Animal Chiropractor Career Profile

Do you want to work as an Animal Chiropractor?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for your career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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18 February 2024

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What is an Animal Chiropractor?

An Animal Chiropractor performs adjustments to the joints and vertebrae of animals to alleviate pain, restore balance, and improve overall performance.

Doggy 1


Very few countries do allow registered Chiropractors who studied to work on humans to also work on animals. BUT, most countries DO NOT allow this. You must be a fully qualified veterinary doctor to use chiropractic techniques on animals.

Alternative Names

The known and accepted alternative names for an animal chiropractor include:

  • Veterinary Chiropractor
  • Animal Manipulator
  • Animal Spinal Therapist
  • Animal Chiropractic Practitioner
  • Veterinary Spinal Therapist
  • Certified Animal Chiropractor
  • Certified Veterinary Chiropractor

Career Categories

The Animal Chiropractor falls within the following Career Categories:

  • Health
  • Business
  • Specialist

What does an Animal Chiropractor do?

Groups of animals an Animal Chiropractor works with

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Dogs List Icon OZT
Critters List Icon OZT
Farm Animals Icon OZT
Farm Animals
Mammals List Icon OZT

Animal chiropractors can work with a wide variety of animals. The type of animals they work with can depend on their training, certifications, and experience. Common animals an animal chiropractor may work with include:

  • Domestic pets (dogs, cats)
  • Horses
  • Farm animals (cows, pigs, goats, and sheep)
  • Exotic animals (birds, reptiles, rodents, and ferrets)
  • Performance animals (racehorses, show dogs)
  • Zoo animals
  • Wild animals (in some cases, with proper licensure and permits)

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With whom does an Animal Chiropractor work?

Animal chiropractors work closely with animal owners, veterinarians, and sometimes other animal care professionals like trainers or behaviourists. Here’s how they typically interact with each other:

Animal Owners:

Animal chiropractors directly interact with animal owners or caregivers. They discuss the animal’s condition, behaviour, medical history, and treatment goals. They may also provide guidance on at-home care or lifestyle changes to support the animal’s recovery or overall well-being.


Animal chiropractors often work in conjunction with veterinarians. They may require a referral from a veterinarian before treating an animal. Also, they may need to communicate with the referring veterinarian about the animal’s progress and any additional diagnostic or therapeutic measures that may be needed.

Other Animal Care Professionals:

Depending on the case, an animal chiropractor may collaborate with other animal care professionals, such as trainers, behaviourists, physical therapists, or nutritionists. This multidisciplinary approach can help address various aspects of the animal’s health and well-being.

What does an Animal Chiropractor focus on?

Animal chiropractors apply manual adjustments to the joints, muscles, and bones of animals to alleviate pain, restore mobility, and promote overall health and wellness.

What are the daily tasks of an Animal Chiropractor?

The daily tasks of an animal chiropractor may vary depending on the setting in which they work (e.g., private practice, academic institution, animal rehabilitation centre) and the type of animals they specialise in treating. However, common tasks may include:

Consultation with Animal Owners/Caregivers:

Meet with animal owners or caregivers to discuss the animal’s condition, medical history, and treatment goals.

Examination of Animals:

Perform a physical examination of animals to assess their musculoskeletal health, including the spine, limbs, and joints.

Diagnostic Testing:

Depending on the case, animal chiropractors may use diagnostic imaging (e.g., x-rays, MRI, CT scans) or other tests (e.g., gait analysis) to further assess the animal’s condition.

Treatment Planning:

Develop a personalised treatment plan for each animal, considering their unique needs, conditions, and goals.

Chiropractic Adjustments:

Perform manual adjustments to correct misalignments, reduce pain, restore mobility, and improve overall well-being.

Post-Treatment Evaluation:

Evaluate the animal’s response to treatment, adjust the treatment plan as needed, and provide guidance on at-home care.


Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of each animal’s assessment, treatment plan, progress, and any recommendations or referrals made.

Continuing Education and Professional Development:

Stay informed about advancements in animal chiropractic care and related fields by attending workshops, seminars, and conferences, and pursuing certifications or advanced training.

Networking and Collaboration:

Build relationships with other animal care professionals, such as veterinarians, trainers, and behaviourists, to provide comprehensive care to animals.

Administrative Tasks:

Handle administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, billing, and managing the business aspects of a private practice, if applicable.

