Looking to find a great gift for the veterinary student in your life? This list will help you come up a gift that is sure to impress, support, or just make your veterinary student laugh.
As you navigate this gift guide, please be aware that I am an Amazon affiliate and will earn from qualifying sales. That being said, all of the gifts on this list are gifts that I would have truly enjoyed as a veterinarian student. (And let’s be honest, some of them would still be great gifts even now.)
Most veterinary students always have a book or two on their want list. You can ask your veterinary student what books are at the top of his or her list, but here are a few suggestions to help you get started.
1. Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult
This was one of my favorite books as I transitioned from veterinary student to fledgling veterinarian. I still use it occasionally 6 years later. Caution: if your veterinary student isn’t going to be working with cats and dogs, don’t buy them the canine and feline version.
2. The Small Animal Veterinary Nerdbook
Another great book for a veterinary student is Dr. Yin’s Veterinary Nerdbook. Unlike the clunky Five Minute Consult, the Small Animal Veterinary Nerdbook is small enough to carry in the pocket of a lab coat. But despite its small size, it is packed with 480 pages of important information to help veterinary students study for boards and navigate 4th-year rotations.
3. Becoming a Millennial Veterinarian
If you are looking for a book that is a little less clinical information, and more about making a successful transition from veterinary student to veterinarian, “Becoming a Millenial Veterinarian” can make a great gift. The author, Dr. Gray is passionate about mentorship and self care and wrote this book to help support newly graduating veterinarians.
Games and Activities
Does the veterinary student in your life have a good sense of humor? Do they enjoy a little sarcasm and snark? Then the next two gifts might be perfect for them.
4. Vets Against Insanity
For fans of the popular card game, Cards Against Humanity, here is the “fun, slightly scandalous take on the work and life of a veterinary professional.”
Per the game’s creators, this game was designed for veterinary professionals or anyone who has recently had to squeeze a dog’s anal glands.
Visit the game’s official website to find out more.
5. VetLife: A Snarky Adult Coloring Book
This is a coloring book for grown-ups. The coloring book includes pages with quotes like “I do it for the money – said no veterinarian ever” and “Please cure my cat. But don’t touch her, give her any tests, or charge me” to sweeter messages like “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
Buy a cheap pack of colored pencils to go with this gift and make your own snarky, soon to be veterinarian happy.
6. Veterinary Anatomy Coloring Book
If your veterinary student is less snark and more serious, then perhaps a veterinary anatomy coloring book would be more their style. These anatomy coloring books are especially great for first year veterinary students who are taking their basic anatomy courses.
Most veterinary students are relatively thrifty. They have to be, as per AVMA.org the average veterinary student in 2016 graduated with $143,757 of debt. And over 20% of the students with debt had over $200,000 in debt. Yikes!
As a result, useful gifts can be very helpful and appreciated by many veterinary students. Below are a few suggestions of items that a veterinary student would likely find useful during their years in veterinary school.
7. A Stethoscope
A good stethoscope can be expensive, but it is an important tool for every veterinary student. If you are interested in purchasing a stethoscope for your veterinary student, I highly recommend 3M Littmann Stethoscopes. Below is a link to the style of stethoscope that I used during my years in veterinary school.
8. Pens (and highlighters)
On the other end of the price spectrum, pens and highlighters are universally appreciated by students worldwide. Really, can you ever have too many? Even if your veterinary student takes lecture notes on their computer, they likely will record medical histories or take notes on the go with a pen.
And highlighters can be a great way to organize information while studying for exams and the NAVLE (veterinary boards).
Another good gift item is a wristwatch. Many times it isn’t professional to use your phone for clock functions. But for taking basic patient vitals (like heart rates and respiratory rates), a good clock that counts seconds is important to take accurate readings. Having a nice, durable wristwatch can be an excellent asset for a veterinary student performing physical exams on animals.
10. Money or Gift Card
As stated above, most veterinary students graduate with a significant amount of debt. As a result, a cash gift or a gift card to a favorite store or restaurant or even a coffee shop is typically very appreciated.
11. Thermos or Coffee Mug
And speaking of coffee, many veterinary students run on this substance. Long days at school with late nights studying or working in the veterinary hospital can combine to fuel a coffee addiction.
If your veterinary student loves coffee, consider getting them a fun coffee mug like the ones pictured below.
Or better yet, a thermos, so they can take the coffee with them on the go. Sure you could just pick up a Contigo thermos at your local store, but here are a few thermos mugs with fun veterinary inscriptions.
Happy Gift Giving!
Whether you pick one of the items above or go with a different gift entirely, thank you for thinking of and appreciating the veterinary student in your life. Veterinary school can be a stressful period in a veterinarian’s life and graduating with that DVM degree is a big accomplishment.
And if you are interested in gifting a veterinary student one of the more essential items for veterinary school, head over to the following post where we discuss essential items for veterinary students: