Becoming an Animal Chiropractor

Animal Chiropractors use hands-on manipulation techniques and other holistic treatment therapies to treat muscular and spinal problems of patient animals ranging from pets, livestock, to zoo, sporting, and other animals. These professionals use natural healing methods to enhance performance, function and quality of life of animals without administering surgery or drugs. They perform adjustments to an animal’s joints as well as manipulate specific areas of the body to reduce pain and improve performance.

They also review any x-rays or prior written records provided by the animal’s regular veterinarian. In some cases, they refer animal patients to veterinary specialists for further diagnosis and treatment. In addition, they educate animal owners regarding therapeutic exercises, sanitary measures, feeding, general care, medical conditions, or treatment options of patient animals.

Work Environment

Animal Chiropractors are employed either in a private practice or in a group with other animal chiropractors. Depending on the area of specialization, these professionals can work in variety of environments, such as veterinary offices, laboratories, zoos, farms, natural wildlife habitats, research facilities, educational institutions.  They can operate out of a veterinary facility or offer a mobile clinic to visit clients in their own homes.

Educational Requirement

To become an Animal Chiropractor, the aspiring candidates must hold a Doctor of Chiropractic or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from an accredited veterinary college and complete an intensive practical skills exam. The candidates should also possess a state license. American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) offers exam based certification to these professionals.

Apart from degrees and certification, Animal Chiropractors should also have various traits such as a high degree of manual dexterity, a solid knowledge of animal behavior, and familiarity with the safe handling techniques for all of the species that they plan to work with.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities for Animal Chiropractors may rise 9% from 2014 to 2024. The average annual salary of an Animal Chiropractor was $87,590 in 2014.