About HATO

The naturopathic philosophy on animal healing asserts that the body has the innate ability to heal itself when given the right conditions. 

Holistic Animal Health Practitioners seek to provide the therapies required to facilitate healing and restore balance. 

The Premier Natural Animal Therapy Organisation

Professional insurance for HATO members

For details, please click here



What are the main aims of HATO?

Our main goal is to empower and support qualified natural animal health practitioners world-wide by progressing the field of holistic animal health care through supporting qualified holistic animal practitioners and by offering high quality training in natural animal health and educating the public about the benefits of natural health and the importance of seeking professional advice for their animals.

HATO also offers a directory of holistic animal health practitioners so that pet owners can find HATO members in Australia and Overseas and our goal is to advance the field of natural animal health through education, resources, social media and professional networking.    


Which courses do HATO approve?

All courses in natural animal health and holistic animal care are assessed on their individual merits. It is necessary for the course to meet HATO's minimum criteria, as outlined on the 'Membership' page. For the welfare of animals, we feel strongly that HATO members must have completed satisfactory study requirements. HATO also provides our own courses in holistic animal health and animal nutrition. Refer below for further details. 



If you are interested in studying to become an animal nutritionist you can read about the course here: http://www.hato.com.au/approved-courses/ . If you would like to enrol in our Certificate in Animal Nutrition please email our office at: info@hato.com.au and request a course application form. 

The Certificate in Animal Nutrition gives students a greater understanding of the correct nutrition for dogs, cats and horses and the principles of natural nutrition and helps develop their knowledge of the dietary needs of animals at various life stages and the best sources of vitamins and minerals for dogs, cats and horses. The advantages and disadvantages of various feeding methods is also covered so that students can identify the requirements for optimal nutrition and can provide sound and reliable nutritional advice for pet owners.

Graduates will be able to apply for full Practitioner Membership as an Animal Nutritionist with HATO and will receive all of the benefits that membership offers our accredited practitioner members. This affordable online course allows students to learn in a fun, stress-free and enjoyable way. Visit the 'Courses' page: http://www.hato.com.au/approved-courses/ to find out more or you can email HATO info@hato.com.au with your course enquiry. 



Have you always wanted to become a holistic animal health practitioner so you can help support and maintain the health and wellbeing of animals? 

HATO is offering an online Diploma in Holistic Animal Health which will allow graduates to have the skills and knowledge to help pet owners care for their dogs, cats and horses using natural animal health principles.  

To find out more about the Diploma in Holistic Animal Health please visit the 'Courses' page: http://www.hato.com.au/approved-courses/ or you can email HATO info@hato.com.au with your course enquiry. 

Please note: The Certificate in Animal Nutrition is a prerequisite for the Diploma course so why don’t you enrol in the nutrition course today?  

In line with other organizations and institutions offering an education in natural animal health and animal nutrition, our courses do not provide an education in veterinary science or prepare students to practice any form of veterinary medicine. However, HATO does provide educational courses in the principals of safe and effective natural animal health care and natural animal nutrition and graduates can apply for practitioner membership with the Holistic Animal Therapy Organisation (HATO).

You can continue to work while studying towards your dream career in the field of natural animal health. 


Q, Can members get professional insurance if they work with animals?

A. Yes. Accredited HATO members are entitled to discounted insurance packages through our affiliated insurance broker. This company has been established for over 25 years and they are one of Australia's largest privately owned insurance brokers. They offer approved HATO members competitive premiums, a 3-in-1 policy covering Professional indemnity, Public and Products liability insurance, in-depth industry knowledge and have a dedicated members service team that can tailor each members policy coverage. *There are a small number of modalities such as animal chiropractic, that are not included. Please refer below for more information and check with the insurance company for full details. 


Q. What does the HATO members insurance cover include?

A. HATO offers members access to excellent insurance coverage with the World's Largest Insurer. HATO members can benefit from $10,000,000 Public Liability cover that is provided with every policy, No Excess if you have a claim, Free cover for students under supervision, locums and administration assistants, and lower premiums for those practitioners earning less than $10,000 per annum. Note: HATO is not responsible for any changes made by the insurer to the policies they offer. The information provided on this website may not be up to date. Once you become an accredited HATO member and apply for insurance, please ensure you read the terms and conditions carefully prior to accepting the offer. 


Q. Are there any exclusions to the insurance for HATO members? 

A. Compared to many other insurance companies, there are very few exclusions. The exclusions include chiropractic, physiotherapy, osteopathy, cervical spine, sterilisation procedures, future predictions and channelling. Practitioners that are suitably qualified in these fields can still become HATO practitioner members, however, they will be required to arrange professional insurance through their own particular industry. Note: HATO is not responsible for any changes made by the insurer to the policies they offer. The information provided on this website may not be up to date. Once you become an accredited HATO member and apply for insurance, please ensure you read the terms and conditions carefully prior to accepting the offer and check with the insurance company for full details of any other exclusions. 


