Finding a Holistic Veterinarian For Your Pet

How to Find a Holistic Veterinarian That Utilizes a Natural Approach

Choosing a vet is hard, especially if you want to find holistic veterinarian that utilizes a natural or integrative approach.

Although it can take more work and time than it does to find a conventional vet, if you do your homework and think through what you are truly looking for before you start your vet search, you can find a clinic and practitioner that will provide your pet with care you feel confident about for the pet’s entire lifetime – and that’s huge.

So what is the best approach to finding a holistic veterinarian that really clicks with you and your pet? Follow the steps below.

Think through the following factors and decide what you prefer/need in each category.


You need to think through cost in the short term and long term.

balance scale illustrating cost vs quality
photo by Arek Socha

On the one hand, going to a holistic veterinarian can save you money in the long run because you are treating the whole dog and looking at the root cause of any issues, not just treating the symptoms.

You may pay more in the short term for appointment fees and supplements, but your dog may avoid larger more expensive problems down the road like surgery or prescription medications.

On the flip side, you may simply not be able to afford certain vets: I’ve been to vets that had prohibitive appointment fees, and when they investigated an issue, wanted to run every test in the book to find out what was going on.

At that point in my life, I just couldn’t afford what they recommended. In that case, I opted to go to a vet that was conventional, but was open to trying more natural things, I just had to do the research and talk to him about it.

He also respected my choices to vaccinate certain dogs less frequently because of health challenges they were facing – that was a huge factor for me.

It’s hard, but you have to find a balance. In general, you get what you pay for, but not always – sometimes you get more, sometimes you get less.


holistic vet holding puppy
photo by by skeeze

Think about what type of holistic medicine you want to have access to, and investigate if the vet office you are considering offers it.

Different holistic vets specialize in different modalities, so know what each office you are considering offers. Examples of different specialties include:

  • Homeopathy
  • Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (acupuncture, herbs, and foods)
  • Herbal Medicines
  • Flower Essences
  • Osteopathy
  • Chiropractic
  • Nutrition/Nutritional Support
  • Reiki
  • Tellington Touch


You want to have an idea of what your philosophy is and what you are looking for in your vet’s philosophy.

Holistic vets range from integrative (using both conventional and holistic treatments) to having a narrow specialty (for example only homeopathic or only Chinese medicine), to really off the beaten path of what we’re used to.

For example, at one point in my life I tried a natural practitioner who said she could tell what my dog was trying to say to me and wanted me to say reaffirming things to my dog to help him heal.

This was so, and I mean SO, beyond my comfort zone it wasn’t even on the same PAGE as the rest of my comfort zone.

This type of approach made me extremely uncomfortable – so not a good match for me – but a good learning experience on doing your homework before making appointments.


map to holistic vet with route magnified to help in how to choose a holistic vet
photo by Steve Buissinne

Basically, are you willing to drive further to go to a holistic veterinarian that is more in line with your philosophy? For the once a year checkup it’s not a big deal, right?

But you also will make that drive every time your dog has an issue or injury that needs a vet’s attention. Decide how important this issue is to you and factor it into your decision.

Once you have thought through the above details, it’s time to search for a veterinarian that matches your needs.

Steps to finding a holistic veterinarian:

  1. Look on the following websites for practitioners in your area:
    American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
    College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies
    Veterinary Institute of Integrative Medicine
  2. Google for vets in your area using words that describe the type of vets you are looking for, such as “chiropractic veterinarian Minneapolis,” or “Homeopathic Veterinarian Minneapolis.”
  3. Now that you have a list of some vet possibilities, visit the websites for the vets you found in your area. Read about the veterinarians and staff – do you feel like they are a match for you?

    Look at what modalities the clinic offers. See if they list standard prices for services like office visits, etc. Map their location – how far a drive to get there? Write down the pros and cons for each clinic.
  4. Once I find a vet office or two that I like, I like to google the name of the clinic followed by the word “reviews.” What I hope to find is reviews clients have written.

    You have to take them with a grain of salt – usually it’s easy to see who is a picky person/disgruntled client (discount those) – but I look for overall repeating themes.

    If I see that, I take that good or bad point to heart and factor it into my decision.
  5. Ask around to see if others have used this vet on places like:
    • Facebook groups you are a part of which are comprised of animal lovers.
    • Local pet stores
    • Any dog “classes” you are taking (obedience, agility, etc.)

