Care of the Senior Pet Course: Full Review

senior dog being pet

This course is designed to provide pet owners and caregivers with the necessary knowledge to care for senior dogs and cats. As pets age, many changes occur, and it is crucial to be aware of these changes to detect any underlying health issues at an early stage, instead of dismissing the signs as “senior moments”.

This course covers all the potential complications that senior dogs and cats may face and provides preventive measures to keep them healthy and active. With this course, you will learn how to address the unique problems your pet may present as he enters his golden years 🌟.

What We Loved

  • The way the information is presented, using clear and simple language, and addressing sensitive topics in a loving and caring way.
  • Contains in-depth information and is designed to give your pet the best golden years.
  • This course will help you understand your vet’s language.
  • ICOES-accredited and CPD certified.

What Could Be Better

  • They could include more audiovisual materials.
  • No community

Content and Topics

This course contains 6 modules:

Module 1: How Old is Old?

Here is introduced the concept of senior pets, how their aging process is different from human years, and what factors affect their lifespan.

Module 2: Behavioral Changes in Senior Pets

In this module, you will learn about the changes that occur in senior pets— physical, mental, and behavioral, how to manage these conditions, and the importance of keeping them mentally stimulated.

Some of these changes are cognitive decline, vision, and hearing loss, and behavioral changes due to physical pain, among others.

Module 3: Special Considerations for Mature Pets

It covers special considerations for grooming, dental care, medication, anesthesia, and nutrition for older pets.

Module 4: Mobility and Pain Issues

It reviews common joint conditions, signs of pain, treatment options, and how to make your pet feel more comfortable.

Module 5: Health Problems of Senior Pets

This module covers the various health problems that can affect senior pets, including cancer, Cushing’s disease, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, incontinence, kidney disease, IBD, and prostate disease.

They also teach you how to identify any concerning signs, which is incredibly useful since early detection can save your pet’s life, and the available treatments.

Module 6: Saying Goodbye

Heartbreaking but necessary information. This module guides you through planning ahead, recognizing when it’s time to say goodbye, hospice care, what happens at the end, and coping with loss.

Instructor Expertise

This course was created by Dr. Pippa Elliott, BVMS MRCVS. Dr. Pippa is a veterinarian with 27 years of experience, who graduated from the University of Glasgow, UK. She has been involved with animal care since a very young age when she volunteered at her local clinic. Due to her expertise in Animal Health and Wellness, she has designed many of the courses about animal careers and pet care.

You can check all her courses here: Holly and Hugo 👈 Go to Library and filter by “pet care”. Most of the courses here were created by Dr. Pippa, with a few exceptions.

User Experience

The course is organized by modules, as mentioned before. Each module contains mostly written information and a few short videos.

The written information is easy to follow and organized using subheadings, short paragraphs, bullet points, and lots of images. The writing style is friendly and uses simple language that anyone without an animal background can understand.

They included one video per module, in a short clip format of 2 minutes approx. and the content is like a summary of the written materials.

The platform is very friendly. It contains navigation bars to help you follow your progress. At the end of each module, there is an option to take an exam. The platform allows you to validate the answers but you can’t change them, and it gives you the option to get an accreditation once you complete the course. We will see more about accreditations in the following section.

Accreditation and Certification

You are eligible to get the accreditations once you complete the course at a satisfactory rate, which means that you need to get 55% or more on all of the exams (this course has 6 exams in total).

The certificates are issued by The International Council for Online Educational Standards (ICOES), which is an independent body that provides quality accreditation and ensures that the highest standards for online education are being achieved.

All of the accreditations are offered for an additional cost, which we will review in detail in the Pricing section. Here are the options:

  • ICOES Certificate – Hard Copy
  • ICOES Digital Certificate
  • CPD Certification
  • Certificate of Achievement

Community and Support

  • No community feature.
  • You can probably get most of your questions answered by checking their FAQs page. Otherwise, you can contact the customer support team through their Contact Us Page.

Learning Outcomes

Taking this course was a no-brainer for me as I have several senior dogs in my life, and I am always looking for ways to better support them in this stage of life.

For the purpose of this review, I’m going to share my notes on two topics.

How to promote dental health in my senior pooch? 🦷

Dental care for senior pets is crucial as they are more likely to develop dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. To maintain proper dental health, they recommended scheduling regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings, and at home, you should be brushing their teeth regularly, providing dental chews or toys, and feeding them a balanced diet that promotes good oral health. Be vigilant for any signs of dental problems such as bad breath, difficulty eating, or inflamed gums.

Dental care is an essential part of the routine since these problems can significantly impact your pet’s well-being.

How do I know when is time to say goodbye? 🌈 🐶

This information came to me after 2 months of losing my dog and helped me understand that, even though it was a painful period, we made all the right decisions because they were based on my dog’s interests.

So, how do we know when it’s time? Consider your pet’s quality of life, if he is experiencing more bad days than good, it may be time to make a difficult decision. Signs may include a lack of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, lack of interest in activities, incontinence, uncontrolled fits or seizures, and a loss of dignity.

Around this time there are many other decisions that you will have to make, such as hospice care, end-of-life services, etc. They guide you through every step, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

I also wrote two separate articles on these topics. Here are the links if you are looking to learn more about these topics: 👇📚

Pricing and Value

There are two sites where you can acquire this course, and each of them has different business models which is good news for you because gives you options.

Holly and Hugo

Holly and Hugo is an online academy that offers courses related to pets. They sell courses individually at $49.00 or you can pay a membership to get access to their 30+ courses, which costs $99.00 for one year of access or $149.00 for lifetime access.

International Open Academy

IOA is an educational membership platform that offers a variety of courses, including a huge selection of pet courses. They offer monthly, annual, or one-time payment memberships:

  • Their monthly subscription is $9.99
  • Their annual subscription is $109.00.
  • And the lifetime subscription is $299.00.


Both platforms offer the option to get these certifications at the same pricing:

  • ICOES Digital Certificate for $21.99
  • ICOES Hard Copy Certificate for $29.99
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for $39.99
  • Certificate of Achievement for $14.99


Owners of senior pets know that caring for them can be the most rewarding experience, but at times can be sad when you see them slowly lose functionality. The good news is that having access to information can help you prepare for whatever comes, and support your pup. Now is your time to reciprocate all these years of unconditional love and companionship.

Where you can get it

Option 1️⃣ -> Check on Holly and Hugo

Option 2️⃣ -> Check on IOA

Katherine Ortega

Blogger and pet lover. I've been around dogs my whole life and have experience caring for all types, sizes and ages of pups. Senior dogs hold a special place in my heart 💗

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