Animal models have significantly advanced our understanding of the mechanisms of atherosclerosis formation and the evaluation of therapeutic options. The current focus of research is on preventive strategies and includes pharmacologic and biologic interventions directed primarily against smooth-muscle cell proliferation, endovascular devices for recanalization and/or drug delivery, and an integrated approach using both devices and pharmacobiologic agents. The experience over many decades with animal models in vascular research has established that a single, ideal, naturally available model for atherosclerosis does not exist. The spectrum ranges from large animals such as pigs to small animal experiments with genetically modified rodents such as the ApoE−/− mouse with correspondingly differently pronounced changes in their lipid and lipoprotein levels. The development of transgenic variants of currently available models, e.g., an ApoE-deficient rabbit line, has widened our options. Nevertheless, an appreciation of the individual features of natural or stimulated disease in each species is of importance for the proper design and execution of relevant experiments.