Happy World Vet Day! Q&A with Dr. Leilani Alvarez

Happy World Vet Day! Q&A with Dr. Leilani Alvarez

In honor of World Vet Day, we sat down with Dr. Leilani Alvarez, Veterinary Advisor* at The Honest Kitchen. Dr. Alvarez has been an advisor at The Honest Kitchen for over a decade, and while she provides valuable nutritional and educational information, we don't often get to hear about her journey.

Q: What inspired you to become a vet?

I always loved animals and wanted to be a vet as a child. But at around age 12 I learned that vets also have to put animals to sleep, and at that point I made the decision not to become a vet.

After college, I decided I wanted to be a marine biologist and was working with sea turtles. I helped a sea turtle that survived a shark attack lay her nest. This was an amazing moment that I realized my impact on this animal and her ability to reproduce.

It also made me realize that the thing I liked most about marine biology is working with animals. So, I reached out to a college professor who had been a veterinarian and that put me back on the path to becoming a vet.

Q: Why did you pursue Integrated and Rehabilitative Medicine?

I had a senior dog who I wanted to be able to help. I started doing acupuncture for pets, and it was there that I was really encouraged to receive my integrated certification. I find it really rewarding to help animals regain function and maintain their quality of life.

Q: What is one thing you wish every pet parent knew?

The importance of daily walks. I'm in NYC and so many people keep their pets indoors, but even when I worked in the South, many people just let their dog in their backyard.

But, a leash walk twice a day is important for their health — it helps their joints, circulation, physical fitness and, really importantly, their mental health.

It's so important for pets to be stimulated outside of their routine. And, it's great for people as well! Take the moment to go for a walk -- focus on your pet and go outside.

Q: Tell us about your current pets!

I have 4 pets! Two rescue cats, Pugsly and Lucas (from the Addams Family) and two dogs, Arena and Charlie Brown.

Q: What THK items do you always keep in stock?

The Purely One White Fish Filets & Parmesan Pecks! Love that the filets have a single ingredient and low-calorie pecks are awesome.

*Leilani Alvarez, DVM, DACVSMR is the Director of Integrative & Rehabilitative Medicine at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center in NY. The views, advice and opinions expressed by Dr. Leilani Alvarez regarding The Honest Kitchen’s products are her own and may not be representative of the views and opinions of her employer, The Schwarzman Animal Medical Center, or any other affiliated party.

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