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Getting Registered & Certified

Certification Overview and Continuing Education
Discovering Animal Therapy Certification.

There are many certification programs available to individuals interested in various fields using animal therapy. While there is no single accrediting body for animal-assisted therapy, college/universities and other organizations across the U.S. have certification programs involving on-campus courses, distance learning (online), and a combination of both.


Certification programs differ based on the level of interest.  As a student or one seeking noted certification, you may want an introduction to the theories behind human-animal interactions and the 'human-animal bond.' In addition, there are other programs that are specialized or interdisciplinary that examines both animal welfare and human psychology. 

Accredited Certification

It is suggested that organizations and individuals working in the field of animal-assisted therapy should enroll in a certificate program that is accredited such as the American Association for Veterinary State Boards or the International Association for Continuing Education and Training. The Lacey Family Foundation looks for individuals and groups that have participated in such certification programs as well as registered animals used in these treatments.


Please find a list of recognized registration and certification programs below.

Popular Career Options

Individuals who get their certification in animal-assisted therapy may go on to start their own practice.  Having certification and an educational background in animal-assisted therapy can provide assurances which in turn can open doors to several different careers.


Some of these include:

  • Animal-assisted therapy specialist

  • Holistic counselor

  • Animal care research associate

  • Patient services technician

Recognized Registration & Certification Programs

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