Meet Beth Innis, DVM, CVA, CVCHM

Beth Innis is the founder and owner of Sleepy Dog Veterinary in Massachusetts.

Cattie: I first met Beth a few years ago when she came to our house to give our dog Sadie acupuncture. It was a very difficult time for us – Sadie was battling cancer and was going downhill fast and I was frankly a bit of a mess. Beth could not have been more kind and compassionate and was an amazing source of both information and support during what turned out to be the last few months of Sadie’s life. If there was ever a person who picked the right profession, Beth is it. I really cannot say enough good things about her, and I am thrilled and honored that she agreed to be a regular contributor to Animal Wellness Guide.


Beth InnisAt age 9, I decided I was going to become a veterinarian. However, unlike the other kids going through that phase, I never grew out of it! So while I loved studying literature and psychology in high school, I focused on the sciences and apprenticeship in veterinary medicine until there I was studying Animal Science at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. And then there I was sitting down next to my peers at the Tufts University School of Medicine.

It was tough work. The anatomy, physiology, pharmacology…. I would not classify them as the great loves of my life. There were a lot of days that I wondered, is this worth it? Did James Herriot feel this tired all the time? Did he stay up nights wondering if he could pass the next test (only to fall asleep the next day in class)? How did he get to be in the fields, healing those animals, with the families, all sharing those quiet moments together?

In my first year, however, I was lucky to have an internship with a veterinary acupuncturist, renowned in the Boston area. I did not have much idea about acupuncture and alternative medicine, but my mind was pretty open. And this is what I noticed, at that time, that drove me in the direction I have taken: Those (mostly) older pets, coming in for their needles and their herbs, came along with beautiful, loving and devoted people. Those old joints might be a little rickety, those eyes might be a little cloudy, but there was so much love emanating from those relationships that it just about bowled me over. And I wanted to be a part of that relationship. So I studied. And I studied and studied.

I studied and I finished veterinary school, all the while keeping those older guys and gals in the back of my mind.

I worked in general practice and emergency medicine. I ran tests, did surgery, delivered good and bad news. I studied acupuncture and introduced that to my practice. Over time, I also added studies in animal rehabilitation and Chinese Herbal Medicine. I am now beginning to study Reiki, animal hospice care and grief counseling. I have a large interest in animal-assisted therapy that I hope to cultivate one day. The holistic subjects I study attract a wonderful crowd of pets and people.

The pets I serve are brave; they are wise and patient and much more forgiving than I can imagine being. To know that a suspicious cat will tolerate me sticking them with needles the first time is one thing. To know that the same cat will tolerate it a SECOND time is a miraculous thing!

The people I serve are loving; they are patient and intuitive and flexible. They research, they persevere and most Sleepy dog acupunctureof all, they do all they can to keep that older pet healthy and happy. They try different avenues of medicine and therapies. And when the health and the happiness wanes, they are always, no matter how heart-broken, willing to let that pet transition with grace into the next world.

I consider myself one of the luckiest people I know. I wake up surrounded by my family (my husband, Tom, my human children, Trudie & Maisie, my two labradors, Duke & Thompson, my Mini Schnauzer, Liesel, my cats, Churchill and Roosevelt and of course my chickens, Gigi, Ruby & Mimi). (It is quite a crowd, so of course some days are smoother than others). Then I set off for work going home to home, serving my beloved patients and their wonderful persons.

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Beth Innis, DVM, CVA, CVCHM
Beth is a practicing Veterinarian, Veterinary Acupuncturist, certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist, and Veterinary Chinese Herbalist who treats her patients with an integrative approach both in the hospital and through home visits. Learn more about Beth
Beth Innis, DVM, CVA, CVCHM

Latest posts by Beth Innis, DVM, CVA, CVCHM (see all)


  1. Jess says

    I am trying to find relief for my older male pekingese – who suffers from what our local vet thinks is a pinched nerve. he has had x-rays. would acupuncture be a good bet or should i try laser therapy. i live in west virginia and i’m having trouble finding resources.

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