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Cool Career - Vet Nurse


Do you bring home stray dogs? Do you nurse injured birds back to health? Do you climb up to get a cat that won't come down from the tree, even though you're afraid of heights?

Have you thought of becoming a veterinarian or vet nurse when you grow up?

What does a vet do?

A veterinarian is an animal doctor who treats your pets when they are sick or injured – just like your doctor looks after you when you become unwell.

Vets also prescribe medication, vaccinate against animal diseases, perform surgery and advise owners on proper pet care.

But it's not just pets they look after. Vets and vet nurses can also look after zoo animals, livestock, working animals and animals in sport.

Veterinary nurses help in the examination, treatment and rehabilitation of sick and injured animals.

  Playmobile Vet Nurse

How can I prepare to become a vet or vet nurse?

Simone Botterill



“To become a vet nurse, I studied at the Wellington Institute of Technology (Weltec) for one year. Half of the course is Animal Studies and the second half of the course is Vet Nursing.

“Prior to studying vet nursing, I worked at the SPCA adopting cats and kittens to new homes.

“A typical day at the NZ Police Dog Training Centre involves working (cleaning up after!) puppies and dogs.

“Most of the puppies are born here and they need to be weighed, fed, wormed and have their room cleaned every day. I also need to make sure that Mum and the puppies are healthy.

“For the first three weeks they are inside a nice warm heated room with their mum.

“Once they are older, they can start eating biscuits soaked in water and they get to play outside all day, learning and discovering new things with their brothers and sisters.

“The older dogs stay in the kennels. Every morning I let them out (one at a time) to have a run around and stretch their legs. I then need to clean all of the dirty kennels.

“Once all of the cleaning has been done, the rest of the day is spent weighing the dogs, grooming or bathing them and exercising the dogs. They like to play retrieve and they enjoy going for walks too.”


Simone is pictured holding one of the newest German Shepherd puppies born at the NZ Police Dog Training Centre.

Read Past Cool Careers:

The NZ Police train a variety of dog breeds, including German Shepherds, Labradors, and Springer Spaniels.

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