FAQs

I'm a new client and I just want to bring my pet in for acupuncture, chiropractic therapy, ear infection, vaccinations, etc. Is this OK?

All new patients must first have an hour-long initial consultation with one of our holistic veterinarians. This initial appointment is very important because your practitioner needs adequate time to review your pet’s medical history, thoroughly examine your pet, and discuss with you any problems or symptoms that are occurring. During this consultation, your doctor will also seek to understand your pet’s current behaviors, diet, and living environment. Based on an analysis of all these factors, together you and the doctor will determine the best treatment strategy.

Does the initial consultation fee include acupuncture, chiropractic, or other treatments?

No, treatments like acupuncture and chiropractic therapy are separate charges, but if time permits these treatments may be done during the initial visit.

Why do I need to give my credit card to hold the initial consultation appointment?

When scheduling a new patient consultation, we ask that you provide a valid credit card number to hold your appointment because we have a 24-hour cancellation policy. If you are unable to keep your appointment, we require 24 hours notice, otherwise your credit card will be charged for the amount of the initial consultation fee. As our practice continues to grow, we encourage our clients to adhere as closely as possible to scheduled appointments for the consideration of other clients, as we may have turned away clients who desired your appointment time. We greatly appreciate your cooperation with our appointment policies.

May I speak with the doctor before making the initial consultation appointment?

We cannot give medical advice about pets that are not our patients, and our doctors are typically very busy seeing patients, therefore phone consultations are not often granted. Any questions you may have are best addressed in an appointment with the doctor, because the doctor will need to examine your pet and consult with you on a variety of topics before he or she can make recommendations tailored to your pet’s situation.

I want to bring in two (or more) animals with the same problem. Can I get a discount?

In some instances, a discount may be given, but this will be up to the doctor’s discretion after the appointment and will depend on the length of time spent with your pets and the exact nature of their problems.

What kinds of diets and foods do your doctors recommend? -or- What does your vet recommend for fleas, vomiting, diarrhea, etc?

Our holistic veterinarians do not recommend any one thing for every patient; each case is different. In general, we recommend the most natural treatment possible, and involving the least chemicals. If we’ve never seen your pet before, such questions can only be answered in an initial consultation with one of our doctors, as we first need to understand the medical history of your pet and his or her environment.

Why do I frequently get your voicemail when I call the clinic?

Coastal Holistic is a small clinic, so we often rely on our nurse-receptionists to assist with patients, prepare and dispense herbal medications, etc. If you call during business hours and get our voicemail, it’s likely we are with another client or patient. However, your call is very important to us, so please leave a message and we will return your call promptly. We check voicemails frequently during business hours.

Can I bring another pet to my pet's appointment for companionship?

We’re pet owners, too, so we can empathize with a client’s desire to bring a companion pet along, but we normally advise against it. Our doctors need to focus their attention on the patient requiring care, and bringing other pets along can cause a disruptive atmosphere that’s not conducive to this goal. In addition, the distracting behavior of another pet can reduce the effectiveness of treatments such as acupuncture and chiropractic, which are most beneficial when the patient is in a relaxed state.

How do I book an appointment?

You can call us at (650) 355-2810, use the appointment request button on the website or email info@coastalholistic.com.  Please remember that you and your pet are important to us but sometimes we can not respond immediately because we are seeing patients and helping other clients.

My pet has an urgent need but I prefer holistic approach.

Although we are not an emergency clinic, we do our best to accommodate urgent needs. All of our vets would likely handle this in a similar manner. You can book a follow up appointment with a holistic vet if there are ongoing concerns.

My pet is seeing one of the vets but I would like another vet to weigh in on the case.

The vet who sees your pet during your appointment is the one who will be reviewing the case and making recommendations. If your primary care vet is one of our holistic doctors and they are not available at the time you need your pet seen, you can make a follow-up appointment with her, to review the case and discuss treatment options.

What should I bring to the appointment?

