Hot job! Shortage of Veterinarians Expected to Last for Years as Pet Ownership Increases

dachshund is having fear of the veterinarian
Photo credit: Ivonne Wierink/Shutterstock

A walk down any street or through any park clearly shows the pandemic has spurred many Canadians to buy a dog, and there are even more new pets behind closed doors.

According to Narrative Research, 18 per cent of Canadian pet owners reported, as of November 2020, that they had obtained a new pet since the start of the pandemic, with those aged 18 to 24 being the most likely to have purchased one. At the time, 55 per cent of households reported having a pet. The numbers have only risen since then.

The increase in pet ownership goes hand in hand with an increase in demand for pet care, and the veterinary profession is reporting staff shortages across the country.

A study by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) showed a need to increase the number of graduating vets by 3.5 to four per cent. The current rate of growth is 2.5 per cent, while the retirement rate is around three per cent. The demand for vets is expected to peak in 2040.

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