Skills Veterinarians Should Possess

Skills Veterinarians Should Possess

Taking care of animals requires a lot of hard work and passion. If you want to be a veterinarian, you need to have a vast knowledge of medical procedures and the sciences.

However, simply having the right continuing education is not enough for a career as a veterinarian. Check out the key skills veterinarians should possess in order to be successful in their fields.

Practical Skills

Veterinarians are doctors, except they heal animals instead of humans. All the same, they need practical skills to perform medical procedures.

This includes taking blood tests, placing stitches, listening to a stethoscope, administering anesthesia, and performing surgery among others. 

Technical Skills

Veterinarians also need to learn how to use diagnostic tools or read diagnostic results from laboratories to properly analyze an animal’s condition. 

Being equipped to handle ultrasound machines, MRIs, CT scans, and other modern technology goes a long way in ensuring the right diagnosis is given to a patient. 


To be a good veterinarian, you need to have a good head on your shoulders that is capable of solving problems as they come. This skill can be honed from knowledge gleaned from school, volunteer and experiences.

Having problem-solving skills will help you create treatment plans for patients and will allow you to react fast to emergency situations.

Animal Handling

Any veterinarian worth their salt will be able to handle all types of animals. Whether it’s for a cat or a horse, animal handling skills relevant to the type of animals you encounter will go a long way in ensuring your safety as well as the safety of your patient.

Some animals don’t react well to strangers and strange environments, so veterinarians need to know how to deal with nervous, aggressive, or hostile animals.


Aside from practical skills, one of the most important qualities that veterinarians need to have is empathy. Your love and care for your animal patients is the first thing you need to succeed as a veterinarian.

Empathy is a skill that’s not only beneficial for psychologists and psychotherapists

You need to learn how to handle emotional pet owners sensitively, as well as learn to deal with ailing patients compassionately. Even for simple procedures such as grooming, having empathy can go a long way in making your patients and their owner feel at ease.

Having empathy can also help you develop great patient-doctor relationships because owners will appreciate a doctor who cares for their pets as much as they do.

Organizational Skills

As a veterinarian, you also need to be able to manage your time. If you plan to start a practice and create your own vet clinic, it’s even more vital that you learn to be organized and methodical because you will have employees under you.

However, apart from sticking to appointments and managing a busy day, being organized and methodical can also help you in other ways such as how you approach your treatment methods.

More Resources

Being a veterinarian requires a lot of work, but it’s also one of the most fulfilling professions out there. If you sincerely love animals and wish to learn to take care of them, pursuing a career as a veterinarian may be good for you.

If you find yourself leaning towards helping other people instead, check out some cool professions below and see the faces of the best in their field in Edmonton.