Veterinary Science: 5 Different Types of Veterinarians

We owe our veterinarians a great debt of gratitude as animal lovers. Their commitment, knowledge, and perseverance are invaluable. Veterinary medicine is a broad subject, and while many graduates of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine programs work with pets, there are other types of veterinarians. This list provides a high-level overview of the numerous specializations in this field that can be useful, especially if you are concerned about the welfare of all animals.

Companion Animal Veterinarians

The most prevalent type of veterinarian is one who works with companion animals. Companion animals are the primary or principal focus of the work of around 75% of all veterinarians in private practice.


These specialists, sometimes known as small animal veterinarians, are comparable to primary care physicians who work with humans. They may treat wounds, diagnose illnesses, do surgery, administer vaccines, and dispense drugs on a daily basis. Animals nearing the end of their life are also euthanized.


Shelter medicine, a relatively new field in which animals in need of homes are cared for, is another possibility for small animal practitioners. Visit this website to get more insight on companion animal care. 

Specialists in Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary doctors, like human doctors, can specialize in a wide range of specialties. The AVMA, in fact, recognizes over 20 different types of veterinarians in this category. Some job prospects include anesthesiology, dentistry, pathology, and surgery. Veterinarians can also specialize on one or more animal species or groups, such as cats, dogs, poultry, or wildlife.


Vet specialists serve as advisors for other veterinarians when a specific piece of equipment or knowledge is required. Because each position demands a distinct set of skills, daily responsibilities will vary greatly between specialists. A veterinary pathologist is someone who researches animal disease. An emergency veterinarian is a veterinarian who specializes in treating patients in the emergency department and intensive care unit and if you are in need of an orthopedic vet, just look uporthopedic vet near meto get the best vet in your area.

Food Animal Veterinarians

Food animal veterinarians are not like an exotic vet because they typically work with animals raised for human consumption to maintain food safety. Many of them work as large animal veterinarians. This, however, is not always the case. Regardless of the specific specialization, the AVMA emphasizes that these veterinarians are responsible for the welfare of food animals as well as the prevention and management of disease. They might work on ranches and farms and spend a lot of time traveling.

Food Safety and Inspection Veterinarians

Food animal veterinarians, like food safety and inspection veterinarians, play important roles in ensuring the safety of consumable commodities, but they are not the same. According to the AVMA, the latter commonly collaborate with the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to aid with regulatory enforcement.


These veterinarians may inspect animals and animal products such as eggs, dairy, and meat to ensure that sanitation standards are met. Diseased animals may need to be isolated in some cases to prevent illness from spreading to other animals and humans. Others are involved in the safety testing of medications and chemicals.

Research Veterinarians

While all DVMs must have solid scientific understanding, it is especially important for research veterinarians. These veterinarians may work for government agencies, biomedical research firms, or universities, according to the AVMA’s job profile. Veterinary professionals that work in educational environments are typically faculty members who teach vet students.


Veterinarians working with schools and government agencies may assess prior findings and practices in order to develop better methods for diagnosing, treating, and avoiding health problems. Employees of biomedical or pharmaceutical companies develop and test drugs and other biomedical products.


Veterinarians, as you can see, work in a variety of environments. Despite the difficulties of the profession, veterinarians play an important role in both animal and human health. You’ll have a better grasp of the extensive training and labor required to learn their job the next time you decide to take your companion to the vet.