Job descriptions and industry overviews

Animal physiotherapist

25 Jan 2023, 13:36

A relatively new career path that which is growing by the day as more and more physiotherapists are now starting to work with animals.

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An animal physiotherapist works with various kinds of animals to aid in their rehab from injuries including breaks, fractures, joint problems and back problems. The work is varied as the animals you will work with can range from domestic pets like cats and dogs, to farm animals and exotic pets such as reptiles. The role involves assessing animals as well as massages, exercise, education for the pets owner and ultrasound.

What the job involves

  • Treat animals for a wide variety of complaints and injuries
  • Help animals with rehabilitation
  • Provide extensive plans for animals that need to lose weight
  • Assist owners in helping pets that suffer from neurological conditions
  • Educate owners on how to assist with an animal’s rehab as well advising on how to potentially adapt the living arrangements for their pet
  • Handle patient records

Most animal physiotherapists are self-employed and thus can decide for themselves if they went to specialise in a particular area of physiotherapy, work with specific animals or work across a range of disciplines with all animals.


  • Have an ability to build good relationships with both animals and their owners
  • Good level of fitness to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Knowledge of anatomy and physiology
  • Good organisation and administrative skills
  • Patience and adaptability
  • Good problem-solving skills

Typical employers

The majority of animal physiotherapists are self-employed but there are opportunities to work in veterinary practices.

Typical qualifications

There are number of entry routes into this profession with the most common being an underrate degree in human physiotherapy, veterinary nursing or veterinary physiotherapy. However. it is likely that these will have to be followed up with a postgrad degree in veterinary or animal physiotherapy dependent on your undergraduate degree.


  • As a qualified physio therapist starting in the profession salaries tend to range from between €26,000-€31,000
  • After five years in the industry the salary may increase to €31,000-€37,000
  • Senior animal physiotherapists may earn salaries as much as €37,000-€48,000

Further information

Harper Adams University ( )

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