How to Start a Career in Animal Psychology

A young man in a hoodie and jeans kneels facing a joyful golden retriever, engaging in a playful high-five with the dog on a light background.

Have you ever looked at a dog and wondered what it was thinking? That’s what animal psychologists do for a living: analyse the behaviours of animals to get an idea of what might be going on inside their heads. Furthermore, animal psychologists use these insights to help animals with behavioural issues. And while this career isn’t for everybody, it can be pretty rewarding for curious animal lovers with a desire to help their furry friends.

How do you make the leap from a run-of-the-mill animal lover to a certified animal psychologist, though? Fortunately, that’s what we’re here to talk about today. Read on to learn how you can jumpstart your career as an animal psychologist.

Education Plan

Much like human psychologists, the path to becoming an animal psychologist is straightforward, often sharing similarities with the role of a zoologist. Generally, animal Psychology Courses start at the post-secondary level. Interested high school students should focus on sciences like biology and chemistry, foundational subjects for a zoologist. Math and geology are also vital for careers in environmental studies.

For undergraduate courses, studying psychology is a wise starting point. It's important to choose science and animal-related electives such as ecology and zoology. While some schools offer animal Psychology Courses at the undergraduate level, these are not widespread. Fortunately, you can also explore these topics through online courses. Introductory online courses in animal psychology provide a broad understanding of the field, akin to the foundational knowledge a zoologist needs. Similarly, online Dog Training courses can offer additional practical experience and insights specifically related to canine behavior, complementing your studies in animal psychology.

What do animal psychologists do?

We briefly touched on some of the duties of animal psychologists, but in reality, they do a lot more than stare at animals and try to guess how they’re feeling. Often, an animal psychologist’s career is heavily research-based, meaning that animal psychologists spend much of their time analysing animal behaviours, compiling data, and then presenting their findings in research papers. That’s why we would only recommend this career to an animal lover of the first degree who can’t get enough of those data numbers. If you find yourself more inclined to research, check out some of the best online Animal Psychology Courses available right now. Anyone serious about pursuing a career in animal psychology will take it upon themselves to learn as much as they can about the field.

Where do animal psychologists work?

Most animal psychologists starting will work in zoos and animal rescue centres, to name a few. Animal psychologists working in these areas will mostly be helping animals who have behavioural issues. This part of the practice may also work with private animal owners. The other field of animal psychology, which we discussed earlier, concerns academic research and the presentation of these research findings. Most of this research involves the analysis and improvement of current animal psychology practices, as well as understanding animal behaviour in a way to promote best environmental practices.

The life of an animal psychologist can be pretty intriguing, so what are you waiting for? Check out the Dog Psychology Courses and the Psychology Counselling Degree available on Get Course and learn about the potential Cays you can get your future in motion.

For those passionate about understanding animal behavior and contributing to their welfare, pursuing Animal Behaviour Courses and a Certificate in Zoology from Zoology Courses is a strategic step. These Animal Care Courses offer in-depth knowledge of animal biology, ecology, and conservation, providing a strong foundation for a career in animal psychology, research, or conservation. It's an enriching addition to your educational journey, opening up diverse opportunities in the field of animal sciences. Diving into animal psychology offers a fascinating glimpse into animal behaviors, and for those with a passion for equines, pursuing a Horse Care Course and Horse Courses online can be a rewarding specialisation.