Algonquin College

Ottawa, ON, Canada PGWP-eligible

1 Year

$15.4k+ (estimated program total)

Business / Undergraduate Certificate


Jun 4

Turn your interest and passion for animal care into a career.

The one-year, two-semester Veterinary Assistant Ontario College Certificate program provides you with a strong foundation of theory and practical skills necessary to provide quality care and support in the veterinary clinics and related animal care settings. Areas of study include animal handling and restraint techniques, surgical preparation, common diseases, animal behavior, laboratory procedures, grooming techniques, business procedures, client service skills. The development of strong interpersonal and communication skills is emphasized. The program relies on a variety of course delivery formats including traditional in-class labs and lectures, hybrid and off-site labs. The focus is primarily companion animal care, with additional information on large animal, shelter animal and laboratory animal care.

Employment opportunities for veterinary assistants are varied and may include veterinary clinics, animal shelter and rescue organizations, wildlife sanctuaries, research facilities, grooming and pet care businesses.


This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Are detail-oriented, organized and able to work independently.
  • Enjoy working as a team member.
  • Are receptive to direction, able to multitask and work efficiently.
  • Have the ability to apply theoretical knowledge into practical skills.
  • Have flexible schedules and can perform shift work including evenings, weekends and holidays.
  • Possess good communication and interpersonal skills and have the ability to develop professional relationships with coworkers and clientele.
  • Are dedicated to providing quality and compassionate animal care.
  • Are comfortable working in a clinical setting and handling biological materials such as urine, feces and blood.
  • Have the ability to lift and carry up to 25kg, stand for long periods of time and handle a physically demanding environment.


Graduates may find employment in areas such as veterinary clinics, laboratory animal research facilities, grooming salons, humane societies, boarding facilities and retail pet supply outlets.

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Algonquin College

Mission: To transform hopes and dreams into lifelong success.