Over three-quarters of all vets (77%, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association) treat pets, including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, reptiles, and rodents.
Some vets vets work in mixed practices, seeing both pets and domestic animals (pigs and sheep, for example.). People bring their animal patients to the clinic for check-ups, vaccinations, surgeries, emergency care, and, when necessary, euthanasia. Vets also counsel pet owners on proper diet and care.
Some vets work exclusively with large animals; mostly cows and horses.
These vets usually drive out to the farm or ranch to treat the animals. Much of their work focuses on preventive care, especially making sure food animals will be fit for slaughter and consumption. They may work odd hours and in unsanitary conditions when performing emergency surgeries, such as a cesarean section during birth.
A small number of veterinarians work in zoos, aquariums, or research labs.
Vets often work long hours, especially in clinics that have 24-hour emergency on-call doctors. Weekend and evening work is common, especially for new vets. Being bitten, scratched, kicked, and otherwise injured by scared animals is common.