Our Blog

What is the difference between a Pet Veterinarian and a Wildlife Veterinarian?

November 1, 2021

Many of us love animals so much that we even consider having a full-time career to helping these little creatures. Being a veterinarian means that you get the responsibility to save several animals and ensure they’re in the pink of health. If you’re thinking of becoming a vet, you might want to know more about this profession. Let’s find out what types of vets there are available!

Types of Veterinarians:

As a vet, you can take a few potential paths to take care of animals. Some of those paths are mentioned below:

Companion-Animal Veterinarian

They are the most common types of vets. Companion animal veterinarians specialize in taking care of small animals, including dogs, cats, and pocket pets. They are considered equivalent to family doctors for humans. Companion-Animal vets can also provide surgical services, treatments, and diagnostics.

Veterinary Specialist

Just as companion-animal vets are similar to general practitioners of human doctors, veterinary specialists can be similar to oncologists and orthopedics. There are more than 20 recognized fields such as dentistry, cardiology, anesthesiology, etc that you can be a part of. However, you would be required to attend advanced training for being certified in such specialties.

Exotic Animal Veterinarians:

Exotic animal vets are specially trained to treat exotic animals like pocket pets, amphibians, and reptiles. They don't necessarily treat pets only. Exotic vets sometimes also treat animals living in zoos or animal rescue organisations. These vets can also become exotic animal specialists after advanced training.

Livestock and Large Animal Veterinarians:

Livestock vets are known for taking care of large animals and livestock like cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and pigs. Some large animal vets work at veterinary hospitals for large animals. This field of veterinarians is less commonly found in Singapore, due to the limited demand.

Laboratory Veterinarians:

They might not be much visible to the public, but laboratory veterinarians are pretty essential for the well-being of all animals. Their focus of study pans across a wide range of animal related conditions, ranging from fields like pathology and disease diagnosis to pharmacology research.

Who is a Pet Vet?

Pet veterinarians are different kinds of vets compared to wildlife vets. They are known for diagnosing health problems in animals, vaccinating them against diseases, treating them from illnesses or infections, and ensuring their healthy lifestyle.  Pet vets, otherwise known as companion animal vet, usually work in private offices or pet hospitals. Their usual patients are cats and dogs. Although they also treat small animals every now and then.  Companion animal veterinarians are quite popular in Singapore due to the higher population of cats and dogs as pets.

Who is a Wildlife Vet?

Wildlife vets are licensed professionals who specialize in the treatment of different types of wildlife. These animal health professionals can treat different groups of animals like reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. They can work in veterinary offices as well as out in the fields.

Here are some organizations in Singapore where wildlife vets can be found:

   • Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority

   • Singapore Zoological Gardens

   • Nparks (nature reserves)

   • Wildlife rescue organizations like Acres

Differences Between Pet Vet and Wildlife Vets

Now that we’ve gone through the job scopes of pet vets and wildlife vets, let’s find out how different they are.

Field of Study

Companion animal vets mostly work with small animals, including cats and dogs. However, to be a wildlife pet, one would have to treat a wide range of different wildlife animals. In a sense, their focus differs although wildlife vets have a wider range of animals to focus on as compared to pet vets.  

Availability of Patient information

As wildlife vets deal with more variety of animals, they have more novel information.  Since there is less information available for some wildlife animals, this field has less textbook information as compared to pet vets. There’s much more to be discovered for wild animals. This can also be due to the broader range of animals this field of veterinary studies accounts for. On the other hand, pet veterinarians are exposed to a smaller group of animal and have more exposure and information dealing with common conditions.

Involvement in Decision Making

Compared to pet veterinarians, wildlife vets have more decision-making power. They can decide the best treatment for animals according to their judgments. On the other hand, pet vets often require owners' approval for performing any procedure. They can advise the best procedure, but they have to take the owners' opinion into consideration as well.

Customer Base

Companion animal vets often work at animal hospitals and clinics. They have to deal with pet owners as their customers. Whereas wildlife vets work for zoos, wildlife organizations, rescuers, government, and rehabilitators.

Similarities between Pet Vets and Wildlife Vets:

No matter how different their work is, both types of vets love animals. Both groups have the best interests of the animals in mind.  Their primary interest lies in ensuring a healthy life for animals and understand the importance of putting animals' welfare first.


We hope that you learned some interesting information about different types of vets and how pet vets and wildlife vets are different. Even though they are different, their main goal is to heal the suffering animals and give them the best possible care. If you love the animals unconditionally and want to provide them with maximum care, being a vet would be a great choice.

Share This Post

Related Articles

Why Are Animals Scared Of The Vet?

Going to the vet is important for pets' health but sometimes they're scared. Why are animals afraid of visiting the vet?

