‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’: 1 of the Hardest Things Dr. Pol Has Had to Film on the Show

On The Incredible Dr. Pol, viewers have had the chance to see a large animal veterinarian in action. Dr. Pol is rarely surprised or at a loss for what to do in a situation. He’s served his community for over 40 years and is clearly respected for his work.

Dr. Jan Pol of NatGeo WILD's 'The Incredible Dr. Pol'
Dr. Jan Pol of NatGeo WILD’s ‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’ | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Ever since his son, Charles, who is also a producer on the show, got Dr. Pol to agree to the reality show, the animal doctor has been a good sport about allowing just about anything to be documented for the NatGeo WILD series.

There was one thing the doctor would have preferred not to have shown on the program. Here’s what Dr. Pol shared recently.

How the veterinarian knew animal doctoring was for him

As with many professions, and especially those involving animals, veterinarians tend to know early in their lives that they want to work with animals. It was no different for Dr. Pol.

He explained to AARP in 2019, “I grew up on a dairy farm in the Netherlands. My parents said that when I was less than 3 years old, I was already taking care of a chicken that was crippled. When I was 12 years old, the local veterinarian let me help deliver piglets at my brother’s place. I was lying in the straw and up to my shoulders in the sow, trying to get the pigs out.”

“That’s when I knew I wanted to be a vet. . . Animals accept people for who and what they are. If you treat an animal right, it will reward you with unconditional love. “

Dr. Pol is glad he’s bringing visibility to one particular group

One has to wonder what it has been like for Dr. Pol and his staff at Pol Veterinary Clinic to go from being a mild-mannered veterinary practice to a daily whirlwind of cameramen and lights following the vets everywhere around the office. It’s got to be a little distracting and intrusive.

But for Dr. Pol, it’s worth it because of the spotlight it has shone on farmers in our country. He knows what they do is invisible to most consumers and it gratifies him that viewers see what farmers deal with from day to day.

He was asked by The Chicago Tribune in 2018 if he still felt it was a good idea that he and his wife, Diane, had agreed to do the reality show.

“Yes, because it has put the American farmer in a positive light,” the 77-year-old said. “We now have people who know where their milk comes from. Where their meat comes from. And maybe some are vegetarians. But farmers have benefited from the show and that’s one of my main goals.”

The one thing he’d rather not have filmed

As easygoing as Dr. Pol is about having the cameras in his place of business, there was one recent incident he would rather not have had recorded.

He told Hollywood Soapbox last week, “It’s, for me, unbelievable that this show became so popular, but I think the main thing is that what the people are looking for is reality, not made up for TV. And that’s what we show.”

“In the show, I had to put my own dog down,” Dr. Pol continued. “I didn’t want to have it filmed, but Charles [his son] says to me, ‘Dad, other people are filmed. Why not you? You’re a pet owner, and it shows that pets do not outlive humans many times.’”

“It’s real, and I think this is what attracts people to this show. Nothing is made up for TV, and I think that’s what makes the show so popular.”

Read more: ‘The Incredible Dr. Pol’: Did Dr. Emily Leave Pol Veterinary Practice?