A student in a companion animal class interacts with dogs brought into class by Coco's Heart Dog Rescue.

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Why Study Animal Science - Companion Animal?

At UW-River Falls, our animal science – companion animal major will provide you with a comprehensive knowledge of companion animal management and care, including species biology, physiology/anatomy, nutrition, genetics, reproduction, welfare, behavior and training, rescue management, veterinary care and more. You’ll have the option to focus on one of two emphases, science or management, allowing you to find your passion and focus your studies.

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Skills and Learning Outcomes

  • Apply science-based knowledge to a broad spectrum of companion animal species, including cats, dogs and a variety of other species kept for companionship or service.
  • Evaluate, interpret and manage companion animal behavior.
  • Understand the biology, care and management of companion animals, including current and potential issues, the unique aspects of human-animal bonds and the diverse roles of animals in society.
  • Proficiently handle common companion animals.
  • Effectively communicate with a broad audience – including industry, non-profit and health professionals, the public and youth – regarding companion animal health, biology and welfare.


Types of Courses

  • Animal Anatomy & Physiology
  • Animal Science Careers
  • Companion Animal Behavior
  • Companion Animal Management
  • Domestic Animal Nutrition
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Physiology of Reproduction
  • Small Agribusiness Management

“UWRF provided me with countless opportunities to learn and grow, both as a student and individual, plus a strong foundation in understanding animal science.  My experience at UWRF also allowed me to develop many great relationships with professors and other professionals in the industry.”

- Karly Anderson, animal science – science option, companion animal emphasis

4-Year Plan

Potential Careers

Thanks to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, you’ll have a solid foundation for a wide variety of careers in the companion animal field. Some students choose to attend graduate school while others find themselves employed in roles such as:

  • Animal Control/Welfare Officer
  • Humane Society Educator or Breed Association Staff
  • Nutrition or Pharmaceutical Research, Sales or Marketing
  • Researcher or Research Lab Technician
  • Trainer/Behaviorist
  • Veterinarian/Veterinary Technician