Maintaining the standards of Animal Physiotherapy during Covid-19

Please scroll down the homepage for ACPAT's current stance and advice on animal physiotherapy provision during the Covid-19 pandemic

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Coronavirus advice to animal owners

The Government’s ‘phased’ strategy currently places us in ‘Phase 2’, where it remains of the utmost importance to minimise the spread of the disease through good hygiene practice, limiting social contact, and protecting those in vulnerable groups from exposure.

In its guidance to business, the Government has also stated that 'it is important for business to carry on'. So, like other businesses which are able to stay open, Animal Physiotherapy practices are still seeking to limit the amount of face-to-face contact they have with others. 

ACPAT’s position in relation to current working practices is that Animal Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation is indicated where it can be evidenced that the benefits of seeing a client face-to-face are greater than the risks of potential virus transmission. We still do not consider that this signals a return to “business as usual” for Animal Physiotherapy. It will be based on a risk assessment by the clinician on a case by case basis to ascertain if it is safe to proceed. If your Physiotherapist works within a veterinary practice, they may also be subject to the coronavirus protocol the veterinary practice has implemented. 

ACPAT advice is in line with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to follow a ‘Virtual First’ approach as the standard practice with animal cases. Our members have been advised to use PPE and social distancing based on their own risk assessments.
We appreciate you will be concerned about how the health and welfare of your animal(s) will be maintained at this time. Please be reassured that ACPAT physiotherapy practices throughout the UK are doing their best to ensure physiotherapy care is provided where essential for animal health and welfare, whilst prioritising your safety and that of their teams.

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The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT) is a Professional Network Group of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and represents the interests of Chartered Physiotherapists working in Animal Therapy.

Our aim is to:

  • Be a dynamic and progressive organisation
  • Lead the field by raising standards of Animal Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation
  • Promote excellence through ongoing education & research
  • Support cohesion and development between Veterinary Medicine & Veterinary Rehabilitation

Animals, like people, respond to Physiotherapy. The purpose of physiotherapy is to restore and maintain mobility, function, independence and performance. From the management of joint or spinal problems to rehabilitation after fractures or any injury, animal physiotherapy is now considered an essential addition to medical and surgical treatment.

Animal Physiotherapy, also known veterinary physiotherapy, is used to treat and prevent a range of problems animals can experience. While no two species are exactly alike, neither are two animals of the same species emphasizing why it's so important to tailor the physiotherapy to the animal's specific needs.

Chartered Physiotherapists have specialist knowledge in anatomy, biomechanics, physiology and pathology. They use findings from detailed assessments to tailor treatments to each animal's condition and stage of the problem. ACPAT Physiotherapists can cover the treatment of domestic pets, horses, farm animals to even exotic pets and zoo animals.


All full members of ACPAT must be annually subscribing full practising members of the CSP. Those members practising physiotherapy on humans must be registered with the HCPC. Category A and Category B members are required to have Professional & Public Liability Indemnity in order to practise on animals.
There are differing categories of membership. Below is the requirements for each membership to help guide you to which fits you best.

A Membership

  • Includes benefits from Cat B/C plus
  • Access to Wiley online journals
  • Listing on Find a Physio database
  • Access to promotional materials and merchandise
  • Use of ACPAT Branding

B Membership

  • Includes benefits from Cat C plus
  • Discount for ACPAT courses
  • ACPAT Block Insurance Scheme
  • Support from Education Officer
  • CPD and Peer Support via Regional Groups

C Membership

  • Access to members area on ACPAT Website
  • Four Front Journal and Newsletter
  • Discount for ACPAT Seminar
  • Access to selected ACPAT courses