Celebrating veterinarians - World veterinary day

Where would we be without veterinarians? After all, they play a vital role in the health and happiness of our pets. Are you considering a career as a veterinarian or curious to learn more about your pet’s greatest champion? Read on!

Let’s be real - for many pets, going to the vet isn’t on their list of favourite activities. And we humans can relate! Think about it. You may not love going to get your teeth cleaned, but if your dentist or hygienist has a warm disposition, it makes the uncomfortable experience that much easier to tolerate.

That’s what a good vet does for our pets (and us too).

The Veterinarian’s Role

Veterinarians don’t just take care of animals. They take care of people too. They often need to have tough conversations with pet parents about the health of their pets. Pet owners can be highly emotional when they go to the vet, especially if their beloved pet is sick. Stress, anxiety, fear, and even anger are just some of the human emotions that vets have to navigate on a daily basis. They do so by keeping a calm demeanour and ensuring to put your pet’s best interests first.

Not all veterinarians work in an office. One may treat animals and perform surgeries in a clinic setting. Some exclusively practice shelter medicine. Another may find that their work takes them outside of the clinic to treat the animals at a farm. Then there are those that conduct lifesaving research in a laboratory. No matter where they practice veterinary medicine, a vet needs to be ready for anything.

The Challenges

Vets often find themselves consoling pet parents, especially when a pet reaches the end of their life. Saying goodbye to a pet is difficult for veterinary staff too, especially if they’ve known the pet since they were very young. Dealing with loss on a daily basis is the reality of being a vet. Knowing that they’re helping to put an end to an animal’s suffering is one way that vets can cope with their own emotions. Others have a more difficult time even if it’s something they do everyday. Veterinarians are human, after all.

When an animal is frightened or stressed, veterinarians often get the brunt of the aggression. It’s not uncommon for vets to come home with bruises, scratches, and even bite marks from an uncooperative patient.

Their office hours are also unpredictable. Many veterinarians work evenings, weekends, and stay on-call for emergencies.

Have You Thanked A Veterinarian Today?

World Veterinary Day was created by the World Veterinary Association in 2000 to be celebrated annually on the last Saturday of April. It is an opportunity to highlight and illustrate the wide variety of duties and responsibilities that veterinarians play at a local, national, and international level, the challenges they face in their day-to-day work and their contribution to global society. It’s also the perfect time to thank your veterinarian, their technicians, and their receptionist for everything they do. You might consider:

  1. Dropping off treats for the office.
  2. Supporting the office’s charity or cause of choice.
  3. Leaving them a thank you note on social media, a review site, or the old-fashioned way (pen and paper).