Animal Care Enterprise

This course is an ideal foundation for careers in the pet and animal care industry, with a special emphasis on setting up your own business. Perfect for entrepreneurial students with aspirations to work in, or start their own, animal care business, including Kennels/Catteries, Pet shops, Dog Groomers, Animal-Assisted therapies to Canine First Responders.

You explore the animal industry in a science-based, hands on and stimulating course covering animal handling, science, welfare and animal grooming. Students learn the practical skills, knowledge and experience required to work directly with animals, including in managing small mammals. You will also learn business skills required for successful participation in industry.

We have many professional links, and you will participate in a wide range of field trips to animal care contexts. This course is a foundation for careers and further study in the animal industry, and there are many progression options, including our own Level 6 Animal Science course.

What Makes This Course Special?

  • Hands-on course, with Animal Handling Experience
  • Highly Experienced Animal Science Team
  • Great professional links
  • Opportunities for Field Trips
  • Short courses built in such as Canine First Responder
  • Excellent Progression Routes, including our own Level 6

Course Content

  • Animal Anatomy and Physiology
  • Animal Grooming
  • Animal Welfare
  • Small Animal Husbandry and Housing
  • Business Administration and Skills
  • Start your own business
  • Communications
  • Work Experience

Progress to further study and careers including:

  • Animal Care Roles
  • Animal Welfare Organisations
  • Doggy Daycare
  • Boarding Kennels
  • Catteries
  • Animal Parks and Zoos
  • Grooming Parlours
  • Large and Small Animal Clinics
  • Pet Shops
  • Stable Yards
  • Animal Assisted Therapy


After 12 years in fitness, I decided to pursue a new passion—animal care. Despite initial concerns about being the oldest in class and relearning how to study, my experience was incredibly positive.

I found the animal care course fascinating, with supportive teachers and a diverse, friendly class.

This journey inspired me to establish ‘Pawfectly Happy Pet Services,’ offering various pet care services. The knowledge gained from the course empowered me to open a grooming salon in Mountrath town. I’m grateful for the assistance from CIFE, especially Martina and the dedicated staff, I’m excited for this new chapter in my life.


Entry Requirements


  • QQI Level 5 Certificate in Animal Care 5M2768
  • Canine First Responder – Certification of Participation


  • All course fees, from registration to exams and awarding body fees as well as course materials and equipment are covered.
    (see costs, fees and finance)

Garda Vetting
See the Garda Vetting details on the Entry Requirements Page

PLSS Code: 414681

Coordinator: Martina Redmond

Course is subject to minimum enrolment. The programme content shown is indicative and is subject to change according to Awarding Body requirements as well as enrolment and resources.