What’s Included in the Veterinary Oath and Veterinary Code of Ethics?

Published on Oct 30, 2023 12:00 AM
What’s Included in the Veterinary Oath and Veterinary Code of Ethics?

When people entrust their beloved pets to the care of veterinary professionals, they expect them to follow a set of ethical guidelines and principles.

Veterinarians from all domains and disciplines are bound by a solemn promise known as the Veterinary Oath. 

This is a complete guide to what the veterinarian’s oath entails and the broader veterinary code of ethics that governs the conduct of animal healthcare providers.

Read details!

Understanding: What is the Veterinary Oath 

The primary purpose of the vet oath is to follow ethical codes during the practice. 

The Foundation of Care

The Veterinary Oath serves as the foundation of the ethical practice of veterinary medicine. 

It is a commitment to the welfare of animals as well as the preservation of public health.

Veterinarian's Oath: The Exact Statement 

Veterinarians, upon graduating from accredited institutions and prior to entering into professional practice, take the following oath:


"Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge.


"I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence."


Scope of Practice and Responsibility

Veterinary professionals, including vet techs, adhere to a comprehensive code of ethics.

They encompass a wide range of principles and responsibilities:

  • The humane treatment of animals, respecting their dignity.
  • The importance of obtaining informed consent from animal owners.
  • The obligation to report any unethical or illegal conduct within the profession.
  • The commitment to maintaining professional competence.

Veterinary professionals are expected to maintain integrity in all their professional relationships:

  • They should foster a positive working environment, treating colleagues with respect and cooperation.
  • They should avoid conflicts of interest and provide objective advice.
  • They should be honest and transparent in their communication 
  • They must not exploit their professional position for personal gain.

The Vet Tech Oath: A Complementary Commitment

While the Veterinary Oath primarily applies to veterinarians, vet techs also have their own code of ethics.

They take and read the following oath when stepping into their professional life:


I solemnly dedicate myself to aiding animals and society by providing excellent care and services for animals, by alleviating animal suffering, and promoting public health. I accept my obligations to practice my profession conscientiously and with sensitivity, adhering to the profession's Code of Ethics, and furthering my knowledge and competence through a commitment to lifelong learning.


To Summarize!

The veterinary oath and the broader veterinary code of ethics are the base of the animal healthcare profession. 

Whether you're a veterinarian, a vet tech, or a vet nurse, these ethical guidelines serve as a constant reminder of the vital role you play in safeguarding animal health. 

And—if you’re a pet owner and get to visit a veterinary clinic, rest assured that professionals working there are guided by a solemn promise to provide the best care for your furry friends.

Explore Vet and Tech for more valuable insights into veterinary medicine.