'The Incredible Dr. Pol': Veterinarian Jan Pol on What's to Come in Season 13

John Griffiths
Chris Buck/National Geographic Creative

The Incredible Dr. Pol

Veterinarian Jan Pol is just as adorable as the animals he heals, so it’s no wonder his reality show, The Incredible Dr. Pol, has stuck around for 13 seasons.

Tomorrow, the Dutch-born doctor returns with his trademark enthusiasm and wonder — “Holy cow!” is an oft-used phrase — to treat more critters at his Michigan clinic. The 76-year-old NASCAR nut and doting family man (he and wife Diane, parents to three adopted children, celebrated their 50th anniversary last August) lets loose.

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Any tricky patients this season?

Dr. Jan Pol: A lady came in with a macaw that needed a beak trim. If they’re in captivity, macaws cannot bite the hard logs they do in nature to trim the beaks themselves. He was not that friendly. You’ve got to get ahold of their head or they’ll get ahold of you!

What inspired you to become a vet?

I was the youngest of six on a dairy farm in the Netherlands. When I was 12, I helped the local veterinarian deliver piglets. I just reached in to get those little things out. That was a lot of fun!

What was your first pet?

According to my sister, it was a crippled chicken, when I was 3. She said I was trying to nurse it back to health. My first dog was a Saint Bernard—we were inseparable.

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How many furry ones do you have at home these days?

Three dogs, two cats, two Friesian horses, two emus, peacocks—I don’t know how many!—pheasants, turkeys, ducks, geese.

Do you find that they’re calming?

You come home after a long day and they sit beside you and look at you. Their eyes say, “I love you; just pet me.” And you run your fingers through their fur. That is so relaxing!

The Incredible Dr. Pol, Season Premiere, Saturday, July 7, 9/8c, Nat Geo Wild

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This article also appeared in the June 25 - July 8 issue of TV Guide Magazine.

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