Animal psychology: How to become an animal psychologist

In Germany, you can work as an animal psychologist without a long-lasting training. Animal psychology is a growing field that is also well suited for career changers and internationals. Our guide to it.

Animal Psychology: What it’s all about

It is scientifically disputed whether animal psychology can exist. However, it is a fact that experts are sought after who deal with the behavior of animals. Here it concerns not only in the domestic animals such as dogs and cats, but also around farm animals.

Animal Psychology Pets

Pets live in two out of three German households. However, keeping pets is not always easy:

  • often owners of pets have no experience with animals
  • mistakes are made in the upbringing of the pets
  • the pets come from previous owners who did not know how to handle the animals
  • there are developmental disturbances with the animals or attitude problems
  • the environment and the animals do not fit together.

Animal psychologists cannot analyze how animals feel and think like psychologists for humans, but they can grasp the animal’s situations and environment and suggest changes. Animal owners can be advised by this and the situation for the animals can be improved. In particular, animal psychologists determine whether animal behavior is appropriate for the species, where problems lurk and how to solve them. This also includes requirements the diet, care and education of animals.

Animal psychology farm animals

The treatment of farm animals is usually carried out exclusively by veterinarians and possibly still by animal healers. In general, however, the social attitude towards the mass keeping of farm animals is changing, and they are being given more and more appropriate living conditions. Therefore, we assume that in the future there could also be a market for animal psychology of farm animals.

Animal psychology
Animal psychology is a growth market in Germany. This is how you become an animal psychologist.

As an animal psychologist, you often take a close look at the general condition of an animal. This helps rule out health causes for certain behavior and provides insight into the behavior of pet owners.

How to become an animal psychologist

To become an animal psychologist, you do not need any special educational requirements. This means that in Germany anyone can become an animal psychologist and work in this field. This is an enormous opportunity for all people who:

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  • are looking for a new professional start
  • like to work with animals and their owners
  • would like to work independently
  • want to learn something new and qualify for the job
  • are willing to take responsibility for the animals and see themselves as their advocates and as advisors for the owners.

Take courses

To become an animal psychologist, you can, for example, take an online course in animal psychology*, which specifically teaches you the essential background. The advantage here is that you are guided, receive up-to-date and comprehensive knowledge and finish with a certificate.

With such a certificate you can then advertise yourself: it shows your clients your qualifications and can induce them to use your services.

A good online animal psychology course* should teach you at least the following basics:

  • Requirements for feeding, caring for, and raising animals
  • animal behavior appropriate to the species
  • typical problem situations with different animals
  • approaches to solving misbehavior.

To become an animal psychologist, you should first acquire the necessary specialized knowledge. For this purpose, you can choose a self-study or you can conveniently visit ready-made online courses, which provide you with a lot of information for your job already prepared.

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Become an animal psychologist through self-study

In addition to an online distance learning course in animal psychology*, you can also become an animal psychologist by acquiring this knowledge through self-study. To do this, you can gather the knowledge from various textbooks and reference books yourself or research them on the Internet. There are a number of reference books that may be a good fit for your goals here:

What investments do I need to become an animal psychologist?

If you decide on vocational training in Germany, you will incur one-time costs. If you then become self-employed as an animal psychologist, you will incur the following costs:

Fixed costs as an animal psychologist

  • Appropriate work clothes, work bag, hygiene equipment
  • Protective clothing (for larger and aggressive animals)
  • Premises (if you do not offer your services purely as a home visit)
  • Professional literature
  • Computer for recording findings, documentation and printing invoices
  • business cards, brochures
  • Costs for setting up your business (usually business registration)

Optional costs as an animal psychologist

  • Attractive office with examination room / consulting room
  • Vehicle for visits
  • Secretary, receptionist
  • Dictaphone
  • Costs for advertisements or publicity

You can see that all in all these costs are very manageable. For example, at the beginning of your activity you can only work from home and only offer home visits. This saves you the high expenses for a practice and staff.

Once you have achieved a certain reputation and a customer base, and your income is stable and sufficient, you can expand and professionalize step by step.

What else should I know?

If you want to become an animal psychologist, there are some related topics that may be interesting for you. For example, there are online courses for these topics as well*:

Questions and answers

  1. What is animal psychology?

    Animal psychology is a field that deals with the behavior of animals. It involves understanding an animals situation and environment, and suggesting changes to improve the animals condition.

  2. What qualifications do I need to become an animal psychologist in Germany?

    In Germany, there are no specific educational requirements to become an animal psychologist. This means anyone with an interest in animals and their behavior can pursue this career.

  3. Can I become an animal psychologist through self-study?

    Yes, you can become an animal psychologist through self-study. You can gather knowledge from various textbooks, reference books, or research on the Internet.

  4. What does an animal psychologist do?

    An animal psychologist observes and interprets the behavior of animals. They determine whether animal behavior is appropriate for the species, identify potential problems, and suggest solutions.

  5. Can I work with both pets and farm animals as an animal psychologist?

    Yes, as an animal psychologist, you can work with a variety of animals, including pets like dogs and cats, and farm animals.

  6. Is animal psychology a growing field in Germany?

    Yes, animal psychology is a growing field in Germany. As attitudes towards the treatment of animals evolve, the demand for experts in animal behavior is increasing.

  7. Can I take an online course to become an animal psychologist?

    Yes, there are online courses available that provide comprehensive knowledge about animal psychology. These courses often end with a certificate, which can be beneficial when advertising your services.

  8. What are the investment costs to become an animal psychologist?

    The investment costs to become an animal psychologist can vary. They may include the cost of vocational training, work clothes, professional literature, a computer for documentation, and costs for setting up your business.

  9. Can I work independently as an animal psychologist?

    Yes, many animal psychologists work independently, offering their services to pet owners and farmers. This allows for flexibility and the opportunity to build your own business.

  10. What other related fields can I explore as an animal psychologist?

    As an animal psychologist, you might also be interested in related fields such as animal nutrition, animal healing, and communication training. There are online courses available for these topics as well.

Conclusion

If you want to start your own business as a German or international in Germany, animal psychology might be a suitable idea for you. Neither do you need a specific school degree nor do you have to take any exams – you can start right away. Also, the investments are very limited.

This makes the job of animal psychologist suitable for people who like to work by themselves and with animals and other people, and who are looking for a lot of variety and activity. You should keep in mind that you will not only meet difficult animals, but also difficult owners. So you need to be able to deal well with difficult people in conflict situations.

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