Animal Science - Companion Animal

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls Animal and Food Science department conducts one of the leading comprehensive undergraduate animal science programs in the nation. Our students are actively involved in scholastic and extracurricular activities at local, regional, national and international levels.

Students can choose between three options to focus their studies:

  • Science Option: For those interested in graduate work for veterinary medicine, the science option includes the necessary hours of chemistry, math, and physical and biological sciences.
  • Management Option: Emphasizes business and agricultural economics courses.
  • Minor Option: As an alternative to the management or science option, students can pair the animal science major with an academic minor (for example, minor in ag business or modern languages) to develop a more in-depth understanding of a second area of interest.

The Companion Animal emphasis prepares students for all aspects of animal management and care including physiology, nutrition, welfare, behavior and training, and health and veterinary care. The companion animal emphasis provides a balance of science-based curriculum and hands-on experience with animals. This may especially be of interest to students pre-veterinary track intending to pursue veterinary college.

Employment may include positions in the following areas:

  • Animal control and animal welfare
  • Grooming facilities
  • Training facilities
  • Veterinarians
  • Veterinary clinic or practice managers
  • Veterinary therapy and/or rehabilitation facilities
  • Writing for magazines, blogs, etc.
  • Animal photographers
  • Pet foods
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Research
  • Staff for breed associations

The new service dog training program at UWRF, in partnership with Coco's Heart Dog Rescue, provides companion animal majors with hands-on experience. Students learn to provide socialization, habituation and foundation training to a rescue dog with the hope that the dog enter an advanced service dog training program to help those in need. Dogs not accepted to advanced training upon completion of their training at UWRF would be available for adoption as a companion animal. Service dogs are covered by the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), are trained to support disabled individuals with specific tasks and are allowed to accompany that individual to any public area. The first service dog in training is Mel, adopted by UW-River Falls in February 2016. This program is the first of its kind in the UW System. Read more.

Service Dog Training Program Mel

Contact Us

Animal and Food Science
242 Food Science Addition
590 S. Spruce Street
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