It goes without saying that we all want to do what is best for our four legged companions. We want to provide the best diet, best training and best medical care. For those of us that feed a Raw Diet we also are most likely to seek natural care and a Holistic Vet for our “fur kids” as well. Since it is becoming more and more sought after, “Holistic” seems to be the new buzz word and it is popping up on everything.
I have had the fortunate or unfortunate experience of seeing multiple “Holistic Vets” until I landed with our current one that is truly a HOLISTIC VET and practices using Chinese Herbs. All the ones I have seen previously claim to be “Holisitic” but trust me, they either were not or tried to be but had a long way to go in learning their profession. I am ecstatic with our Holistic Vet and feel amazingly blessed to have found her. I found her in a time of emergency when the “Holistic Vet” we had seen for 4 years would not review some blood/urine test results for 3 days because their schedule was “too busy” — mind you we were in a critical situation that was potentially life ending if not addressed in a timely manner. Then when the labs were reviewed the only response we got was: make an appointment! Obviously not a Holistic Vet I wold entrust with my “fur kids” care- EVER! We had not had an emergency situation before and as I looked back on it I should have seen warning signs prior to this. Luckily I had not waited around and with the help of one of our customers we were introduced to our new Holistic Vet who actually came to our house to help us out — the same day she was contacted!
BUYER BEWARE: I have noticed that Vet Clinics are now integrating all the key buzz words into their names; Natural, Wellness, Holistic, Organic, etc. This does not mean they are a truly Holistic Clinic.
I have also noticed that some Traditional Vets are claiming to practice both Western and Holistic medicine. While I am a firm believer that both are required to provide balanced care for our “fur kids”, I am extremely skeptical of vets that claim to do both as they are counter-intuitive of one another. I do believe that a vet can be Holistic and have a Traditional background as well. If I found a Holistic Vet who is practicing scheduled vaccinations in their practice I would run like the wind in the opposite direction.
Also, if your Holistic Vet is not giving you the results or direct answers you are looking for then move on. While Holistic Treatment takes time they should be able to answer your questions as well as have a precise and decisive approach to treatment. It should not feel as if they are learning their trade as they take the journey with you.
I believe that Holistic Vets do not promote vaccinations, chemicals, and all the things that we know do harm to our pets. A true Holistic Vet will promote natural well being, not artificial.
With this being said, I do believe in having a relationship with a Traditional Vet so that if you are ever in need of acute care you have a relationship with a vet that will be able to provide you and your pet with the treatment needed. This is typically a surgical procedure. Be open and honest with your Traditional Vet about your feeding program and your vaccination history (or lack of) so that their are no surprises if you are ever in need of their services. If the Traditional Vet is not able to accept your way of caring for your pet then you most likely should find another Traditional Vet……they are out there.
So, here is a short “punch list” of things I look for when I am deciding on a Holistic Vet:
1. Look at their Bio and see how long they have been practicing Holistic Vet Care
2. Look at their Credentials: do they do Accupuncture, Chiropractic, Chinese Medicine, Holistic Care, etc. If they do, where did their training come from? I would never let a Vet do Chiropractic on my dog if they have not trained in it and I mean TRAINED — like have a diploma or degree. Would you let just anyone adjust your back?? And if a Vet that does not have formal training in an area wants to treat my dog I would consider that a huge RED FLAG!
3. If you reach out to ask questions about their practice and you cannot reach them or get a response in a timely manner I would move on. If you can’t reach them when you are a new patient looking to bring them a new client, odds are you will not get a timely response in an emergency.
4. ASK PEOPLE YOU TRUST FOR REFERRALS! Happy patients are more than willing to share their resources with others. I would never have connected with this Holistic Vet without the referral of our customer. I am more than happy to refer to this Holistic Vet when people ask me for referrals.
5. If you have question about a vet you are thinking of seeing ask others that you trust what they know or think about this vet. All of us that love our pets are more than willing to help people steer clear of situations that may not be positive. In a time of need with our pets we require someone who is responsive and that we can trust their knowledge. I also would not take my recommendations from someone that has a business relationship with a Vet. (Example: a dog trainer that recommends a Holistic Vet and they refer back and forth). The recommendation may not be unbiased. Ask a consumer that has treated with the Holistic Vet FOR AWHILE!! Someone that has had an issue…….this will be a real opinion based on experience.
6. I would just do a “stop and check”. Just randomly stop into the clinic sometime and see what feel you get for the clinic. See what products are offered for sale — are they natural products?
7. Most importantly……go with your gut! If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
In my opinion, Holistic Care is so much better for our “fur kids” in most cases, not all, but finding the right Holistic Vet is a challenge. I have been there and found a few frogs before finding the Best of Holistic Care, Dr. Sue!
As always, I am available for questions. :-)