Q. Can I get insurance if I practice animal nutrition, animal naturopathy, animal herbal medicine, animal homeopathy, kinesiology, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, reiki or Bowen on animals?

A. Yes, as long as you are accredited in the areas you seek insurance cover for. All HATO-approved modalities are able to be covered by our affiliated insurers (except for the following exclusions: animal chiropractic, animal physiotherapy, animal osteopathy, cervical spine work on animals, sterilisation procedures, future predictions and channelling) as long as you are qualified in the field you are seeking insurance for and you are approved by HATO in these modalities (check with the insurance company for full details of any other exclusions). Therefore, a large range of natural animal therapists that are HATO members can now gain professional insurance - from holistic animal health practitioners, animal nutritionists, animal naturopaths, animal herbalists, animal homoeopaths, animal behaviour specialists through to animal communicators and practitioners who practice in the field of equine and canine Bowen therapy, animal massage, flower remedies, and almost all other approved HATO modalities. Note: HATO is not responsible for any changes made by the insurer to the policies they offer. The information provided on this website may not be up to date. Once you become an accredited HATO member and apply for insurance, please ensure you read the terms and conditions carefully prior to accepting the offer and check with the insurance company for full details of any exclusions.  


Q. I am a qualified practitioner in the natural animal health field but I do not reside in Australia. Can I still become a member of HATO and can I still access insurance through your preferred insurance provider?

A. Practitioners that meet the membership requirements can join HATO no matter what country they live in. The insurance company that HATO affiliates with offers professional indemnity insurance to our accredited members in most countries around the world however, some countries are excluded. Please contact us to find out more. If the country you reside in is excluded, you will be required to organize insurance cover in your own country if you want to become a HATO practitioner member.


Q. I am a well-qualified natural animal health practitioner and I already have good insurance cover - what benefits are there for me to join the Holistic Animal Therapy Organisation?

A. There are many benefits to becoming an approved HATO member. Besides all of the benefits listed on the membership page, such as provision of advertising in our website practitioner directory (at no extra cost) and the use of our logo on your website and stationery; receiving our e-newsletter and a membership certificate to display in your office, there are other member benefits such as letting the general public know that you are an accredited member of a professional organisation that is the premier natural animal health organisation in Australia. 

In addition, unless you are an accredited holistic animal health practitioner you may find that your insurance policy is null and void if you ever need to make a claim and you are not qualified or accredited in the field(s) you practice in. While most insurance companies will provide insurance cover to people who request a policy - when it comes to making a claim you may find the cover you thought you had is not valid unless you are qualified and accredited in that field. Insurance companies will not usually pay out a claim if the insured person is not suitably accredited in the modality they work in. 

Read more about this issue here: http://www.hato.com.au/articles/2015/12/16/warning-to-practitioners-treating-animals-without-qualificat.html 


Q. Is HATO an association?

A. HATO is not an association - it is a professional organisation that was established to advance the field of natural animal health and ensure that practitioners offering nutritional advice and natural therapies for animals were trained to a high standard. Sara Rooney is the founder and Executive Director of the Holistic Animal Therapy Organistion (HATO) and she is a naturopathic practitioner, animal naturopath and zoologist with over 20 years experience in the naturopathic animal health field. Sara established HATO to provide a certifying organization for non-veterinarian holistic animal therapists as they were not being represented through any existing associations. HATO also now offers certification to qualified holistic veterinarians.


Q. I am already a HATO practitioner member and want to upgrade my membership to include other fields. What do I need to do to apply?

A. If you have successfully completed further study in an approved HATO course, all you need to do is send a certified copy of your certificate or diploma to the HATO office and we will automatically upgrade your qualification. If you completed a course that has not been accredited by HATO, you will be required to send a certified copy of your qualification along with a completed membership application form. A full course outline and academic transcript will be required. However, HATO does not charge for the assessment or inclusion of additional qualifications. 


I have completed a course that was approved by HATAA - Does that mean that this organisation (HATO) will automatically approve the course as well?

NO. The Holistic Animal Therapy Association of Australia (HATAA) no longer exists and the Holistic Animal Therapy Organisation (HATO) was established to replace HATAA. However, they are two totally different entities and therefore, the rulings and policies of HATAA do not apply in any way to HATO.

The course requirements of HATO are a higher standard compared to the minimum standards that HATAA required. Therefore, if you are seeking to become a member of HATO, it will be necessary for you to meet the membership criteria of HATO. Please see the 'Membership page' on this website for information about applying for professional HATO membership.