How to become a Veterinary Doctor – A complete educational guide to meet the Paws!


Are you the one who is likely to care about a street dog being beaten up? 

Are you the one who offers milk to your regular visitor- the cat? 

Are you the one who is likely to buy a bird and let it free? 

Are you the one who requests a pet as a birthday present? 

Are you the one who cries in movies like Finding Nemo because you can’t see him separated from his father? 

Basically what I am asking is are you the one who loves animals and can’t let anything happen to them? Then maybe a Career as a Veterinary Doctor is for you! 

But do you think empathy and love for animals are all it takes to become one? Definitely not! 

Vets are usually disregarded as “doctors” since they are of no use to humans. However, that’s untrue. They undergo years of medical training just like a human doctor. So if you are planning to become a Veterinary doctor, go in with the expectation that it takes more than just empathy for animals to become one. 

But how to become a Veterinary doctor, you ask? Read the blog further to know more about it- the education, skills, the colleges that offer the course, the salary insights and much more! 

Who is a Veterinary Doctor? 

A veterinarian is a doctor who ensures the health and welfare of both people and animals. Animals that are ill or damaged are treated, and diseases are identified and controlled. They also give owners advice on how to take care of their animals and pets.

Learn more: How to become an Ornithologist

How to become a Veterinary Doctor? 

Step 1: Stream Selection 

Considering that it is a medical field, it is mandatory to pursue the science stream in your 11th and 12th grades. The PCB (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) combination is advisable. Additionally, this is also the time for you to start preparing for the NEET entrance test as the scores of this test will determine your admission to the undergraduate programs. 

Step 2: Certificate Courses and Project Courses 

You can take a few online courses if you’re hesitant to determine whether a career as a veterinary doctor is suited for you. These programmes can help you pinpoint your preferences more quickly. You can enrol in these classes even after finishing the tenth grade since there are no requirements. Consider a handful of the following programmes:

Certificate Courses Institute offering the course Duration 
EDIVET: Do you have what it takes to be a Veterinarian? The University of Edinburgh1-3 Months 
Animal Behavior and Welfare The University of Edinburgh1-3 Months 
Dog Emotion and Cognition Duke University 1-3 Months 
Pet Nutrition Diploma+ Bonus pet first aid manual Udemy 1.5 hours of content (self-paced) 
The Truths about Dogs and Cats The University of Edinburgh1-3 Months 
Animals and Institutions The University of Colorado 1-4 Weeks 
Birds 101: Introduction to Pet Birds edX 4 weeks (self-paced) 
Dog Training: 50 Dog behaviour Issues and ways to fix them Skillshare 6 hours of content (self-paced) 

Step 3: Educational Qualifications 

How to become a Veterinary doctor after 12th? 

To become a veterinary doctor in India after 12th students must pursue undergraduate courses –

A) Undergraduate/ Diploma courses 

Post you score sufficient marks in the NEET or the All India Pre Veterinary Test (AIPVT) exam you are eligible to take admissions for a bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science in major universities and colleges in India. The two options available are: 

Undergraduate Course Duration 
Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Poultry Technology/ Food Technology/ Dairy Technology 4 Years 
Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) in Animal Nutrition/ Veterinary Pathology/ Animal Genetics and Breeding/ Veterinary microbiology 5.5 years 

After graduating with a degree in Veterinary Science, you have to further study an MD in Veterinary Science or its related specialization to become a certified Veterinary Doctor.

There are also certain diploma courses that you can pursue in order to increase your knowledge and get specialized training. Some of them that you can check out include: 

Diploma Course Institute offering the course Duration 
Diploma in Veterinary Animal Health WorkerSinghania University, Rajasthan 2 Years 
Diploma in Live Stone and Veterinary ScienceCMJ University, Shillong1 Year 
Diploma in Veterinary PharmacistAbhilashi University, Mandi2 Years
Diploma in Veterinary Science and Animal Health TechnologyLala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Hisar2 Years 
Diploma in Animal Husbandry Nanaji Deshmukh Veterinary Science University, Jabalpur 2 Years

B) Top Colleges 

  • Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly
  • National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal
  • Annamalai University (AU), Chidambaram
  • Benaras Hindu University (BHU)
  • Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh
  • Govind Ballabhpant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar
  • Veterinary College and Research Institute (VCRI), Chennai
  • College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (CVAS), Bikaner
  • Mumbai University (MU)

To become a Veterinary Doctor abroad  

A) Undergraduate/Diploma courses 

Some of the Undergraduate courses abroad for veterinary students include: 

Undergraduate Course Estimated Duration 
Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Bioscience3 Years 
BVSc Veterinary Science5 Years 
BSc (Agr) in PreVeterinary Medicine2 Years 
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine6 Years 
Bachelor of Veterinary Technology3 Years 
Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) 5 Years 

The duration and the name of these courses may vary depending on the college you apply to. 

You can also pursue some diploma courses abroad. 

