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Dr. Jeffery NY VeterinarianSteve Wewerka, Wewerka Photography

Good Advice From Dr. Jeff the NYC Housecall Vet


Our interview is with NYC acupuncture veterinarian and musician Dr. Jeffrey Levy aka “Dr. Jeff” – how he wrote and recorded a song about the importance of our animal friends in combatting loneliness and depression throughout these times.

We have some Good Advice From Dr. Jeff the NYC Housecall Vet to share with our followers. He is a New York City-based housecall veterinarian certified in acupuncture. Although he is helping with healing and pain relief in dogs and cats, he also does more than just that! And we cannot wait to share his new music videos with you! But first…

Who is Dr. Jeff the NYC HouseCall Vet?

Known to his local community as “Dr. Jeff,” he has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times. He has also appeared on radio and TV, including CBS’s 60 Minutes. Dr. Jeff is a composer of “pet-centric” music and has been called “The Poet of the Animal World.”

Dr. Jeff has performed regularly on cabaret stages to benefit animal welfare organizations and received a special invitation to participate in The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, “This is a program that is widely regarded as the premier training ground for emerging musical theatre composers, lyricists, and librettists.” His music videos reflect his special talent of combining his two greatest passions; animal care and musical expression.

Dr. Jeff was published and appeared multiple times in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He also served as the official veterinary acupuncturist of the International Cat Show at New York City’s Madison Square Garden and was also an official veterinarian of the Westminster Kennel Club Show. These are only some of his great achievements.

21st Century Pet” Video Created by Dr. Jeff The Housecall Vet!

More and more people are struggling with “pandemic burnout.” We really wanted to share this story and the song Dr. Jeff The Housecall Vet wrote called “21st-Century Pet,” and the exclusive interview we had with him below. Undoubtedly, Pet Frenzy is sure that this will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside after you watch it!

Please Share the video with others you know!

Here’s one for the whole family and for our Spanish speaking friends:

Spanish Version

Some Good Advice From Dr. Jeff the NYC Housecall Vet

Dr. Jeff the NYC HouseCall Vet giving an orange cuddly cat hugs
Photo of Dr. Jeffrey Levy and a furry loved one – Credit to Steve Wewerka, Wewerka Photography

Questions We Asked Dr. Jeff

Depression And Loneliness During the Pandemic

Do you have any advice on how pets can help keep loneliness or depression at bay?

Yes, pets can be an exceptional addition to the household in these difficult times. Of course, we‘ve all heard of those studies that tell us how a pet can help us in physiological ways. Like helping lower our blood pressure as they sit in our lap and we pet them. But in addition, there is the positive psychological impact they can provide.

As I see with my own family, just the entertainment value alone provided by a frolicking kitten is priceless. And the reassurance of seeing a wagging pooch’s tail when you arrive home adds a touch of love and warmth to our return.

As per the role our pets play in our households, as a visiting veterinarian I interact with families and their pets in the most intimate ways. I am the doctor to the creatures who many times are the most cherished family member. Whether this beloved family member is a puppy, kitten, bird, or fish. It is often these pets who provide mirth, merriment, and entertainment that we human beings crave.

Naturally, any future pet owner should carefully evaluate their commitment and ability to host a new friend. The kitty purrs and friendly doggy licks don’t come free. Prepare to feed, train and properly host the new arrival, but as my song says… “I’ll play it safe, you bet, and stay at home with my pet!”

Inspiration of 21st Century Pet Video

What encouraged you to make the “21st Century Pet” video?

My video is based on a song that I wrote called “21st Century Pet.” The musical idea developed as we witnessed a series of events unfold in our world; From the fall of New York City’s Twin Towers on 9/11, to the tsunami catastrophes in Japan to the threat of Bird Flu, forest fires, global warming, and other anxiety-provoking worldwide events (please take your pick!)

