If you want to become a vet, prepare for quite a few challenges. While this job often seems easy, in reality, you will have to deal with many problems, such as stress and getting bitten, kicked, or scratched on a daily basis.

Moreover, to become a successful vet, you will need to learn a lot, and getting into a veterinary college is just the beginning. Apart from biology and chemistry, you may need to become fluent in math and humanities, as well as learn how to use special veterinary software.

Pursuing this career takes more than just gaining practical knowledge. On top of that, you will need to develop many soft skills, such as decision-making or compassion. If you want to learn more about that, here is a list of essential traits that any vet should have.


Being able to get whoever you are speaking with to understand what you are talking about is the most important trait that you need to have as a veterinarian. In veterinary practice, you will often find yourself in situations when you have to tell a pet owner that their pet will have to undergo a difficult treatment or that you are not able to help their pet.

Additionally, you have to make sure that both that person and their pet feel comfortable, explain the situation, and patiently answer any and all questions that they might have. If you are going to be working in a veterinary clinic, you will have to deal with multiple pet owners every day, so being able to communicate effectively is very important.


Remember that being a vet will require you to deal with suffering animals every day. As a result, you will need to make difficult decisions quite often, such as having to put animals down. Considering this, compassion is one of the most important traits that all vets should have.

You will have to be able to empathize with the pet owners that visit you. They might feel angry or sad, and you will have to make sure that they feel comfortable and that they understand what you are telling them. If dealing with anger, sadness, and frustration is not your strong suit, this career is probably not for you.


If you want to become a vet, you need to be curious. You will need to learn why a pet is suffering from a certain condition and try to figure out how to help that pet. On top of that, you need to be curious when it comes to different types of medical treatments, including the latest ones.

Good Memory

If you want to become a successful vet, you will need to remember most of the things you have learned in veterinary school while working. That means remembering many facts about animals, their illnesses, and different types of treatment. On top of that, you will have to keep on updating that knowledge to be able to help animals as effectively as possible.

Math Skills

Veterinary practice involves using math skills on a daily basis. You will need to calculate the dosage of medications depending on the size and weight of an animal. Additionally, you will need to calculate your profits and determine the number of supplies that your veterinary practice needs to operate.


Working as a veterinarian often requires working in a team. You may need to work with many laboratory specialists and veterinary assistants, among other industry professionals. Considering this, if you want to become a vet, prepare for working in a team!


In veterinary practice, you may come across many problems that you have never happened to stumble upon before. As a result, you will have to use creativity and problem-solving skills to figure out how to solve them.

For example, it may be a problem caused by a new type of medication or an unpopular dietary supplement. To solve the problem, you will need to think outside the box and try every possible solution until you find one that works.

Good Decision-Making Skills

In veterinary practice, you are going to be faced with difficult choices. What medication should you prescribe? What diet would work best for this pet? What treatment plan would be the most effective one? In order to be able to determine the possible outcomes of each choice and choose the most effective one, you will need to have good decision-making skills.


The Bottom Line

As you can see, there are many traits that you need to have in order to be a successful veterinarian. They include compassion, curiosity, creativity, and decision-making abilities, among other things.

If you do not have one of the traits mentioned above and still want to become a veterinarian, it is still within the realm of possibility. However, you will have to be prepared to work on that trait on a daily basis.

While being a veterinarian is a really demanding job, it is definitely going to be really rewarding. Considering this, if you are prepared to put in the time and effort to learn everything you need to know to treat animals to the best of your abilities, it might be the right job for you!