Helpful Hints: From Volunteers, for Volunteers

helpful hints

Packing Tips:                                                                                                

  1. Veterinarians, bring a surgical headlamp for lowlight conditions. Click here for a recommended headlamp or here for a more affordable option available through World Vets.
  2. Extra scrub tops are helpful.  Click here to purchase additional World Vets scrub tops.
  3. Bring DEET mosquito repellant, sunblock and over the counter medication for upset stomach.
  4. Bring good walking shoes.
  5. Pack lightly. If you must bring a check in, be sure to place important items along with another change of clothes in your carry on.
  6. Bring small USD bills (1s, 5s, & 10s) with no tears in addition to the money you plan to change into local currency.
  7. Bring a light sweatshirt/sweater for the plane and certain locations where it is cooler in the evenings.

Cultural Tips:

  1. Do some research about the area where you are traveling. Read up on the local culture and history.
  2. Approach the trip with an open mind. It can be a great experience from a cultural standpoint as well as accomplishing a lot for humane animal care and population control.
  3. Interact with the locals as much as possible.
  4. Brush up on your Spanish. If you do not speak Spanish, learn a few words or bring a Spanish-English dictionary.
  5. Take advantage of the opportunities to experience a different culture and different cuisine. 
  6. Be prepared for the condition of animals to be poor. Keep in mind that the condition of an animal’s health does not reflect the amount of love for a pet, but rather the limited resources available to the community you will be serving.

Clinic Day Tips:

  1. Teamwork is the name of the game. Be ready to work hard and to feel very satisfied at the end of a long day.
  2. Be flexible, open minded and prepared for anything to happen!
  3. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of bottled water.
  4. Be adaptable and remember your goals. Go with the flow.
  5. Candy and/or granola bars (or something similar that you can eat quickly and can give you energy) is helpful during clinic days.
  6. Volunteers will come with a different level of proficiency – be ready to work with all levels.

General Tips:

  1. On these trips, you will encounter many new and different people, places and activities so a volunteer must be able to quickly adapt to any and all changes.
  2. Be prepared to experience a whole different environment and way of doing things. Seeing how other communities live and accomplish things is very eye-opening.
  3. Step out of your comfort zone and do not limit yourself! Your World Vets experience is a tremendous opportunity for growth educationally as well as personally.
  4. Be sure to read the volunteer descriptions page.
  5. Make sure you read every email World Vets and the Field Service Vet sends you prior to the project.

Looking for more ways to prepare for your World Vets volunteer experience?

Check out our “9 Things You Need to Know About Volunteering with World Vets” page.