With what kind of tools and technology (if any) does an Animal Chiropractor work?

An animal chiropractor primarily relies on their hands and manual skills to perform chiropractic adjustments. However, they may use various tools and technology to assist in assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring progress. Some of the tools and technology an animal chiropractor may use include:

Diagnostic Imaging:

X-rays, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT (Computed Tomography) scans, and ultrasound are used to diagnose musculoskeletal issues and monitor progress.

Adjusting Tools:

Some animal chiropractors use special tools, such as handheld adjusting instruments or drop tables, to perform adjustments with precision and control.

Rehabilitation Equipment:

In some cases, animal chiropractors may work with rehabilitation equipment, such as treadmills, underwater treadmills, or balance boards, to support the animal’s recovery.

Gait Analysis Systems:

These systems analyse an animal’s gait (walking or running pattern) to identify any abnormalities or asymmetries that may indicate underlying musculoskeletal issues.

Laser Therapy:

Low-level laser therapy can be used to reduce pain, inflammation, and promote tissue healing.

Electrical Stimulation:

Electrical stimulation techniques like TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) or NMES (Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation) may be used to relieve pain, reduce muscle spasms, and promote muscle re-education.

Ultrasound Therapy:

Ultrasound therapy can be used to promote tissue healing and reduce inflammation.

Rehabilitation Exercises and Equipment:

Animal chiropractors may provide guidance on specific exercises and use equipment like physio balls or balance discs to help strengthen muscles and improve balance and coordination.

Post-Treatment Monitoring Tools:

Animal chiropractors may use various tools and technologies to monitor an animal’s progress after treatment, such as force plates to measure weight distribution or range of motion measuring devices.

Computerised Systems for Documentation:

Many animal chiropractors use computerised systems for documenting treatment plans, progress notes, and communications with referring veterinarians.

Telemetric Assessment Tools:

These tools may include sensors and software that measure and analyse animal movements, posture, and muscle activity remotely, providing valuable insights into an animal’s musculoskeletal health.

Patient Positioning Aids:

Such as harnesses, pillows, or supports, to ensure the animal is positioned correctly during treatment and to help keep them comfortable and relaxed.

It’s important to note that, while these tools and technologies can be beneficial, an animal chiropractor’s hands-on skills and experience are fundamental to providing safe and effective care.

In which environment does an Animal Chiropractor work in?

What are the environment and places of employment like?

Animal chiropractors’ working environments and places of employment can vary based on their specialisation, practice type, and clientele. Here are some possible working environments:

Private Practice:

Many animal chiropractors operate their own private practices, which may be located in clinics or dedicated chiropractic centres. This allows them to control their schedules, patient load, and practice style.

Veterinary Clinics/Hospitals:

Some animal chiropractors work in veterinary clinics or animal hospitals. They may be part of a larger team of veterinarians and other animal care professionals.

Animal Rehabilitation Centres:

Animal chiropractors may work in animal rehabilitation centres that provide a range of therapies, including chiropractic care, physical therapy, and hydrotherapy.

Equine Facilities:

Equine chiropractors may work at stables, barns, or equestrian centres, treating horses on-site or travelling to different locations to provide care.

Farm Visits:

Animal chiropractors who specialise in farm animals may travel to farms to provide care for livestock such as cows, pigs, goats, and sheep.

Zoos or Wildlife Centres:

Some animal chiropractors may work with zoo or wildlife animals, providing chiropractic care to improve their overall well-being and quality of life.

Pet Owners’ Homes:

Some animal chiropractors offer mobile services, where they travel to pet owners’ homes to treat their animals, which can be particularly useful for clients with limited mobility or transportation.

Events and Shows:

Some animal chiropractors may provide their services at events and shows where animals compete or perform, such as horse shows, dog shows, or agility competitions.

Educational Institutions:

Some animal chiropractors may work in academic institutions, teaching courses related to animal chiropractic care or conducting research in the field.

Animal Rescue organisations:

Animal chiropractors may volunteer their services or work with animal rescue organisations to provide chiropractic care to animals in need.

What is the Average Yearly Salary for an Animal Chiropractor?

The average yearly salary or wages of an animal chiropractor can vary widely depending on factors such as geographic location, experience, level of education, the type of animals treated, and whether they work in a private practice or another setting. 

