The Advantages of In-Home Veterinary Care

Analysis by Dr. Karen Shaw Becker

Story at-a-glance

  • Dr. Loretta Rodriguez — who prefers to go by Lorie — started Healthy Paws, a mixed animal mobile practice in Miami, Florida, in 2014
  • She was nominated for a Healthy Pets Game Changer Award by Eyda H. for the exemplary veterinary care she’s providing to her clients, all in the comfort of their own homes
  • Lorie and her team see many different types of animals, from dogs and cats to horses, pigs, rabbits, goats, chickens and sheep
  • While in your home, mobile veterinarians can assess your pet’s environment — everything from their water bowl to where they go outside to potty and spend the most time — which provides valuable information and allows them to assess your pet’s health more objectively
  • By embracing the little things and really getting to know her clients and their families, Lorie is thriving — and her passion and positivity flows to her Healthy Paws clients
Dr. Becker
 

We call them "Game Changers" — the exemplary, hardworking individuals who have gone the extra mile to promote animal welfare all around the world. Every week, we feature a special Game Changer, so if you know someone in your community who deserves this award, nominate them and help us get the word out about the magnificent work they do! Click .

Dr. Loretta Rodriguez — who prefers to go by Lorie — started Healthy Paws, a mixed animal mobile practice in Miami, Florida, in 2014. She was nominated for a Healthy Pets Game Changer Award by Eyda H. for the exemplary veterinary care she’s providing to her clients, all in the comfort of their own homes. It’s a calling Lorie has felt since she was a child.

“I was born in Havana, Cuba. My mom was actually a veterinarian and my father, he's a farrier and a horse trainer. They met while competing in the national rodeo,” she said. “We immigrated to this country when I was a little girl and for as long as I can remember … Well, when I was 5 years old was the first time anyone actually asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. And I knew the answer was a veterinarian.”

Lorie and her team see many different types of animals, from dogs and cats to horses, pigs, rabbits, goats, chickens and sheep. They’ll travel to your home, farm or workplace, offering a much more relaxing, personalized form of veterinary care.

“It's far less stressful for the pets and the owners, so that's something that everyone can appreciate. And we also host a low-cost clinic, twice a month in Homestead. And that keeps us pretty busy, let me tell you,” Lorie said.

The Gift of In-Home Veterinary Care

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Lorie thought outside the box when opening her practice. “My mom did a lot of integrative medicine, which was very rare for her day and age, but she did a lot of acupuncture and that kind of stuff. That opened up my mind to look toward things outside of the norm when it came to veterinary medicine.”

While working in clinics, Lorie had client after client mention to her that their pet “isn’t like this at home” or “you should see him at home.” “And that just kicked it off,” Lorie said, “and one day I was like, ‘You know what? I will.

I will go see him at home. Let's see what you're talking about, about seeing him at home.’ And from that, it just spiraled … it's a very different approach to veterinary medicine. It allows for a broader assessment of the patient and the household because you're in their environment.”

I’ve told many people that, if you have an opportunity to see a mobile veterinarian, do it, because it’s some of the best medicine available. While in your home, mobile veterinarians can assess your pet’s environment — everything from their water bowl to where they go outside to potty and spend the most time — which provides valuable information and allows them to assess your pet’s health more objectively.

Many are also surprised at the wide range of services mobile veterinarians provide. Lorie and her team offer preventative care, geriatric care, dental cleanings, allergy treatment, cryosurgery and more, including in-home euthanasia.

A Veterinarian Who’s Part of the Family

The experience of taking your dog to a veterinary office, which often prompts fear and stress responses, is much different than having your pet seen at home, where he can be himself. The veterinarian can also be more relaxed, and many clients feel they become part of the family. As Lorie explained:

“We're able to examine the patients, like I said, in their environment, and that allows us to almost become part of the family. So it's a different take on veterinary medicine. It's a little bit more personable.

We don't have a ton of appointments each day, so then that allows us to be able to get to know each family and pet. I absolutely love the laidback style that our practice has adopted because of it. We're still professional, but we're easy going. So our days are a little bit more fun and engaging and minimally stressful, which is a plus.”

Lorie makes an important point, because veterinary medicine can be a taxing profession, with many veterinarians suffering from burnout. In fact, veterinarians have one of the highest rates of professional burnout, so cultivating a positive attitude early on her career will help Lorie’s perspective stay vibrant.

By embracing the little things and really getting to know her clients and their families, Lorie is thriving — and her passion and positivity flows to her Healthy Paws clients. She describes her practice as a labor of love, adding:

“Sometimes you just lose sight of certain things. So in general, overall, I would say enjoy those little things. It's that day-to-day joy that really matters. Life is just too short to not love what you do.

So find what you love and then make it work. Embrace those things that are really important — your family, your friends, memories — because at the end of the day, those are the things that really count.”

You can find out more about Lorie and her mobile veterinary practice at HealthyPawsInc.com.1 They’re also active on social media. Congratulations, Lorie, on your Healthy Pets Game Changer Award, and thank you for being a light for animals in your community.

 

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