The Companion & Performance Animals Major

Turn your passion for companion and performance animals into a career with this major. These animals are found in search and rescue, sport, animal-assisted therapy, and service to improve the well-being of individuals. Courses cover the physiology, nutrition, behaviour and evolving role of companion and performance animals as well as the sociology and psychology of the human-animal bond. 

This program leads to a number of other opportunities: 

  • Complete your Pre-Vet Concentration in this major, including your pre-veterinary medicine requirements for veterinary medicine programs at the University of Calgary or other institutions.
  • Continue your studies to earn both a BSc in Animal Health and a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine in a partnership program with three years of study at the U of A and four years at the University of Edinburgh 


  • Animal-assisted Therapy
  • Behaviour Consulting & Training
  • Pet Industry Marketing Manager
  • Technical Sales Representative
  • Kennel Operator
  • Equine Sports Therapist

Check out U of A’s Agriculture Career Guide for more options.

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Featured Courses

Companion Animals and Society (AN SC 120)

Diverse and evolving roles of companion animals in human society. Pets and the companion animal industry. Topics include: behavior, cognition and training; breeds and breeding; performance; nutrition, health and physiology. 

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Fundamentals of Animal Nutrition (AN SC 260)

Function, metabolism, homeostasis, requirements and sources of nutrients and energy for animals. Laboratory will involve principles of diet formulation. 

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Physiology of Domestic Animals (AN SC 310)

Fundamental principles of regulation and maintenance of the internal environment. Includes a review of mechanisms providing for homeorrhesis and well-being of domestic animals in response to changes in the external environment (e.g., light, temperature, social).

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Companion Animal Behaviour (AN SC 378)

Basic behaviour principles for companion animal species such as dogs, cats, and horses, including application of fundamental training and learning techniques to resolve common behaviour problems.

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