Perhaps you are someone who is beginning to understand the issues concerning vaccines, diet and traditional drug approaches, or perhaps you are somebody who favours a natural approach in all aspects of your life, and wants to do the same for your pets.
I hope this article goes some way to explaining how the holistic vet world is, and where to find a holistic vet for your pet.
Firstly, please understand the majority of holistic vets do not own practices that you as a pet owner can go and register at with a new pet, or arrive at with a poorly pet in the same way you currently can with conventional vet’s practices.
Most holistic vets work within an existing conventional practice or have a referral clinic, where they do work alone but pets have to be referred to them by a conventional vet.
There are a few veterinary practices that have both a conventional and holistic approach over the whole practice but these a very few and far between. 2 examples are Towerwood vets in Leeds and Wylie vet centre in Essex.
A few holistic vets travel around the UK offering clinics in different locations, one of which is Vince the vet.
So you will most likely need to register your pet with a conventional practice, if you want to register, then ask for referrals to a holistic vet or keep the registration for emergency attendance or basic queries.
Second to understand is that not all holistic vets practice the same natural service.
Some chose to qualify in Acupuncture following their conventional qualification, some chose to qualify in Homeopathy, others in Herbalism. Some in more than one therapy or modality.
There is no specific qualification to become a holistic vet! All have had conventional training but then progressed on to study further holistic qualifications.
Neither is there a veterinary qualification in holistic or natural diet, a natural diet is simply something most holistic vets favour due to their understanding of the holistic approach to wellness.
This means that you could find a holistic vet who practices any number of different holistic treatments and has differing opinions on diet and may or may-not even know about vaccines issues, or how to perform a different type of neutering etc. Each holistic vet is an individual, with their own set of knowledge gained from the specific training they have had.
Believe me I too long for the world where you can simply register your pet at a practice that favours natural diet, herbs, limited or no vaccines, spays more naturally and other natural ways but for now until that does happen UK wide then we must make the best of the holistic vets we have in the UK, and support them as much as we can.
My experience of meeting holistic vets has shown me that many of them have exactly the same fears and worries about opening practices or starting businesses as human therapists do! We may feel we could fill their diaries with all the people we know of and hear of looking for the natural approach but it’s a big thing starting and funding a business as well as believing in yourself – and even more so with an organisation like the RCVS gazing over you with questioning eyes.
Here are a few resources to get you started. Why not also google your area, some holistic vets may have their own websites.
There is currently no website that lists All holistic vets, as explained above they all offer different therapies.
Speak to the holistic vets in your area, see how they can support you and vice versa. Perhaps a vet near to who is recently trained in acupuncture does want to know more about vaccine issues! – or perhaps they simply want to offer their acupuncture and that’s that, either way lets support them and open up everybody’s choices too.
and some Chiropractic vets also share further natural beliefs or approaches.
This information and lots of other fantastic need-to-know natural dog care knowledge is also contained in my book Imperfectly Natural Canine, the next in the Imperfectly Natural series with BBC’s Janey Lee Grace.