19 Tips to Become Animal/Pet Health Technician

Animal/Pet Health Technician: Animal health technicians are an important part of veterinary care in all animal clinical settings.

An animal health technician helps provide clinical care for animals under a vets supervision.

They can perform some nursing, dental, pre-and post- operative care for pets.

An animal health technician can take vital signs, administer medications.

And feed and comfort a sick animal in their care.

They clip toenails, take lab samples and help manage the flow of work.

They can also meet with pet owners.

Get information from owners regarding their pet’s condition.

And perform some routine tests under supervision.

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Animal/Pet Health Technician
Animal/Pet Health Technician: https://en.wikipedia.org

1. Animal/Pet Health Technician

This frees up a vet for more difficult clinical care with other animals.

It also helps to keep down the cost of animal health care.

Finally, it allows an animal to feel cared for.

From the time it enters a vets office until it leaves.

An animal health technician is a boon for a veterinary practice.

And for the pet and its owners.

2. Animal/Pet Health Technician

They are instrumental in creating and maintaining a safe and effective health care environment.

Research the educational and skill requirements.

Needed to become an animal and pet health technician.

As well as the job description and employment and salary outlook.

Read on to decide if this career is right for you.

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3. Business Description

Animal and pet health technicians typically work closely with veterinarians.

Assisting with treatments for pet health issues.

Animal and pet health technicians perform nursing.

Dental, pre- and post-operative, lab and clinical tasks.

Under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

Animal and pet health technicians have a wide range of job duties.

Serving and assisting vets in many procedures.

Ranging from trimming animals nails to providing support during surgeries.

4. Animal/Pet Health Technician:

Most jobs in animal and pet medicine are with individual vets offices.

Animal hospitals, humane societies or animal shelters.

According to the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

Animal and pet health technicians can specialize as vet tech anesthetists.

Dental techs, internal medicine techs, emergency care techs or veterinary behavior techs.

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5. Educational Requirements

Animal and pet health technicians must earn an associate’s degree.

By completing one of the nearly 200 programs.

Accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Individuals interested in earning a degree as a veterinary technologist.

Must earn a bachelors degree in the field.

Some animal and pet health technician programs allow for distance learning.

Additional training in animal and pet medicine is needed for specialization in areas.

Like dentistry or emergency care.

Animal and pet health technicians study math, clinical lab procedures, English and science.

6. Licensing Requirements

Animal and pet health technicians must also pass state licensing exams.

Although specific requirements vary by location.

The majority of state requirements are satisfied.

By the successful completion of the Veterinary Technician National Examination.

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Animal/Pet Health Technician: 

7. Required Skills

There are a number of skills individuals should have.

Before they consider becoming an animal health technician.

The include skills that are relevant to the animals.

They will serve, people, and technical and physical knowledge.

The  Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) reported that animal and pet health technicians must have the following qualities:

  • Compassion and sensitivity when working with pets and speaking to their owners
  • A desire to help animals
  • Ability to work well with others, assisting in procedures that require cooperation and close physical proximity
  • Attention to detail and manual dexterity

8. Great interest in animals:

Being interested in all animals.

From fish to elephants to dogs is important for properly serving these animals.

An interest in only cats and dogs may make helping birds and hamsters more difficult.

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9. Kind, calm demeanor:

An animal getting prepped for surgery.

Or that is about to receive an MRI needs to be calmed by the veterinary technician.

Having a calming voice or touch can help ease the stress the animal may be facing.

10. Empathy:

The veterinarian technician will often spend more time speaking with people than the veterinarian.

The tech will need to empathize with the animal’s owners.

Particularly if they are ill or need to be put down.

11. Communication:

Good communication skills are very important on the job.

The veterinary technician will need to communicate with the veterinarian.

And the animals owners as well as follow directions from the veterinarian.

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12. Understanding of Technology:

While most training will occur in classes and on the job.

Being technological incompetent will make the job difficult.

Techs needs to understand how the MRI and CAT scan machines work.

As well as how to administer dosages to patients.

13. Physical Stamina:

Being a vet tech may require handling and restraining large animals.

Especially for those who are working with larger exotic animal breeds.

Additionally, technicians will need to be on their feet for long hours.

Like doctors and nurses.

They may work more than 40 hours per week and take on double shifts.

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14. Pros and Cons

Like any career, there are good and bad aspects.

That should be considered before considering pursuing the field of animal heath technology.


