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Veterinary Physical Therapist Starting Entry Level Salary: $28,950 to $30,900

$36,000 is the median salary with one to four years of experience.

Animal Assisted Therapists Starting Entry Level Salary: $25,000 to $28,000

I do not know how many times I have walked by posters of animals needing to be adopted from rescue agencies and sighed. I have wished at least a hundred times that I could buy a couple of hundred acres of land with a house and a huge barn, so I could rescue a few dozen of the animals that have been abandoned or may have never known what it's like to feel loved or showered with baby-talk from their care taker. Only once in my life have I ever bought a dog from a pet store, and that was when I was something like 6 years old, so I did not even know rescue centers existed. If I had known about them I would have thrown myself on the ground and held my breath until my parents allowed me to have one I could save. The bond between a human and their beloved animal is immensely strong.

  • 63% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to approximately 69.1 millions homes
  • 45% of U.S. households own more than one pet

  • It is estimated that a total of $38.4 billion will be spent on pet-related expenses for 2006; up $2.1 billon in 2005. Veterinary services make up $9.4 billion of the expenses, which also include food, supplies, medicine, live animal purchases and pet services.

    From luxury items to high-tech toys and products for our companions, our purchases extend beyond traditional necessities. A 2005 APPMA (American Pet Products Manufacturers Association)trend report asked survey participants where they spent their money for their dogs or cats annually. Here is a selection of their results.

    Hotels that were continually snubbed for lack of a pet welcome mat have quickly adopted pet-friendly policies. Several chains have announced their new pet-friendly declarations that include items such as oversized pet pillows, lush doggie robes and welcome gift baskets specifically for the pet. They have not stopped there, though. You can now find hotel chains that offer kitty and doggie bed turn-down service, recreational accommodations where dogs sip fresh water from flowing fountains, and soothing dog massage by a Veterinary Physical Therapist or Animal Assisted Therapist.

    Cats are not being left out of the luxury environment. Cat owners can meditate in yoga classes while their cats relieve stress by playing in the recreation toy gym or relaxing in the feline spa, complete with certified therapists and herbal catnip treats.

    What do Veterinary Physical Therapist and Animal Assisted Therapists do?

    Veterinary Physical Therapist
    The physical therapist provides services aimed at preventing the onset and/or the treatment of conditions resulting from injury, disease, and other causes that affect mobility. Veterinary Physical Therapists play a major role in the healthcare of our beloved companions as well as livestock, zoo animals, athletic sporting animals and laboratory animals. Both Veterinary Physical Therapists and Animal Assisted Therapists work with traditional veterinary services and medicine where they offer another option to health care for the benefit of animal patients.

    Animal Assisted Therapist
    Animal Assisted Therapists study and identify behavioral patterns in animals and apply techniques to improve mental, social and physical issues within humans through animal/human companionship. In addition, Animal Assisted Therapists also assist human patients with acute or chronic diseases by the utilization of animals as a therapeutic practice to facilitate healing and rehabilitation. There have been case studies showing that patients who have been introduced to animals as companions have recovered at a quicker pace.
    A non-profit organization called Therapet Animal Assisted Therapy Foundation employs animals for the healing and rehabilitation of severe and chronically ill individuals who spend a large amount of time in hospitals. These experiences have created very positive results.

    Why choose a career as a Veterinary Physical Therapist or Animal Assisted Therapist?

    Animal assisted therapy involves much more than just the animal. A career as a Veterinary Physical Therapist or Animal Assisted Therapist improves the quality of life for both animals and people. No matter what area a person chooses, the benefits are astounding, and Physical Therapists and Animal Assisted Therapists go home every night knowing they placed another puzzle piece to create a happier life for their clients.

    If you have a passion for working with furry, fluffy or even feathery or scaley friends, your options are as varied as a televised Dog Show.



    1. i want ot have a career with animals

      i am very interested in working with animals, and your animal assisted course sounds wonderful, how do i begin my career?

    2. Veterinary careers

      Animal Assistants and therapists are partners in medicine that help both the people and their companions. A hot topic among older veterinarians has been the need for new veterinarians in rural areas for mixed animal care – farm and pet health care. So when you’re beginning your career considers a location change. The best way to start a career in Animal health care is to be inspired, the next step is to contact a school for information on enrollment, available schedules and tuition options such as scholarships and financial aid. American Kennel Club and the Trust of New England both offer scholarships for Veterinary industry careers

      Veterinary Technicians,Veterinary_Technician.html

      Veterinary Assistants,Veterinary_Assistant.html

      Veterinary Technology,Veterinary_Technology.html

    3. QuiteHelpful

      i think it was pretty good i think you can add a few pitures and such

    4. animals rock

      i love animals they are the best thing they make me have so many questions how do they find a way to live how so they know were to live........

    5. Career as a Veterinary Physical Therapist

      I am extremely interested in pursuing a career as a Veterinary Physical Therapist. I would like to obtain information on what type of education/training is required. I have a background in medicine/science, and a B.A. in Economics from Penn State University. Please advise - would like to know what the next step is? Thank you in advance!

    6. Since Veterinary Physical Therapist is still a very new career there are very few colleges that offer this as a course. This is a great career for someone who is in one or the other career currently and wants to advance or move their career in a different direction. My suggestion for someone who would like to become a Veterinary Physical Therapist is to pursue a Veterinary Assistant career and than take separate courses in Physical Therapist or Animal related physical therapy through a variety of seminar offered classes.

      A more expensive option is to obtain one degree and than the other. I believe this is more of a personal choice than a requirement. Either way I sincerely believe that a career as a Veterinary Physical Therapist is a growing career based on my research and seeing how far people will go for the love of their pet companions.

    7. Question about obtaining a degree with Physical Therapy

      Hey this page really opened up my eyes and I was thinking of Physical Therapy for animals, but my school only really offers courses where I can be a Physical Therapist generally to help people. Can I still take courses in that in order to become one for animals? I'm not sure how to approach this as a career. Thank you.


      Currently, there are around two dozen veterinary physical therapists practicing in the United States as well as some in Canada, Europe, and elsewhere. But a lot more are needed. A veterinary physical therapist career begin with physical therapy education and train, so you are on the right track.

      Because veterinary physical therapy is so new there are very few professional training facilities to meet the demand. Those who are interested in veterinary physical therapy should continue their study in courses such as animal behavior and anatomy. Courses can be found at various locations throughout the U.S.

      it is highly recommended that a student of physical therapy not only finish their people physical therapy but get their entry level experience in the real world of physical therapy. Call your local animal shelter and inquire about volunteering. They may be able to help locate local seminar and trainings sessions in animal physical therapy.


      I just recently learned about the career opportunities in Animal-assisted therapy. I really dont know what all my options are yet but I know this is perfect for me. Thing is, I dont know what kind of degree to achieve to begin this career... HELP! I have been looking and it seems that there are no specific AAT colleges.

    10. Animal Assisted Therapy

      As this is a relatively unusual field, there aren't many specialized education routes you can take, and it might take some digging to find good ones. One distance learning course is promoted at, and the Delta Society has further information and links. Two good places to start.

    11. hi

      I'm a foreigh trained Physical therapist.I m interested in becoming a Vet PT. SInce I already have a foreign degree, can you please tell me the procedure for it. Also, do I have to get a licence for practicing Physical Therapy in the US before I can persue with this profession? please advise

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