The pet culture in India is thriving, and as a result, there has been a significant increase in the demand for veterinary professionals. This shift is not only due to the rising number of pet owners but is also influenced by changing societal dynamics, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The veterinary industry in India is experiencing robust growth, offering many career opportunities for those passionate about animal care.
According to Statista, the population of pet dogs in India has been steadily increasing. In 2014, there were 12.6 million pet dogs in the country, and by 2019, that number had grown to 21.4 million. The trend is expected to continue, with projections indicating that there will be over 31 million pet dogs in India by the end of 2023. This substantial growth makes India one of the fastest-growing pet care markets globally.
The surge in demand for veterinary professionals can be attributed in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. During lockdowns and restrictions, more families turned to pet adoption as a source of companionship. This sudden influx of new pet owners increased the need for veterinary care and expertise, prompting a notable uptick in demand for veterinarians.
In recent years, veterinary professionals in India have seen their status elevated in numerous ways. Beyond traditional clinical roles, veterinarians now have a broader range of career opportunities. This shift reflects the evolving perception of pets in Indian society, where pets are increasingly considered part of the family and deserving of the best care possible.
One noteworthy change in the veterinary profession is the increasing number of women entering the field. Historically, veterinary medicine has been male-dominated, but this trend is changing. Globally, 55 percent of veterinarians are now women; in India, more than 45 percent of veterinarians in government and university sectors are female. Furthermore, 70 percent of veterinary science students in the country are women, demonstrating a significant shift in gender representation within the field.
The veterinary profession in India offers a range of career opportunities, and salaries can vary based on factors such as experience, specialization, and the sector in which one works. For newcomers to the field, particularly in corporate pet food or pet care companies, a starting salary can range from 8 to 10 lakhs per annum (LPA). Those with master’s degrees and additional experience can earn between 10 to 12 LPA, with the potential for further career growth and higher compensation in leadership roles.
As India’s pet culture continues to thrive and more families embrace the joys of pet ownership, the demand for skilled and compassionate veterinary professionals is set to rise even further. This presents an exciting and promising career path for those who are passionate about animal care and the well-being of pets. With changing societal attitudes and a more diverse workforce, the veterinary profession in India is evolving to meet the demands of a pet-loving nation, making it an exciting time for those considering a career in veterinary medicine.