Animals are an essential part of so many of our daily lives and they are an irreplaceable part of every local ecosystem. Keeping animals healthy is a task that would not be possible without the dedication, specialized training, and hard work of veterinary technicians. These highly trained professionals help pave the way for veterinarians to focus on diagnosing, performing surgery and determining necessary prescriptions. Vet techs are an essential part of veterinary private practices, hospitals, research facilities, zoos, sanctuaries, and more.
When contemplating the best gifts for vet techs, it’s necessary to understand just how hard these professionals work. Veterinary technicians are the first line of comfort for animals and the humans who care about them. They are skilled medical professionals who provide nursing and emergency care, plant IVs, take x-rays, perform lab tests, and analyze test results. Vet techs prepare animals for surgery; administer meds, vaccines, and treatments; and give surgical anesthesia. Vet techs expand the capacity of veterinarians through skilled support—and also enable non-vets to care for their pets at home through education and the explanation of care.
The most awesome gifts are those that reflect real thought for the needs and the values of the person who receives them. If there is a vet tech in your life who you’d like to appreciate a gift, here are 20 suggestions that are thoughtful, connective, and accessible for any budget. As a bonus, many of the gifts listed also contribute to keeping animals healthy in local communities and all across the planet.
Affordable Gifts for Animal-Lovers ($0 – $20)
Sometimes, the best gifts cost nothing but our time and attention. If the vet tech in your life has had a genuine positive impact on yours, take the time to write a letter to them expressing all the reasons why you’re grateful for them. Set up a short appointment with them to read them the letter in a place that is quiet and private, leave space for them to respond to your letter, and then give them the letter once you’re done!
Being a vet tech can be supremely stressful, and coloring is actually a brilliant way to help induce meditation, relaxation, reduce anxiety, and disconnect from long, busy, stressful days. This coloring book is not only a ticket to relaxation, but it also cuts straight to the humor of what it means to live and work as a vet tech. Throw in some colored pencils, and this gift is a thoughtful, personal, and hilarious gift to give a veterinary technician.
To help your favorite vet tech perk up for the day, keep up with the pace of healing, and keep providing all the necessary medical support furry friends, coffee is always a welcome gift. You can buy your vet tech a bag of beans, offer them a gift certificate to a locally-owned shop near their job, or combine the gift of coffee with a personalized letter of gratitude letter for a truly connective gift not soon to be forgotten.
Vet techs wash their hands frequently throughout the day to prevent spreading contagions between animals and to ensure working environments stay sanitary. Without lotion, vet tech hands can become dry, cracked, and painful. Providing a high-quality, unscented hand-lotion is a thoughtful way to thank a vet tech for their hard work, and for keeping things in the clinic or hospital clean and sanitary.
Add a tasteful, personalized touch to a vet tech’s stethoscope with a nametag that is unique enough to see but small enough not be tugged on by frisky patients. You can imprint a name up to 15 characters and choose between a wide range of animal stamps, including dogs, bears, monkeys, birds, pigs, turtles, sharks, owls, llamas, chickens, cats, and more.
Whether the meal is home-cooked or from their favorite local restaurant, a well-fed vet tech is a happy and effective vet tech. Check in about dietary preferences before jumping in to preparing a meal. To err on the safe side, choose locally-sourced meat from ethical farms, or surprise your favorite vet tech with a delicious vegetarian or vegan meal.
With adorable names representing tasty and original flavors like “Peanut Butter Pit Bull,” “Foster-iffic Peppermint” and “Pick me! Pepper,” a Rescue Chocolate bar is sure to be a wonderful gift for a dog-loving vet tech. Both the dark and milk chocolate bars are fairly traded, organic, and vegan. Also, a portion of the proceeds from Rescue Chocolate go to help a new far-reaching animal rescue organization each month.
Mid-Range Gifts for Animal-Lovers ($21 – $100)
Bandage scissors are an essential part of a vet tech’s every day work. Offering the vet tech in your life a high-quality pair of bandage scissors can be a gift that the vet tech keeps for their entire career. This particular pair, with its unique titanium coating and rainbow finish, also gives the vet tech a stylish pair of scissors that can be easily found in the clinic if borrowed by fellow techs.
Know a certain animal that your vet tech loves? Do they have a cherished pet of their own? Customize socks, mugs, stickers, phone cases, leggings, sports bras, zip pouches, swimsuits, devotional candles, and more with the face or photo of your vet tech’s favorite pet. As a bonus, Arm The Animals (ATA) uses the proceeds to help support the missions and increase the impact of animal welfare organizations.
