As an animal care assistant, you will be responsible for the daily care of the animals, typically under supervision. This duty is one that is done in organisations such as catteries, zoos, kennels, animal welfare centres, safari parks, grooming centres, veterinary hospitals and farm parks.
As an animal care assistant, you are bound to have more interaction with any animals present, so much so than any one else in the centre. The tasks that you will have to undertake are varied, however, they include the following:
- Grooming and cleaning the animals
- Making food & feeding them
- Helping to move animals from a location to the next
- Exercise the animals around the yard or take them out for walks
- Check for any distress or illness signs in the animals
- Clearing out animal accommodation
- Changing bedding
- Making sure the enclosures are properly maintained
- Ensuring relevant records are kept
Personal qualities and skills needed
As animal care assistant, you should be able to:
- Empathise with both humans and animals
- Handle animals in a manner that is firm yet gentle
- Effectively manage the time
- Enjoy working outside in all weather conditions
- Engage in effective communication with customers and colleagues alike
- Have great awareness of any workplace health & safety policies in place
- Work as part of an effective group, as well as on their won
- Be comfortable working with a vast array of varying animals
- Have great observational skills
- Monitoring vital signs of patients such as pulse, temperature, respiratory rates and other signs. Additionally, it could also be the job of an animal care assistant to check bandages, wounds, or intravenous fluids of the patients. This duty should, however, be under the supervision and direction of a veterinary nurse or surgeon.
- Offering appropriate water and food to patients by strictly following the guidelines laid down by the veterinary nurse or veterinary surgeon
Training and Education
There are actually no concrete educational requirements for an individual to become an animal care assistant, however, there are certain employers that ask for educational qualifications such as GCSEs. One thing you should however have is real enthusiasm and concern for animals and their welfare. You should also be willing to know more about animal care.
It is an advantage for an individual to have previous working experience, perhaps in a paid or volunteer position. As with all the animal care courses online it comes with accreditation, tutor support and 12 months course access.
When it comes to the educational courses one can take, it is possible to take the following in animal management: Certificate, Diploma and BTEC National Award. A Diploma and Certificate in either Levels 1,2, or 3 in animal care can also be used. You should be aware that the majority of these courses can be available at either a part time or full time basis.
It is also possible to start your career as an animal care assistant by going through the apprenticeship route. One of the main advantages of taking an animal care courses online with The Course Mix is that you once you enrol onto any course you can add the certification to your CV straight away.
This route involves having a structured training program with any centre for animals. These are just a few of the ways to get qualification to become an animal care assistant.