It was only a natural progression to offer up this tune as an ode to the situation we all face in this unthinkable pandemic. But one thing rings true: Even if it seems that we are on the brink of disaster, it may very well be our pets who “save” us. The warmth, comfort, solace, and companionship provided to us by our household pets may be the very best remedy to the “End-Of-The-World-Blues”.

General Veterinary Care vs. Specialty Care

For new pet owners do you have any advice you can give for preparing for the first vet visit? Or how often should they be taken to the general care veterinarian vs a specialty care veterinarian? 

Nowadays, modern veterinary practices suggest bi-annual visits. For elderly or ill pets, these visits would probably be more frequent because veterinarians might be monitoring more serious medical conditions or the effects of medications. Usually, each clinic or house-call practice has its own “intake” procedure (perhaps online). A brief call to the new doctor might be in order.

Specialty clinics are facilities where board-certified veterinarians are available to intervene in more complicated or delicate procedures, such as special surgeries, and these usually require a referral from your family veterinarian.

Some of my viewers may not know what Acupuncture can do for their pets. Are there any signs to look for that may suggest acupuncture may be the solution?

Acupuncture is a true medical discipline developed over the centuries on the Asian continent and other parts of the world. In brief, it involves analyzing situations of altered energy flow (Chi, or Qi) in the body, which results in “stagnation.” Western practitioners see it as natural neurological stimulation — all induced by the careful insertion of small, sterile needles in specific acupuncture points identified on the body.

As in the field of human acupuncture, it can be helpful in cases of arthritis, digestive disorders, behavioral issues, and a whole host of other problematic conditions that don’t fully respond to traditional medical treatments.

Acupuncture and Allergies

How can acupuncture help their pet with some allergies?

That’s a good question: Our understanding of the definition of allergy is changing and expanding. Initially, we understood allergies as either being airborne (like pollen), contact (grass allergy), or food allergy (think, Inflammatory Bowel Disease).
Of course, there are extreme forms like anaphylactic shock (the proverbial reaction to a sensitized person who eats a strawberry or gets a bee sting).

I am not an immunologist, but it is interesting to note, that both pediatricians and veterinarians speak of the “March of Atopy” where small exposures to antigens (especially through skin infections in dogs) lead to the development of more developed allergies later in life.

As an eastern practitioner, I view allergies as a “heat, fire, and wind” issue. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), “heat and fire” is irritation and “wind” represents the fact that it sort of “kicks-up” on its own, without apparent reason. I treat it using acupuncture points that “dispel” these elements and induce “cooling.”

Acupuncture and Pain Management

For large breeds have you seen acupuncture help them with pain management and mobility?

Absolutely. I see many large breeds (as well as smaller tykes) for pain relief from arthritis. Remember, in many ways, a dog’s life is defined by its movement – few disabled dogs enjoy spending their senior years, writing their memoirs, so mobility is very important for a good quality of life.

What is Holistic medicine and how does it differentiate from Traditional Medicine? For instance, what options are there for older dogs with arthritis instead of relying solely on traditional pain medicines?

Holistic medicine at its best is essentially a complementary approach to general medicine. I am a trained veterinarian and very dependent on my Western education. But it is not wrong to apply other metrics and reasonable approaches to relieve pain and aid healing. My choice is acupuncture.
It has a centuries-old history behind it and results that are backed by the satisfied reactions of my very many pet-clients and their owners. I also am proud that I frequently receive referrals from very many veterinary colleagues when they feel a complementary approach would benefit their animal patients.

Navigating Through The Pandemic

I saw that you provide in-home veterinary visits in NYC. Do you enjoy home visits more with your furry patients? Do your furry patients seem more relaxed than they would be in a clinical environment?

There’s nothing more relaxing (and fun!) than a house-call visit.

Of course, there’s no substitute for an animal hospital visit, if necessary. For example, if X-rays or surgery might be needed, a clinic is essential,

But, if possible, a house-call is an ideal situation that can help the nervous pet avoid the stress of a waiting room experience or vehicle drive. Also, senior pets who are debilitated or arthritic can avoid the wear and tear of travel and have their anxiety curtailed by having the doctor visit them at home.

