Moving Veterinary Footage

People dearly love their pets, usually becoming beloved companions and members of the family. Pet owners can take the loss of their dog or cat harder than a relative dying. That love can also lead to desperation when the pet develops an illness and there’s little hope for survival. The owner will spend any amount of money to cure their four-legged friend.

The Dog Doc primarily covers the integrative veterinary medicine practice started by Dr. Marty Goldstein in South Salem, New York. Practicing holistic care, his treatments go outside the bounds of conventional vet care with an eye towards alternative therapies.

Goldstein and colleagues seem to be in the business of selling hope as much as anything else

Tackling hopeless cases, Goldstein and his colleagues treat pet illnesses with everything from acupuncture to homeopathic remedies. There’s a heavy emphasis on nutrition and vitamin supplements for the seriously sick animals. Anecdotal evidence for his success stories are peppered throughout the documentary.

The Dog Doc paints a rosy picture of integrative veterinary medicine, often serving as an infomercial for Smith Ridge Veterinary Center. Skeptical claims are brought up and then quickly dismissed. Taking a deep dive into the facility and its current practice, much of the running time is dedicated to the vets there handling cases.

Only a stone-hearted person could see the plight and suffering of the animals on camera and not feel empathy for their desperate pet owners. We often get footage of pet owners breaking down in tears when told there is a treatment available for the pet’s illness. Goldstein and colleagues seem to be in the business of selling hope as much as anything else.

Filmed over a two-year period, it’s clear that director Cindy Meehl (BUCK) got heavy access to Dr. Goldstein and Smith Ridge Veterinary Center. Meehl paints a sympathetic portrait of the maverick vet and his unconventional practice, largely glossing over serious concerns that the traditional vet community has raised about some of his more popular therapies. There just isn’t scientific evidence available for some of the treatments and most vets would decry homeopathic remedies as nothing more than a complete waste.

Taken by itself, The Dog Doc is a warm and often touching documentary carried by the sick animal patients receiving care. What it isn’t however is a balanced and fair look at Dr. Goldstein’s underlying treatments, some of which have very questionable medical value.

Video

FilmRise and distributor MVD give The Dog Doc a quality-looking Blu-ray release. Running 101 minutes on a BD-25, the AVC encode neatly captures the documentary’s vivid, high-impact clarity.

This is a razor-sharp 1080P presentation free of noise. Bright with a nice contrast and outstanding colors, the pets are spotlighted in detailed close-ups. The only weaker moments are a few scattered archival photographs showcasing Goldstein’s early days as a vet.

Audio

The documentary arrives with a full-blown surround mix in 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio. Basic but serviceable, the cleanly-recorded dialogue and underscore dominate the mostly sparse sound design. Recording quality is perfect. There is little discrete rear action. Everything is concentrated towards the front soundstage.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font. A secondary 2.0 DTS-HD MA soundtrack is offered.

Extras

FilmRise includes a couple special features for this “special edition” Blu-ray.

Photo Gallery (30 images)

The Dog Doc Theatrical Trailer (01:58 in HD)

Deleted Scenes (30:00 in HD) – Nine separate deleted scenes of various lengths can be chosen. More footage from Dr. Marty Goldstein’s practice and taking care of animals.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

The Dog Doc
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A touching but one-sided portrayal of a controversial veterinary practice that embraces expensive alternative treatments

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