About this Episode
This episode featured veterinarian Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA, CVJ, who has been practicing since 1999. His unique practice combines Western veterinary medicine with acupuncture and traditional Chinese veterinary medicine as well. He believes in a wholistic approach, taking a step back and looking at his patients as a whole, and he emphasizes the importance of a whole food approach to nutrition.
Practicing the Wholistic Approach to Pet Care
Dr. Mahaney uses a wholistic approach in his practice partly because health and wellness has always been an interest for him; his family growing up was passionate about healthy living through plant-based food and regular physical activity (02:30). He is also passionate about science and medicine, and he appreciates the impact of “walking the walk” as a practitioner, keeping the same healthy lifestyle he recommends for his patients (02:53).
>> Audio bookmark: “I get called to some of these homes to come check out an ear infection in a dog, and not just only looking at the ear. I’m doing a full body exam because really, the entire body has to function well in order for each individual part to function well, and that’s really where, for me, the concept of holism comes into my practice” (07:28).
Prepared pet foods are convenient, and Dr. Mahaney works with pet owners to build a diet program for their pets that ranges from exclusively whole food diets to partial whole food diets (09:53). Dr. Mahaney stresses the importance of variety in nutrients, balance, and doing as much whole food feeding as you can (11:02).
Dr. Mahaney’s Unique Veterinary Business
After some time in conventional veterinary practice, Dr. Mahaney created his own small business: mobile, house-call, multi-modality, wholistic veterinary care (15:35). He recommends pet owners to specialists he knows when necessary, creating a community of wholistic veterinary care for pet owners (20:24).
Using multiple modalities in his practice is important for Dr. Mahaney, because often there are multiple health goals to set for multiple health problems a pet may be experiencing. Different pets have different needs, and a wholistic, integrative approach is vital to address these needs properly. That approach certainly includes nutrition; Dr. Mahaney believes that food provides the “building blocks” for all the body’s tissues, pets included (26:17)! Balance is key.
>> Audio bookmark: Understanding bioavailability and bioaccessibility (28:24)
>> Audio bookmark: Dr. Mahaney’s take on grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) (34:07)
Dr. Mahaney’s reflections on how pet ownership has increased and pet owners seeking veterinary care for their animals revolves around this observation: humans find a lot of companionship in their pets, and many will make great changes in their lives to give their pets the best possible quality of life (38:33).
The music track featured in the WholisticMatters Podcast Series is a track called “New Day” by Lee Rosevere.
Please note: During the recording of this podcast, our hosts transitioned from live studio recording to remote recording from two different locations.
A wholistic approach to pet care, and human care, includes a whole food philosophy.