Animal Care Advice from Industry Professionals

The Biggest Loser
The Biggest Loser

Dr Katrina Warren has 20 years of experience as a loved and trusted media veterinarian, best known for her roles on Harry’s Practice, Talk to the Animals, Totally Wild and Housecat Housecall (USA). She regularly appears across all media platforms and is currently resident veterinarian on Channel 9’s Today Show.

Dr Katrina is passionate about the remarkable power of the human/animal bond and recently launched Australia’s first online interactive Puppy Training Club (www.petlovers.com.au) to help people enrich the bond they share with their dog through positive training.

With her down to earth ‘girl next door’ persona, an international media profile and veterinary experience beyond her years, what’s next for one of Australia’s most recognisable celebrity vets? Open Colleges chatted to Dr Katrina to find out.

Celebrity vet
1 From being a media veterinarian, to a radio presenter, to co-founding the Pet Lovers’ Puppy Club, you have a wonderfully diverse range of skills. Can you tell us a little bit about how your career has evolved?

When I first graduated from vet school, I realised that I enjoyed educating people about pet care more than I enjoyed working in a clinic environment. I looked for a job that allowed me to use my knowledge, but was not a traditional vet role. I got a job as a researcher for a kids’ TV show called Totally Wild, which then led to a role as a presenter.

After four years working on Totally Wild, I was very lucky to be chosen to work alongside Dr Harry in the TV show, Harry's Practice – it was my dream job and the most wonderful 6 years of work. This opportunity exposed me to other media platforms like radio and magazines and allowed me to learn a variety of media skills, including public speaking.

Celebrity vet
2 What has been your greatest career achievement to date?

Probably finishing my Veterinary Science degree! It's a solid five year course, and it took dedication and hard work, but it was also a lot of fun and extremely rewarding. Without my veterinary degree, I would not have experienced my media career.

3 What are the biggest challenges you have faced in the animal care industry and how did you overcome them?

I find it very difficult to see cases of animal cruelty, as I don't understand how anyone could harm or neglect another living being. It is also hard to comprehend the number of companion animals in shelters around the country, desperately needing a loving home. I try to do my bit by promoting responsible pet ownership and supporting animal welfare causes through media appearances and my social media channels. The more I can do to educate people about animal welfare issues, the better.

Celebrity vet
4 What are your top three tips for someone wishing to get started in the animal care/veterinary industry?

1. Spend some time doing work experience in your chosen area. Many people love animals, but do not cope well when faced with watching surgery or seeing animals being euthanised.

2. Volunteer at an animal shelter or rescue group. This is very rewarding, and also allows you to gain an understanding about animal welfare and the daily struggles faced by rescue groups.

3. Get as much hands-on experience with animals as possible

Celebrity vet
5 What's the most exciting thing about working in the animal care/veterinary industry?

Our pets are considered a precious part of the family and it has been exciting for me to watch the pet industry change over the past 20 years. Most people now treat their pets as a family member and include them in celebrations like Christmas and birthdays. We love to spoil them and properly look after their health with good nutrition and appropriate medical treatment. We have had huge advances in the veterinary industry, with amazing veterinary specialist centres now available that offer incredible care for pets. As a result, our pets are now living longer than ever before.

6 What's next for Dr Katrina?

I do a lot of work online, as this is now the way most people seek advice about their pets. I have recently set up an online dog training school, so people can train their puppy or dog in their own time and ask me questions. I also do talks and demonstrations about pet care and dog training. Keep an eye on my Facebook page to find out where in the world you might run into me next!

If you’re interested in having a career that makes a difference to animals’ lives, discover many more roles from some of our other industry professionals here.