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Durham College was an amazing experience from the faculty to the facilities and I've had the privilege of meeting some of the greatest people I wil [...]

Chelsea Maurer
Animal Care
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I chose the program because I love animals and want to do what I can to help them. 

Michelle Winkler
Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary Assistant

Animal Care

Animal Care

Animals are important members of our families and play a significant role in society. Animal care workers perform a variety of key functions in different settings to help ensure animals are cared for so they can enjoy a high quality of life. Through this program you will learn about animal behaviours, nutrition, wellness, handling, basic care procedures, legislation and ethics to give you the required knowledge and skills to be a valued member of an animal care team.

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Program Description

Effective client relations with pet owners are fundamental to providing quality pet care. This one-year, two-semester program will give you the knowledge and skills to become a valued member of an animal facility. You will learn about:

  • Animal behaviour, nutrition, wellness and welfare
  • Handling and restraint of domestic animals
  • Basic animal care procedures
  • Animal legislation and ethics
  • Client service skills
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Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Mature Student Status
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 biology (C, M or U)
  • Two additional senior level credits

Please note: This program may be highly competitive and have a specific selection process and application deadline. For more information, please contact or call 905.721.3126.

Pre-Placement Requirements

To be eligible for the field placement component of this program you must (at your expense) provide:

  • A clear and current Criminal Reference Check (CRC)
  • Current Level C CPR certificate from a recognized provider
  • Current standard first aid certificate from a recognized provider
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Career Options


  • Animal care attendant
  • Kennel attendant
  • Wildlife rehabilitation assistant
  • Farm worker
  • Salesperson
  • Veterinary assistant


  • Grooming facilities
  • Humane societies
  • Pet stores
  • Animal control facilities
  • Veterinary clinics and associated companies
  • Wildlife rehabilitation centres
  • Zoos
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Program Costs

YEAR ONE FEESDomesticInternational
Compulsory Ancillary$1,141$1,541
Program Incidental$0$0
Total Fees:$4,438$14,610

Please note: fees are based on the 2016-2017 academic year and do not include textbooks. For more information please see Other fees to consider.

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Field Placement

Your learning experience will be complemented by a field placement in an animal care environment, which will provide you with practical, hands-on experience and the opportunity to apply the theories and concepts learned in the classroom through the duration of the Animal Care program.

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Opportunities For Degree Completion Or Additional Credentials

Qualified graduates may be eligible to apply their academic credits toward further study through Durham College’s partnerships with many Canadian and international colleges and universities. 

Please visit the Transfer Guide for more information.

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  • code: ACAR
  • Program length: Two semesters
  • Credential awarded: Ontario College Certificate
  • Location: Whitby
  • School: School of Health & Community Services (HCS)
  • Domestic tuition: $3,298 (CDN)
  • Intake Statuses
    • Program intake status is Open Open: September 2017
    • Program intake status is Open Open: January 2018
  • International Intake Statuses
    • Program intake status is Closed Closed: September 2017
    • Program intake status is Closed Closed: January 2018
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