Are you a veterinary kid? A veterinary kid is a kid who loves animals. A veterinary kid is a kid who wants to learn how animals work. A veterinary kid is a kid who wants to help sick animals. Does this sound like you? Where can you go for help and guidance? Is there a veterinarian for kids?
I am a veterinarian and I understand how strongly you feel about animals and how important this is to you. I was a veterinary kid. I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was eleven years old. That is why, today, I focus all my time on helping kids like you to explore the veterinary profession. So how can this “veterinarian for kids” help you?
Firs off, I want you to know that you are not alone. In a recent nationwide survey, kids like you were asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?’” Veterinarian was the number one answer. In fact, veterinarian was more popular than “sports star”, “singer/dancer” and President of the United States! Veterinarians and veterinary kids rule!
The other thing you should know is that most veterinarians practicing today were veterinary kids just like you. The passion to care for animals starts early and, like you, most veterinarians made their career decision when they were quite young.
So how can a veterinary kid like you get started? Let’s listen to what veterinarians are telling you. In a recent survey of large animal veterinarians, they said that the most important factors in developing their interest in veterinary medicine were family, experience with animals, finding a veterinarian to guide them and joining clubs that helped them learn about animals. So what are these veterinarians telling you? Start today on your dream! Don’t wait around!
To help you and other veterinary kids get started today, I have created this Quick Start Guide to Becoming a Veterinarian. Here you will find important things you can do today to make certain you become a veterinarian of tomorrow:
1. Keep Reading About Veterinary Medicine
You’re on the internet now. Keep exploring! Find out more about what veterinarians do. I have been a veterinarian for many years and I am still learning new things about my profession every day. In fact, I work hard to share it with future veterinarians just like you. Check out more of the Ichabod Ink website. You can access a lot of the articles for free and it is truly the only on-line community you’ll find dedicated to helping future veterinarian like you.
2. Go to a Veterinary or Animal Science Camp
Put veterinary camps at the top of your birthday wish list! At these camps, you get to explore the science veterinary medicine while learning the basics of animal caring and feeding. These camps also introduce you to lots of veterinarians and veterinary students. You’ll get a great look at the profession and become a veterinarian for a week.
Has your birthday already passed you by this year? Are you too young for veterinary camps? Don’t worry. Check out the camps offered by your local zoo, animal park or humane society. I have attended many of these camps and have found that all of them allow younger kids to get great hands on experience with animals and they teach the important fundamentals of animal science. .
Remember this: Many kids love animals. The kids who love both science and animals are the ones that become veterinarians. These local camps are a great way to build your knowledge of animals. In fact, many camps locations have an expertise on one type of animal (e.g. the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida). Chances are, you’ll get insights and experiences from these camps that you can’t get anywhere else!
3. Get Experience with Animals
There are so many opportunities for kids who want to be veterinarians to work with and help animals. You can help your parents care for your pets at home by taking them on walks, feeding them, and brushing them. If that goes well and your parents think you are ready, you can pet-sit the neighbors’ pets while they are away on vacation. Do you have animals in your classroom? Ask your teacher if you can help care for the classroom pet.
If you want to help animals, you should also explore volunteering. Although most shelters let only older kids work with the animals in their facility, they probably have other ways that kids your age can help. Some humane societies have weekly camps where young campers care for a pet and help prepare it for adoption. Other shelters are looking for “foster” homes for their animals. Talk with your parents about helping animals in shelters.
4. Connect with Others Like You
There are literally millions of kids just like you in the United States that want to become veterinarians. Connect with them and find out what they are doing. You share the same love for animals and chances are, they’ll have done some great things that you’ll want to try.
You’ll meet many of them at school, when you go to camps and volunteer with animals. For inspiration, you can also find articles about other future vets on the internet. For example, check out this one on Ichabod Ink: “Connecticut Girl Works on Farm and Volunteers with Veterinarian”. If you want to go beyond articles, some websites may even give you access to chat rooms with future veterinarians like yourself. But check with your parents first!
I hope this Quick Start Guide on becoming a veterinarian has motivated you to get out there and do something to explore your passion. Remember what Walt Disney said: “All of our dreams can come true—if we have the courage to pursue them.” Start pursuing your veterinary dream today!