By Dr. Becker
As a practicing veterinarian in the Chicago area, I began partnering with Dr. Mercola in 2009 to bring you HealthyPets.Mercola.com, a unique, innovative online resource focused on your pet's health.
It's my aim to give you the tools you need to keep your pets happy, healthy and disease-free by offering the most up-to-date methods available and to empower you to become the most informed advocate you can be for the animals in your care.
It's my goal to show you how even small, simple and often inexpensive measures and lifestyle changes can make a positive difference in your pets' lives. At HealthyPets.Mercola.com, you'll find videos, articles and other resources to help you bring out the very best in your pet, health-wise and in every other way.
Proactive Integrative Wellness for Your Pet
Being proactive means you focus on identifying, then removing, unnecessary stressors and potential lifestyle obstacles from your pet's world before disease can occur. These obstacles might involve your pet's diet, exercise, environment, veterinary care or other factors.
A proactive methodology is a contrast to the conventional approach to veterinary medicine, which typically waits for disease to occur before seeking to alleviate the symptoms, often through the use of drugs or surgery. It's actually a reactive approach, which often ignores the root cause of illness.
Integrative veterinary care seeks to address not just the physical but also the mental, emotional, social and every other characteristic of your pet's wellbeing. It's a recognition that there's no one shot-in-the-paw approach, if you will, that applies to every situation when it comes to treating animals.
Veterinary care, as well as the optimal care of humans, is an art, which emerges as a practitioner identifies and applies the therapies that will unlock an individual's healing potential.
The concept of wellness medicine is a relatively new concept in veterinary practice. It's not just the absence of disease but also recognizing the intentional lifestyle choices and changes that can optimize the health and vitality in your pets. Just like you, my desire is to help the animals in our lives to thrive, not just survive!
Animal Advocate, Wildlife Rehabilitator and Whole-Spectrum Veterinarian
My experience as an animal lover and pet owner started when I was very young. I was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and began volunteering at a local humane society when I was just 13. I actually began working there, cleaning cages, when I was 14.
By the time I was 17, I had become a certified euthanasia technician through the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine. Through my experiences working with homeless, abused and unwanted animals, I became an animal advocate, and that's never changed.
I founded Natural Pet Animal Hospital, Feathers Bird Clinic, and TheraPaw Rehabilitation and Pain Management Clinic in Illinois. This year I also celebrate my 30th year as a federally licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Caring for injured and orphaned wild animals is one of my greatest passions.
In addition to being a doctor of veterinary medicine, I'm also a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist and a graduate of the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy. Since being a student in vet school, it's become very important to me to be able to offer patients more than conventional care.
In practice, I integrate both conventional and a wide variety of alternative therapies to improve and even enhance my patients' lives. I like to address the Three Pillars of Health for each individual animal entrusted to my care. This entails:
- Species-appropriate nutrition
- A balanced immune system
- Resilient frame and organ systems
A webinar titled "Three Pillars of Health for Pets," which was made available in 2015, can be accessed by clicking here. You can also join me for my special "Winding Down" webinar, which focuses on the important topic of companion animal aging and dying.
Dr. Becker's Upcoming Webinar:
Join me August 3rd and 4th for a special two-day webinar event: Winding Down — A Comprehensive Look at Companion Animal Aging and Dying. Life is a process, as your pet approaches the last chapter of its life it can be a time of grief and stress.
In Part 1 of the webinar I'll provide you with great tools for aging organ systems and tips on slowing down degeneration in geriatric pets. Part 2 of the webinar covers dying gracefully, a tough but very important aspect of caring for the animals in your life.
My hope is that this webinar can help prepare you for the last chapter of your companion's life. My goal is to adequately prepare you for what's to come so you can approach this blessed time with a spirit of gratitude and peace, not fear.
The Healthy Pets Library
At the Mercola Healthy Pets site, you'll find many examples of the proactive and integrative wellness approach in a wide array of articles and videos covering every aspect of your pet's health.
Topics range from how to feed your pets and give them plenty of exercise to the best advice on vaccinations, to pest preventatives and alternatives to toxic drugs, as well as practical, how-to videos on things like how to brush your pets' teeth or give them a bath.
In regard to your pets' behavior, there are dozens more resources focusing on such topics as how to train dogs to approach other animals, how to reach abused animals and how pets can change as they age.
Along with the practical side of caring for your pet, the online Healthy Pets collection includes a quantity of lighthearted pieces and a huge library of adorable, informative and often hilarious videos featuring pets around the world and fascinating animal facts.
Top Healthy Pet Videos (so Far) in 2016
Dogs of nearly every breed, cats of all sizes, otters, polar bears, goats and whales, wild animals, domestic animals and numerous animal-related topics are featured in our extensive online trove of animal videos. Below are links you can click on to see the most-viewed videos of 2016:
- Dr. Becker Discusses Reverse Sneezing
- Dr. Becker: The Truth About Spaying and Neutering
- Reasons Cats Throw Up and Ways to Treat a Vomiting Cat
- Trimming Your Dog's Nails
- Kennel Cough Symptoms and Treatment
- Dr. Becker: How Do You Bathe Your Cats?
Top 10 Healthy Pets Articles (so Far) for 2016
Articles exploring specific areas of pet health are an important part of the Healthy Pets online resource library. The titles give you an idea of the range of topics covered:
- Do You Know the Best Way to Break Up a Dogfight and Come Out Unscathed?
- When Your Dog's Panting Might Mean Trouble
- 10 Human Behaviors That Stress Dogs Out
- When Your Dog's Poop Looks Like This, Visit Your Vet
- The Wild Animal That Doesn't Belong in Your Home
- Anal Gland Issues in Dogs
- Maine Coons: This Cat Breed Is Highly Adored – and Very Expensive
- 12 Low-Energy Dog Breeds That Don't Demand Much Walking
- How to Guess a Cat's Gender Just by Looking at His Coat
- Coughing: This Seemingly Harmless Symptom Could Foretell a Deadly Disease
Dr. Becker's Educational Background, Professional Affiliations and Associations
- University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in Wildlife and International Resource Management, 1989
- International Veterinary Acupuncture Society's certification course in Houston, Texas, 1996
- Iowa State School of Veterinary Medicine, 1997
- Exotic animal internship in California, 1997
- Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy's certification course in Virginia, 1998
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
- Association of Avian Veterinarians
- Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians
- Association of Wildlife Veterinarians
- International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care
- International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management
- International Veterinary Acupuncture Society
- American Association of Veterinary Acupuncturists
- Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy
- National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association