The typical daily activities of veterinarians primarily depend on their focus. Equine veterinarians travel to farms and ranches to visit animals, while those who specialize in small animals spend most of their days dealing with pet owners in a clinic setting. Veterinarians generally care for animals including pets, livestock, zoo animals and laboratory animals.
Most veterinarians work in private clinics treating animals, diagnosing diseases and performing medical procedures. They vaccinate animals against diseases, prescribe and administer medicines and dress wounds. They also protect people from diseases carried by animals. A veterinarian working at a clinic usually starts the day by receiving pets that are dropped off by clients for treatment procedures. Animals that are hospitalized overnight are prioritized. Veterinarians spend most of the day doing hands-on treatment of animals, especially pets. Some veterinarians work in general practice, treating all types of animals. They teach preventive health measures as well as care and breeding steps to pet and livestock owners to ensure health and safety for both the owners and their animals. Others specialize in food safety and inspection, checking livestock for illnesses that are harmful to humans. Food animal veterinarians work with farm animals, such as horses, cattle, sheep and swine, and advise farmers on the proper management of livestock.