Who can become an animal osteopath?

Students who are entering animal osteopathic training can be broadly classified into two categories:

  1. Have completed a recognized training in other health professions such as veterinary, chiropractic, human osteopathy, physiotherapy, massage therapy, rehabilitation therapy, or musculoskeletal therapy.
  2. Are mature students with many years of experience as trainers, breeders, yard managers, farriers, and other animal care professionals.


What does it take to become a good animal osteopath?

  • Interest in the animal care field is the primary requirement.
  • Compassion for animals. You get to learn how to be empathetic, caring, and understanding towards animals who cannot verbalize their pain.
  • Patience, and tons of it. An animal in pain might be cranky and difficult to deal with; you might also be mentally prepared to deal with irate or stressed pet owners occasionally. 
  • Intelligence and determination to go through an osteopathic school because the syllabus is usually demanding and rigorous.


What body of knowledge is essential to an animal osteopath?

Over the course of studies, you will be studying the behavior, psychology, and interactions of animals. You will understand what implications animal living or working environment may have on their physical and psychological health. Though teaching approach in animal osteopathy may differ across schools, an Equine or Canine Osteopathy program should include the following disciplines.

  • Philosophy and principles of classical osteopathy as applied to animal health care;
  • Systemic and functional anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics of the locomotion system;
  • Fundamentals of neurophysiology;
  • Animal psychology, behavior and safe interaction with animal patients;
  • Osteopathic examination and physical evaluation skills,
  • Understanding of musculoskeletal conditions including age-related diseases and trauma;
  • Osteopathic techniques and treatment as applied to animals;
  • Communication skills with other professionals involved in the animal health and welfare field;
  • Legislative regulations applied to the treatment of animals.



International regulations for practicing osteopathy on animals.

In most countries, national laws overseeing human osteopathy do not extend to the treatment of animals. For example, In the United States and Canada, animal osteopathy is not yet regulated by federal or state laws. In the United Kingdom, the title of ‘‘animal osteopath’ may be used exclusively by human osteopaths who obtained postgraduate training in animal osteopathy. In the rest of Europe, the profession is currently establishing guidelines to education and practice standards. 

AOW Approved schools and training programs in animal osteopathy.

  1. European School of Osteopathy (UK based university)
  2. London College of Animal Osteopathy (Globally accessible programs in Canine and Equine Osteopathy)
  3. Osteopathic Center for Animals ( UK based training center)

Where can animal osteopaths work?

Most Animal Osteopaths work in private practices or in partnerships with other practitioners. Health care facilities for animals commonly employ or contract the services of an animal osteopath.

Why join AOW?

As an AOW member, you will become part of a growing global community of animal osteopaths where you may exchange ideas, ask for advice or share your experiences. As a group, we stand strong together and continue making a difference in a holistic approach to animal care.

How do I become a member of AOW?

You can register online by clicking here.