Companion Animals

Associated Teachers/Faculty

Ms. Lydia Christopher, Ms. Danielle Holbrook, and Ms. Emily Serson Eastman.

Career Program Description

The Companion Animal program is designed to give students hands-on and theory-based learning in the areas of animal health & nutrition, behavior & training, and animal grooming & husbandry. This program will teach students a variety of companion animal skills such as restraints, breed ID, proper breeding technique, breed handling styles, pet grooming, care, and maintenance while working with rodents, reptiles, dogs, cats, and fish. Students will develop skills pertaining to basic, and breed specific, grooming, an understanding of training theories, including agility, obedience, CGC (Canine Good Citizen), and gain knowledge of basic animal nutrition requirements, and anatomy and physiology theory. Students will practice customer service skills and understand the role and responsibilities of an effective employee in the companion animal industry.

Career Paths

  • Groomer
  • Trainer
  • Vet Assistant
  • Pet Shop Associate, Manager, Owner
  • Dog Day Care/Kennel Attendant
  • Animal Food Sales/Supplies Representative
  • Breeder
  • Handler Animal Control Officer
  • Military Dog Handler
  • Pet Photographer
  • Nutritionist
  • Behaviorist


  • OSHA 10 Hour General Industry
  • Pet First Aid/CPR
  • American Kennel Club CGC Certificate

Industry Partnerships

  • Groomtown
  • Best in Show Grooming
  • GCAD Service Dogs
  • Walk-A-Pup
  • Andover Animal Hospital
  • Best Friends Pet Hotel
  • The National FFA Organization

Articulation Agreements

  • University of New Hampshire  (pending)

Meeting Documents

Advisory Committee Members

Yana Carlson, Walk-A-Pup
Dan Carlson, Walk-A-Pup
Lisa Grieco, Groom Town Pet Boutique & Spa
Kathleen Maillet, ECAD Service Dogs
Julie Pantages, Best In Show Salon
Cailen Pillsbury, Reading Animal Clinic
Jason Psalidas, New England Veterinary Hospital
Destiny Walker
Amanda Watson, Mass Veterinary Referral Hospital

Alumni Spotlight

Julie Pantages, Class of 1996

Where are they now? Best in Show Grooming

What is their job title? Business Owner

“Essex North Shore taught me the foundational skills that I needed to further my education in my field after high school and eventually open a successful business and be self-employed.”