What Are Veterinary Gloves Used For? Comprehensive Guide for Professionals

Veterinary Gloves

Disposable gloves are used for protection in many fields. And among these fields is a veterinary medicine. Veterinary gloves are popularly used when handling animals.

These gloves ensure the safety of the practitioner and the animal as well. 

You are probably wondering now about their uses and nature?… Therefore, allow us to tell you more about veterinary gloves.

Throughout this article, we will explain what veterinary gloves are and their different types. We will also explain why certain glove materials are favored when dealing with animals.

Additionally, you will learn about special gloves like needlestick-resistant and snake-proof gloves. 

Then, you will know when to use veterinary gloves and more about their manufacturing. Furthermore, we will talk about recycling gloves, tips for purchasing them, and other PPE. 

Finally, we will part you with some tips on grooming your animal.

What are veterinary gloves?

Veterinary gloves are used by those who handle animals. Just like humans, animals can be affected by germs and viruses. In addition, they can transmit infections to other animals and humans.

Furthermore, the animal’s fur may be the home of microorganisms or parasitic eggs. 

Therefore, whether you are in a veterinary clinic, farm, pet store, or pet salon, you must wear gloves. Veterinary gloves will fend off bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. 

Additionally, if you work on a farm or a pet salon, you will also need other PPE.

What are the different types of veterinary gloves?

As previously mentioned, veterinary gloves are used in different settings. Therefore, each of them may require a unique feature in its glove. 

Thus, veterinary gloves can be used in:

  • A clinical setting 
  • Farms 
  • Pet stores and pet salons
  • Gloves used in the clinical setting

Veterinarians examine animals, draw blood, administer injections, and perform surgeries and dental examinations. Thus, they perform tasks like those performed on humans. Therefore, they need to be protected in the same manner. 

As a result, two types of veterinary gloves are used in clinics.

Veterinary examination gloves

These gloves are used to perform minor procedures like drawing blood. They can be sterile or non-sterile. However, they are resistant to microorganisms.

They can be made from latex, but nitrile offers better puncture resistance.

Veterinary surgical gloves

These gloves are sterile to ensure maximum protection during surgeries. They are sold in pairs. Additionally, they need to provide high flexibility and dexterity.


Veterinary gloves used in the clinical setting can be either examination or surgical gloves. These two types are used to ensure the safety of both animals and practitioners. Thus, they are made from nitrile or latex. 

Gloves used on farms; There are several tasks performed by veterinarians and farmers while tending to animals. These tasks include: 

  • Breeding
  • Sperm collection
  • Delivery and Nursing
  • Blood sampling and testing
  • Isolation and treatment of sick animals
  • Dealing with chemicals and insecticides
  • Preparing animals’ food
  • Feeding the animals
  • Cleaning the animals 

Therefore, the use of veterinary gloves on farms is crucial. However, regular gloves might not be enough to provide the needed protection. 

Additionally, you may need to wear other PPE when handling livestock. 

Elbow or shoulder-length gloves

Elbow or shoulder-length veterinary gloves are highly recommended on farms. These gloves protect veterinarians, and farmers may need to insert their hands inside the animals’ cavities. They are usually used for examining cattle and livestock.

Additionally, shoulder-length gloves are manufactured using polyethylene. Therefore, they are durable, waterproof, chemical resistant, and provide flexibility. 

Thus, they are used in any surgical or medical procedure performed on animals.

Nitrile gloves 

These gloves are used for more straightforward tasks on the farm, like feeding the animals. They can also be used when you are handling fertilizer. 

Additionally, veterinary nitrile gloves are abrasion resistant, flexible, comfortable, and snug fit.


Veterinary gloves are crucial on farms.

They provide protection when breeding, nursing, or treating your animals. Therefore, shoulder-length polyethylene veterinary gloves are a requirement on every farm.

However, nitrile gloves are more than enough for the task when feeding and cleaning the animals.

Gloves used in pet stores and pet salons

You tend to different animals daily if you work in a pet store or a pet salon. You might find yourself performing tasks like:

  • Obedience training
  • Pet-sitting
  • Dog-walking
  • Grooming

Grooming, for instance, requires you to deal with medicated shampoos or flea and tick treatments. Thus, to perform this task, you must also ensure your and the pet’s safety. 

Therefore, you can use vinyl, nitrile, or latex veterinary gloves. However, vinyl gloves can be punctured easily.


You are recommended to wear veterinary gloves when you deal with animals daily. Especially if you perform tasks like pet grooming. 

Why use nitrile and polyethylene gloves on farms?

Animals are sensitive creatures. They interact with their environment through sight, smell, and touch. Nitrile and polyethylene veterinary gloves are soft. 

Therefore, these gloves are comfortable but also help soothe the animals. Aggravated animals can be dangerous. Thus, treating them gently is a protective measure to ensure one’s safety.

For instance, if you are milking a cow, you must stroke it gently to produce more milk. A soft glove will help you perform your task incredibly.

  • Special gloves

Veterinary gloves seem to work with most animals and in performing many tasks. However, what if you are dealing with an animal with sharp nails or teeth? Or what if you are handling a snake?

These tasks require special gloves to be able to perform them safely. 

  • Needlestick-resistant gloves

These gloves can resist needle punctures. Therefore, they are used when treating an animal with claws, talons, or sharp teeth. 

There are 2 types of needlestick-resistant gloves: leather gloves and knit gloves.