Animal lovers know the importance of keeping our oceans free from single use-plastics. Vet techs have physical jobs with lots of movement that can create serious thirst throughout the day. This thoughtful gift provides your favorite vet tech with a way to stay hydrated without polluting our oceans. As a bonus, this water bottle comes with a digital subscription to National Geographic. A percentage of the proceeds go to the National Geographic Society, aiding in conservation and exploration.
Socks are both useful and something fun to put put under a pair of scrubs. This particular three-pack of socks gives gives the gift of sea animals (sharks), wild animals (elephants), and pets (dogs)! Not only does the recipient of this gift get some fun animal variety for their feet, but proceeds from this particular box goes to support the animal protection work of Oceana (sharks), Conservation International (elephants), and Best Friends (dogs). As another bonus, these socks are organic and fair trade certified.
A vet tech who loves animals probably can’t have enough shirts with animals on them. You can choose to go scholarly with a cat reading a book; heartwarming with adorable pandas; absolutely stunning with an arara bird; or even mythical with a unicorn shirt. While the choices for which animal shirts to buy are endless, these particular animal t-shirts are made from 100 percent cotton and recycled materials, respect environmental ecosystems, and benefit women-owned business in developing nations.
This thoughtful gift is for a wine-loving vet tech who is also a cat parent. In addition to the gift of pinot for your favorite vet tech, their fur baby also gets a catnip bottle of wine, a stuffed owl toy, a taffy roll, and a cork bamboleo. As an added bonus, your gift helps other fur babies to find forever homes. Every purchase of this gift basket helps to fund pet adoptions. Perfect for a vet tech with a rescue or rescues of their own.
Life creates the conditions for life. For animals, humans, and plants to have the conditions needed to thrive, the ecosystems and habitats still left on earth must flourish so that the animals that live there may succeed as well. If the vet tech in your life understands this truth, a donation to the Wildlife Conservation Society in their name is a wonderful gift as it means money put toward protecting and regenerating habitats in 16 priority regions across the globe.
Vet tech life is busy, busy, busy. Preparing healthy, wholesome meals can be challenging. Save the vet tech the time, effort, and energy involved in cooking by giving them the gift of pre-cooked meals. Select the meals for them and send it to their job as a surprise, or buy them a gift certificate and let them hand-select the meals on their own. Vegetarian options are available, as are sides and breakfast.
Generous Gifts for Animal-Lovers ($100+)
Massage Gift Certificate
Being a veterinary technician is an extremely physical job and many vet techs will spend the day bending, crouching, lifting, standing, and sometimes even restraining animals. Helping a vet tech take care of their body is a very thoughtful gift. For relaxation, a Swedish-style massage can do the trick. To help relieve muscle tension, you can give the gift of a deep tissue massage.
At a median salary of $16.55 per hour in the US (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), a pair of Dansko shoes is equal to more than one day of a vet tech’s work. If you have heard the vet tech in your life complaining about aching feet, Danskos are the gold standard for comfort, recognized across all medical establishment. This gift is a huge way to take care of the people taking care of animals.
To keep up relevant credentialing and to continue learning about how best to care for animals, vet techs need to engage in continuing education (CE) long after they graduate from vet tech programs. Membership in NAVTA connects vet techs to free CE resources and networks where they can influence policy and regulation. Additionally, it can provide a number of other discounts to resources and materials useful to those in the veterinary world.
Because of the aforementioned salary considerations, giving a vet tech the gift of a stethoscope where failing parts can be replaced is a huge gift. The eartips, diaphragms, and retaining rings of this stethoscope will be replaced at no charge, and defective tubing will cost only shipping and handling to replace. For vet techs working with large animals, Ultrascope offers extended stethoscopes. For vet techs working with animals of mixed sizes, there is also a dual-head option available. In addition, there is a wide range of heads to choose from to gift your favorite vet tech with something personal and fun.
Seventy-five to 95 percent of the flowering plants that feed both humans and animals require the assistance of pollinators to reproduce. With animals like bees, bats, butterflies, moths, birds, and other pollinating creatures experiencing sharp population declines, the animal-loving vet tech is likely interested in protecting these vulnerable populations from further habitat destruction. Supporting pollinator protecting organizations like the Pollinator Partnership in the name of of vet tech is a wonderful holiday gift.