What Is Holistic Pet Care – A Starters Guide To Alternative Pet Treatments

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

Felix our cat

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.

Please leave a comment or share this post, you never know who may benefit from reading this.

“A dog is the only thing on this earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” – Josh Billings



Pet Hugs



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10 Replies to “What Is Holistic Pet Care – A Starters Guide To Alternative Pet Treatments”

  1. I love looking after my animals in a more natural way than ever before. I now have my dog on a species appropriate raw diet, natural anxiety relief (copaiba essential oil – doterra only) and homeopathic drops. I also learned bowen therapy for dogs and horses to help me look after their bodies much better.

    1. Hi Josie, this is so interesting, thank you for sharing with me.  I had not ventured into Bowen therapy, but will certainly find out more.  Maintaining our pets health is so important as once they are sick it is really difficult to deal with.  Often people don’t full understand how important their diet is, and I am very interested to hear about the natural medication you are using.  Have a great day, sending you pet hugs, Denise.

  2. Hello,

         I lost my Jack Russell of 16 years to rhenal failure. I feel partly to blame as I never switched her to senior dog food and wasn’t aware that the higher protein could accelerate the process.

    I wonder what else I could have done for her and what other treatments might have been available.  Quality of live is very important to me.

    I just always trust what my vet prescribed but you’re right, not all meds are created equal and I should do more to make sure I obtain the best quality I can.  My Border Collie is pretty easy to “convince” to take his meds but my new Jack Russell is a bit more difficult in that regard.  Not all meds are tasty treats to her.

    I’ve never considered acupuncture and can’t imagine my Jack Russell would be still long enough to even try it, LOL.  As for massage, I do that on a limited basis now and they love it.  I get chiropractic adjustments myself and swear by them but I haven’t done the same for my dogs, yet.

    Thank you for this great post.  It gives me a lot to consider regarding my pet’s future care,


    1. Hi Scott, thank you for sharing with me your story about your Jack Russel.  Feeling guilty is probably not how she would have wanted you to feel, I am sure the love you gave her overruled anything else.  16 years is an amazing age for any pet, especially as you say, quality of life is so important. 

      I am happy that you found this blog helpful and that it has given you some knowledge on maintaining your Border Collie and new Jack Russel’s health.  Sending you pet hugs.  Denise

  3. Hi Denise,

    it’s interesting to know that pets are just like humans, that they can have holistic care when they are ill or stressed. I’m really glad that they also appreciate massage just like us and the benefits are likewise the same.

    We don’t have a pet now, but my husband had a dog before we migrated abroad. The dog has died unfortunately.

    As pet owners, we need to really be conscious on how our pets behave especially when they are sick and we need to find a qualified vet to take care of them.


    1. Hi Marita, thank you for your comment.  I am sorry to hear about your husbands dog, and may one day soon he will be ready to have another dog.  Yes being conscious of our pets health is incredibly important, they do deserve the best care we can give them.  Take care, sending you pet hugs, Denise.

  4. This is such an interesting article, Denise. I really enjoyed reading it. It’s so amazing to know that even pets can embrace alternative medicine. I honestly think that if we can avoid medication, holistic care would be so much better. Really love the idea of herbal medicine and massage therapy. Will definitely share this. Thank you again!

    1. Hi Raquel, thank you for your comment and sharing it for me.  I am still learning about holistic care for pets, but find it fascinating and hope that more and more pet owners will embrace it along with traditional medicine.  Herbal medicine for my cat was the first venture into holistic medicine for me.  Thank you, sending you pet hugs, Denise.

  5. Dear Denise,

    Thanks a lot for this helpful post and I must say I found your post highly uplifting and educational. Being a pet lover this post gave me great insights and its an eye-opener.

    Traditional medicines and holistic approach is the best way to go. Indeed, herbal medicines are great and most of the time it addresses to the root cause and Acupuncture is getting popular too. As you rightly mentioned nowadays even many youngsters are interested in learning holistic care. 

    My aunt is an acupuncturist and she taught me some basics. To be honest its working and I am really impressed but yet to implement it on my pets.

    You have given me plenty to think about here. This post is so thorough it opened my eyes to all sorts of information I wasn’t aware of! Your article certainly made me think more on the subject.

    Much Success!


    1. Hi Paul, thank you for you feedback on my article.  Acupuncture has always fascinated me, even though I have a fear of needles.  I like how it is non evasive.  It is interesting to see the younger generation taking an interest in alternative style medicine.  Applying these types of treatments is still new to our pets, but will hopefully be incorporated into more traditional veterinarian practices.  I hope you keep up with learning acupuncture, sending you pet hugs, Denise.

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