Diploma CoursesInstitute offering the course Duration 
Diploma in Veterinary TechnicianGeorgian College2 Years 
Associate Diploma in the Veterinary TechnologyUniversity of Guelph2 Years 
Pet Care & Vet Assistant DiplomaInternational Career Institute 24 weeks 
Veterinary Technician Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology2 Years 
Pre-Veterinary Science Teesside University1 Year 
  1. Top Colleges abroad
  • The University of Melbourne, Australia 
  • Dalhousie University, Canada 
  • The University of Sydney, Australia 
  • University of Cambridge, UK 
  • The University of Adelaide, Australia 
  • Purdue University, USA 
  • University College Dublin, Ireland 
  • The University of Queensland, Australia 
  • University of Glasgow, UK 
  • Massey University, New Zealand 
  • University of Bristol, UK 

Read more: How to become a Zoologist

Step 4: Job Preparation required to become a Veterinary Doctor 

To finally be called a Veterinary doctor is a dream for many. It requires almost 6-8 Years of rigorous medical training. Most of the training that happens in the Bachelor’s and Master’s courses is enough for you to get a job as a Vet or you can open your own private practice. However, there are certain things that you can do to differentiate yourself from the crowd: 

  • Intern in hospitals/clinics: 

Internships are usually a part of the course curriculum to become a Veterinary doctor. A certain amount of hours are mandatory based on which lies the credibility of your degree. However, this usually happens in the last year of your graduation.

You can also take up some easy jobs like a receptionist at an animal clinic which could be a good exposure for you to gain a perspective on the industry in general. 

  • Pursue additional certifications: 

After graduating from veterinary school, some students seek specialities in the field of veterinary medicine. Internal medicine, surgery, preventive medicine, pathology, behaviour, dentistry, nutrition, and toxicology are a few specialities. For certification in these programs, residency training is necessary. The learner must adhere to the conditions set forth by each specialist group in order to be certified by that organization.

  • Continue Networking: 

Medical conferences and seminars are a great way to create connections within the industry. Additionally, you can also use social media platforms like LinkedIn and connect with people across the globe. 

Check out Clever Harvey’s JuniorMBA Entrepreneurship and FutureCEO programs to start your own practice

Skills required for a Veterinary Doctor 

  • Empathy 
  • Interpersonal skills 
  • Team Work 
  • Analytical skills 
  • Communication 
  • Physical Stamina 
  • Willingness to learn 
  • Problem Solving
  • Good with Technology 
  • Leadership skills 

Salary of a Veterinary Doctor 

Salary in India for a Veterinary Doctor 

A lot about the salary depends on where you work as a veterinary doctor- do you have a private practice or are you employed by a hospital? Additionally is it a government hospital or a private hospital? A lot of doctors are also employed at various places which ultimately determine their pay for the year. However, an entry-level veterinary doctor can expect to earn between 4-5 LPA, which definitely increases as one moves ahead in their career. 

Salary Abroad for a Veterinary Doctor 

Scenario Abroad also remains the same. However, a general overview of their salary is provided below: 

Country USA Netherlands Germany Canada UK Australia Switzerland 
Entry-level salary per year $50,750 €49,908€21,456$70,000 £27,200AU$42,000 CHF 59’120

Top Recruiters in India 

  • Venky 
  • MSD 
  • Intas 
  • Cipla 
  • Diagovet
  • Godrej 
  • Kapila 
  • Vetlab 
  • Growell 
  • Magicvets 
  • Amul 
  • Mother Dairy 

Top Recruiters Abroad 

  • Banfield Pet Hospital
  • Thrive Pet Healthcare
  • VetCor
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture 
  • MedVet 
  • Petco 
  • US Army 
  • Medivet 
  • Elanco 
  • VetPartners 

Thus, veterinary doctors are real doctors and have to go through a lot of emotional ups and down a day. They have to deliver the news of death to an owner while on the same afternoon having to meet a cute puppy, ultimately requiring a lot of resilience and empathy. Hence while deciding on a career as a Veterinary doctor, be prepared to do a lot of hard work. All the best! 

How to Become a Veterinary Doctor

FAQs about how to become a Veterinary Doctor

How many years is the veterinary doctor training program?

Typically, becoming a veterinarian takes eight years. A B.V. Sc typically takes four years to complete. The DVM program normally takes four more years for veterinary candidates.

Does a veterinary doctor need to have NEET?

For veterinary, NEET is necessary.

How many NEET marks are needed for veterinary school?

For the General category, 350+ is the required score on the NEET to be admitted to a veterinary college.

What should one study to become a veterinarian?

You must enrol in college and earn a degree in veterinary science or medicine if you want to become a veterinarian. Normally, the program lasts five years. You must have a solid background in science to be considered for admission to vet school. It’s crucial that you excel in and like academic disciplines like biology, chemistry, and physics.

Can vets treat people?

Veterinarians can do surgery on people in an emergency, and because they have studied comparative anatomy so extensively, it may even be safe.

Are animal doctors truly doctors?

Veterinarians serve as medical professionals for animals. They employ their abilities to assess patients, provide diagnoses, and provide treatment for a variety of illnesses.

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