Companion Animals and Exotics
Recent studies show that 62% of U.S. households have a pet. Dogs, cats, reptiles, aquarium fish, and other small animals lay claim to approximately 71.4 million homes in the U.S. Because of the crucial role they play in our lives, pet owners spend a great deal of money on their pets. Despite the downturn in the economy, spending on pet care products has increased. At the end of 2010, consumers spent over $48 billion on their pets.
Companion animals play a significant role in our lives. They serve as companions aiding in loneliness, provide us with unconditional love and acceptance, and serve as catalysts for social interaction. They provide health benefits, helping to improve our moods and mental states. Dogs, in particular, help aid those with disabilities or serve as police dogs. The pet industry hires individuals who are not only passionate and knowledgeable about animals but also creative and who understand small animal biology, physiology, nutrition, health, and management.
Be a part of something BIG and Do Something Great! No matter where your interests lie, or the skills you have, you can go on to:
- Create advertisements that capture canine behavior in action.
- Design innovative pet products that teach your dog how to problem solve.
- Develop and improve nutritional formulas for pet food at companies, like IAMs, located right here in Ohio.
- Lead educational camps at places like The Wilds.
- Train assistance dogs for people with disabilities.
Interested in Exotics?
Through our departmental industry network, there are many opportunities to work with exotic animals and marine life through internship and research opportunities at zoos, wildlife centers, and aquariums. Each year our students complete education and enrichment internships as well as animal behavior research in zoos across the country. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which is ranked as the number one zoo in the country, employs students from our department during the academic year and summer months to gain experience. However, students shouldn’t limit themselves to local opportunities…for instance, one student assisted in a Great White shark research project off the coast of South Africa last fall.
Degree Sheets and 4-Year Plans
The courses you’ll take will teach you about animal anatomy and physiology, health, nutrition, genetics, and behavior. You will learn about the bond between human and animals and will have the opportunity to spend time learning about animal behavior with world-renown animal behaviorist Peter Neville (http://www.coape.org/pfn/index.html) from the United Kingdom. Guest speakers from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), PAWS, and USDA Wildlife Services are just a few of the groups that come into the classroom to provide hands-on opportunities working with animals and animal demonstrations or to discuss their careers.
Internships and Research
Major industry employers want employees who have the ability to think critically, communicate well, and work effectively in teams. Conducting a research project as an undergraduate or completing an internship will help you learn those skills while gaining real-world experience. Many research and internship opportunities exist locally in Columbus, Ohio; however, our students have completed internship and research opportunities across the country and around the globe. The benefit of gaining this hands-on experience allows you to further shape your career goals while making you more competitive for employment after graduation. It’s not uncommon for students to find full-time employment at places where they completed internships. Participating in undergraduate research also allows you opportunities to present research at industry meetings and through College and University research forums. Read more on Internships or Read more on Research.
Whether you are interested in becoming a veterinarian, production specialist, animal trainer, or researcher, you will interact with international clients, vendors, colleagues, and technology. Studying abroad will help prepare you. Thirty-five percent of our animal science majors will graduate with at least one study abroad experience, adding to their marketability in a competitive market. Read more about Study Abroad.
Student Organizations & Co-curricular Activities
Getting involved in at least one student organization on campus is arguably the most important thing you can do once you step foot on campus. Joining a club is like joining the perfect family. Everyone involved has the same interests, and in some cases, the same career goals. Most students find their closest circle of friends through student organizations. Read more about departmental organizations you might want to check out.
Meet Our Students
DREW ENIGK, Senior. Major: Animal Sciences, Minor: Neoroscience, Physical Anthropology, & Life Sciences
Why do you love the Animal Sciences program at Ohio State? I really like the practical, hands-on approach that the Ohio State Animal Sciences program takes.
The ability to jump into the experience and actually interact with the animals during the Introductory Animal Sciences (AnSci 200) labs really facilitates the learning process and complements the material from lecture.
How do you balance your class work and real life? I try to put aside procrastination and finish one school-related assignment at a time, while taking breaks in between assignments to focus on things that are unrelated to school. This way, I am mentally recharged and more prepared to come back and tackle my class work more efficiently. Basically, I make sure that I am providing myself with ample, reasonable amounts of time for both school and real life, and if I am out of sync in one direction, then I make adjustments to return to a state of balance.
How does animal sciences play a role in your life outside the classroom? My Animal Sciences classes have made me much more knowledgeable about how animal products are made. Therefore, I can now make more informed decisions when purchasing food at the grocery store. Also, coming from a very urban area, I can often impress my family and friends with facts relating to farm animals.
How has the animal sciences department and your animal sciences classes helped you during your time here at Ohio State? The Department of Animal Sciences has helped me during my time at Ohio State by giving me so many opportunities to make connections and pursue internships and study abroad trips, all of which have allowed me to advance my academic career and personally grow into a more worldly and capable individual.