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Personalized Veterinary Nutrition Plan For Pets
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How are holistic vets different from other animal specialists?

NHV Behind The Scenes 3 min read
Photo of a female holistic vet caring for four different dogs with a smile on her face.

As a loving pet pawrent looking for natural ways to support your little one’s health, you may be wondering, “what are holistic vets, and how are they different from regular vets?” This alternative veterinary approach can complement the work of animal behaviorists, to vet dentists and oncologists for pets. Our vet team is here to explain the integrative wellness method that guides NHV!

‘Regular Vets’ vs Holistic Vets

The conventional approach to illness is to get rid of a particular disease pattern or symptom using prescribed medication and/or surgery. In contrast, a holistic approach sees a symptom as a clue to a larger problem and develops treatment plans to support the whole body rather than focusing on symptoms.

Conventional vets, a.k.a. ‘regular’ vets, complete a diploma in veterinary medicine to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). They are trained in prescribing medication and surgery but usually don’t receive training in nutrition or holistic care. These certified vets can work as companion animal veterinarians, or complete additional training to act in a more specific field.

Holistic vets have completed conventional training, earned a DVM, and are trained in alternative (or complementary) therapies for a specific pet. They combine methods from traditional medicine and holistic medicine to build an integrative care plan that considers the whole picture of a pet. They only resort to prescription medication and surgery when necessary.

Holistic vets not only care about a pet’s medical history, but they are also concerned about a furkiddo’s environment, genetics, nutrition, family relationships, stress levels, and other factors when creating a treatment plan.

How do vet specializations work?

Once an animal specialist obtains a DVM, they can either continue studying to pursue an advanced specialty or pursue studies in a different healing modality to offer pet patients a greater range of treatments.

The five main types of veterinarians

Companion Animal Veterinarians

These are the most common types of veterinarians and are the ones you would most likely interact with as a pet parent. These vets are like the equivalent of human primary care physicians.

Veterinary Specialists 

Like in human medicine, veterinary physicians can be specialists in many different areas. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recognizes more than twenty different kinds of veterinarians, which include: anesthesiology, dentistry, pathology, and surgery. Veterinarians can also specialize in a particular species or group of animals, like exotics, cats, dogs, pocket pets, poultry, or wildlife.

Image of a man examining a cow with a stethoscope around his neck in representation of holistic vets and other types of veterinarian specialists

Livestock, Food, and Large Animal Veterinarians

Food animal veterinarians mainly work with animals raised for human consumption to ensure products are safe to eat. Many are large animal vets, but that is not always true. These vets help ensure food animals’ welfare and work to help prevent or control disease outbreaks. They often travel a fair bit and may work in ranches or farms.

Food Safety and Inspection Veterinarians

These vets often work in organizations like the US Food and Drug Administration’s Inspection Service to help enforce laws and regulations. These types of veterinarians may inspect animal products like eggs, dairy, and meat, to ensure animal welfare and sanitary practices. In some cases, they might need to isolate infected animals or test the safety of certain medicines.

Research Veterinarians

Vets that conduct research often pursue graduate-level or doctoral-level studies. These types of vets often work in a biomedical research lab or maybe as faculty members in a university. Our senior vet, Dr. Amanda (DVM, MVSc, PhD) is the head of research at NHV Pet Products. Working with leading universities and veterinary hospitals, she has conducted clinical trials on several NHV products. Here is a link to our latest clinical research. Dr. Amanda also teaches vet students at Western College of Veterinary Medicine (U of Saskatchewan).

Dr. Amanda is also specialized in vet nutrition and can build a personalized diet for your little one with all their health needs in mind. You can always count on our vet team if you ever need us. We are just a message away. Ask away about holistic support and how we can work alongside your local vet to help your little one live longer naturally!

NHV Pet Experts

NHV Pet Experts

We have a dedicated group of pet expert professionals, including veterinarians, vet techs, and other pet professionals to guide you through any questions. We’re committed to your pet’s wellness and can offer additional tips, resources, nutritional advice, and more.

Published: October 5, 2022

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