Last updated December 31, 2014

If you’ve ever pulled a thorn from a dog’s paw, you know the satisfaction that comes from making an animal feel better. But if you’ve ever given a cat a pill, you also know that it’s not easy to tell an animal what’s best for it.

As a veterinary student, you’ll learn about more than the health problems of animals. You'll also learn how to diagnose patients who can’t explain their own symptoms.


You may be surprised to learn that people skills are a must for veterinarians. That's because for every animal a vet treats, there's a human standing by. In fact, one of the hardest things vets have to do is tell someone it’s time to let go of a sick pet.

Veterinarians prevent, diagnose, and treat illness in small animals (such as cats and dogs), large animals (such as horses and cows), or both. They may also research diseases and their cures.

Eligibility: A Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science

Did You Know?

Are You Ready To...?

  • Advise an owner on how to help his overweight dog slim down
  • Risk getting bitten, scratched, or kicked by an upset animal
  • Handle an emergency surgery at 6:00 p.m. on a Friday
  • Work out payment plans for owners who can’t afford treatment

It Helps To Be...

Patient, compassionate, perceptive, and able to communicate with a wide variety of people.

Make High School Count

  • Try your hardest in every class since you'll need strong skills to make it into vet school.
  • Take as many science, math, and biology courses as you can.
  • Volunteer or intern at a local animal shelter, vet's office, clinic, zoo, stable, farm, or research lab. Get as much hands-on experience with animals as possible.
  • Get to know your pet’s veterinarian and ask him or her questions about the job.