America’s Pet Advocate

"The most important reasons for living are the relationships we cultivate with ourselves, each other,
our planet and pet loved ones."

Dr. Ernie Ward

Dr. Ernie Ward has spent his entire career practicing, writing about, teaching, and encouraging better care for animals to earn the title as “America’s Pet Advocate.” Whether he’s discussing the dangers of obesity, how to perform a physical examination, dealing with behavioral issues, answering pet owner’s questions about nutrition or surgery, or innovating better care for aging pets, Dr. Ward’s unifying theme is: Do what is in the pet’s best interest.

For over 20 years, I have pursued a higher quality of life for myself, my family, and the pets I serve. I refuse to accept that veterinary practice is limited to simply diagnosing and treating disease. I choose to focus on preventing disease and optimizing health. No longer will I accept ‘wellness’ as the ‘absence of illness.’

This journey has led me to become a student of human and veterinary physiology, nutrition, wellness, and longevity. Curing illness and restoring wellbeing must be a combination of medical and surgical interventions, nutritional and emotional counseling, and holistic support. I am a practitioner of the ‘be it, do it, share it’ life philosophy.

The most important reasons for living are the relationships we cultivate with ourselves, each other, our planet and pet loved ones.
— Dr. Ernie Ward

Early in his career, Dr. Ward was instrumental in bringing senior pet care guidelines to general veterinary practices in 1999. In 2001, he developed and published protocols for monitoring pets receiving long term medications such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Previcox, Metacam, Enacard, thyroid hormone, prednisone and more. His chart for drug monitoring guidelines is found in most small animal veterinary hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Ward was an early promoter of mandatory pre-surgical blood testing for dogs and cats, the administration of intravenous fluids throughout the procedure and pre- and post-operative pain management, even for routine surgeries such as spay (OHE) and neuter (orchiectomy). Dr. Ward was an outspoken advocate for extended vaccination protocols as early as 1999. He was an early adopter of C02 laser surgery, beginning to use surgical lasers in his practice in 1999. He gave over fifty lectures in the US, Canada and Europe on the importance reducing pet vaccinations by using extended duration vaccines and wrote and produced a veterinary staff training video and guidebook on immunology and vaccinology in 2004. In 2005, he founded the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention to help raise awareness on the dangers of excess weight in dogs and cats. He wrote "Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs Are Getting Fatter" in 2010 and coauthored the American Animal Hospital Association's (AAHA) Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats in 2014. He is a certified personal trainer and USA Triathlon certified coach and multiple Ironman finisher.


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