Take an Online Course

It takes more than just a great therapy animal to create a meaningful and safe interaction. Pet Partners is committed to delivering rigorous and professional training experience to support handlers, facilities, and professionals in providing AAI, with a focus on safety and welfare considerations for both the client and the animal. We have several online courses available to the public, whether you are a prospective or current therapy animal team, professional practitioner, or facility staff member.

Handler Training

Pet Partners was the first in the industry to require training for the human end of the leash. Since that time, multiple evidence-based guidelines from other organizations have been published recommending equivalent standards for all therapy animals. Pet Partners handler training is available online or in an instructor-led workshop format.

SHEA EndorsedSHEA-Color-Horiz.-Logo

Pet Partners is the only therapy animal organization to have courses endorsed by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). When completed together, the courses Canine Body Language: Reading Signals from Therapy Dogs and Infection Prevention and Control: Therapy Animal Visitation in Healthcare Settings meet the requirements outlined in “Animals in Healthcare Facilities: Recommendations to Minimize Potential Risks” published in 2015.

Get Started!

  1. Create a login to the Pet Partners site.
  2. Log in and click Courses and Events. This button will bring you to the Training Center.
  3. Click Sign Up in the menu bar near the top of the page.
  4. Choose your course on the left, add it to your cart, and check out to complete the transaction.

Interested in purchasing bulk course registrations at a volume discount? Please contact us.

Continuing Education

Pet Partners is committed to professionalizing therapy animal visitation through well-trained handlers, facility staff, and others interested in animal-assisted interventions. We offer continuing education courses online in addition to the SHEA courses, including Working with Veterans and Visiting Clients with Alzheimer’s. Follow the instructions under Get Started! above to view the available coursework and sign up.

We also periodically offer free webinars, as well as informal online learning opportunities through our social media channels, including our popular Volunteering with Your Pet orientation sessions. Follow us on social media or sign up for our email newsletter to find out about upcoming sessions—see the bottom of this page for social media links and the newsletter signup. And recordings of past sessions are available on our YouTube channel.

Professionals interested in incorporating therapy animals into their work are encouraged to check out our sister association, the Association of Animal-Assisted Intervention Professionals (AAAIP). This membership-based association focused on professionals in AAI offers a generous range of online education and resources with a practice-based focus, as well as a certification, plus a variety of events and the opportunity to network with other AAI professionals.