United States:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), chiropractors in general earned a median annual salary of approximately $70,340 as of May 2020. However, animal chiropractors typically earn less than human chiropractors, with estimates ranging from $35,000 to $60,000 per year based on anecdotal reports from the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) and other sources.


The average yearly salary for animal chiropractors in Canada can range from approximately $45,000 to $80,000 CAD, based on anecdotal reports.

United Kingdom (UK):

According to Prospects, a UK-based careers website, the average starting salary for chiropractors in the UK is approximately £22,000 to £28,000 per year. However, animal chiropractors may earn less than human chiropractors, so the actual salary could be lower.


There is limited information available on the salaries of animal chiropractors in India. However, the average salary of human chiropractors in India is estimated to be approximately ₹250,000 to ₹800,000 per year (INR).


The average yearly salary for animal chiropractors in Australia can range from approximately $50,000 to $100,000 AUD, based on anecdotal reports.

New Zealand:

Limited information is available on the salaries of animal chiropractors in New Zealand. However, the average salary of human chiropractors in New Zealand is estimated to be around $60,000 to $90,000 NZD per year.

Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa:

Information on the salaries of animal chiropractors in these countries is scarce, and it’s challenging to provide accurate estimates. However, salaries are generally lower compared to those in developed countries.

South America:

Information on the salaries of animal chiropractors in South American countries is limited. However, salaries are generally lower compared to those in developed countries.


Information on the salaries of animal chiropractors in European countries is limited. However, salaries are generally lower compared to those in developed countries.

Southeast Asia:

Information on the salaries of animal chiropractors in Southeast Asian countries is limited. However, salaries are generally lower compared to those in developed countries.

Can an Animal Chiropractor be promoted?

The most prominent promotion levels for an animal chiropractor are not officially designated or standardised in the same way as in some other professions. However, professionals in this field may pursue advanced education, take on greater responsibilities within their practice or organisation, and attain additional certifications to further specialise in their practice area. Here is an outline of possible advancement levels for an animal chiropractor under each heading:

Basic Certification in Animal Chiropractic

 After completing a veterinary or human chiropractic degree, animal chiropractors typically pursue specialized training in animal chiropractic through accredited programs, such as those offered by the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA), the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA), or other recognized organizations.

Advanced Certifications or Diplomate Status

Some animal chiropractors may pursue advanced certifications or diplomate status through additional coursework, case studies, examinations, and practical training. Examples include the Diplomate of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (DAVCA) and the Certification in Animal Chiropractic (CAC) from the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA).

Animal chiropractors may pursue postgraduate degrees or certifications in related fields such as animal biomechanics, rehabilitation therapy, or sports medicine to further enhance their expertise.

What difficulties does an Animal Chiropractor face?

Animal chiropractors may face various challenges in their profession, which can vary based on factors such as their working environment, specialisation, and individual circumstances. Some of these challenges include:

Physical Demands:

Animal chiropractic work can be physically demanding, especially when treating large or difficult animals. This can lead to strain or injury if proper techniques and precautions are not followed.

Safety Concerns (Especially for Animals):

Working with animals, especially those in pain or discomfort, can pose safety risks for animal chiropractors. They need to be aware of animal behaviour, have proper handling techniques, and use appropriate safety equipment to minimise the risk of injury.

Variability in Working Conditions:

Animal chiropractors may work in a variety of environments, from clinical settings to farms, zoos, or clients’ homes. Each setting has its own unique challenges, such as weather conditions, space limitations, or the need for specialised equipment.

Emotional Challenges:

Working with animals in pain or suffering from conditions can be emotionally challenging. Animal chiropractors need to manage their emotional responses while providing compassionate care to the animals and supporting their owners.

Business Management:

Animal chiropractors who operate their own practices must manage the business aspects of their practice, such as billing, scheduling, marketing, and maintaining client records. This can be time-consuming and requires additional skills beyond chiropractic care.

Regulatory Compliance:

Animal chiropractors need to comply with local and national regulations related to animal care, chiropractic practice, and veterinary medicine. This may involve obtaining specific licences, certifications, or permits, and adhering to professional standards of practice.

Continuing Education:

Animal chiropractors need to stay up-to-date with advances in animal chiropractic, veterinary medicine, and related fields. This requires a commitment to continuing education through workshops, seminars, conferences, and other professional development opportunities.

