Meet Your Pet’s Vet is our series of biographical profiles on the veterinarians at our Clinics who love taking care of your pets. We love getting to know the pet parents who come to us, and we hope that by getting to know us too you’ll feel at home and happy to visit our Clinics at any time.
Meet your Pet’s Vet: Dr Ingrid de Wet of Country Animal Clinic
Dr Ingrid’s deep connection with animals goes back to her childhood when elephants and other game visited her parents’ backyard at their home near Chobe Game Reserve in Botswana.
Here’s what Dr Ingrid has to say about the animal encounters that impacted her choice of career:
“My first dog, Snoopy, was a rescue that joined our family when we were both 4 months old and she was my first friend. I think this made a huge impression on me and I feel the most at peace when I am with animals. Some of my earliest memories are of dogs and cats. When I am with animals, the rest of the world fades away a little bit.
As a teen I loved reading, but the books that stood out for me the most were James Herriot’s books about life as a vet and I devoured those stories. I also watched every vet show that I could find on TV at the time. In 2001 and 2002 I job shadowed at Country Animal Clinic and that solidified my love of animals and started a love of medicine. Nothing can be better than spending your whole day with animals.
What I love about my job
I love to make our patients feel comfortable when they come to visit us. I feel very accomplished when a very nervous pet becomes comfortable and confident in our practice after they have been to visit us a few times. I also aim to make our clients feel heard and try and solve their problems. I have loved and lost many pets and I understand how stressed you feel when they are ill or when you have to leave them for surgery, and I like my clients to feel like I treat their pet like I treat my own (who are incredibly spoilt, by the way!).
Who makes up your family (pets and/or people)?
I am married to the most wonderful man, Morné, a veterinarian at Cottage Vet in Gordon’s Bay. He is my inspiration when it comes to being a vet as he is always striving to learn and improve. And I am wonderfully blessed by his love.
We have an amazing, smart, sassy daughter, Elizabeth. She seems to be genetically predisposed to loving animals and will search out and love any animal she can see.
She is continually teaching me to notice the goodness and novelty in every little thing. We have three dogs: Mowgli, is a “Wineland” Retriever. We rescued him from a wine farm during a vaccination campaign. He loves me more than I could ever love him and is my constant companion. Alvin, is a Greyhound crossed with a Flat-coated Retriever and he is the fastest, friendliest dog you could ever come across. He is absolutely beautiful and he knows it. Dawie, is a Jack Russell rescue and he is 100% terrier. He loves destroying things and escaping but despite all his bravado, he loves to sleep on our bed and shower us with kisses in the mornings.
Do you have a mantra or philosophy that you live by?
To do the best that I can do.
What do you believe sets Country Animal Clinic apart from others?
- We really care. Our practice ‘why’ is “to serve with joy and compassion so that our community feels like family.” And this is what we do every single day.
- To ensure that we do the best we can do for every pet that comes our way. I love that we have free follow-up consultations so that we can walk a path with our clients and patients to ensure that they recover fully.
- We have a fantastic, compassionate, professional team. I don’t know of any practice that has such a wonderful group of people caring for their patients.
What happens to a pet when it comes to you for help?
Firstly, I read their body language and respect their need to explore the room to feel comfortable.
I usually let them walk around at their own pace for a little bit while I chat to their moms and dads, and then I bribe the dogs freely and liberally with biltong!
Many of my patients that were puppies when I started working at Country are now coming in as senior pets and they make a bee-line for the biltong jar when they come in! I try find out where the cats feel most comfortable and work with them where they are. Most of my kitty patients love the cat castle and will happily look out of the window whilst I examine them.
I am motivated by my own pets. I want my pet to have the best medical treatment available and I think everyone else’s pets deserve that too.
At Country Animal Clinic we love building relationships with our clients. I always thought I became a vet because I love animals but the more I work as a vet, the more I realise that it is the people that have given me the privilege to be a part of their families. Now I can recognise most of my clients by their voices alone. We have been through ups and downs together, new puppies and kittens and losing beloved family members. But we get to do it together and that is what is amazing. I am so thankful for this privilege.