Starting on the Path to Pet Rehabilitation Certification

Feb 5, 2018 | General Veterinary Rehabilitation

Written by Dr. Jessica Dreyfuss

In today’s world, it can be quite overwhelming to navigate the various paths to certification in small animal rehabilitation.  In this article, we will focus on the top rehab institutions (in the USA and abroad) that offer RACE-approved courses.  Each institution has different requirements regarding previous academic credentials, such as doctor of veterinary medicine versus certified veterinary technician vs licensed medical professional.  We therefore encourage you to fully research each course with the informational links provided.

In addition, it is highly recommended that anyone attaining certification in animal rehabilitation pursue regular and frequent continuing education courses in various disciplines such as pet acupuncture and pet chiropractic medicine, among others. A knowledge of these disciplines will aid the rehabilitation therapist when it comes to treatment options.  Education is a life-long journey for every pet rehabilitation specialist. We wish you luck on yours!

NameDescription LocationsApproval
CRI Logo
Canine Rehabilitation Institute (CRI)
Canine Rehabilitation Therapist Certification (CCRT) – Veterinarians, Physical Therapists

Canine Rehabilitation Veterinary Nurse Certification (CCRVN) – Veterinary Technicians/Nurses
United Kingdom
AAVSB-RACE approved
Healing Oasis Logo
Healing Oasis Wellness Center
(866) 203 – 7584
Veterinary Massage & Rehabilitation Therapy Program (VMRT) – Veterinarians, certified Veterinary Technicians, License Physical Therapists/Nurses/Massage Therapists Wisconsin AAVSB-Race

MN Board of Chiropractic Examiners
Tennesse University
University of Tennessee Certificate Program in Canine Physical Rehabilitation
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) – Veterinarians, Physiotherapists, Veterinary Nurses/ Technicians Spain/Majorca
China/Hong Kong
Austria, Vienna
Italy, Milan
RACE approved

Integrative Veterinary Medical Institute
(352) 591-14444
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Veterinarian (CCRV) – licensed veterinarians and veterinary school students FL
South Korea
AAVSB RACE-approved or pending approval

Canine Rehabilitation Institute (CRI) – REHABILITATION (CCRT / CCRVN)

CRI offers a rehabilitation certificate for veterinarians (CCRT), physical therapists (CCRT), and veterinary technicians/nurses (CCRVN).  Course material focuses on canine anatomy and physiology, conditions and injuries commonly referred for rehabilitation, physical therapy assessment techniques, manual therapy, physical modalities and therapeutic exercise, neurological rehabilitation, and more.  Three course modules, exam(s), and a 40-hour internship at a CRI-approved practice are required for each program.  Preparation time is required for on-site classes. Each class is restricted to a maximum of 28 students in order to provide direct supervision and intensive one-on-one training.

In addition, graduates of the course may return and attend any core module for just the nominal fee for the new notes and notebook.  Graduates receive CE credit for taking the refresher course.

Other courses offered include “Introduction to Veterinary Clinical Research,” “Therapeutic Handling for Canine Rehabilitation,” “The Business of Canine Rehabilitation,” “Kinesiotaping for Clinical Orthopedic Rehabilitation”, and more.

You can learn more about the CRI here.

The Healing Oasis – Veterinary Massage & Rehabilitation Therapy Program (VMRT)

Located in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, The Healing Oasis offers certification for veterinarians, veterinary technicians and other adjunct licensed health care professionals in the field of veterinary rehabilitation and massage therapy.  This course includes four modules comprising four days each; cases must be presented to complete the certification.  

Overall curriculum includes but is not limited to anatomy, functional neurology, physiology of inflammation, massage and rehabilitation training, traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine basics, nutrition, myology, biomechanics, ethics and legalities, Tui Na, integrative veterinary therapy modalities, animal handling and case management. Student-to-faculty ratio is restricted to 3-4:1.

Other courses include Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy and Advanced Neurology in Veterinary Spinal Manipulation.

An in-depth description of this course and The Healing Oasis can be found here.

