animal’s muscles, joints and organs by easing tension and removing restrictions. Mobilisation, massage techniques and specialist equipment help to improve blood flow, aid healing, maintain nerve function, and restore symmetry and balance. It is sometimes called veterinary osteopathy, but rather than being a substitute for veterinary care, animal therapists work alongside veterinarians. 

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When is Animal Osteopathy used?

Osteopathy is performed on many species, from dogs to horses. In the UK, equine osteopathy has long been established. However, there is an increasing demand for osteopathy treatments for other species, including dogs, cats, cattle and exotic pets. There are two types of animals that can benefit from this practice. Firstly, healthy animals who are very active or compete regularly can receive regular osteopathy treatments to maintain function and mobility. Secondly, a veterinarian can recommend osteopathy after an examination to rule out the need for veterinary intervention.

What does an Animal Osteopathy career involve?

Animal osteopathy provides rich experiences on a day to day basis, animal therapy career is generally chosen by people who like to work with animals, like to have different work environments, combine inside and outside work.

A variety of animals

As an animal osteopath, you will get the opportunity to treat lots of animals. If your passion lies with eventing horses or agility dogs, you can make that the focus of your training and career. However, if not, you will be able to meet and treat a wide range of animals.

Life on the road

If you love the great outdoors, an animal osteopathy career might appeal to you. You can travel between racing yards, farms, and kennels, and people’s homes. Don’t be put off if you don’t like facing the elements, though. You have the option to set up a practice and have clients visit you instead.

Run your own business

If you want the freedom to set your working hours, osteopathy could be a great option. Most trained animal osteopaths choose to become self-employed, although there are other options.

An attractive salary

The salary earned by an animal osteopath depends on their level of experience and where you are employed or self-employed. While you might expect to start on £18K, the average yearly salary is around £25K, with some senior practitioners earning £60K or more.

How to become an Animal Osteopath?

There are animal osteopathy training courses available in the UK and further afield. The type of course you choose will depend on whether you’re currently working, or you’ve just come out of education. There are courses available with hours to suit your lifestyle, providing a combination of theory-based and practical study. The length and depth of training you undertake will depend on your current skills and qualifications, and whether you want to specialise in one species.

Why study at ESAO?

The European School of Animal Osteopathy has almost 30 years of experience in training the next generation of animal osteopaths and animal manual therapists. It prioritises animal welfare and ensures thorough and complete knowledge by providing a combination of theory, practical, and digital learning. With campuses in the UK and France, the opportunity to spend time learning abroad is also appealing, and with access to future employment opportunities overseas, those with a desire to travel need look no further. More about the school can be found here.


If you or a student you know are looking for a job where you care for animals, with a good salary and work-life balance, why not consider an animal therapy career? The ESAO training programs have options to suit students and existing professionals, so what are you waiting for?

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