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Pet owners have been urged to be aware of the expertise of vet nurses after a new survey found many owners do not recognise their skills

The survey, by Royal Canin and the Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia (VNCA), revealed the profession wants greater recognition of their role in caring for our pets, with almost three-quarters of vet nurses and technicians supporting mandatory registration of vet nurses. 

The study found more than 90% of veterinary nurses across Australia and New Zealand were hungry to keep learning as they support pet owners across both countries.

The results showed vet nurses were skilled professionals, with more than 95% of Australian vet professionals having, or midway through studying, advanced qualifications in veterinary nursing.

The most likely reasons for further study was looking to build on their knowledge or expand the services they can offer to pet owners in the clinic. 

The survey also found:

● More than 95% of Australian vet professionals had advanced qualifications in vet nursing, or were mid-study, yet there existed a disparity in how their expertise was perceived by pet owners in comparison to veterinarians. This lack of recognition can be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of not only pets, but the vet nurses themselves. 

● 32% felt as though their jobs would be made easier with something as simple as being acknowledged and recognised for their work, and being made to feel appreciated by pet owners for the hours and multiple roles they are doing.


● With preventative health at the forefront of discussions vet nurses have with pet owners, the top four issues discussed were worming and flea prevention, vaccinations, dental/oral health and nutrition.

cat having a bath

However, only an average of 70% of the time are these topics being brought up, with time being the biggest barrier.

Royal Canin is teaming up with Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business to support this growth mindset of Veterinary Nurses in Australia, jointly sponsoring 150 Australian Nurses and Technicians to undertake a 12-month pilot with education from a training program called Emerging Leaders, starting this year.

The program will provide tailored non-clinical skills development, assisting in areas such as greater effectiveness in their roles, fostering healthier workplace relationships and enhancing their leadership. 

“As a vet professional myself, formal qualifications prepare you well for the clinical aspects of the role, but less so for the complexities of running a clinic, how to handle difficult conversations with pet owners, or help contribute to a strong working culture,” Royal Canin ANZ Chief Health Officer, Dr Bronwen Slack said. 

“Vet nurses and technicians are dedicated and have a passion for animal welfare. Without them, the healthcare of our pets will suffer.

"Pet owners can play a role in supporting vet nurses by demonstrating our appreciation for the skill and commitment they show to the care of our pets,” Dr Slack said.



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