Unpredictable Work Hours:

Animal chiropractors may have unpredictable work hours, especially if they offer emergency or on-call services. This can lead to long days, weekend work, or last-minute schedule changes, which may require flexibility and good time management skills.

Building and Maintaining Client Relationships:

Animal chiropractors need to build and maintain strong relationships with animal owners or caregivers, veterinarians, and other animal care professionals. This requires effective communication, empathy, and trust-building skills.

Dealing with Difficult Clients or Animals:

Animal chiropractors may encounter difficult clients or animals, which can pose challenges to providing effective care. They need to be patient, adaptable, and able to handle various situations with professionalism and compassion.

It’s important to note that these challenges are not unique to animal chiropractic and are common in many healthcare professions. Animal chiropractors can address these challenges by maintaining their physical and mental health, seeking support from peers or mentors, and continuously learning and improving their skills.

Future Growth and Possibilities of the Career

Here are some of the trends and possibilities that may influence the future of the industry include:

Increased Awareness and Acceptance:

There is a growing awareness and acceptance of alternative and complementary therapies, including animal chiropractic care, among pet owners, animal caregivers, and veterinarians. This increased awareness may drive demand for animal chiropractic services.

Expanding Pet Industry:

The pet industry is experiencing significant growth globally, driven by factors such as increasing pet ownership rates, the humanization of pets, and a growing focus on pet health and wellness. As more pet owners seek holistic and preventive healthcare options for their animals, the demand for animal chiropractic care may increase.

Regulatory Changes and Standards:

Regulatory changes and the establishment of standardised educational and certification requirements for animal chiropractors may help improve the credibility and recognition of the profession, leading to increased demand.

Technological Advancements:

Technological advancements in diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation equipment, and telemedicine may enhance the quality and accessibility of animal chiropractic care, opening up new possibilities for treatment and expanding the reach of animal chiropractors.

Integration with Veterinary Care:

The integration of animal chiropractic care with traditional veterinary medicine is a growing trend. Some veterinarians are incorporating chiropractic care into their practice or collaborating with animal chiropractors to provide comprehensive care to animals. This trend may lead to increased referrals and partnerships between veterinarians and animal chiropractors.

Specialisation and Diversification:

Animal chiropractors may specialise in specific areas, such as equine chiropractic care, exotic animal care, or rehabilitation therapy, to meet the unique needs of different animal populations. This specialisation and diversification may drive growth in specific niches within the animal chiropractic field.

Consumer Demand for Holistic Care:

There is a growing consumer demand for holistic and integrative healthcare options for both humans and animals. This trend may lead to increased interest in animal chiropractic care as part of a comprehensive wellness plan for animals.

Economic Factors:

Economic factors, such as changes in disposable income levels and spending patterns, may influence the demand for animal chiropractic care. Economic downturns may lead to reduced spending on non-essential services, including veterinary and alternative healthcare services, while economic growth may stimulate demand.

Availability of Jobs


Which Skills and Personality Traits do Animal Chiropractors need?

The skills required for a career as an Animal Chiropractor can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills and personality traits, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life and a career. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills and Personality Traits:

Animal chiropractors, like all professionals in the healthcare and animal care fields, may possess a wide range of personality traits that can contribute to their success in their profession. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all list of specific personality traits for animal chiropractors, some common traits that may be beneficial include:


Animal chiropractors often work with animals in pain or discomfort, and having compassion and empathy for their animal patients and their owners is essential for providing effective care.


Treating animals often requires patience, especially when working with animals that may be anxious, in pain, or uncooperative.


Animal chiropractors must have strong attention to detail to accurately assess and diagnose animal conditions and to perform precise chiropractic adjustments.

Good Communication Skills:

Effective communication with animal owners, veterinarians, and other animal care professionals is critical for ensuring that patients receive the best possible care and for building strong client relationships.

Problem-Solving Skills:

Animal chiropractors must be able to think critically and solve problems quickly and effectively, especially when faced with complex cases or unexpected challenges.

Flexible and Adaptable:

The nature of animal care means that animal chiropractors must be adaptable to varying conditions and situations, and they must be flexible in their approaches to treatment.


Animal chiropractors need to be confident in their abilities and decisions, which helps them provide the best care possible to their patients.

Respectful of Animals:

Animal chiropractors must have a deep respect for animals and their natural behaviours and instincts.

