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Holistic Pet Care for Dogs and Cats Health

Updated on August 31, 2012

Holistic Pet Treatments and Pet Nutrition

Proper pet nutrients play an important role in the health and longevity of your pets. Medications, supplements, and diet are all part of the mix that helps your pet feel good. Holistic pet treatments can add years and a better quality of life for your pet. Holistic treatments involves an entire body approach to health and wellness. It includes and complements conventional care by veterinarians.

There are Different Approaches to Holistic Treatments

The idea behind the holistic approach is to maximize the  entire system of the body, and promote healing. Holistic care for your pets is the belief in caring for your pet as a whole being. Western medicine for pets and people usually treats the problem in an isolated sense.  Veterinarians who treat your pet holistically will look at the emotional, environmental and physical state of your dog or cat. They take everything into consideration, including pet food nutrition. By looking at the whole picture, a vet can getter a better idea about what is going on with your pet, and how to treat  the condition in the best way possible. There are different approaches to holistic veterinary care.  Some vets use traditional chinese medicine. This vet will look for imbalances in the dogs and cats they treat. They will try to treat the imbalances and may even use acupuncture or herbs on your pet. A vet who uses homeopathic medicine may apply the principles of raw food diets or reverting back to the basics of who the animal derives from.  Some vets may use chiropractic medicine to realign their spine in order to create a better energy flow.

Seeking Alternative Methods

Acupuncture is a holistic treatment that works well for pet. The procedure is painless and helps an assortment of ailments, especially arthritis.

All holistic veterinary medicine will attempt to personalize their treatments for your specific pet’s needs. You can find a holistic veterinarian by going to the American Holisitic Veterinary Medical Association web page.

More people are seeking alternatives methods for treating their pets including acupuncture, holistic treatments, and herbal medicines for arthritis, cancer and seizures. Holistic treatments don’t come cheap, but can offer alternatives to expensive conventional veterinary care, and may even be less costly over time.

Veterinarians are not sure alternative treatments are the best option. Pet owners need to be aware of some holistic treatments, and perhaps are best used in conjunction with modern veterinary techniques.

Various Forms of Holistic Pet Treatments

(click column header to sort results)
holistic pet treatment  
what it is  
what it may help  
painless needles
gastrointestinal and neurological disorders and pain management
uses natural plants and home remedies
fleas, ticks, anxiety, skin disorders and other issues, first aid kits
offer alternative to prescription medicines
assortment of conditions and ailments
pet nutrition
balanced diet for your pet
overall well being
aligns the spine
more mobility and joint alignment
magnetic therapy
uses the magnetic force in the body to create a balanced system
arthritis and some chronic diseases
reiki and massage
helps relieve pain and promote relaxation
stress, arthritis, increases agility, some chronic conditions

Homemade Pet Food and Pet Nutrients

Holistic approaches are knowing great successes and gaining in popularity. Some issues do not respond well to alternative treatments such as heart and thyroid ailments.

Kidney disease responds well to holistic treatments. This ailment is very common in older pets. It is more common in cats than dogs. It is most often seen in the older pet, but it can affect dogs and cats of all ages. This condition can make your pet susceptible to other complications including high blood pressure, anemia, pancreatitis and other health problems. Pets presenting with kidney disease normally need to have a diet that is high in carbs, and enzymes and Omega 3 fatty acids, but low in phosophorous.

Most of the specialized foods prescribed by veterinarians will meet the needs to fulfill the dietary requirements. The dogs and cats that don’t like the food and refuse to eat it, begin to lose weight. In this case, homemade food is an excellent alternative, combined with commercial food. Mainly, you want your pet to get the nutrients they need. Every pet has health needs that are different and varied. Talk to your vet before you feed them a homemade diet to make sure it will consider the individual nutritional needs of your pet.

Pet Nutrients and Your Dog's Bones and Muscles

An important aspect of a holistic approach involves what the dog is eating. As a puppy grows and turns into an adult dog, the joints can swell and the hips might give way. Orthopedic surgery is sometimes the best option, but sometimes there are gentler, holistic ways.

The first approach is to alter the dog’s diet, and add specific supplements to support improved joint and bone care. The idea is to help the body maximize its ability to work around its vulnerabilities. What you feed your dog has a big effect on the orthopedica problems they may be facing. Big dogs as puppies, often grow too fast for their bones.

If the food you feed your puppy has a lot of protein in it, dogs sometimes grow too rapidly. Bigger dogs need to grow slowly to get more solid bones. You also want to promote and support muscle growth at a steady rate. This is why it is important to buy food designed specifically for puppies. Feeding the proper food at this early stage, may prevent problems when the dog gets older.

Pet Nutrition is the Building Blocks of a Healthy Pet

Overweight dogs may suffer from joint and orthopedic problems from the strain of the extra pounds. Painful joints may also make the dog lethargic and less likely to move. Keep your dog fit and trim, and use joint supplements if needed.

Older dogs may suffer from hip dysplasia, arthritic knees and painful joints. Dogs food for seniors take into account, the nutritional needs of the older dog.

