Parents' Guide to

The Dog Doc

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Touching docu about pioneering holistic vet has sad moments.

Movie NR 2020 102 minutes
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This is a moving, thought-provoking documentary about how a holistic veterinarian and his staff have changed the way to treat pets that have serious illnesses. Like alternative medical providers who treat humans, Dr. Marty has been called a quack, a kook, and a snake-oil salesman for his unconventional approach to veterinary medicine, but he has the case studies and grateful patients to prove that his approach works. A graduate of Cornell University's revered College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Marty definitely gives off "old hippie" vibes, but his partners and the people who bring their pets to his clinic are a cross-section of mostly affluent Westchester County humans who usually come to Smith Ridge after other vets give them the proverbial "there's nothing more we can do" speech.

The Dog Doc focuses on positive feedback, but Meehl also interviews people who are skeptical of Goldstein's approach, including friends and colleagues who initially thought he was "crazy" until they saw his results for themselves. Even one of his Smith Ridge associates wasn't initially on board with alternative medicine, but she eventually grew to respect and admire Dr. Marty -- and leave another practice to join his. Of the various dogs featured, audiences will likely grow most attached to Waffles, an adorable puppy with various serious issues, and Mulligan, a big fluffy dog whose human has changed her own diet and exercise plan after being exposed to Dr. Marty's philosophies about health and wellness. There are some sad moments (one dog's cancer is so widespread he can't be helped much), but this is ultimately an optimistic exploration of how veterinary science has adapted to treat the whole animal.

Movie Details

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