  • Snake-proof gloves

Snakes are one of the scariest reptiles there are. You must be careful even if you are dealing with a non-venomous snake. 

Therefore, you need a thick glove that can protect you from their dangerous bites. A good snake-proof glove will provide flexibility while ensuring puncture resistance.


Needlestick-resistant and snake-proof gloves are two particular types of gloves that can be used when handling animals. These gloves are thicker than regular gloves and are usually made of leather. 

When to use veterinary gloves?

Make sure you have your gloves on if you are performing any of the following:

  • When you are in contact with an animal’s blood or body fluids. Also, when you are touching their mucous membranes and non-intact skin.
  • If you are handling any contaminated equipment or touching a contaminated surface.
  • Whenever you are administering an IV injection.
  • If you suspect the animal has an infection or if it tests positive for an infection.

How are veterinary gloves manufactured?

Veterinary gloves are divided into three-dimensional seamless gloves and film heat-sealed gloves.

Three-dimensional seamless gloves

These gloves are manufactured by melting and mixing the glove’s original material with water and organic compounds. The mixture is then transferred into molds. Then, the mixture is heat dried to take the shape of gloves.

Finally, the gloves are removed from the molds by hand or automatically.

  • Film heat-sealed gloves

The manufacturing process for these gloves is even more straightforward.

The glove’s raw material is melted and blown into a film strip. Then, heat sealing rolls the film up and shapes it into a hand. 

However, this process requires certain raw materials.


Gloves are manufactured using two methods. They both involve melting the raw material of the glove first. 

Film heat-sealed gloves don’t require additional chemicals for the manufacturing process. While manufacturing three-dimensional seamless gloves, the melting takes place in organic compounds.

Recycling or using biodegradable veterinary gloves?

Due to their easy manufacturing and abundance, disposable gloves are usually discarded without consideration. However, we use gloves now more than ever.

Therefore, we should consider recycling veterinary gloves as well as regular gloves.

On the other hand, using biodegradable veterinary gloves can be relatively expensive. Thus, farmers may not be able to afford to purchase them. 

Therefore, recycling remains the optimum solution.

Tips for purchasing veterinary gloves

Several elements need to be taken into consideration before buying veterinary gloves. To be taken into consideration before buying veterinary gloves. These include:

  • The time spent handling blood and body fluids
  • Gloves’ features (puncture resistance, cut resistance)
  • The length of the glove
  • Types of hazards the worker will face (chemical hazards)
  • How compatible are the gloves with the other PPE
  • Range of motion required
  • Allergies 

Other veterinary PPE

If you work with animals all the time, you might need more than a pair of gloves.

You might be required to wear one or more of the following items: 

  • Eye and face protection
  • Protective clothing
  • Respiratory protective equipment
  • Protective footwear 

Eye and face protection

Eye goggles and face shields are optimum for protecting your face and eyes. They are used to protect you from splashes.

Protective clothing 

Overalls and disposable gowns are worn on farms all the time.

They protect you and your clothing from blood splashes, chemical splashes, and biological hazards.

Respiratory protective equipment

Respirators protect you from chemical aerosols. However, beards and facial hair prevent the respirator from sealing effectively. 

Therefore, all facial hair must be removed if you use respirators in your work.

Protective footwear

This includes shoe covers and rubber boots. Shoe covers are more suitable in clinical settings. While rubber boots are more fit for farms. 

However, they are both used when there’s a possibility of contacting blood or body fluids. 


You must consider acquiring more than veterinary gloves if you work with animals. Veterinary PPE will help protect you and the animals from infections and cross-contamination.

What do you need to know if you are grooming an animal?

As we already know, animals are sensitive to touch.

Therefore, before grooming them, you need to examine them. This takes place by touching their body parts to ensure they are not hurt.

Then, you start the grooming process.

  • Brushing

You are advised to brush your pet’s hair daily. This way, its hair will be tangle-free, and it will facilitate the process of bathing them. 

However, be gentle when you are trying to detangle the hair. You don’t want to hurt the animal in the process!

  • Bathing 

When you are bathing an animal, avoid cold water. It may cause them chills, leading to a fear of bathing. If you wash a small animal, support it with your hand. Additionally, make sure you dry it as soon as you are done.

  • Nails

Long nails can get caught in anything and break. This can be aching to the animal. They can also lead to some deformation in the toes’ shape. 

Therefore, you are advised to constantly trim your animal’s nails.

  • Ear and teeth

Check your animal’s ear regularly. You can use a cotton ball soaked in warm water to clean it. However, if it’s infected or sore, check with your veterinarian.

Additionally, you should clean the animal’s teeth patiently and with caution. If you irritate the gum, your animal will resist the regular teeth checks and fear them.


Grooming requires brushing, bathing, and trimming the animal’s nails. You should regularly clean the animal’s teeth and ears to avoid infections and parasites.

Final thoughts

Veterinary gloves are available in different sizes and lengths. The shoulder-length veterinary glove is the most commonly used when dealing with livestock. While regular gloves are used to handle pets.

Additionally, regular veterinary gloves are standard in the clinical setting.

As you have gathered, veterinary gloves are wildly popular if you work around animals. Therefore, you should always consider the needs of the animals as well when purchasing this type of gloves.

This entails the choice of a smooth and soft material to avoid irritating the animal. However, ensure that your choice is comfortable and protective to the practitioner. 

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