University of Tennesee Certificate Program in Canine Physical Rehabilitation – Rehabilitation (CCRP)

This global, university-based certification consists of five steps, including but not limited to courses, a 40-hour internship, five-case documentation, presentation and exams (oral and written).  Course content includes but is not limited to osteology, myology, neuroanatomy, common neurologic/orthopedic conditions, canine behavior, canine examination, electrotherapeutic modalities, therapeutic exercise prescription, aquatic therapy, and more.  Emphasis is placed on evidence-based proof of physical therapy.     

Other courses include Companion Animal Pain Management, Canine Massage, Nutrition Case Management, and more.

This certification is held across the globe – click here for overview of locations. 

Integrative veterinary medical institute – Rehabilitation (ccrv)

Exclusively for veterinarians only, the CCRV program includes four sessions (two online and two on site in Reddick, FL).  Online quizzes, practical and written exams, case studies, and a 30-hour internship are required to graduate.  Curriculum includes neurological/orthopedic examination, gait and posture analysis, rehabilitative agents and modalities, manual therapy techniques, development of rehabilitation program, and more. 

Other courses include Veterinary Medical Manipulation Practitioner Certification (CVMMP). 

You can learn more about IVMI here.

Dr Jess Dreyfus

Dr Jessie Dreyfus has turned her childhood passion for animals into her career, devoting herself to holistic veterinary medicine, teaching and training other professionals in the industry, and changing the lives of her patients through integrative veterinary practice. You can learn more about Dr Jessie here on her website.


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  1. Hello

    I am a Veterinary Nurse that graduated from Harcum College and worked as such for J &J
    I also have a BS in Psychology
    I am very much into alternative methods and and Holistic Medicine

    I have much successful hands on Rehab experience with Canines
    I have dedicated myself to many hard cases over the last 29 years
    Most through breeding and raising Minny LH Dachshunds but also through rescue of special needs dogs.
    I would like to dedicate myself to this profession but would like to know the requirements to get certified
    Of course at my age,
    The easiest route possible
    I know their is a great need for this
    profession and skill with many dogs today

    Thank You in Advance for any advice or
    pointing me in the right direction,

    Bonnie Mastromatto

    • Thank you so much for sharing a little about your journey!
      The profession of canine rehabilitation is incredibly rewarding and exciting.
      As a vet nurse, you could pursue rehabilitation certification through the Canine Rehab Institute or through the university of Tennessee, I recommend contacting the institutions directly to discuss the specific requirements, costs and timelines involved.
      best of luck!!

      • I’m trying to take the course but I am located abroad , what options I have

        • Hi Ash,
          can you give us a little more information please? Which course are you trying to take?

          Many of the rehab qualifications are run around the world – which area you are in may determine what ia available to you.

  2. Hi I am a small animal vet in New Zealand, also qualified in animal chiropractic.
    I have been looking at the rehab courses, do you know if the Ccrv course is just as good as the ccrp or Crrt, you don’t seem to hear as much about it or is it just newer.
    Kind regards.

    • Hi Janine,
      Thank you for the comment and the question.
      We can’t comment as to the quality of each of the courses or qualifications, as we haven’t done them all ourselves in order to compare. I do believe that you will be able to request the curriculum from each, and compare them for yourself from a student perspecitve.

      Let us know what you learn!

  3. Hello!
    I am a veterinarian in Wyoming and have a technician whose passion is nutrition and physical therapy/rehab. She’s been a tech for almost 20 years and I’ve worked with her for 10 of them. Wyoming does not require veterinary technicians to be licensed. I want to send this tech to CE classes but can’t find any that will take a technician who doesn’t have a license, even though it’s not required in our state to have one. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Rachel,

      It does depend on what you would like to achieve with the CE classes. We don’t require licencing for people to access the continuing education provided in our Onlinepethealth Memberhships. If your goal is continuing education of the professional, we have incredible resources within our platform.
      If you are looking for your technician to become certified in rehabilitation, this is a more tricky question. There aren many places to go through certification, all with different requirements. The institutions listed above are the ones that we know about, some of which we work with as well. Have you approached all of those?


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