Functional Osteopathy - for those who want want to embrace holistic health for animals.

Copyright © 2018-2023. Herdwick & Goose Limited. All rights reserved.

We focus on safety & clinical competency.

AOI is a private educational provider founded on one simple principle. That those who work with animals should be appropriately trained to do so. From this belief grew a schedule of study for those who wish to use osteopathy’s unique art and science to treat animals. 

All our academic programmes are written in line with the UK’s Higher Education Framework – Level 6 and Level 7. 

Human osteopaths train for four years to treat human patients, and the degree is full-time. And it is vitally important that those who wish to use osteopathy to treat animals learn to the same depth. Osteopathy is not a practice to be learned without ongoing support (for discussion and clarity) and hands-on tutorage for clinical safety and proficiency. Only then can an educator ensure that content comprehension has been achieved. 

This is because in order to learn the anatomical, neurological, philosophical, environmental/behavioural, and pathological elements of equine or canine osteopathy, students need to be focused and committed and have a professional tutor at hand to help them with their theoretical and practical studies. This cannot be done effectively in an online-only model. Students need the support of a proper academic tutor and a team of lecturers who can teach them how to thoroughly assess and treat osteopathically. Only then can a student feel confident enough to go out into the big wide world and compete with highly qualified professionals.  

Without hands-on direction, a student of osteopathy can never learn the nuances of palpation, assessment, and technique, so they know (exactly) what they feel under their hands. This is an art that takes years to perfect, even for those who have spent many years in clinical practice.

Testimonial from a veterinarian (USA)

"For any veterinarian looking to increase or improve upon their clinical, diagnostic and manual treatment skills, osteopathy should be considered. This is a treatment and philosophy that embodies the canine as a whole integrating the environment and the individual. It is almost impossible to receive in-depth training in this modality in the US so there are very few trained US DVM/VMDs that can practice this medicine and science. Animal Osteopathy International is a group based in England that trains veterinarians, osteopaths, and body workers all over the world. Their courses start with a two year combined on-line and practicum format. The concepts are taught on-line via lectures and live webinars and the practicum is a week of intense individual hands-on learning. This course teaches you how to diagnose, with your hands, and treat in a gentle manner that allows the body to heal itself. The techniques are more gentle and in-depth than chiropractic treatments and the concepts are similar to Traditional Chinese Medicine. The treatments can be performed on young and old, athletes and pet dogs, and as a preventive or treatment for acute or chronic injuries and pain. It can be employed by general practitioners, rehab veterinarians, hospice and palliative care veterinarians, and it can augment acupuncture. This course is the best continuing education class I have ever taken. The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable, teaching in-depth structural and functional anatomy along with basic and advanced osteopathic concepts and techniques. The class is well outlined and proceeds in a systematic fashion, and the hands-on training is individualized and thorough. The instructors force you to understand concepts and not just memorize theories. This ensures that you can treat your patients individually. Personally, I have never met more compassionate and patient instructors. While most of us vets are trained by fear and embarrassment, the philosophy of these instructors is to support, listen, and address any concerns of the student. They do this in a kind and gentle manner that allows for a safe place to learn. I cannot recommend this program enough. It has changed the way I can treat my patients." Stephanie Davis DVM (USA).
S. James

Functional Osteopathy for animals is a system of medicine which focuses on evaluating the internal and external environments. Read more about this here

Training to become a Functional Practitioner/Osteopath with AOI initially takes two years (via our AOI Diploma Programme). After that, our students use the Advanced Diploma modules as CPD to advance their knowledge and focus on their skill set. This ensures that practitioners can train in modalities suitable to their market. For example, in Denmark, only veterinarians can use manipulations, so only vets take this module. 

All who join us come from a clinical or therapeutic background (e.g. Veterinarians, Members of RCVS, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Advanced Animal Therapists, etc.). Training includes advanced anatomy, physiology, pathology, orthopaedics, neurology, biomechanics, animal behaviour, applied learning theory, palpation skills, clinical assessment, and a wide range of therapeutic and rehabilitation techniques. In addition, our students are taught research and professional writing alongside the softer (but all-important) life skills, such as critical reflection, professional communication, marketing, business management and financial awareness. This ensures they leave our programme fully equipped and ready to be competent, safe practitioners. 

Courses are taught by experienced Animal Osteopaths, Veterinary Physiotherapists, Doctors of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Behaviourists. 

In the UK, osteopathy for humans is regulated by the General Osteopathic Council and Animal Osteopathy is recognised as one of the three main clinical disciplines voluntarily regulated by the Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners in the UK (RAMP). 

As a UK-based private training provider, AOI aligns the information taught in its courses with UK laws and regulations whilst actively encouraging students from other countries to investigate the regulations and boundaries of their own country as part of the application process. The use of title varies from country to country, and this is why you will see the term Functional Practitioner used synonymously throughout this site as a way to offer a professional alternative to Animal Osteopath. 

AOI is founded on the desire to provide the highest quality of education in the field of animal osteopathy via a hybrid programme that is student-focused and all about you!

To those who want to learn about real osteopathy and all the various elements that create this wonderful art and science. We cover all areas of traditional osteopathy within our programmes and teach from an osteopathic principles and concepts perspective. Techniques such as balanced ligamentous tension, adjustments, general articulatory technique and visceral osteopathy have all been modified for the animal patient. This ensures that our graduates can assess and treat with a full range of skills and feel assured of their clinical competency.

We also like to support our students after they leave us, which is why we actively encourage those who want to join us for teacher training or as international associates. In addition, it is our mission, to be all encompassing. To embrace specialists from all areas of veterinary medicine, so that our community can provide world class education to students, professionals and owners wherever they live.

As an organisation, we want to educate those who wish to learn and that is why we open our arms to a range of professionals. Our aim is not to saturate markets with more base-level therapists, but rather to create a network of highly trained practitioners, who can work together to make a difference. Additionally, with the same intent, we encourage likeminded professionals and other academic institutes to join us, so that together, we can support the wider network of animal related projects. In this way, we can collectively make a difference to the lives of so many animals. Not only those we can treat but also those who need to be protected.

From a practitioner perspective, we want to inspire veterinarians and animal practitioners to keep on learning. Not to stop at the first post. A postgraduate certificate is a great achievement, but like passing a driving test, it is just the start. That is why we offer a range of high quality courses for all levels of interest. Run by people who excel at what they do.

Lastly, we like to be clear that AOI sits within the modern and progressive camp of education. Actively encouraging well-rounded graduates with a wealth of life and professional skills. With so few countries regulating animal osteopathy, the need for expensive university degrees is not yet a universal expectation. We have therefore decided (at this time) that because our programme is every bit as rigorous as a degree or master’s programme, we do not feel the need to function solely through a single university until it can add value to our programme and the students we serve.

If you want to become a part of something bigger, join us today and let us help you on your journey.

A truly international student/alumni community

Animal Osteopathy International has a truly global community. We have trained students from the UK, New Zealand, USA, and South Africa. Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, and Slovenia. Finland, Japan, Belgium, and Norway, Germany, Greece, Australia, Russia, and Sweden. Poland, France, Spain, Israel, and Argentina. The Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland. 

2023 – Year one practicums will be held in the UK and the USA. 

2023 – Year two practicums will be held in the UK, USA, and Denmark.

2024 – Year one (certificate programme) practicums and year two practicums will be held in the USA and the UK. 

2024 – Year one (certificate programme) practicums will be held on Ontario, Canada.

With a register that offers ongoing professional guidance

To find out more about how we use cookies, go to our Privacy & Cookie Policy page, Privacy & Cookie Policies