What Are Holistic Veterinarians, And How Can They Help Your Pet?

18 June 2015
 Categories: , Blog


A holistic veterinarian is one who addresses the animal's whole health rather than just his ailment. Holistic veterinary care has been around for awhile, yet still, many people have never heard the term and have no understanding of how holistic veterinary care differs from the traditional. If you're interested in learning more about holistic care as it relates to your pet, keep reading.

What is Holistic Veterinary Care?

The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association defines holistic animal care as medical care that searches for the source of disease or illness as opposed to just treating it. This type of care may incorporate genetics, nutrition, familial relationships, and levels of stress as determining factors in the care and prevention of disease in animals. 

When you take your pet to a veterinarian who specializes in holistic care, the experience will differ somewhat from a traditional vet visit. Just as in human holistic medicine, the holistic veterinarian may use a variety of treatments to help cure your pet, including:

  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Chiropractic Care
  • Nutrition-Based
  • Osteopathic

This type of care may also extend to more traditional therapies such as medication and surgery should the need arise. But the overall objective of the holistic vet is to treat your pet's whole health in a minimally invasive and empathizing manner. 

Where Do You Find Holistic Vets?

The AHVMA offers a link on their website to help animal owners locate holistic vets. But you can call your regular veterinarian and inquire about holistic methods as well. Often, holistic care is referred to as integrative -- meaning the practitioner is open to trying alternative forms of therapy in addition to traditional methods. Many vets use integrative methods in their practice without billing themselves as holistic. If you discuss the possibility of using alternative, herbal, or natural therapies in your pet's care, you may be surprised to find that your regular vet is already on-board. 

Is Holistic Pet Care More Expensive?

The cost of holistic pet care can be expensive or not, depending upon what your pet needs. One added financial benefit of using a holistic vet is that expensive surgery is typically a last resort because it's considered invasive. But then again, if your pet requires repeated chiropractic treatments, acupuncture or other specialized treatments, the visits can add up. If you're concerned about the cost of providing your pet with holistic care, discuss this with your veterinarian prior to making your appointment. 

Sites for clinics like Clayton Veterinary Associates will often have a list of their holistic services, as well as an explanation for what holistic treatment means in terms of care. Holistic veterinary care isn't for every pet owner, but for those who are open to new methods and who opt in favor of natural cures, it's a perfect solution to quality pet care.