Veterinary Assistant Program

Pursue a career working with animals with Sprott Shaw’s Veterinary Assistant Program

A Veterinary Assistant (VA) cares for animals under the supervision of a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or Animal Health Technologist (AHT). They perform a multitude of tasks including: feeding, medicating and prepping of patients as well as restraining them during examinations, procedures and treatments.

The Veterinary Assistant diploma program equips students with the technical knowledge and hands-on skills to provide an extensive range of animal care services for both the office and clinical settings of either general practice (GP), emergency (ER), and specialty veterinary hospitals. Additional employment opportunities for graduates include but are not limited to: animal rehabilitation, animal control centers, research facilities and pharmaceutical representatives.

Throughout the program, students will receive specialized training in eight key areas: animal restraint, nutrition, pharmacology, clinical nursing, human relations, administration, diseases, and prevention.

This program includes field day labs in addition to a practicum placement so students can gain relevant hands-on training and practical experience before graduation. 

Why Study at Sprott Shaw?

  • Lifetime access to dedicated Employment Services Specialists (ESS) who can help you with resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, and the overall job search after graduation
  • Lifetime tuition-free access to course refreshers if you ever need to retrain and update your skills
  • Practicum opportunities with recognized organizations across BC including the Animal Emergency Clinic of the Fraser Valley, Island Veterinary Hospital, Garden City Veterinary Hospital, Lifetime Veterinary Clinic, and much more
  • Multiple start dates so you can start your education when you want to without the wait
  • All-inclusive program costs where what you see is what you pay. Our cost includes registration fees, assessment fees, tuition, textbooks, scrubs, graduation fees, practicum fees, and much more
  • Preparation and orientation courses to teach you how to find credible research, write papers, create proper citation formats including APA, and study effectively for exams
  • Career and professional development success courses to help create a career development marketing plan, learn the cardinal rules of professionalism, and identify the target markets and employment resources for the veterinary field  

Veterinary Assistant Program Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the Veterinary Assistant program, students will be able to:

  • Promote good health by discussing preventive measures for their pet with clientele
  • Demonstrate knowledge of vaccinations and parasite control
  • Handle and restrain companion animals safely
  • Understand basic veterinary terminology with applications to anatomy, physiology, and diseases
  • Demonstrate familiarity with common surgical procedures
  • Discuss important pre-operative and post-operative instructions
  • Identify with common feline and canine breeds
  • Perform all aspects relating to receptionist duties, including scheduling
  • Assisting during the following: taking x-rays, anesthesia, blood draws, catheterization, dentals and surgical procedures

Learn more about becoming a Veterinary Assistant:

Diploma Program

Total Program Hours:
815 Hours
Full-Time Program Length:
33 Weeks
(Includes holidays and professional days)
Program content is subject to change.

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Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

Career Opportunities

Animal Hospitals
Animal Shelters
Boarding Kennels
Veterinary Clinics
Veterinary Supply Company
Admission Requirements:
  • Grade 12 / GED or mature student status (all transcripts must be “true certified copies” or originals)
  • Applicants must successfully complete the admissions interview and may be required to do an entrance assessment (with a minimum composite score of 42)

Note: English level assessment will be required for international students (with a minimum score of 20/40 in language).

Diploma Requirements:
  • 60% average upon successful completion of all courses, including courses given a complete
* Veterinary Assistant Program was reviewed and approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.

Students can expect to complete one to three hours of homework per day.

Contact an Admissions Advisor for More Information Today!

Contact Us Today!

Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

Courses List

This 33 week Diploma program requires the student to complete the following courses.

  • Computer basics/file management
  • Goal setting, note-taking, problem-solving, teamwork
  • Overview of policies & procedures
  • Demonstrate the ability to use MS Word and MS PowerPoint

  • Interview techniques
  • Create a Career Development Marketing Plan
  • Apply aspects of professionalism
  • Identify target markets and employment resources
  • Specialty program coverage in this shortened version

  • Administrative functions for dispensing medication
  • Weights and measures
  • Drug administration theory
  • Reviewing common prescription instructions with clients

  • Communicating basic nutritional information to clients
  • Nutritional labels
  • Regulation, energy requirements, and caloric values of pet foods
  • Purina Nutrition Course

  • Recognize and identify common parasites
  • Parasite testing, diagnosis, and treatments

  • Concerns, principles, and categories of animal restraint
  • Handling techniques
  • Restraint for various procedures and types of animals

  • Animal breeds
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Grooming, travelling, exercise, and training
  • Adolescence, reproduction, senior pets, and euthanasia

  • Basic anatomy, physiology, and terminology of the major body systems

  • Symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatments of medical conditions
  • Responding to common client questions

  • Surgery and anesthesia procedures
  • Dental procedures
  • Hospitalized patient care
  • Exam room assistance
  • Laboratory, endoscopy, and radiology processes

  • Infectious diseases
  • Zoonotic diseases
  • Aseptic technique

  • Professional and business aspects of an animal clinic
  • Communications
  • Public relations
  • Record keeping
  • Security and safety

• Integrate theory from the classroom into practice by working in a veterinary environment
• Four-week practicum (minimum of 25 hours per week)

Contact an Admissions Advisor for More Information Today!

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Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

We'd love to connect with you to help you become a Sprott Shaw graduate. Visit a campus, request info or apply today.
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