  • Your pet! Seriously, sometimes people forget them.
  • A leash or carrier for dogs and a carrier for cats.
  • Any medications or supplements your pet is taking, especially if they are new or if you are going to request a refill.
  • Poop- a fresh (<24hr old) stool sample if your pet is having any gastrointestinal concerns (ie diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, flatulence, appetite changes), if its been more than a year since their last fecal test, if they are coming for an annual exam, and/or if we request one for a followup.

What do I do when I arrive for my appointment?

After you arrive for your appointment, please call the clinic to check-in. If you did not bring a telephone, please park and walk to the reception to let us know that you have arrived. If you have trouble parking, please park in the driveway or nearby and notify us. Please leave your pet in the car while you check-in.

This is for the health and safety of your pet, you and our other patients and clients. If you receive a voicemail and/or no-one is at the reception desk, were are probably helping another patient. Please be patient and call again if you don’t hear back from us within 5 minutes. Once you have checked in, the vet’s assistant will ask you some questions about your pets history, diet and current medications.

You will have an opportunity to speak to the vet during your appointment but we request that you assist us by giving the assistants the information they need so they can properly prepare us and the space for your appointment. After taking down the pertinent information, the assistant will instruct you about where to bring the pet to meet our staff.

Can I come in to the exam room with my pet?

During Covid we found that the animals were more relaxed not having their owners with them. It also allowed the veterinarians to focus all of their energy toward the pets and examine and treat them in a safer way with proper restraint and handling. We make the pets as comfortable as possible by providing large dog beds, treats, calming music and we go slow when they need us to. We often watch dogs move outside with the owners if there is a lameness concern but for appointments and acupuncture, the staff will handle the animal inside in almost all cases. We do our best to take a photo of the animal getting acupuncture for their owners.

Where do I wait while my pet is in the clinic?

While we are examining your pet, you can wait in your car or in one of our outdoor areas if available (please check with us first). In general we request that you stay nearby so that our vets or staff can come talk to you and/or bring you your animal. We do not have facilities to hold animals outside of appointments.

Can I let my dog walk around in your yard while I wait for the appointment?

Unless instructed to meet one of our staff in the yard, please don’t. We may be seeing other appointments and/or have other animals coming or going from that space.

Can I bring my other pet to the appointment?

During your pet’s appointment, we want to focus on him or her. If you bring another pet, it may be distracting. If you would like multiple pets seen, please let the front desk know when you are booking your appointment so we can schedule it properly. If you need to bring your other pets in the car, please keep them there or walk them away from the clinic.

Why are nail trims more expensive than they are at groomer or some other clinics?

Our nail trims are performed by veterinarians, veterinary technicians or vet assistants.  If you are requesting a nail trim or other technician service, outside of a veterinary appointment, there is a ‘tech time’ fee that is added to the fee for the service (ie nail trim, vaccine or anal gland expression) because the pet will be occupying an exam room and using veterinary staff which uses resources and requires scheduling and cleaning.

How do I get a prescription for my pet?

Prescriptions are addressed at appointments. We offer prescriptions in-house which greatly supports our small business, but we can also write you a written prescription to use at the pharmacy of your choice. All issues or concerns with prescriptions are only addressed during appointments.

Can I email questions to the vet?

Our vets work by appointment. During the day they are usually very busy with the cases that they are currently working with. If your question is directly related to a recent or upcoming appointment or recent prescription please let us know. If your question is related to health concern or wanting a consultation about a product or diet, we request that you schedule an appointment with a vet so we have adequate time to help you.  For the same reason, we do not review photos or videos outside of appointments.

Can I schedule a phone consultation instead of an in-person appointment?

In general, no. We do not do phone consultations because we feel that a vital part of our exam is an in-person exam with the pet, where we can use all of our senses.  Even if you are traveling or it is hard to get here and you need to go to a closer clinic, we encourage you to take your pet into a vet clinic to get evaluated if you are concerned about them.

How can we make your team feel appreciated?

Patience, kindness, gratitude and empathy go a long way. We notice and appreciate our clients who are positive, grateful, and who try to be understanding and kind. Your gestures of kindness (ie smiles, words of thanks, deep breaths to keep calm, patients with other clients, staff and neighbors are all very much appreciated!!!