Stress Management Skills:

Providing healthcare to animals can be demanding, both physically and emotionally, so animal chiropractors must have strong stress management skills to cope with the demands of their profession.

Strong Work Ethics:

Animal chiropractors must be committed to providing the best care possible to their animal patients, which often requires long hours and hard work.

Continuous Learners:

The field of animal chiropractic is constantly evolving, and animal chiropractors must be dedicated to staying up-to-date on the latest techniques, research, and best practices in the field.

It’s important to note that while these traits can be beneficial for animal chiropractors, individuals may possess a variety of other traits that contribute to their success in the profession. Additionally, the specific traits that are most important may vary depending on factors such as the type of animals they work with, their practice setting, and their personal preferences.

Life Skills

Career Skills:

  • compassion for animals
  • a steady and patient nature
  • ​interest in the biological sciences
  • good powers of observation
  • have respect and love for animals and the ability to work with them
  • good coordination to handle instruments
  • good vision, hearing, stamina and health
  • able to think and act quickly and calmly in response to sick animals​
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at School to help me prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become an Animal Chiropractor?

To become an animal chiropractor, you will need to complete a combination of academic and practical training in chiropractic care and animal anatomy. The specific educational requirements and coursework can vary by country or region, as well as by the accrediting body for animal chiropractic programmes. Here’s a general overview of the steps involved:

Minimum educational qualification

Undergraduate Degree:

Typically, a bachelor’s degree is required to gain admission to a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) programme. The degree can be in any subject, but coursework in biology, anatomy, physiology, and related sciences is beneficial.

Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) Degree:

The DC programme is a graduate-level professional degree that typically takes 3 to 4 years to complete. This programme provides a comprehensive education in chiropractic theory, practice, and clinical skills.

Animal Chiropractic Certification:

Following the DC degree, you will need to complete a specialized animal chiropractic certification program accredited by the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA) or the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). These programmes typically include coursework in animal anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, and chiropractic techniques for animals. Some programmes may also require clinical internships or externships.

Subject focus

Subjects for Further Study (if required):

Animal Anatomy and Physiology:

Advanced study in animal anatomy and physiology can provide a deeper understanding of animal musculoskeletal systems, which is essential for animal chiropractic practice.


Advanced study in biomechanics, especially as it relates to animal movement and locomotion, can be beneficial for understanding how forces and mechanics affect animal musculoskeletal health.

Advanced Studies (if necessary):

Master’s Degree in Animal Chiropractic:

Some programmes offer a Master’s degree in Animal Chiropractic, which can provide additional specialisation and training in the field. However, this level of education may not be necessary for all animal chiropractors.

Veterinary Chiropractic Certification (DACVCP):

For those who want to specialise further in animal chiropractic and have a veterinary degree, there is the option to pursue certification as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Chiropractic Practitioners (DACVCP). This certification involves completing a rigorous training programme, passing a series of examinations, and demonstrating competency in veterinary chiropractic care.

Optional Short Courses:

Equine Chiropractic:

Some programmes offer short courses or workshops specifically focused on equine chiropractic, which can provide additional skills and knowledge for those interested in working with horses.

Rehabilitation Techniques:

Courses in rehabilitation techniques, such as therapeutic exercises, hydrotherapy, or electrical stimulation, can complement chiropractic care and provide additional treatment options for animals.


Short courses or workshops in animal nutrition can provide valuable knowledge for animal chiropractors, as nutrition plays an essential role in overall health and wellness.

Study duration

The duration of a Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 4 years, and another 4 years for a Doctorate. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

​Possible Career Preparation Paths

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A preparation path is like a road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Here is a possible career preparation path for a high school student interested in pursuing a career as an animal chiropractor, based on the points you provided:

1. Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

Attend career guidance sessions offered by your high school to learn about different careers, including animal chiropractic. Gather information about the education and skills required for this career.

2. Research all Possible Careers:

Research various animal-related careers, including animal chiropractic, to understand the scope, responsibilities, and educational requirements of each.

3. Explore Educational Paths:

Research the educational paths to becoming an animal chiropractor. Determine whether you need to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a related field before applying to a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) programme or if you can apply directly after high school.

4. Align High School Subjects with the Educational Path:

Choose high school subjects that align with the educational path to becoming an animal chiropractor. Focus on subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, as well as any electives related to animal sciences or health sciences.

5. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent:

Complete high school with a strong academic record and obtain a high school diploma or equivalent qualification.

