Ask the Expert: Animal Healing Arts
Holistic pet care is the art of caring for your pet’s whole being by integrating traditional “western” medicine with the healing arts from other cultures. Holistic pet care doesn’t just treat a problem as it arises, but rather, focuses on prevention and helping your pet live their best life.
There are many dimensions of holistic pet care, and so, to help us help you, we’ve recruited Dr. Keith Weingardt from Animal Healing Arts right here in Portland to tell us more about his practice and the discipline of holistic pet care.
Can you tell us a little bit about your practice?
Animal Healing Arts offers compassionate, holistic veterinary care that integrates the benefits of traditional western veterinary medicine with the powerful healing potential of acupuncture, nutrition, herbal medicine, Reiki, chiropractic care, and homeopathy.
We have three excellent doctors on staff. Dr. Keith Weingardt and Dr. Nicole Kayser are holistic veterinarians who have extensive experience incorporating the best of all worlds into finding a treatment plan that provides optimal health for their patients and their families. Dr. Mary Mandeville is a chiropractor with a certificate in animal chiropractic and over ten years of experience helping our animal friends. Dr. Weingardt, Dr. Kayser and Dr. Mandeville have unique abilities to connect with the animal and their people so that compassion and empathy provide a framework for the path to health.
Why did you choose to go into holistic medicine?
I was introduced to holistic veterinary medicine when my own dog, Max, became ill with a brain tumor. Given the limited conventional options, I sought care with a holistic veterinarian who opened my mind and heart to a variety of modalities available to support animals in need. Since then, I’ve been incorporating the best holistic pet care products and processes into my practice.
What are the biggest misconceptions about holistic medicine?
One of the biggest misconceptions about holistic medicine is that it is an easy answer that can quickly fix problems. Unlike standard veterinary care, holistic pet care works at a root level of health to support the body’s innate desire to be well. Unlike allopathic or conventional care which treats symptoms alone, holistic pet care supports your pet’s immune system and encourages your pet to heal itself rather than just correcting a symptom. True healing can take time, but the end result is much better for pets and humans alike.
If I can’t commit to a completely holistic path for my pet, what would the most impactful choice be? Specifically, if I had to choose one thing to do, what would that best choice be?
If we had to choose one thing to recommend to clients it would be to feed the most wholesome, fresh food possible to your pet. The food your pet eats is the most important medicine that they put into their body on a daily basis.
What are your favorite products to recommend?
We are big advocates for healing the gut. Many chronic disease problems can be helped by improving the terrain of the digestive tract. Probiotics and fermented foods can help do this. We are strong advocates for Answers Pet Food Fermented Goat Milk and Fermented Fish Stock.
** Pets on Broadway carries a variety of goat milk, raw food diets, and other great digestive supplements! We also proudly carry Answers products in-store, just ask one of our friendly staff members to show you our supplements freezer! **
What do people not know about holistic veterinary medicine?
Incorporating holistic medicine into the health care of your pet does not have to be done in isolation of other conventional support. Holistic pet care plays well with other veterinary care and often can allow for fewer pharmaceutical based interventions. It is not an all-or-none phenomenon. Holistic pet care products can be incorporated into the health care program for any animal on any level. This can be dictated by your individual comfort level and belief system.
** Animal Healing Arts is located just down the street from us at 3575 NE Broadway St! If you'd like to make an appointment with Dr. Keith, Dr. Nicole or Dr. Mary to discuss holistic options for your pet, call 503-719-4088. **