Living and working in Malibu for over 18 years, Dr. Dean Graulich is best known as the vet for all Malibu pets. We got to sit down with the Malibu vet himself learning all about his passions and his own uncommon pets. Dr. Dean Graulich gives us an insight on what it's like to be a vet, how he balances work and family time, and the stigmas about Malibu residents.
How long have you been a vet here?
I’ve been in Malibu now for 18 years and I have been a veterinarian for over 22 years. I was in Manhattan Beach before.
Where did you go to school?
I went to Cornell University, I always loved California so as soon as I was finished with veterinary school I moved out here.
Are you from the East Coast?
I'm from New York and the rest of my family is still out back East in either New York or Florida. I would always come out here on vacation and would come out to camp and just fell in love with the area.
You mentioned your family is out here, are you married?
Yes, my wife is a veterinarian here. Her name is Dana, we met as vets and have been married for 11 years.
Do you have kids as well?
We have a 9, 7 and 4-year-old. We have two boys and one girl.
Is that hard to balance raising your children with both of you being vets?
It is, but we actually spend a lot of time with the kids because we live in Malibu so we’re close by to the hospital. The kids also come by a lot. But during, lets say, the holidays I’m working a lot so it can be hard to balance but I think we balance it well. We have a bunch of good vets working with us.
I would assume that as a vet, you work somewhat irregular hours. Does that end up becoming a problem?
Yes so when I work, I work around fourteen hours day but then I try to take two or three days off. Not lately, but I typically try to take Tuesdays and the weekends off. It varies.
When you do take time off, what are your passions and hobbies?
I have a Koi pond so I really like attending to my Koi. I also just recently took up kite surfing and am trying to learn how to do it. I have some old cars that I love. I have my old corvette and a 1940 woody wagon. Crossfit Malibu has also changed my life. I am much healthier since I started there a year ago. It’s a really cool place that a lot of locals use.
Did you go to the Woodies Parade?
No I missed it, I do go every year but this year my kid was in the playoffs for a soccer game and I couldn’t leave him to go, so I missed it. This is the first year I missed it though.
Do you have any pets at home?
We have, right now, two dogs, a cat, and a pig named Daisy. This pig is so hilarious and just puts a smile on everybody’s faces. A client brought her in here and just couldn’t handle to take care of her anymore so we took her in. We also have a fish and chicken.
What do you love about being a vet?
When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a vet. I love being a vet because, one I obviously love animals, but it’s great to be able to do a lot of different things. I do orthopedic surgery, ultrasounds, and then one day I might be doing a caesarean section to deliver puppies. It’s so varied, and then of course we deal with older dogs and people and you have to make decisions, but it’s great that we get to do a lot of different stuff. It’s really just the amazing people in Malibu. A big fallacy is that everyone in Malibu is rich but they’re not. We just have such a varied clientele, we now have clients coming from all over LA. We have people from Palisades, Agoura, Calabasas and just from all over. We try and keep our prices a lot better than West LA, for a hospital at the caliber that we are, that is. We just try not to turn anybody away and we try to treat every animal. The main reason I like being a vet is helping out people and the great thing about working in Los Angeles is that people just love their pets. It’s amazing how they treat them just like family.
One last question, what do you love about Malibu as a town and community?
When I came up here I loved that it had a small town feel, and even with everything going on in politics I still think it is a great place to live. I still love going out and seeing my clients and their animals all around town.