The at-home vet becomes part of the family and is often well-accepted by his animal patient. As an acupuncturist, I also appreciate the extra personalized visit time that allows me to observe the unique and subtle interactions between pet and family, or even between multiple pets, that allow me to glean essential information as I develop my eastern-medical diagnosis.

And how are you navigating through the global pandemic? Are you finding it more difficult than the normal visits you would regularly have?

As most medical professionals do, I ask prospective clients the same questions (among others) my doctor or dentist asks me prior to my visit: Whether any household members or contacts are exhibiting clinical signs of COVID. Double masking and open windows are also precautions we take. Initially, in the summer and fall, I traveled on a bicycle to my patients and met them in outdoor situations like gardens and parks.

The Poet of the Animal World

Dr. Jeff the NYC HouseCall Vet with his guitar
Photo of Dr. Jeffrey Levy – Credit to Steve Wewerka, Wewerka Photography

Message From Dr. Jeff Himself

” I hope everyone enjoys and checks out my song “21st Century Pet” on YouTube – there are three versions (a sing-along, animated version, and a version in Spanish). The animated version is particularly good for teaching young children about the pandemic (showing them how our animals bring us comfort.)
“I am also working on new songs – and I call my music pet-centric melodies. You may also like to know that I have been known to sing to my pet-patients during treatment, to soothe them.”

“Feel free to share my song on social media and you can find me on Facebook and Instagram as well (@housecallvetnyc.)”.

Dr. Jeff’s Loved Ones And Great Achievements

Another Great Version of the “21st Century Pet.” video

Dr. Jeff currently lives in midtown Manhattan with his wife, Rocio (introduced to Dr. Jeff by her cat, Tom), and his six-year-old daughter, Valentina, who plans to follow in her Dad’s foot-, or rather, “paw”-steps as a future veterinarian

Dean’s Pegasus Award

His achievements include earning the Dean’s Pegasus Award from his alma mater, the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. This was given to the outstanding graduate as voted by students, faculty, and the Dean.

Merit Award

In 2006, he also received the Merit Award for community service from the Veterinary Medical Society of New York City. The Merit Award is given to “members in recognition of their significant contributions to the Veterinary Medical Society of New York City and the advancement of the veterinary profession.”

A Voice For Animal Welfare

Following an internship on Capitol Hill where he participated in the successful passage of federal legislation relating to animal welfare. Dr. Levy was nominated as a candidate for a Congressional Fellowship sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Furthermore, he was invited to join and served on a Congressional Task Force relating to animal pharmaceutical regulations.

Where to find Dr. Jeff

If you liked our post on Good Advice From Dr. Jeff the NYC Housecall Vet you can learn more about Dr. Jeff from his website.

Not only did Dr. Jeff write the song but there are many more to come… Additionally, he’s in the process of writing a book that he will be sharing in the near future.

Furthermore, If you think his services may help your furry loved one, you can reach out to him on Facebook or Instagram. You can also see all the great reviews he has on Yelp! If you are in the New York City and area, I highly recommend his expertise in pain relief and healing. Above all, you can watch him in action right on his website!

Thank You Dr. Jeff the NYC Housecall Vet!

Thank you, Dr.Jeff, For Your Voice and Dedicated Services to The Animal and the Pet Community! In Addition, Much Congratulations on such great achievements! We appreciate you sharing your answers with all of us! Especially the “paw-some” video you made to share with all of us through these times! We cannot wait to see what your future brings us!

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Join the discussion

  • Wow! I just learned so much! I don’t have any pets at the moment but I have friends and family members who do. I did not know that pets could get holistic medicine and acupuncture .

    I absolutely love learning new things. I will definitely share the wealth of knowledge I just learned. Thank you so much for sharing ❤

  • Love this post! He is doing an amazing job! I was a vet back in my country India and always look for ways to help our
    Companion animals. We have been fostering dogs since 2016 and try to make a small difference