Podcast Show Notes


Episode 6: Francisco Maia is the owner of a mobile and cash based canine physical therapy practice.


In this episode, Francisco discusses how to become a canine PT, the different courses that are required, how to start a cash based mobile canine PT business, and how to get equal wages as a canine PT compared to human physical therapists.





Time Stamps:

  • 1:24 Inspiration for K9 PT

  • 4:30 Steps to become a canine PT

2 main places to get certified:

Canine Rehabilitation Institute – Francisco prefers this to North Eastern as they are more hands on!

Northeast Seminars – Only PTAs can be certified through North Eastern.


This information below is directly from the Canine Rehabilitation Therapist Certification Website


“Canine Rehabilitation Therapist Certification is offered to veterinarians and physical therapists.


CCRT candidates learn:

  • Canine anatomy and physiology

  • Conditions and injuries commonly referred for rehabilitation

  • Physical therapy assessment techniques

  • Manual therapy

  • Physical modalities and therapeutic exercise

  • Neurological rehabilitation

  • The business of canine rehabilitation

CCRT curriculum includes three modules: Introduction to Canine RehabilitationCanine Rehabilitation Therapist, and Canine Sports Medicine. Canine Sports Medicine may be taken before or after Canine Rehabilitation Therapist.


An open-book take-home final exam is given at the end of each module. Students have 30 days to complete each exam, and collaboration with fellow classmates is encouraged.


Once CCRT candidates have taken the three courses required for certification and successfully completed all exams, they participate in a 40-hour internship at a CRI-approved practice through the CRI Internship Program. We believe that an internship provides “real life” experience — an integral part of the training of the best practitioners.


Because many of our core certification courses sell out months in advance, we recommend that students register for all their core certification courses as soon as they know their schedules. Students do not need to complete Introduction to Canine Rehabilitation to register for other courses.


What is the cost of the CCRT program?

The total course fee for courses in the CCRT program currently is:

Canine Sports Medicine 1,600
Total Course Fee $7,400

Starting January 1, 2019, the total course fee for courses in the CCRT program is: “


Canine Sports Medicine 1,750
Total Course Fee $7,550


This is directly from the Northeast Seminars canine certification program website:

“The University of Tennessee Canine Rehabilitation Certificate Program (CCRP) is the only university-based, RACE approved credential program for canine rehabilitation education.


The Canine Rehabilitation Certificate Program (CCRP) from the University of Tennessee is the only RACE approved, university credential program for canine rehabilitation available to Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, and Physical Therapists.
Developed using the same strict guidelines typically associated with university accredited programs, the course is taught by a faculty that includes active university instructors, expert clinicians, researchers, and recognized industry experts. The program draws from ongoing research, evidence based case studies, clinical experience, and leading companies in the fields of veterinary medicine.


The high standards for admission and rigorous but fun curriculum assure graduates that the CCRP credential is recognized as the premiere program in canine rehabilitation.


The course consists of 7 modules to be completed in order: (see course details)

  • Canine I: Introduction to Canine Rehabilitation (ONLINE)

  • Canine II: Physical Agent Modalities and Therapeutic Exercise (ONLINE)

  • Canine III: Physical Agent Modalities and Therapeutic Exercise (HANDS-ON LAB)

  • Canine IV: Putting it All Together: Designing and Implementing a Rehab Program (HANDS-ON LAB)

  • Canine V (Elective Course): Choose from our list of Online and Live elective courses

  • Canine VI: Clinical Practicum-Externship and Case Studies

  • Canine VII: Certificate Exam at The University of Tennessee

Course App – New in 2017, the Course now includes an Interactive App – Continuous CCRP Content and the ability to connect with canine rehabilitation focused communities. The CCRP program includes access to a full-time cloud-based resource 24×7. New information, best practices, resource materials, instructional videos, and presentations are updated continually. Connect with more than 1,000 certified CCRP practicing professionals to exchange ideas and ask questions. ”


  • 10:00 Recommendation to shadow canine therapists

  • 10:55 Some clinics will pay for your certification. Contact clinics and see if they will sponsor you but always look at your contract to see what clauses are in the contract as a result. 

  • 12:30 challenges in canine PT: understanding your handling technique, learning body language from animals, and how to communicate with pet owners. 

  • 17:48 Advantages of canine physical therapy 

-Personally: Its fun to work with animals, never a grumpy patient!

-Business: Since canine PT is cash based, you don’t have to

  • 20:00 How to create a mobile cash canine physical therapy business

  • 24:40 Average salary of the canine physical therapy: Around $20.00 per hour on average but you can earn more as a cash based therapist

  • 26:00 How to make equal wages as a canine PT versus human PT

  • 32:00 Can new grads start their own canine PT and best advice? Francisco recommends usually at least 1 year of clinical practice even if that is as a human physical therapist


  • 39:00 Final advice for therapists and inspiring canine therapists



Key Take Always:

  • There are 2 main courses to get certified in canine PT:

    • North Eastern Seminars

    • Canine Rehabilitation Institute 

  •  Shadow and learn more about canine PT first

  • Francisco recommends roughly 1 year of physical therapy experience prior to starting your own canine PT business to improve you clinical and communication skills first.

  • Keys to getting paid more even as a canine PT: express your additional skills like marketing, blogging, advertisement, getting more patient’s in the door.

  • You don’t need a lot of tools and equipment for a mobile canine PT business. You can simply do hands on treatment, progressive strengthening, and modalities as needed. Don’t make it complicated!

  • Look very closely at your states legalization and get more involved to spread the access of canine PT and PTA’s.


Resources Mentioned: 

Canine Physical Therapy Courses:



Francisco Maia’s website and information: 


Facebook group: Canine Physical Therapists

Facebook page:  



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