10 Key Veterinarian Job Responsibilities to Know

Published on Jun 24, 2024 12:00 AM
10 Key Veterinarian Job Responsibilities to Know

A study conducted by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in 2021 revealed that despite the high workload veterinary professionals handle, more than 70% of veterinarians are satisfied with their work.

Veterinary medicine is one of the most satisfying professions for those interested in the welfare of animals and their health. But how does a veterinarian spend their working day, or, in other words, what do they do daily?
Now, let’s discuss the 10 primary day-to-day veterinarian responsibilities in detail.

Day-to-Day Veterinarian Job Responsibilities

A typical day for a veterinarian can be a whirlwind of activity, filled with examinations, diagnoses, treatments, and consultations. 

Here's a closer look at 10 key veterinarian job responsibilities performed day to day in practice;

Preventative Care

  • Conduct thorough physical examinations to monitor animal health.
  • Check for signs of illness or distress.
  • Administer vaccines to protect animals from infectious diseases.
  • Maintain up-to-date vaccination schedules.
  • Perform routine dental cleanings and check-ups.
  • Prevent dental diseases and related health issues.

Diagnosis of Health Issues

  • Inspect the animal's body for signs of disease or pain.
  • Assess abnormal behavior and symptoms.
  • Conduct blood tests, urinalysis, X-rays, and ultrasounds.
  • Identify underlying causes of symptoms for accurate diagnosis.

Treatment of Illnesses and Injuries

Disease treatments are considered the core veterinarian's job responsibilities; here, a vet is physically involved in caring for animal patients. 

This includes:

  • Perform a wide range of surgeries, from routine to complex.
  • Treat injuries and correct health issues that require surgical intervention.
  • Prescribe and administer medications for various illnesses.
  • Manage chronic conditions with specialized treatments.
  • Handle emergencies such as trauma or sudden illnesses.
  • Provide lifesaving immediate response and critical care.
  • Perform resuscitation, stabilization, and emergency surgeries.
  • Utilize advanced medical skills for the best outcomes.

Client Education

  • Provide advice on proper feeding, grooming, and exercise.
  • Help owners maintain their pets' health and well-being.
  • Offer tailored nutritional advice based on specific animal needs.
  • Prevent health issues through proper nutrition.

Record Keeping

Record keeping is the most unavoidable 

  • Keep detailed medical records, vaccination schedules, and treatment plans.
  • Ensure accurate ongoing care and health monitoring.
  • Track treatments administered and patient progress.
  • Adjust care plans based on documented outcomes.

Anesthesia and Monitoring

  • Calculate and administer appropriate doses of anesthesia based on the animal's size, health, and procedure requirements.
  • Ensure the animal is properly sedated for surgery or other medical procedures.
  • Continuously monitor the animal's vital signs throughout the procedure, such as heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.
  • Use specialized equipment to track and record these parameters accurately.
  • Adjust anesthesia levels during the procedure to maintain the animal's comfort and safety.
  • Respond to any changes in the animal's condition promptly.
  • Oversee the animal's recovery from anesthesia, ensuring a smooth and safe wake-up process.
  • Monitor for any adverse reactions or complications during the recovery period.

Animal Advocacy and Welfare

  • Advocate for the ethical treatment of animals.
  • Work against animal cruelty and neglect.
  • Support and participate in animal welfare initiatives.
  • Improve animal lives through rescue, rehabilitation, and education.

Public Health and Safety

  • Prevent and manage diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans.
  • Protect both animal and human health.
  • Inspect and monitor livestock for disease.
  • Implement safety protocols for animal products like meat and dairy.

Research and Development

  • Participate in research and development to advance veterinary medicine.
  • Contribute to studies and clinical trials for new treatments and technologies.
  • Explore innovative solutions and better understand animal diseases.
  • Lead to breakthroughs in veterinary practice and public health.

Business Management

  • Oversee operations, manage staff, and handle client relations.
  • Ensure smooth and efficient practice management.
  • Handle budgeting and financial planning.
  • Ensure profitability while maintaining high standards of care.

Continuing Education

  • Keep up with the latest medical advancements and technologies.
  • Engage in ongoing education to enhance veterinary practice.
  • Participate in workshops, seminars, and conferences.
  • Learn from experts, network with peers, and stay informed about industry trends.

The Pros and Cons of Working as a Veterinarian 

Pros of Being a Veterinarian:

A career in veterinary medicine brings a lot of responsibilities and benefits. 

  • Directly improve the lives of animals and strengthen the human-animal bond.
  • The veterinarian's job responsibilities are widening with the rise of pet ownership.
  • General practice or specialize in surgery, dentistry, or exotic animals.
  • Earn a comfortable living, especially with experience and vet tech specialties.
  • Daily interaction with furry, feathery, or scaly friends (for animal lovers).
  • Continuous learning and applying new knowledge in diagnosing and treating animals.

Cons of Being a Veterinarian:

There are always challenges when something good is performed. 

  • DVM programs require dedication, long hours of studying, and financial sacrifices.
  • Long hours, emergencies, and being on-call can be physically and mentally draining.
  • Dealing with sick and injured animals, and sometimes euthanasia, can be emotionally difficult.
  • You may encounter unreasonable pet owners with limited resources or unrealistic expectations.

Differences Between a Veterinarian & a Veterinary Technician

Determining the difference between a veterinarian and a veterinary technician is essential. Even though both are essential in dealing with animals, they are not similar in their roles. Veterinarians practice under the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD) title and go through the academic process, qualification, and training program.

Typical Veterinarian Job Responsibilities include:

In particular, vets can perform multiple tasks in day-to-day activities in their clinic. Some common include;

  • Conduct regular clinical examinations
  • Diagnose and treat ailments, injuries, and other health problems
  • Perform various surgical procedures
  • Deliver preventive care (vaccinations and health advice)
  • Interpret diagnostic tests (such as blood, X-rays, ultrasounds)
  • Give expert advice on nutrition and behavior

On the other hand, vet techs, also known as veterinary technicians, are certified animal healthcare caregivers who practice under the veterinarian's supervision to attend to animals.

Everyday Responsibilities of a Vet Tech

Veterinary technicians perform different tasks under the instruction of a veterinarian, which includes following vet tech duties;

  • Collect and prepare laboratory samples
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Administer medications, vaccines, and treatments
  • Assist vet during surgeries and other medical procedures
  • Provide emergency first aid and critical care
  • Manage anesthesia and monitor animals during surgery
  • Maintain medical records

To Conclude

Veterinarian job responsibilities are diverse and demanding, ranging from preventative care and emergency response to client education and research. 

If you want free veterinary education and resources, join the Vet and Tech platform. We offer insightful webinars that enable you to obtain free RACE-approved CE credits. 

Furthermore, our blog section provides accurate and up-to-date information on the industry, such as career and educational guidance. 


what are the responsibilities of a veterinarian?

Veterinarians perform multiple roles and duties to care for our furry friends optimally. Common veterinarian job responsibilities include prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases, operation, emergency care, counseling clients, etc.

Are veterinarians responsible for public health in any way?

Veterinarians utilize their expertise in disease prevention, diagnosis, control, and treatment, which can affect humans and animals while ensuring the safety of foods of animal origin. They are particularly engaged in research and development activities, protecting the population's health.

What core competencies do veterinary professionals require?

The core skills required for veterinary professionals are medical knowledge, robust surgical experience, diagnostic skills, and comprehensive communication skills for client relations and team management.