Life as an Animal Functional Osteopathic Practitioner is both varied and colourful; this is what draws people to the profession. Animal practitioners have the opportunity to work within a clinical setting (vet surgery) or autonomously working on yards in a rural setting. This depends on the animal types that practitioners choose to treat. 

Some Equine Functional Osteopathic Practitioners work on racing yards, others with sporting animals, such as those that participate in Polo, Eventing and Horseball etc. Working at such a level, usually requires the involvement of other paraprofessionals and/or a vet-led team. Alternatively, practitioners may prefer to work with amateur and leisure horses. 

Similarly, Canine Functional Osteopathic Practitioners may work with sporting, working or pet owned dogs. The former requiring a more focused integrative approach that will likely include the need for rehabilitation as part of the animal’s management plan. Where the practitioner is not suitably qualified (at the time), involvement of other paraprofessionals would be required. 

For the practitioner that wishes to treat small and large animals, opportunities are abundant, especially for those who enjoy life-long learning and career enhancement. This is because, the key to most opportunities is communication; reaching out to work with vet-led teams, at sporting events, and in educational settings. To name but a few.

Many AOI graduates have gone on to have successful and fruitful careers. In addition to the clinical remits of the profession, some Animal Functional Osteopathic Practitioners write for national magazines, others join AOI’s teacher training programme to teach with AOI online and around the world. Others still, have engaged in research, started their own associations and schools (to support the professional as it grows) and regularly participate in academic writing. 

So, if you love animals and variety, animal functional osteopathy may offer you the dream career, and we will help you get there. 

A typical pathway of study - academic pathway

The typical progression of a Level One (L1) canine student, would be to join a canine Level two cohort directly upon graduating L1. This offers a natural and comfortable progression of learning, which enhances existing knowledge and helps to develop the student’s neurological, orthopaedic/pathological and osteopathic levels of proficiency; from an evaluation and treatment perspective. Once a student completes and certifies at Level Two, they are capable of being in clinical practice, treating a full range of cases. It is suggested however, that, as with all professionals, they must work within their scope of practice and remember to continue with a journey of learning that helps to develop them as an individual. Be that via AOI’s Level Three professional Modules or similar CPD. We also urge students to build an extensive network of paraprofessionals, because having a good range of co-supporting modalities for your patients is always beneficial.