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Become a relief vet in Oklahoma

Switching Your Career to Relief Vet in Oklahoma

The Sooner State is a solid option for relief veterinarians. If you’re looking to transition from associate veterinarian work to relief, Oklahoma is a good place for it. Here’s what a relief vet in Oklahoma needs to know.

Becoming a Relief Vet in Oklahoma

With a strong veterinary program at Oklahoma State University, OK has a steady supply of new vet grads coming in. The challenge is keeping them in the state! As a relief veterinarian, you may wind up working with more younger vets rather than older ones. If you enjoy mentoring, then Oklahoma may be a great state for you.


Licensing is done through the Oklahoma Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. The Board is not great on guiding you through how to actually apply for an Oklahoma veterinary license. The key is to choose their online store and “shop” for your initial license. 

You can choose reciprocal licensure for $675, one of the higher licensure fees in the country.  It’s cheaper than becoming a veterinarian in New Mexico, which will set you back $1000. You’ll pay your fee online and submit your application by mail. 

Fortunately, a Oklahoma state license allows you to also practice veterinary medicine in tribal-owned areas as well. The Osage, Choctaw, and Cherokee Nations recognize the state license. 


Oklahoma salaries are around $96,000 on average, below the national average. Salaries are in line with neighboring states. Oklahomans on the border with Texas may have opportunities for negotiation.

StateAvg SalaryTax RateNet Annual
New Mexico$95,1104.90%$90,450

When looking at metro areas or counties, the panhandle has a high average salary of $101,610, possibly due to pressure from two neighboring high-salary states. The two largest cities, Tulsa and Oklahoma City, are in the high $90s but don’t break $100k on average.

Veterinary salaries in OK map

Issues Pertinent To A Relief Vet in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is a state with heavy agriculture. Expect to see a lot of conditions from animals that are working or outdoors often. 

65% of Oklahomans have a pet, with more dog than cat owners in the state. 

Additionally, the state has issued information and alerts about the following diseases in animals:

Veterinary Care in Native American Communities

About 43% of Oklahoma’s area is under tribal care, as per a 2022 Supreme Court ruling. Population-wise, about 16% of the state’s population identifies as Native American. Some native communities may have strong feelings about the care and freedom of pets, especially dogs. 

Dogs may be left tethered outside or allowed to roam freely within their communities. You may see more instances of issues related to exposure and underfeeding as well as dogs without a clear owner needing emergency care. 

There may also be strong resistance to spaying and neutering pets. 

One resource to better understand Native communities is the Native America Humane Society.

Balancing Work and Life In Oklahoma

Beaver Bend State Park

Beaver Bend State Park was developed with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps and boasts fantastic rivers, lakes, and forests for recreation. Fish and hike with your leashed pet for maximum enjoyment.

For a day in civilization, the Philbrook Art Museum offers a historic home, classic and modern art galleries, and 25 acres of gardens. Not your typical art museum, the institution hosts kids’ days, concerts, and other events to draw visitors to their focus on Native American, American, and European art.

The Philbrook Art Museum offers a historic home, classic and modern art galleries, and 25 acres of gardens.
Turner Falls State Park is a great place for a relief vet in Oklahoma to relax

Turner Falls Park features a stunning waterfall and a lovely castle to explore. Unfortunately, you’ll have to leave your furry friends at home – pets are not allowed.

Let Holiday Vet help you get relief veterinarian work in Oklahoma!