Holistic vs. Traditional Veterinary Care

happy pet owner speaking with the vet

As a loving, caring and compassionate pet owner, your primary concern is undoubtedly for the health and wellbeing of your beloved creature. In most cases, this means that you are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that your pet lives a long, healthy and happy life with you.

Veterinary care forms a very important part of keeping your pet healthy. Not only is it used to treat your pet in the even she becomes sick or injured, but they also offer a great deal in the way of preventative care which could potentially keep your precious pet from being unwell in the first place.

While in the past, owners across the United States were virtually completely dependent on traditional veterinary care, in the last few decades an increasing number of pet parents are seeking out alternative types of care that could support, enhance or even potentially replace some of the services that they would ordinarily contact their conventional vet about. These alternatives are often referred to as ‘holistic’ veterinary care. However, many people are confused about the differences between holistic and traditional veterinary care and which is right for their pet.

Here is what you need to know about both, including the key differences between them.

Holistic veterinary care takes a whole-body approach

Holistic veterinary care is a different approach to both diagnosing and treating ailments that may be affecting your pet. The primary difference between holistic and traditional veterinary care is that your holistic vet will not only look at the problem and its most obvious cause. Instead she will also assess the overall health and wellbeing of your pet to see if there is anything there that could be contributing towards her current sickness. This is because holistic vets believe that universal health – physical and psychological – is intrinsically linked to the development of ailments.

By contrast, a conventional vet will only consider the immediate problem and what is most likely to be causing it at that precise moment, not necessarily appreciating the effect that your pet’s overall health and condition may be having on this ailment. Using this information, your holistic vet will likely make recommendations about your pet’s lifestyle that could improve her condition and potentially prevent it from recurring in the future. This could include about her weight, her diet and nutrition or the amount of exercise she gets.

Your holistic veterinarian will try to avoid using medications

Holistic vets take a much more natural approach to healing and will usually recommend a variety of different, ‘alternative’ treatments and lifestyle changes before referring to medicine. This is known as naturopathy and can include therapies such as homeopathy, herbalism, acupuncture, massage and dietary changes. It is usually only if these treatments are unsuccessful that a holistic vet will consider recommending medications.

Of course, the natural approach can be very useful in dealing with mild to moderate problems, where your pet is not suffering too much and there is no considerable or dangerous threat to her wellbeing. However, if your beloved animal is diagnosed with something more serious, the majority of caring owners would seek out prompt and proven treatments to get the problem under control quickly, before further damage or risk to the health and potentially life of your pet can occur. Nevertheless, those owners may also want to consider the advice of a holistic vet should they have valuable advice on making changes to their pet’s lifestyle in order to prevent the problem recurring.

Some holistic vets aren’t too keen on vaccinations

Traditional veterinary preventative care focuses heavily on the importance of regular vaccinations to keep your pet safe from infectious diseases. They are not only extremely successful, but some are also a legal requirement in most states. Nevertheless, many holistic vets believe that we are too quick to vaccinate and instead reduce the schedule of vaccines given to animals in their care. If you visit a holistic vet, you should check that you agree with their philosophy on vaccinations before agreeing to register your pet with them.

Many owners combine therapies from both traditional and holistic vets as they believe that this will give their pet the best of both practices. The most important thing to realize about any sort of veterinary care is that you have the freedom to choose what is right for your pet. Contact us today for further information.

Providing the very best in veterinary care, and the ability to establish innovated programs.


Parkland Animal Clinic & Big Bear Pet Lodge​​​​​​​
8017 N. University Dr
Parkland, FL 33067

Fax: 954-757-3990
EMAIL US: Parklandanimalclinic@gmail.com