Barbara Royal, founder and owner of The Royal Treatment Veterinary Center and Royal Animal Health University, is an internationally renowned pioneer in complementary medicine and physical rehabilitation. A passionate advocate of commonsense and cutting-edge approaches to optimal animal health, Dr. Royal provides a bridge between Western and Eastern medicine. Dr. Royal has extensive experience in veterinary care, including zoo, marine, and wildlife animals, emergency medicine, pathology, conventional practices, nutrition, herbal remedies, physical rehabilitation techniques, and alternative treatments. She is also an acupuncture expert for pets and exotic zoo creatures. She is the go-to veterinarian for Oprah Winfrey. After graduating with high honors from the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine (1995), Dr. Royal’s early career was exclusively devoted to cultivating her expertise in state-of-the-art, modern veterinary treatments. Years later, her work with greyhounds, who are hypersensitive to many medications, led Dr. Royal to explore the most effective modalities in ancient traditions. She completed training in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine from IVAS, Advanced Western & Chinese Herbal Medicine through Tufts University, and studied Animal Physical Therapy and Healing Techniques at the University of Tennessee. Her uniquely practical and open-minded approach, skill as a diagnostician, and compassion for animals is much acclaimed: she operated on a room-sized grouper named Bubba at the Chicago Shedd Aquarium; she reconstructed a woodchuck’s de-gloved feet at the Woodstock Illinois Animal Hospital; and, at the Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo and Brookfield Zoo, she became the first veterinarian in the world to perform acupuncture on a zebra. Dr. Royal is an adjunct professor at California Polytechnic State University. A consultant and lecturer for veterinary hospitals, veterinary schools and conferences. She has formulated a line of therapeutic Pet Foods with Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, and a line of veterinary supplements with the NOW Food Company. She lectures on many aspects of veterinary medicine, nutrition, integrative practice, practice management, alternative modalities and practice finances. She is featured in the media, books, magazines, radio, movies and television because of her successful work in integrative practice. Dr. Royal is prominently featured as an expert in pet nutrition in the documentary Pet Fooled. She has recently published two books that discuss nutrition: The Essential Pocket Guide to Pet Food and The Royal Treatment: A Natural Approach to Wildly Healthy Pets (Simon and Schuster). She was the copy editor and editor for several national meetings including the Annual Dr. Scholl Conference on the Nutrition of Captive Wild Animals. She has written multiple articles on nutrition and health for many national and local magazines and online publications. She has also published a book with Natasha Milne on global philanthropy and activism entitled One Hundred and One Reasons to Get Out of Bed. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, two children, and her wildly healthy cats and dogs.
Dr. Natasha Lilly, DVM, CVA
Dr. Natasha Lilly
Natasha Lilly, DVM, CVA, graduated from UCDavis in 2008 with honors and a focus in equine medicine. She felt limited with conventional options to treat our animal athletes after only a few months into an internship. In search of other options to health, she worked and studied with Dr. Barbara Royal at her integrative practice in Chicago. Under the continued mentorship of Dr. Royal, Dr. Lilly took her practice and passion for the holistic approach to animal health back to California, where she currently practices, lectures, and co-operates a working ranch with horses, cattle, chickens and sheep. Her ongoing quest for options in health includes a certification in acupuncture through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, 2010, extensive Chinese Herbal training through the Chi Institute, 2012, and most recently, progressing towards a certification in equine rehabilitation through the Animal Rehabilitation Institute. Out of these endeavors, 3 children and two new businesses, Full Circle Veterinary Center and Royal Animal Health University were born. This spring, Dr. Lilly and Dr. Royal team up again to teach a course, Integrative Veterinary Medicine, at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Dr. Lilly lives by questioning conventional practices when they limit success, and finding solutions where possible in more natural medicines and modalities. Her goal is to be of service to all creatures and the planet through education and example, creating the change that is needed for true health.
Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, NMD
Dr. Karen Becker
Karen Becker, DVM, NMD is arguably one of the country’s most respected vets on animal nutrition, health and wellness. She has been featured on the hit television program Animal Planet and her knowledge on pet nutrition and willingness to share that knowledge has led Dr. Becker to become one of the most sought after speakers at national conventions and seminars. Dr. Becker earned her B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in Wildlife Management and Biology and is a graduate of the Iowa State School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her exotic animal internship in California and has continued her education by completing the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society’s certification course in Houston in 1996, received her certification from the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy in Virginia in 1998 and earned her degree as a Naturopathic Medical Doctor in 2003. She worked at the Raptor Center of Pueblo, Colorado rehabilitating hawks, eagles, owls and falcons. This experience culminated with her being federally licensed to rehabilitate ill, injured and orphaned wildlife. To put her resources to work, she and her husband, Dave, founded Covenant Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Illinois. She worked under the head veterinarian at the Berlin Zoo, Germany, and continued her studies at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. In 1999 Dr. Becker combined her training, knowledge and life-long dream by opening Natural Pet Animal Hospital in Tinley Park, Illinois, and was quickly recognized by being voted one of Chicago’s Top Ten Vets by Chicago Magazine. Dr. Becker’s Bites began as a family business and transitioned to a Corporation in 2003. The Bites were developed as treats with a formulation based on 100% USDA inspected beef liver baked out of “Mom’s Kitchen.” Outgrowing the kitchen and first bakery, the corporate office and bakery moved from Iowa to Illinois in 2007. The Bison Bites were added to the line that same year. In 2009, both the Veggie Bites and Solutions Bites and Shakers were added. Herbs and supplements are added to the Solutions line in a proprietary formula prescribed by Dr. Becker. Her vision for the ultimate treat and her passion for pet care and wellness continues to be the inspiration for Dr. Becker’s Bites.
Steve Brown is an author of two of the better-selling books on canine nutrition, See Spot Live Longer (with Beth Taylor), See Spot Live Longer the ABC Way and Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet, numerous articles in pet and veterinary journals, a frequent speaker at veterinary and dog-related conferences, the developer of the Canine and Feline Diet Formulator™ Program, and a consultant on formulating raw meat-based diets. What he likes to do most is teach veterinarians and other knowledgeable people how to formulate ancestral-type, fresh meat-based diets that meet US and European nutrient standards.
Rodney is a digital artist, film maker, multiple award-winning blogger, lecturer (including TED talks), and founder of the Top Canadian Retailer Award winning Planet Paws. His social media presence has gained him worldwide recognition as he was honored in 2016 at the Canadian House of Parliament, with the Communicator of the Year Award. Facebook recently recognized and honored him for having one of their top pages, which allows him to spread his message to over 100 million news feeds. Once the host of the #1 radio show in Canada, In The Dish, today he is filming a documentary series on canine cancer called The Dog Cancer Survival Series. Rodney has made numerous TV, social media headlines, movie, and radio/podcast appearances including ABC National News, BBC London, CBC, Global National News TV, Financial Post, National Post, the Pet Food Documentary “Dog Food Mythbusters”, and Ty Bollinger’s upcoming Truth About Cancer series. Rodney works through his Foundation, For Change, traveling the world to interview and follow up on current research in nutrition and innovative treatments to improve longevity and decrease cancer rates in animals. Using his media presence as an education tool, he is an internationally known pet food blogger whose interest in evidence-based, common-sense health has brought him millions of readers. Rodney Habib is currently filming a documentary series on canine cancer called The Dog Cancer Survival Series.