It’s important for pet owners to understand the causes behind this growing mental health crisis problem so they can be compassionate supporters of the dedicated veterinarians who play a critical role in the lives of their precious pets.
Driven by their deep love for helping animals, they put in years of hard work in veterinary school, often taking out exorbitant student loans to cover the costly tuition, and now they find great fulfillment caring for animals each day.
#1: They care for your pets like they were their own
When your veterinarian says they care for your pet like they were their own, they mean it. They do everything in their power to give pets the best quality of life, and when their best isn’t enough to save an animal, it cuts them to the core. Sure, they put on a strong, professional face for you, but chances are, they’re wiping away tears the minute you walk out the door.
Compassion fatigue is a term used to describe the physical, emotional, and psychological impact of helping others—often through experiences of stress or trauma—and it’s a common and serious affliction among veterinary professionals. Veterinarians are at high risk for mental illness, suicidal thoughts, and depression. As a pet parent, you see the professional side of your veterinarian, but beneath that Figs scrub is a fellow human being, with their own struggles, fears, insecurities, and worries.
What you can do:
Make a point during your pet’s appointment to acknowledge your veterinarian’s dedication to providing the best care for your pet, and offer a sincere thank you for their work. You’d be amazed at how much this small gesture means to them.
“Compassion fatigue is a common and serious affliction among veterinary professionals. ”
#2: Every day is an emotional roller coaster ride
The grief veterinarians feel when they see their animal patients suffer is just one contributor to the mental health crisis. The daily emotional roller coaster is physically and mentally draining. The ability to grieve and console families as they say goodbye to their beloved family pet, and then hold it together to go into their next appointment, which could be a new puppy check, is necessary, but it’s not easy for any veterinarian.