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Home > Statistics > 12 Surprising Canada Veterinarian Statistics to Know In 2024

12 Surprising Canada Veterinarian Statistics to Know In 2024

Veterinarian Statistics Canada

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Have you ever wondered how pet healthcare works in Canada? A routine exam is more expensive than in the neighboring United States. Overall, Canadian veterinarians do have higher salaries but also tend to start their careers with a larger pile of debt. Plus, there are only 5 accredited veterinary colleges in Canada and Canadians must attend university in the province where they live. All of these factors contribute to very few people actually becoming veterinarians.

It’s projected that there will soon be a shortage of veterinarians in Canada due to burnout over long hours and job functions that are as demanding emotionally as they are physically. Here’s a peek at a few veterinary stats in Canada in case you’re curious, or if you’re considering moving there as a pet owner or prospective future animal doctor.

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Top 12 Canada Veterinarian Statistics

  1. A routine wellness visit costs between $80 and $120 in Canada.
  2. There are approximately 15,322 practicing veterinarians in Canada.
  3. The majority of Canadian veterinarians are female (62%).
  4. 5,383 veterinarians work in Ontario alone.
  5. In all of Canada, there are an estimated 3,825 veterinary offices.
  6. An estimated 432,533 dogs and cats have a pet insurance policy.
  7. 9% of the cat and dog population in Ontario have a pet insurance policy.
  8. The Canada Veterinary Healthcare Systems Market is expected to grow 7.25% by 2028.
  9. There are only 5 accredited veterinary colleges in all of Canada.
  10. Approximately 450 veterinary college students graduate each year.
  11. Tuition costs between $4,400-$12,717 per semester depending on the school.
  12. Canadian veterinarians earn around $95,000-$145,000 per year.
CANADA_VETERINARIAN_FACTS_&_STATISTICS
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Veterinarians by the Numbers

1. A routine wellness visit costs between $80 and $120 in Canada.

(Rover, Lemonade)

Compared to $45-$55 in the United States, a wellness visit in Canada is nearly double the price. What’s more, this estimate is basically just the exam fee to see the vet and doesn’t include additional medicines or procedures. Sick visits and emergency clinics cost even more than that.

a veterinarian holding a white dog
Image Credit: Viktor Gladkov, Shutterstock

2. There are approximately 15,322 practicing veterinarians in Canada.

(Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, Zippia)

This isn’t an extremely low number, considering there are only 47,693 practicing veterinarians in the United States. Since there are almost 10 times the number of people living in America compared to Canada, there are substantially more veterinarians per capita in Canada.


3. The majority of Canadian veterinarians are female (62%).

(Canadian Veterinary Medical Association)

Only 32% of Canadian veterinarians are male. Interestingly, these statistics mirror the demographics in the US. For some reason, women seem to be drawn to the calling much more frequently than men.


4. 5,383 veterinarians work in Ontario alone.

(Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, Living in Canada)

Ontario has the largest number of veterinarians in any of the provinces. Quebec has the second most, with 2,851 doctors operating in the area. Interestingly, veterinarians tend to make the most money in Alberta.

veterinarian and two volunteer
Image Credit: Mikhail Nilov, Pexels

5. In all of Canada, there are an estimated 3,825 veterinary offices.

(Canada Veterinary Medical Association)

Statistically, this means that every practice has an average of 4-5 veterinarians on staff. Of course, that’s not always accurate, though, since offices are different sizes.

divider-multiprintExpected Growth

6. An estimated 432,533 Canadian dogs and cats have a pet insurance policy.

(Mordor Intelligence)

Between 2020 and 2021, the number of pet insurance policies increased by 22.7%. Since pet insurance allows for more frequent visits to the vet without paying the total cost, it’s theorized that the demand for veterinarians will increase accordingly.


7. 38.9% of the cat and dog population in Ontario have a pet insurance policy.

(Mordor Intelligence)

While 38.9% is an impressive percentage, it’s not too surprising since Ontario has the largest number of veterinarians. The more people enroll their pets in insurance policies, the more we expect to see veterinary visits rise.

bernese mountain dog and cat lying on the floor
Image Credit: Louis-Philippe Poitras, Unsplash

8. The Canada Veterinary Healthcare Systems Market is expected to grow 7.25% by 2028.

(Mordor Intelligence)

While the rise in pet ownership is a good thing, the fast growth rate could perpetuate the burnout problem that Canadian veterinarians already have been experiencing. If the trend progresses in the current direction, there will be a veterinarian shortage of 15,000 by 2030, which is almost the total number practicing today.

divider-multiprintStatistics on Veterinary College

9. There are only 5 accredited veterinary colleges in all of Canada

(CBC National News)

Additionally, Canadians can’t choose which veterinary college they attend. They must enroll at the one located in their province. Admission requirements include 2 years education of pre-veterinary courses at a standard university. Veterinary school in Canada takes between 4-6 years to complete, for a total of about 8 years of higher education.


10. Approximately 450 veterinary college students graduate each year.

(CBC National News, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association)

Of this number, only about 380 are Canadian citizens. The remainder are international students who may or may not linger. For example, it’s common for an American to attend a Canadian veterinary school, receive their degree, and go back to the United States to start their practice. However, not all universities are accredited for international practice so it depends on the school.

vet. student studying animal skeleton
Image Credit: Elnur, Shutterstock

11. Tuition costs between $4,400-$12,717 per semester.

(CBC National News)

The University of Saskatchewan has the highest tuition, while the Université de Montréal was the least expensive.


12. Canadian veterinarians earn around $95,000-$145,000 per year.

(Indeed Canada)

While this number sounds appealing, most veterinarians begin their careers in deep debt. Even a six-figure salary isn’t very much considering that veterinary college costs between $340,000-$360,000 and that doesn’t include the two years of preliminary veterinary courses at their local university.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does it take to become a veterinarian in Canada?

After high school, you must take 2 years of pre-veterinary courses at a standard university and then transfer to veterinary college. There are only 5 veterinary colleges in Canada, and the acceptance rate is rather low. Once you’ve completed the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program, you must pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) before applying for a provincial licensing. The entire process, from pre-veterinary courses to licensing, takes roughly 6-8 years.

(Indeed Canada)

Vet teacher explaining anatomy to students
Image Credit: Elnur, Shutterstock

2. Do veterinarians make more money in Canada?

A veterinarian’s actual salary depends on their province and individual clinic, as well as their education status and experience. The normal salary range is between $95,000 and $145,000 per year, compared with a median salary of $100,370 in the US. However, tuition is also much higher in Canada, which means that most veterinarians are swimming in debt for years after they start their careers.

(Indeed Canada, Money)


3. Will the demand for veterinarians continue to grow?

As in most western countries, pet ownership skyrocketed in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. While veterinarians are certainly happy that so many animals found a home, the rapid rise of pet parenting has led to a veterinarian shortage that’s projected to get worse as we edge towards 2030. Hopefully, there will be more incentives in the near future to address the problem, especially since veterinary college tuition remains high and acceptance rates stay low.

(Mordor Intelligence)

group of students chatting
Image Credit: Ivan Samkov, Pexels

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Conclusion

Veterinary costs and salaries are much higher in Canada than they are in the United States. Although the process of becoming a vet is similar in both countries, veterinary college is much more limited and expensive in Canada. As people acquire more pets and pet insurance policies, the demand for more veterinarians is expected to grow.


Featured Image Credit: hedgehog94_Shutterstock

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