As a pet lover I am constantly looking for ways to manage their health and general well-being. A number of years ago, my lovely cat, started to go into kidney failure. He went onto prescribed medication, but we soon started to notice side effects. At this time I did not realize that I may have an alternative
approach to treat his condition. Sadly he has since passed on, but this experience has left me wondering about a more natural approach to my animals health, and what we could have done differently for him.
I have found that my husband and I are both looking after ourselves using a combination of traditional medicines and a more holistic approach to our health. More and more I found myself wondering about what holistic pet care is, and how can I make use of it. So if like me you are curious about this topic, keep reading and I will give you a broad explanation of holistic pet care.
What Is Holistic Pet Care?
In a nutshell holistic pet care is the use of alternative treatments and medicines to treat our animals. This can include treatments such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, massage, and chiropractic. This is by no means the full range of holistic treatment on offer for our pets’. Interesting, isn’t it, how similar it is to alternative treatments for us humans. Sadly diseases such as cancer are rapidly increasing in our pets’, especially dogs. Holistic pet care can be used in conjunction with other medicines, or on its own and is a less invasive form of treatment.
The good news is that a number of veterinarian practices are now starting to practice holistic medicine.
Holistic Veterinarians Moving With The Times
Fortunately there are now vets who are willing to embrace holistic practice into their treatments. They look at your pets’ overall health, and then work out a treatment plan that includes traditional medicine along with holistic treatments. Veterinarians will still rely on lab tests to assess your pets’ health. Going back to my cat, I knew he needed the medicine that had been prescribed to him, but I really did not know what to do about the side effects. I now understand that there is so much more we could have done for him if we had been aware of holistic care.
There are a number of different treatments that full under the banner of pet holistic care and I would like to share some of them with you in the following paragraphs.
Herbal Medicine For Our Pets
The good news is that our pets’ can tolerate most of the same herbal remedies that we can. However, there are some exceptions so you should always check first that what you are giving them is safe. An example is that cats do not tolerate garlic, it is actually really bad for them.
There are now herbal medicines to cover a wide range of ailments for our pets’, including for stress relief, constipation, itchy and dry skin, fleas, lungs diseases, arthritis and wounds, just to mention a few.
Getting the dosage right is really important, you want to make sure you have clear instructions on this, just the same as we need to know the right quantity of any medicine natural or not that we may take.
Not all the products available will be equal in terms of quality, so I would strongly suggest using a reputable brand and asking for advice, checking the label, and even speaking to the company if they are available to answer your questions. As always, your vet should be your first place to seek advice. Medication of any form, needs to be treated with respect.
Getting medicine that tastes yummy and you can fool your dogs or cats to easily swallow is an ongoing challenge. It is worth looking for medicine that your pet finds palatable.
Getting our cat to take medicine often resulted in me looking like I had experienced a run in with a cactus bush, needles everywhere. This moves me onto our next topic, but one that is fortunately not painful.
Acupuncture for Our Furry Friends
The prickly question, should you use acupuncture for your pets’? Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese practice, traced back to at least 2500 thousand years. It is a complimentary medical practice that involves stimulating certain parts of the body, often with a needle.
Vets that include holistic treatments may recommend acupuncture to help alleviate problems such as stress, blood flow and pain relief. Acupuncture will not adversely react with your pets’ medicines, making it ideal to use to help treat a number of illnesses.
If you are considering using acupuncture please make sure the acupuncturist is qualified and has a clean and hygienic practice.
Please Give Me A Massage
When we had our son, I realized how vital massage was in keeping him settled and happy. I used to give him daily massages after his bath. One day my old cat started to show signs of arthritis, and I decided to try gentle massage. I am actually a qualified masseur for humans and so have an idea on what to do. Felix, loved the massages and they certainly helped ease his pain.
Massage therapy uses hand on techniques to stimulate circulation, alleviate pain and relax muscles. Massage therapists can work out a therapy for your pet based on its individual needs and often work in conjunction with a veterinarian practice.
Massage therapy can be tried by anyone, there are a number of courses on the internet showing you how to do this. If you, want to try it yourself a quick chat to your vet may help to ensure you will not harm your pet.
Howl! My Back – Call In The Chiropracter
More and more vets are now starting to recommend chiropractic treatments for dogs. Aging pets’, working pets’ and those involved in intense training can all probably benefit from chiropractic treatment.
This involves spinal manipulation to realign a pets’ spine, by using therapy to move misplaced vertebrae back into their normal position, thus, releasing pressure on the surrounding nerve tissue. This will lead to the pain being relieved and the body will be able to naturally heal itself.
Spinal injuries and diseases can play havoc with your pets’ health, causing it to deteriorate quickly, and can severely affect posture and flexibility, movement and have an impact on the muscles and joints.
Generally if carried out correctly and by a qualified chiropractor there should be no harmful side effects to your pet.
Homeopathy Treatments – What is This?
Dogs and cats can benefit tremendously from using homeopathic medicine, which is a method of using natural substances to stimulate the body’s healing process. It concentrates on the care of the whole animal, using methods that are specific, sympathetic and gentle to the body’s needs.
Homeopathy is based on utilizing specially prepared herbs, minerals and other natural substances to treat certain conditions, including ailments such as allergies to diarrhea. It is based on strengthening your pets’ immune system. Please only use as recommended by your vet or a qualified homeopath.
So Is Holistic Pet Care An Option For Your Pet?
As the western world embraces alternative and less invasive treatments for ourselves, we are starting to realize that our pets’ can also benefit hugely from this form of therapy. Often we only become aware that our pets’ have an illness once they show signs. Holistic care can be used to help prevent the onset of some illnesses and certainly manage them in a less invasive manner and with fewer side effects than some traditional medication.
I have covered some, but by no means, all the holistic treatments now available to our beloved pets’. If,you, would like me to go into more detail about any of these treatments, or cover one I have not mentioned, please comment or send me an email.
As more and more veterinarians are embracing the parallel use of alternative medicine they are starting to become mainstream and therefore an easier option to consider. I would like to once again stress please be aware of the quality of any service you are seeking, it is important that whatever treatment you choose, it is ethical.
I strongly believe in holistic pet care for the health and love of my family.
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“A dog is the only thing on this earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” – Josh Billings