Our Careteam

Dr. Nancy Cowardin
Owner, Veterinarian
One of Dr. Nancy Cowardin’s earliest memories involves a deep love of animals—she recalls going to pick out a new kitten when she was only three years old. Hurricane quickly became her best friend in the world, and the pair grew up together until Dr. Cowardin headed off to college. By the time she had started her studies in science and biology, she knew that she wanted to use her skills to foster the same kinds of relationships that she shared with her beloved cat! Now, Dr. Cowardin gets to do just that every day as the owner of Companions Animal Hospital.

Dr. Cowardin is originally from Jamestown, North Dakota and graduated with honors from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Next, she attended veterinary school at Colorado State University in Fort Collins to earn her Doctorate in 1992. From there, Dr. Cowardin spent a year working at a fast-paced, 24-hour-a-day veterinary practice in Michigan before moving to Texas and continuing her career at a clinic in Amarillo.

Dr. Cowardin and her family moved back to Minnesota in 1997, and she purchased and began practicing as a veterinarian at what was then called Clearwater Road Pet Hospital. Dr. Cowardin has now been serving St. Cloud’s pets and animal parents as the owner and veterinarian of Companions Animal Hospital for nearly 20 years. Medically, she has a special passion for surgery and internal medicine cases, but her favorite part of the job is getting to talk directly with loving pet owners on a daily basis.

At home, Dr. Cowardin and her family share their lives with several pets. Mickey is a mixed-breed dog who has visited many schools in the area to help teach children about responsible pet care; Esox the Labrador lives up to his namesake with his incessant desire to retrieve; and two frisky cats named Tres and Quatro round out the furry side of the family.

In her free time, Dr. Cowardin likes to read and especially enjoys swapping good books with her son, Braden. She’s also an avid hockey fan, and loves supporting Braden at his games. She’s enjoys exercising through CrossFit, which has helped her own hockey game immensely!
Dr. Rachael Meier
Associate Veterinarian
Dr. Rachael Meier grew up in a house full of animals in Las Vegas, Nevada, including her beloved childhood English Mastiff, Buddy. Her early experiences caring for pets gave her a great appreciation for the bonds cultivated between humans and their animal companions. Dr. Meier knew that she wouldn’t be happy unless she was doing her part to help nurture and strengthen those relationships for others! That’s why she decided to become a veterinarian, and she hasn’t looked back since.

Dr. Meier completed her undergraduate degree in biology at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington in 2015. Next, she attended the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine to earn her Doctorate in 2020. It wasn’t long after graduating as a veterinarian that Dr. Meier accepted an Associate position here at Companions Animal Hospital, having previously completed two externships right here at the clinic during her final year of veterinary school.

Medically, Dr. Meier has special interests in preventative medicine and nutrition, and she’s also passionate about animal behavior. She completed her Fear Free Certification during veterinary school and loves being able to implement different strategies to help minimize any stress her patients may be feeling. Last but not least, Dr. Meier is interested in alternative therapies for pets—including laser therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatment—and plans on pursuing further education in those fields in the near future.

When she’s not at work helping to improve the lives of pets and their owners, Dr. Meier enjoys reading, hiking and camping, gardening, canning and making artisan breads, building and maintaining her aquariums, and exploring St. Cloud and all that it has to offer. She shares her home with two cats: Atticus, who loves nothing more than going for walks around the neighborhood in his harness; and Gus, who prefers to sleep on his cat tree, play with his favorite toys, and give the best snuggles.