  • Work with animals: Many technicians know the cons before starting, but their love of working with animals outweighs the potential bad sides of the job.
  • Personal fulfillment: Helping to heal an injured animal or seeing a smile on an animal owners face gives vet technicians a reason to put in long hours at work. The work is rewarding and often comes with thanks.
  • High demand/job security: Due to the increase of pets in the US and elsewhere, those in the veterinary field are in high demand. Job growth is expected to increase nearly 20% in the next decade.
  • Room for advancement: Although there is little room for advancement directly through the job, veterinary technicians can gain training in special fields to increase their pay on the job. They can also opt to work in zoos or aquariums with additional training.
  • Variety of tasks: A typical day of an animal health technician will not be dull by any means. The tasks are various and include caring for animals, cleaning, dealing with paperwork, and speaking with animal owners.


  • Physically demanding: Veterinary/animal health technicians are required to be on their feet for most of their shift. Some duties will also require lifting heavy animals, as well as scrubbing equipment and tables before surgeries. Combined with long shifts, veterinary techs may find they are tired often.
  • Low pay: Technicians may find it discouraging that their job requires a lot of work for not much pay. They will be working alongside a veterinarian making over twice their salary (average $75,000). Additionally, a registered nurse (the human equivalent of their job) makes twice as much as a veterinary technician.
  • Stress and juggling multiple tasks: Working as the go-to assistant between numerous animals, animal owners, and a veterinarian can be stressful. The technician will need to juggle numerous tasks while still remaining calm around animals and people.
  • Potential for injuries: While most technicians have the skills to handle unruly animals, accidents do happen. Scratches and bites from cats, dogs, and other animals are commonly reported on the job.

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15. Basic Responsibilities

As mentioned previously, an animal health/veterinary technician is responsible for many tasks that a veterinarian performs, but with some key differences.

Veterinarians are certified to put an animal down, perform invasive surgeries, and give diagnoses.

Any other tasks, however, can be performed by either the veterinarian or the veterinary technician.

This can include drawing blood, performing x-rays, and speaking directly with the human owners of the animal patient.

16. Animal/Pet Health Technician

Animal health technicians will need to know how to use a variety of different technologies.

For instance, lasers are becoming more common in surgeries.

And computer axial tomography (CAT) scans.

And magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) are commonly performed.

It is also important for veterinary technicians to be familiar with emerging technologies.

And new techniques used in the field.

For instance, some veterinary offices use new wearable technology.

To track the heartrate and blood pressure of animals after they arrive back home.

17. Animal/Pet Health Technician

Job duties and daily tasks may differ.

Depending on what types of animals the technician has specialized training in.

For example, if working with typical domestic animals like cats and dogs.

The technician will likely work at a clinic or veterinary office.

And will perform tasks like dressing wounds.

Giving medications, or giving routine check-ups.

Because the variety of animals in this setting is usually low, tasks may be fairly routine.

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18. Animal/Pet Health Technician

Veterinary technicians that have been trained with larger animals.

May find themselves out of a traditional clinic.

They may work with livestock, llamas, or horses in rural areas such as farms.

With specialized training, a technician may even with work exotic animals at a zoo or other care center.

Working with a variety of animals may require more years of training.

And practice under a certified veterinarian.

Additionally, this type of job will likely require being on call and dedicating more time to travel to a site. 

In general, the main duties and responsibilities of the technician involve a variety of tasks.

And can include the following:

  • Grooming and nail clipping, cleaning cages and feeding animals.
  • Nursing and pre- and post- surgery tasks, including wound cleansing and care, bandaging, maintaining medical records, controlling pain, administering intravenous drips, hydrotherapy or physiotherapy.
  • Dental care including oral hygiene, teeth cleaning and polishing, x-rays and non-surgical extractions and assisting the vet with more advanced procedures.
  • Laboratory work, which could involve sample collecting and the examining of blood, urine, faeces or other body fluids, and identifying parasites.
  • Diagnostic imaging including MRI, x-ray and ultrasounds.
  • This may include operating and maintaining equipment.
  • Communications, such as liaising with the pet owner to disseminate information.
  • This could be nutritional advice, obesity prevention, educating the client on disease prevention and dental care, filling prescriptions, giving out medication and working on the reception, answering the phone, checking and maintaining records and so on.

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19. Animal/Pet Health Technician

It is possible to specialize as an anesthetist technician.

A dental technician, an internal medicine technician.

An emergency care technician or as a behavioral technician.

An animal health technician aide may have to deal with distressed animals.

Which can be risky and lead to scratches or bites from the animals.

The type of animal the technician will work with will vary depending on the work site.

A technician may specialize in working with horses, big cats, or small pets, for example.

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