What Are The Types Of Vets?

Confused of which vet to bring your pet to? Read more to find out about what types of vets there are available!

Healthy Dog Treats To Choose For Your Dog

Dog treats are not created equal. There are quality treats that are vital sources of energy and support the immune system and organ function while others are empty calories...

Why Are Black Animals Less Liked?

Ever wondered why black pets are frowned upon? Find out how you can put a stop to this problem.

Which Plants Are Poisonous For Cats?

Some plants may be great for your house, but they can be deadly to your cat!

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?

Walnuts are nutritionally rich and this makes them great for human consumption. However, can the same be said for dogs?

My Puppy Has Diarrhea, What Should I Do?

Diarrhea can point to conditions that are life-threatening for puppies. 

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

Watermelon contains many vitamins and minerals beneficial for your dog. However, there are some precautions to note before giving your dog watermelon.

Can Dogs Eat Yoghurt?

Yoghurt can be good for your dog's nutrition, but what type of yoghurt is best?

Can Dogs Eat Apples?

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away"... Is this saying true for dogs?

Why Does My Puppy Throw Up

Cases of vomiting in puppies are more serious than in adult dogs. Read on to find out more!

Why Did My Cat Poop On My Bed?

If you have a house-trained cat that is suddenly pooping on your bed, it might be a cause for concern!

perrovets' Services - Dental Procedures

Dental procedures are performed as a day procedure under anaesthesia, most commonly in Dogs, Cats and Rabbits.

Most Common Dog Diseases

Learn more about the most common dog diseases!

Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?

Should you feed your cat peanut butter?

Most Common Cat Diseases In Singapore

Cats are vulnerable to various health issues that can have a significant impact on their health and well-being. Regardless of whether you have an indoor or indoor-outdoor cat...

Things You Need To Know About Leptospirosis

All you need to know about Leptospirosis!

Why Is My Dog Drinking So Much Water?

A dog drinking excessive amounts of water can be a sign of a health problem!

Separation Anxiety In Dogs

Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic would increase the risk of dogs having separation anxiety.

Dr James Answers: Which Preventative Treatment Should I Use For My Dog?

With so many anti parasite products available on the market, it can be somewhat overwhelming deciding which one is best for your lifestyle and your dogs’ health.

Things You Need To Know About Kennel Cough

All you need to know about Kennel Cough!

Things You Need To Know About Parvovirus

What you should know about Parvovirus!

Why Do You Need To Feed Your Pets Organs Or Offals?

Long ago, the ancestors of today’s pet cats and dogs thrived as predators. To achieve the full spectrum of nutrition that they needed, they were inclined to eat most of their prey. With domestication...

Why Is My Dog Throwing Up?

A dog may throw up because he has eaten something that his digestive tract disagrees with or he may have gobbled down food too quickly...

Common Dog Parasites

Parasites can be a major concern at some point in the lives of pet dogs. They are one of the top reasons for visits to the veterinarian.

When Should I Take My Dog To The Vet?

Dogs benefit from regular health checks and dental visits to the veterinarian. But how often is enough? How do you know when to take your dog to the vet?

How To Overcome Separation Anxiety

Why is your dog battling with separation anxiety and how you can overcome it.

Pet Therapy For Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal emotion that dogs and cats may experience. The effect of anxiety on individual pets varies significantly. Anxiety disorders...

Why Taking Care Of Your Dog's Dental Health Is Important

Though seemingly insignificant, your dog's dental health should not be overlooked.

Ways To Improve Your Dog's Mental Health

A lack of mental stimulation can result in a plethora of behavioural issues.

Is Feeding Your Dog Raw Food Healthy?

Should you feed your dog raw food?

Why Does My Dog Hump Certain People?

Many dog owners will be familiar with the awkward scenario of their dog unexpectedly humping another dog, an inanimate object, or even a human leg.

Cat Vomiting: Should You Be Worried?

Cat vomiting may be a perfectly normal occurrence from time to time, however, it can sometimes be a sign of a serious health problem.

How To Take Care Of Your Cat’s Teeth

One of the essential components of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for pet cats is having a good home dental regiment.

Why Does My Dog Eat Dirt

Simply delicious or a symptom of illness?

Is Smoking Around Your Pets Harmful To Their Health?

Does inhalation of cigarette smoke affect our pets?

Why Does Your Dog Smell?

Why can't you get rid of that smell?

Why Is My Dog Always Eating Grass?

It may seem strange, but there's a good reason why your dog is chomping down on grass.

All About Cat Vaccinations

All you need to know about cat vaccinations!

Why Does My Dog Eat Its Vomit?

It may or may not be a sign of illness, but it's best to find out if it is.

A Vet reveals: Diet, Allergies and more

Vet answers burning questions!