National Veterinary Technician Week is observed annually in the third week of October and this year, it will be held from October 20 to 26. It appreciates the dedication of veterinary technicians and creates awareness about the work they perform to keep our pets healthy and safe.
The week-long holiday also recognizes the various roles played by veterinary technicians and their dedication to the well-being of our furry friends.
History of National Veterinary Technician Week
Animal husbandry started around 13,000 B.C., beginning with the domestication and breeding of dogs, sheep, and goats. The practice was driven by the need to have food on hand when hunting was sparse. Dogs were the first animals to be domesticated — used for safeguarding hunting parties, assisting with hunting, and later shepherding cattle.
However, animal domestication didn’t take place all at once. Instead, it occurred in waves across continents. For example, the nomads in the Middle East were the first to domesticate sheep and goats, while the South Americans worked on taming alpacas and llamas. Several centuries later, we had domesticated horses as meat sources and later as pack animals, cows as working animals, and camels for traveling across the desert. These animals required maintenance and care, usually provided by animal doctors, local healers, or the owners.
It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that veterinary practice became established when farriers started working as horse doctors and later during the Renaissance, which brought many changes. For example, the first treatise on horse anatomy was published by Carlo Ruini in 1598, followed by the establishment of the Worshipful Company of Farriers in 1674. Yet it wasn’t until 1762 that the first veterinary schools opened in France. Over the ensuing centuries, the practice picked up, and by the 1950s, the role of veterinary technicians had come into existence.
National Veterinary Technician Week timeline
Animal domestication begins and spreads across several continents.
The Papyrus of Kahun lists the uses of specific veterinary medicines.
Claude Bourgelat establishes the first veterinary school in Lyon, France.
The first animal technology training program starts in the military and then at the State University of New York.
National Veterinary Technician Week FAQs
What is the earliest evidence of veterinary medicine?
The Papyrus of Kahun is the earliest existing document mentioning veterinary medicine.
Why did Bourgelat establish the first veterinary medicine school?
Bourgelat started the school to find a remedy for the devastation caused by the cattle plague.
How long have vet techs been around?
Veterinary technicians have been around since the early 1950s.
How to Observe National Veterinary Technician Week
Research the profession
Research the responsibilities of veterinary technicians. Understand how they contribute to a veterinary practice. You’ll be able to appreciate the technician holding your pet the next time you go to the vet.
Send a gift card
Send a gift card to a veterinary technician you know. Explain to your colleague or friend why you think their work is invaluable. Even a short complimentary phrase will bring a smile to their face.
Spend a day assisting them
Some veterinary hospitals welcome volunteers. Try to spend a few days on the job and learn how you could assist a veterinary technician.
5 Facts About Vet Services That You Should Know
The father of veterinary technology
Dr. Walter E. Collins is generally considered the father of veterinary technology in the U.S.
Women as vets
Around 80% of all vets in the U.S. are women.
Animals to human diseases
More than half of all human diseases originate in animals.
Not just for cats and dogs
About 16% of all veterinary services are dedicated to non-companion animals, wildlife, and farm animals.
A promise between horses and vets
Around 6% of all veterinary services are dedicated to horses.
Why National Veterinary Technician Week is Important
It appreciates animals
Animals experience emotional, mental, and physical health issues just like humans. Veterinary technicians can take care of the healthcare problems of animals.
It highlights veterinary technicians
Being a veterinary technician is a highly underappreciated job. So, we love that National Veterinary Technician Week allows us to appreciate the efforts and dedication of veterinary technicians.
It creates awareness
A job as a veterinary technician comes with its risks. No matter how docile an animal is, there is still a chance that it may attack the technician during the examination. National Veterinary Technician Week creates awareness about this often-ignored aspect of veterinary practice.
National Veterinary Technician Week dates