Now that you’ve chosen a vet, compile a list of questions to discuss at your first appointment that will help you evaluate the vet’s overall approach to your dog’s health.

Questions to ask at your first vet visit:

dog raising hand with question for your vet
photo by Camylla Battani

What kind of food do you recommend?

Discuss the pros and cons of different food choices. Does the vet seem to have knowledge of what foods are best for different ailments? Do they have knowledge of natural food choices, not just different kibble brands?

If you’re interested in switching diets, learn more about the pros and cons of homemade dog food or about raw food vs dry food for dogs before you go to the vet so you have an idea of what you would like to give your dog.

What vaccinations do you recommend?

A good webpage to read before going to the vet and having this conversation is Dr. Jean’s Dodd’s Vaccination Protocol For Dogs.

Let me say up front – I’m not advocating for or against vaccinations. I think the subject for each person to investigate is how many times an animal needs a vaccination – i.e. are we over-vaccinating.

I do believe this subject has merit and is worth educating yourself about; the idea of tittering after a certain number of vaccines (to make sure the dog still has antibodies to the disease) is an idea worthy of consideration.

Talking to your vet about this subject will give you a feel for how they stand, how much knowledge they have about it, and if they will respect your views about vaccinations.

What types of treatments do you use for ill or injured pets?

This is where you can get a feel for what modalities the vet uses and if they use conventional as well as alternative treatments.

You will want to take note on which of the following are options at this vet: surgeries, conventional medications, x-rays, ultrasounds, homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, Chinese herbs, etc.

If you do your homework, you will exponentially increase your odds of finding a vet that aligns with your needs and beliefs – and one you will trust with your dog’s care for years to come.

What are the traits that make your holistic veterinarian a keeper? Comment below so we can all learn about what makes a veterinarian stand out from the rest!


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Karen Pedersen Written by:

Karen is an independent copywriter who loves dogs and everything about them. She is married to Scott, has 4 kids, and likes to take a natural and holistic approach to living and pet ownership.


  1. August 20, 2021

    It’s interesting to know that there are also homeopathic treatments that can be done for animals. That might be something I should look into when choosing a veterinarian for my new kitten. I picked it up from the street a few days ago because it looked weak and abandoned so it will need a lot of care before it can be considered healthy in any way.

    • August 27, 2021

      Definitely worth looking into when you choose a vet, it’s so important that your vet have a medical apporach that is similar to your own! Good luck with your new kitten, and thank you for rescuing it, that is wonderful!!

  2. July 8, 2022

    Our German Shepard (7 years old) was having skin/allergy issues but when the vet checked him, she just found that all of his lymph nodes were swollen. A positive test result revealed he has lympnoma. We opted with a treatment of Elspar and steriods. Prognosis is not very good. So, we looking to supplement his conventional treatment with a holistic approach to hopefully provide him with an additional two prong advantage. But, we are not aware of any holistic vets in our area and are looking for information on someone to talk with and how to proceed with supplements and dosages.

    • July 8, 2022

      Hi Shirley, I’m so sorry your GSD has been diagnosed with lympnoma. My holistic vet doesn’t do phone consults, but I Googled “holistic veterinarians phone consultations” and quite a few websites came up – perhaps one of them might be a good option? I would read about them and maybe Google their names to see if they are noted or talked about on other websites, and hopefully that way find one that has good reviews that you could look into. Be sure to let us know if you have luck finding one, and how your dog responds to treatment and supplements – hoping you can slow down the progression of the disease and enjoy more time with him. Hugs, Karen

  3. Susan Gaynor
    August 2, 2022

    Do you know of any natural vets anywhere near Murphy NC 28906?!!

    • August 2, 2022

      Hi Susan, I don’t live in that part of the U.S. (but love to vacation there!! 🙂 ) so don’t know anyone personally, I would try the three links in the article above, and also try Googling “holistic vet Murphy, NC.” I did a quick scan and saw two results in Franklin and Ashville, not as close as you would like but maybe worth a trip once a year? Hope that helps!

  4. Kim
    April 13, 2023

    I’m also looking for a holistic vet in Arizona near Phoenix or Glendale. I’m so confused regarding homemade food and supplements. I have Dr Judy Morgans Yin & Yang book and can make the recipes, but what supplements do I add. There is so much info, its very confusing.

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