Veterinarian shortage could hit US by 2030, study suggests

America could soon be running low on pet doctors. 

A recent study by Mars Veterinary headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, shows that by the year 2030, there could be 15,000 fewer vets than needed to care for pets nationwide.

Researchers said up to 55,000 new veterinarians are needed to meet projected demand in 2030. This, as the number of pet-owning U.S. households is increasing 1.5% annually.

"Especially since COVID, I’ve never seen emergency rooms have to turn people away, and in these cases, they don’t always have a veterinarian on staff in the emergency room because of shortages," said Dr. Christina Sisk, Humane Society of Ventura County's director of veterinary services in California.

Forty-seven states are facing some sort of veterinarian shortage, and the high cost of vet school doesn’t help the case.

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"Most vets are graduating with about $160,000 in student loans," said Sisk. "Once they graduate, they want to start repaying those loans, and so they’re going to look for more lucrative jobs in cities and things like that. Working at municipal shelters and nonprofits are not going to be nearly as lucrative as private practice."

Researchers proposed a few solutions to the pending shortage such as expanding the workforce by investing in more equity and diversity programs and creating more vet schools. 

The Humane Society says that teaching the community to be a part of the solution by getting their pets spayed and neutered can help lower the demand for vet services. 

FOX News contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.