6. Learn about Animals that will Work With:

Gain knowledge about different animal species, their anatomy, physiology, and behaviour. This will help you understand the specific needs of animals you may work with as an animal chiropractor.

7. Align Post-School Path with Entering a Career/Job Directly, Studying Further or Starting a Business:

After high school, you may choose to pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree programme to become a licenced chiropractor. Alternatively, you may enter a pre-veterinary programme if you plan to pursue veterinary medicine and specialise in animal chiropractic later on.

8. Gain Experience through Volunteering, Internship, Mentorship, etc.:

Gain hands-on experience by volunteering at animal shelters, veterinary clinics, or animal rehabilitation centres. Seek internships or mentorship opportunities with licenced animal chiropractors to gain practical experience in the field.

9. Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Participate in extracurricular activities related to animals, healthcare, or chiropractic care to enhance your skills and demonstrate your commitment to the field.

10. Join Professional Associations:

Join professional associations or societies for animal chiropractors, such as the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA) or the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA), to network with professionals and stay updated on industry developments.

11. Gain Specialised Skills:

Develop specialised skills in animal handling, chiropractic techniques, and client communication. Attend workshops, seminars, and conferences to learn from experts in the field.

12. Network with Professionals:

Network with licensed animal chiropractors, veterinarians, and other professionals in the animal healthcare field. Build relationships with industry professionals who can provide guidance and support throughout your career.

13. Enter the Job Market, Finish Tertiary Studies, or Launch a Business:

After completing your education and gaining relevant experience, enter the job market as an animal chiropractor. Alternatively, you may choose to continue your studies, pursue advanced certifications, or start your own animal chiropractic business.

14. Stay Updated and Pursue Continuing Education:

Animal chiropractic is a constantly evolving field. Stay updated on the latest research, techniques, and best practices through continuing education, professional development opportunities, and membership in professional associations.

By following this career preparation path, you can set yourself up for a successful career as an animal chiropractor and make a positive impact on the health and wellness of animals.

Possible Combined career paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Training and Apprenticeship

On-the-job training and apprenticeship requirements for animal chiropractors can vary depending on the region, country, and accrediting body. However, here is an overview of the typical steps involved:

On-the-Job Training:

Supervised Clinical Practice:

After completing the required academic coursework and practical training, animal chiropractic certification programmes may require a certain number of hours of supervised clinical practice. This involves working under the guidance of a licenced and experienced animal chiropractor to gain hands-on experience in treating animal patients.

Continuing Education and Professional Development:

Animal chiropractors must continuously engage in continuing education to maintain their certification and stay up-to-date with advances in the field. This may involve attending workshops, seminars, conferences, or completing online courses.

Specialised Training:

Depending on their area of specialisation, animal chiropractors may pursue additional training in equine chiropractic, exotic animal care, rehabilitation therapy, or other areas. This specialised training may involve short courses, workshops, or certification programmes.


Apprenticeship with a Licenced Animal Chiropractor:

In some regions or countries, animal chiropractic certification programmes may require the completion of an apprenticeship with a licenced animal chiropractor. This apprenticeship involves working under the supervision of a licenced chiropractor to gain practical experience and knowledge in the field.

Observation and Hands-On Practice:

During the apprenticeship, the apprentice may observe the licenced chiropractor treating animal patients, assist with administrative tasks, and gradually gain more responsibility in providing hands-on treatment under supervision.

Clinical Cases and Case Studies:

Apprentices may also be required to work on specific clinical cases or case studies to demonstrate their understanding and application of animal chiropractic principles and techniques.

Duration and Requirements:

The duration and specific requirements of the apprenticeship may vary by programme, accrediting body, or region. Apprenticeships may last from several months to a year or more, depending on the program’s requirements and the apprentice’s progress.

It’s important for individuals interested in pursuing a career in animal chiropractic to research and choose accredited programmes and apprenticeships that meet the standards set by recognised accrediting bodies, such as the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA) or the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA), to ensure that their education and training are comprehensive and respected within the field.

Average level of education of those entering the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certifications, Registrations and Professional Associations

The specific licencing, certification, and legal registration requirements for animal chiropractors vary by country, region, and accrediting body. Here are some general guidelines that may apply:

Licencing and Certification:

Licenced Doctor of Chiropractic (DC):

In most countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, individuals must first become licenced as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) before pursuing a specialisation in animal chiropractic. This typically involves completing a Doctor of Chiropractic degree programme, passing national board exams, and obtaining a state or provincial licence to practice chiropractic care on humans.