Nutrition is the building blocks that give support to homeostasis and keeping the body in balance. A healthy and balanced diet is the best prevention. Pay attention to what you are feeding your dog to make sure they are gettin good ingredients in their diet.

Pet Supplements

Make sure the food fits the dog. Grains in food for dogs has a negative effect on their bodies, causing inflammation on their joints. Reducing inflammation is key in helping the dog’s body to heal. Some herbs have anti inflammatory properties.  Check with your veterinarian before you give your pet anything.

Glucosomine Chondroitin, and MSM are beneficial in helping to keep your pet’s joints healthy. Glucosomine and chondroitin tend to be safer alternatives than steroids and anti inflammatory medications. Green tea extract and grapeseed oil are thought to have healing properties in tissues. But again, it is very important to check with your vet to make sure your dog is getting what it needs and there are no detrimental side effects.

Holistic and Conventional Veterinary Care Work Well Together

The main idea is to be aware there are alternatives to prescriptions and surgeries sometimes.  Holistic treatments involve conventional veterinary care with a natural and balanced lifestyle.

  • Get your pet moving. Make sure they get regular exercise. When you walk your dog, it is good for you too.
  • You don’t have to feed your dogs and cats the most expensive food. Pet nutrition is an important part of your dog and cat’s care. Be cognizant of giving your pets a nutritious and balanced diet.
  • Be an advocate for their good health and overall well being.

  • Holistic treatments like acupuncture are often used as supportive, alternative or backup approaches to pet care.

  • Remember to take care of your pets teeth

  • Keep them flea and tick free

  • Love your dog, everyday, all the time. Tell them this, show them this.

A Holistic Approach is a Well Rounded Approach

Complementary Therapy doesn’t try to replace conventional veterinary care. Ideally, it is a combination of the best of all treatments. Holistic pet care integrates natural, alternative and homeopathic ideas with modern veterinary science. Many holistic therapies are gentler and less toxic, and lower cost over the long term than the medications and treatments that are sometimes used.

Holistic approaches can give your pets a more rounded out approach to treating conditions they have. There are many choices in treating your pet. It is a personal decision on your part. Educating yourself on pet nutrients, available medical treatments, and knowing your pets like no one else does will help keep your pet happy and healthy. Knowing all your options is a good thing to do to give your pets the best care.

Do You Believe in a form of Holistic Pet Care?

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    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Yes I agree. It seems like everyone all the way around needs more education and shared common ground. There are extremes with individuals who don't trust what veterinary science knows, and extremes with vets who trust too much in the pharmaceutical industry. The same is even more true with medical doctors, at least this applies for the U.S., which is all I can speak for.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Thanks. Holistic medicine can help a lot of dogs but most conventional vets claim holistic medicine is all about crystal therapy and homeopathy. It is a constant battle.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Hi Dr. Mark, Thanks for commenting. I was trying to discuss more about alternative treatments, and vitamins that make up holistic care not necessarily the medications that are homeopathic. I appreciate you adding your knowledge to my hub. It always helps.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      I agree with most of this but have a problem with "what it is" concerning homeopathy. Actually, what is it? Homeopathic medicines are not herbal, which is what the definition implies. Homeopathic meds are diluted so much that the primary molecule, the medication that is supposed to be fighting the disease, is no longer present.

      Homeopathic meds are safe--they are just water. Thy might have some effect as placebos. Medically they have no effect.

    • Paulart profile image

      Paulart 6 years ago from 2510 Warren Avenue Cheyenne,Wyoming 82001

      I am glad to read this information. Thanks for sharing.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Fay, I think it is very important to consider holistic approaches in all aspects of things we need to consider. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for the up votes.

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for this. I'm all for holistic approaches to health.

      up/useful,awesome and bookmarked

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Thanks CHS for your nice comments. I am glad you found this helpful.

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 6 years ago from Ireland

      Such a well thought out hub and I particularly like the comparitive chart - it makes for great clarity of the different approaches.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Tom, What is good enough for people, is usually good enough for our dogs. Thanks for the up votes. I am glad you stopped by and added your comments.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Pdog, you look well taken care of, they probably know this already. If not, you can tell him through your psychic abilities.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi toknowinfo, thanks for all this great information i was not aware that there was so many homeopathic treatments available for pets. Very interesting read !

      Awesome and vote up !!!

    • profile image 6 years ago

      As a dog, I have to say I hope my owner reads this(LOL)

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Kath, I am glad you found this article helpful Your blog sounds interesting.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      So helpful! I didn't know there was so much available for pets! I am starting a blog about animal rescues, fostering, adoption, etc. this may be a really good resource. Thanks for sharing!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Simone, you would be surprised at what is available for dogs, it virtually is the same as what is for people. After all, they are part of our family.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Ang, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. So did you ever see that roadrunner at your yard sale get a massage?

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, I had no idea that so many homeopathic treatments were available to pets. Very interesting!

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      Great hub with lots of useful information. Holistic pet care is definitely the more sensible way to keep the pet in good health. I love your chart on the various types of holistic treatment. Rated up--useful, awesome and beautiful.