A childhood love of animals prompted many vets to choose the profession before starting secondary school

25 April 2017

Almost half of vets (46%) working in the UK today had resolved to become a vet while they were still at primary school, according to new figures released the British Veterinary Association (BVA) to celebrate World Veterinary Day this Saturday (29 April). 

The most recent BVA Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey revealed younger vets were more likely to decide on a veterinary career at a young age, with 53% of those under 35 settling on veterinary medicine by the age of 10. However, more than a quarter of vets (28%) said they had decided to become a vet as young as eight years of age.  

Three-quarters (76%) of the vets surveyed said that their choice was driven by an interest in caring for animals. An interest in science, with a primary focus on clinical practice, was mentioned by 51%. A third of vets (32%) mentioned the variety of work that a veterinary career would provide as an influencing factor – with the majority of the vets (58%) reflecting that their career choice had met this expectation, rating their job variety/interest as excellent or very good.

British Veterinary Association President Gudrun Ravetz commented:

“It’s lovely to hear that so many of my fellow vets made the decision as early as I did. Veterinary medicine is a long-standing ambition and a cherished vocation for many vets as well as a challenging and rewarding career.

“I had definitely decided that I wanted to become a vet by the time I was seven. That’s what I would always say I wanted to be when asked by adults. Like most of the vets surveyed I was influenced by loving and caring for the pets in my home. The only vets I knew were those we visited with the dog but I can’t ever remember wanting to be anything else.”

If you’re interested in finding about more about becoming a vet, ask if your local practice holds open days or visit BVA’s website for more information.

BVA Media Office