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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Healthy Pet Spotlights

Mar 30, 2016 10:07PM

Veterinary Holistic Center

Veterinary Holistic Center

The Veterinary Holistic Center (VHC) in Springfield, Va. is already changing the way pet owners can provide an integrative approach to their pets’ wellness in the local area. In September 2015, Jordan Kocen, DVM, opened Northern Virginia’s only facility dedicated to providing comprehensive, integrative therapies to complement current veterinary care. Kocen and his staff work with pet owners and their regular veterinarians to improve a pet’s quality of life and effectively treat chronic conditions. They will coordinate closely with the client’s regular veterinarian for detailed records and status updates, as well as to discuss and align care and treatments. VHCenter_NOVA_CRG

VHC provides a wide range of holistic services that are regularly applied to humans, but are just as effective for pets. For example, the use of Chinese medical therapy—using diet, acupuncture and herbs—can complement the treatment of many ailments. Likewise, homeopathic remedies, based on the idea that since the body creates symptoms in an attempt to heal itself, stimulating a focused inflammatory response will support what the body is already trying to do. VHC associates also provide chiropractic care and therapeutic massage as treatment options to improve gait and mobility as well as alleviate pain. These types of therapies can be helpful in treating injuries or chronic conditions like arthritis.

VHC has big goals for its future. Plans are underway to install an underwater treadmill, which can be used for conditioning, weight loss and to increase mobility in dogs with mobility problems related to age, trauma or post-operative conditions. And local trainers are already using the 1,600-sq.-foot training space offering a full slate of classes and workshops.

 Location: 7950 Woodruff Ct., Ste. 1, Springfield, VA. For more information, visit Whole Pet Central

The local natural pet food and supply store, Whole Pet Central, has been serving the greater D.C. area for more than 10 years at their three stores, in Rockville, Maryland and Ashburn and Herndon, in Virginia.

Whole Pet Central            Whole Pet Central is co-owned by John McGeehan and Liora Robinson, who between them, have more than 30 years of experience in the pet food industry. Prior to launching Whole Pet Central, McGeehan had been in the pet supply business as a district manager with a major retailer for a number of years, but became uncomfortable with the quality of the foods that were offered in the major pet stores.

“I knew there were higher quality foods available, so I decided to start my own company emphasizing the better, all-natural pet foods,” notes McGeehan. Knowing that launching any business takes time and experience, he asked Robinson, who was a colleague, to join him with an equity interest in the company. Robinson took him up on the offer and became a minority owner. Whole Pet Central is noted for their high quality pet food that contains only natural ingredients. There are no meat by-products, wheat gluten, animal digest, artificial preservatives nor any other inferior ingredients.

Their first store opened in Rockville in 2005 and they were able to double the size of that location in 2013. Their second store, in Ashburn, opened in 2008 and two years later their third store was opened, in Herndon. For those who are unable to reach these locations easily, they opened their Web store, with most of their product line available in 2009.

Locations: 1306 East Gude Dr., Rockville; 43330 Junction Plaza, Ste. 176, Ashburn and 304 Elden St., Herndon. For more information, visit

 Big Bad Woof

The Big Bad Woof, located in the Old Takoma neighborhood of Washington DC and the Arts District Hyattsville in Maryland, sets a different standard for pet care and products. Our retail stores specialize in organic, holistic, premium and raw diets for companion animals with a strong commitment to the community. Our products are chosen to provide healthy aDC_CRG_BBWnd sustainable options for pet owners in the D.C. area. We have a unique, triple bottom line approach with local farmers. We work with local farmers to purchase whole foods like chicken frames, lamb hearts and marrow bones, that farmers would otherwise discard. These products are great food supplements for dogs and cats and a market is created for the farmer’s left-overs. Waste not, want not!

We provide Store-To-Door delivery in the Metropolitan DC Area and are building our customer base to include the underserved, the elderly & the disabled community, many of whom have service dogs and companion animals. We are grateful to bring this service to some of our customers who may not be able to drive to the store, or may be aging in place and need some help in caring for their companions.

In addition to serving local pets, The Big Bad Woof works with several rescue organizations including Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL), the Washington Humane Society and Greyhound Rescue to help place dogs in their forever homes. Adoption events are held at the stores regularly. Plus, those who adopt receive special benefits, including a 10 percent discount on their first purchase

The Big Bad Woof is committed to educating the community on a range of topics about animal wellness and pet care with WoofClinics, free in-store mini-workshops or paid off-premise seminars, which are open to the public. In mid-summer, they will be moving their Takoma location across the street to 232 Carroll St NW, Washington, D.C.

Locations: 5501 Baltimore Ave., Hyattsville and 117 Carroll St., NW, Washington DC. To place an order for Store-to-Door Delivery, call 202-747-3434 or visit



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