How to Find a Holistic Veterinarian

According to Shawn Messonnier, Holistic veterinarian and founder of Paws & Claws Animal Hospital, Plano, Texas.

Go Online

The website of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (ahvma.org) has searchable state-by-state listings of practitioners. However, holistic vets are still relatively few in number. If you can't find someone nearby, your best bet might be a vet who is willing to do a phone appointment (our office does this almost every day). While not as ideal as an in-person visit, a phone session will allow the vet to offer advice and, for instance, suggestions for supplements.

Know What to Expect

A big part of what we do is directing owners to help keep their pets well through diet, supplements, exercise, and mind-body medicine. When disease occurs, holistic veterinarians use natural therapies such as herbs and homeopathics, and noninvasive procedures such as acupuncture or wound-healing laser therapy, as their first-line approaches. When conventional medications are needed, we tend to prescribe the lowest possible dosages for the shortest possible period of time.

Think Big-Picture

We encourage natural foods (devoid of byproducts and artificial add-ins), gentle shampoos and topical products, and nontoxic pest control, as well as supplements to support healthy organs and immune systems. We also tend toward minimal use of vaccines.

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