Animal Chiropractic Certification:

To become a certified animal chiropractor, individuals must complete a specialized animal chiropractic certification program accredited by recognized accrediting bodies, such as the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA) or the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). These programmes typically include coursework in animal anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and chiropractic techniques for animals. Some programmes may also require clinical internships or externships.

Additional Certification:

Some regions or countries may require additional certification or registration with veterinary or animal health regulatory bodies to practice as an animal chiropractor. For example, in the United States, animal chiropractors may be required to obtain a Certification in Animal Chiropractic (CAC) or Diplomate of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (DAVCA) from the AVCA.

Legal Registration and Compliance:

State or Provincial Regulation:

In many countries, animal chiropractic is considered a form of veterinary medicine or alternative therapy, and as such, it may be regulated by state or provincial veterinary boards or health regulatory bodies. Animal chiropractors must comply with the regulations and standards set by these bodies, including obtaining any required licenses, permits, or registrations.

Professional Liability Insurance:

Animal chiropractors are encouraged to carry professional liability insurance to protect themselves in case of malpractice claims or other legal issues.

Ethical and Professional Standards:

Animal chiropractors must adhere to ethical and professional standards of practice, including maintaining client confidentiality, obtaining informed consent for treatment, and providing accurate and honest information to clients.

Continuing Education Requirements:

Many accrediting bodies and regulatory bodies require animal chiropractors to engage in ongoing continuing education to maintain their certification and stay up-to-date with advancements in the field.

It’s essential for individuals interested in becoming animal chiropractors to research and understand the specific licencing, certification, and legal registration requirements in their country, region, or jurisdiction. Additionally, animal chiropractors should stay informed about changes or updates to regulations and standards that may impact their practice.

Professional Associations

International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA):

  • Website:
  • Description: The IVCA is an international association that promotes animal chiropractic care through education, research, and professional standards. It offers certification programmes for animal chiropractors and accredits animal chiropractic programmes worldwide. The IVCA also hosts conferences, seminars, and workshops for continuing education and professional development.

American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA):

  • Website:
  • Description: The AVCA is a non-profit organisation that promotes animal chiropractic care and represents the interests of animal chiropractors in North America. It offers certification programmes for animal chiropractors and accredits animal chiropractic programmes in the United States and Canada. The AVCA also hosts annual conferences, seminars, and workshops for continuing education and professional development.

British Veterinary Chiropractic Association (BVCA):

  • Website:
  • Description: The BVCA is a professional association for animal chiropractors in the United Kingdom. It offers certification programmes for animal chiropractors and accredits animal chiropractic programmes in the UK. The BVCA also provides support and networking opportunities for animal chiropractors and promotes the benefits of animal chiropractic care.

European Chiropractors’ Union (ECU):

  • Website:
  • Description: The ECU is a professional association that represents chiropractors in Europe. While not specifically focused on animal chiropractic, the ECU provides a platform for networking and collaboration among European chiropractors. It also hosts conferences, seminars, and workshops on various topics related to chiropractic care.

International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM):

  • Website:
  • Description: The IVAPM is a global organisation that focuses on pain management in animals. While not specifically focused on animal chiropractic, the IVAPM provides education, resources, and support for veterinary professionals interested in pain management, including chiropractic approaches.

National Animal Chiropractic Association (NACA):

  • Website:
  • Description: The NACA is a professional association for animal chiropractors in the United States. It offers certification programmes for animal chiropractors and accredits animal chiropractic programmes in the US. The NACA also provides resources, education, and support for animal chiropractors and promotes the benefits of animal chiropractic care.

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal care and health.

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in gaining knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you thousands of FREE short courses.

A. You can access the specialised study guide that fits in with the above preparation path

B.  If you are still uncertain about choosing this career, then have a look at our special series of WHAT NEXT courses. They take you through all of the questions you might have on how to choose the right career, what to do while and after school, and even how to start your own business.

C.  Or, join OZT as a member to access easy-to-use lists of courses to make your career preparation as smooth as possible! And yes, membership is always free.

Join the OZT online community for special access to more tools!

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an Animal Chiropractor.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
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If you have decided on being an Animal Chiropractor, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

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