Companion Animal Biology

Subject DASC20011 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 65 hour
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment (including non-contact time): 120 hrs.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Melbourne School of Land & Environment (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

Animals such as dogs, cats and horses were once predominantly working animals but increasingly they are seen now as companion animals. This change in relationship has brought benefits and challenges to both owner and animal alike. Alongside traditional companion animal species, more exotic animals are also becoming popular in society. These may include reptiles, amphibians and even native Australian species.

Given the almost complete control we have over companion animal species, it is important that we understand how to care for them correctly. Housing, nutrition, health and behaviour all interlink and impact on the welfare and value of our "companions".


To examine the housing, health, nutrition and behaviour of a range of companion animal species to allow students to gain an improved understanding and multi-species comparison, with the aim of maximising the welfare of animals kept as companions.


End of semester examination - 50%. Written assignment - 50% - a species specific piece based on a given topic, with the addition of a one A4 side dissemination abstract.

Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:

Campbell, J.R., Kenealy, M.D. and Campbell, K.L. (2002) Animal Sciences: the biology, care and production of domestic animals. McGraw-Hill, London.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject the students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • academic excellence
  • greater in-depth understanding of scientific disciplines and their application to the humane care and efficient management of companion animals
  • flexibility and level of transferable skills should be enhanced through improved time management
  • enhanced ability to communicate their ideas effectively in different written formats.

This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (new degree only).

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG. Core selective subjects for B-BMED.
Related Breadth Track(s): Living with Animals

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