We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelly Hutchison and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kelly, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
After more than 10 years as a primary care veterinarian, I felt a lack of satisfaction in the level of care I was able to provide my senior animals. The high-paced speed of general practice within a traditional brick and mortar setting often left me feeling as though my senior patients and their owners weren’t receiving the level of care that I wanted to give them. These patients usually came into the appointment with more than one medical condition that affected their quality of life, multiple medications with a variety of side effects that often played off each other, owners who struggled to understand why their beloved pet was experiencing these changes and were often anxious about how to know which changes were inevitable and which ones were causing unnecessary discomfort.

My goal with White Whiskers Aging Pet Care is to build a different kind of practice with a focus on helping our aging pets by providing the kind of dedicated support to this important pet population that the traditional veterinary model cannot regularly provide . My husband and I have purposely built a practice that has the time to address the many specialized needs of older pets and their owners. We see our patients in their home where they feel safe and we focus on addressing pain and increasing their daily quality of life through treatments such as acupuncture and small changes to medications, home environment and daily activity. We strive for lots of open communication and education with pet moms and dads.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I graduated from college I actually spent two years teaching kindergarten and sixth grade English summer school. That experience has stayed with me and influenced the way I practice veterinary medicine. In many ways pet parents are not that different from kindergarten parents and I am still a teacher.

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is teaching owners how to detect pain in their dogs and cats. Dogs and cats are so adept at masking pain that most owners have no idea the level of discomfort their animal may be living with on a daily basis. Now that I have created a practice model where I have time to teach, I can spend extra time having the owner place their hands on their pet to feel what I am feeling. I show and explain how changes to gait, posture and temperament tell a bigger story about how their pet is feeling. I give them tools to make their pet’s environment easier to navigate.

I believe that by spending the extra time teaching the “pet parents” I can improve the quality of life of both their current pets and any future pets they may have.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am always up for hiking and sharing the amazing state we are lucky to live in. Food never tastes better than after you have worked up an appetite in the outdoors. Denver is an amazing city with some of the best restaurants. I love the eclectic combinations of foods and cultures and of course, the beer.
Being from the Springs I would of course take them to Garden of the Gods and up to Woodland Park to hike. A day trip both up to one of the mountain towns and to Denver, of course. Being a parent I have spent a lot of time at the Children’s Museum, The Aquarium, The Museum of Natural Science and History and recently discovered Meow Wolf. When we went to Meow Wolf we ate at Chuey Fu’s and I would love to go back and share that restaurant with a friend. In the Springs I have good friends who just opened The OCC Brewery in Old Colorado City and they have some amazing and unique Belgian Ales on tap and great food, as well.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The Old Mutt Hut – a sanctuary for old dogs located about 35 minutes from Colorado Springs. The dogs, all of whom are over the age of 10, and all of whom wound up homeless for one reason or another, live with a full-time caregiver, receive the best medical care and have several couches and beds for lounging. They are never crated or put into kennels.

The state-licensed, 501c-3 facility is supported entirely by donations from individuals.

I do acupuncture on the dogs once monthly and they get therapeutic laser treatments every 2 weeks – no charge.

Website: https://whitewhiskers.vet/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/whitewhiskersagingpetcare @whitewhiskersagingpetcare

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WhiteWhiskersAgingPetCare @whitewhiskersagingpetcare

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/white-whiskers-aging-pet-care-colorado-springs-4

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClqgISebPgbz7msFklT3GPA

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.