Alternative or dog holistic medicine grows more and more in popularity each day. Many medical practitioners and vets have felt the shortcomings of traditional methods, which has led them to study other treatments.
Pet owners are just as interested in alternative medicine, but many wonder which holistic treatments are the safest and most beneficial for their four-legged friends. So, let’s look at the options and find out why holistic dog care is becoming so popular.
- A Treatment of the Body, Mind & Spirit
- What Is Dog Holistic Medicine?
- What Vets Think About Holistic Medicine
- Where to Find a Holistic Veterinarian
A Treatment of the Body, Mind & Spirit
The holistic approach views the organism as a whole, considering the relationship between organs and body systems. That’s why practitioners consider symptoms as a manifestation of a deeper problem. Holistic dog treatment aims to help your pet overcome the disease by activating the body’s forces without suppressing the symptoms. Also, this method pays attention to the emotional and mental factors.
A holistic veterinarian will evaluate the entire situation when treating the dog. For instance, they’ll consider its diet, social environment, activity, history, temperament, stress, signs of illness, and other individual issues. The holistic vet may treat the dog with a combination of alternative therapies. A good practitioner will also work with other vets or for their client’s well-being.
What Is Dog Holistic Medicine?
Now that you have a better understanding of what holistic veterinarians do, you might wonder about their treatment techniques. They usually vary depending on the practitioner’s training, but let’s explore the main options.
China has been using veterinary acupuncture for over 3,500 years. Today, almost a thousand US vets have adopted the practice, and it’s even been accepted by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The treatment involves inserting tiny needles into furry patients at specific points. It’s believed that they are on the meridians along which Qi (life energy) circulates.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Like acupuncture, herbal medicine is one of the five basic modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM, good health results from harmony between the Yin (passive) and Yang (active) body energies.
Chinese natural herbs for dogs can help with different diseases. While the treatment is usually gentler than medication, it may take longer to see clear results.
Hydrotherapy involves treating various animal injuries with swimming or an underwater treadmill. It’s an excellent solution as injured dogs can still exercise in a weightless environment.
Physical activities in a swimming pool for dogs increase muscle circulation and flexibility while reducing pain associated with movement. Multiple experts point out that this holistic healing for dogs can restore their joint motion after various injuries and surgeries.
Magnetic Field Therapy
Magnetic field therapy has been successful in treating and preventing various human diseases. And its positive effect has also been proven in dogs. Plus, it can even replace medication. Electromagnetic field treatment is beneficial for all types of orthopedic injuries.
Modern hair salons provide a range of pet services, including massage, which is part of holistic healing for dogs. It’s a gentle, non-invasive therapy that can help recovery and relieve pain and stress. A massage is a perfect way to maintain your furry friend’s health and well-being along with regular veterinary visits.
Chiropractic care is a form of alternative medicine for dogs designed to improve joints and spine health without surgery or drugs. As a distinct specialization, chiropractic in veterinary medicine is a relatively new profession that’s becoming very popular. Many dog owners favor this approach as it’s a drug-free alternative for pain relief.
Natural & Healthy Diet
A holistic diet for dogs must include balanced foods. Also, it should provide all the necessary nutrients to balance out health and well-being. It’s usually made up of higher quality organic dog food and very often human-grade ingredients, making it more expensive. But even with the best diet, your pet might still need to take dog probiotics for digestion.
We can consider music as part of integrative veterinary medicine. Since dogs are naturally attuned to sensory cues, sounds can have a calming effect on them.
Music sends sound vibrations that impact brain function and create a response that can cause a wide range of physiological changes. For instance, loud and sudden noises can increase adrenaline, while calm and gentle sounds relax the nervous system.
Aromatherapy, the therapeutic use of essential oils, is among the most popular holistic dog care approaches. It has many benefits for people, so dog owners may want to try it on their pets with health issues. These oils are one of the best ways to calm down a dog, relieve pain, treat insomnia, and improve immune health. If you want to try it, be careful. There are many cases of toxicity in dogs because of inappropriate or synthetic essential oils.
Acupressure is an effective dog holistic medicine technique that can relieve your dog’s stress and promote health and well-being. It’s a therapy where a practitioner stimulates the energy flow throughout the dog’s body. But instead of needles, they apply pressure, herbs, lasers, and heat to specific points. Acupressure is widely used to detox the body, strengthen joints and bones, and boost the natural healing power.
What Vets Think About Holistic Medicine
Most vets don’t recommend holistic dog remedies because there’s no scientific proof that it actually works. But that doesn’t stop alternative medicine from growing in popularity. Also, conventional medicine has adopted plenty of holistic approaches in the last few years.
More than a thousand practitioners consider themselves “holistic”. What’s more, the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine has registered a surge in chiropractic and acupuncture training. The veterinary journal DVM360 also claims that the demand for such manipulations is growing.
Where to Find a Holistic Veterinarian
Choosing a vet is hard, especially if you want to find a holistic one that uses a natural or integrative approach. First, you must decide what type of dog holistic medicine you wish to apply because vets specialize in different techniques.
If you want to find the veterinarian that matches your needs, you can visit one of these organizations:
- American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. The AHVMA started after a group of veterinarians adopted an alternative medicine approach. They hold leading positions in holistic dog care, promoting the veterinary profession through new methods, education, and support of integrative medication.
- American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. The AVCA was founded in 1986 by Dr. Sharon Willoughby. It provides excellent chiropractic dog care as part of the normal health routine and certifies many veterinarians and chiropractors.
- International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. IVAS provides quality veterinary acupuncture as part of holistic dog health. The main goal is to support and develop this approach and related treatments through continuous study and internationally recognized certifications for vets and practitioners.
- American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture. AAVA is an organization formed in 1998. It includes over 300 members and encourages education in Veterinary Acupuncture. The organization establishes guidelines for animal acupuncture as a complementary pain management procedure.
Whenever you choose practitioners, always check if they have a license or certification from the organization that governs the therapy. For example, any vet using the acupuncture technique on your dog in the US should be certified by the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture.
If you’ve already chosen a vet, make a list of questions to ask them at your first meeting that will help you understand their overall approach to pet health.
Holistic treatments are gaining popularity among dog owners. If your furry companion has health issues, ask your veterinarian whether any dog holistic medicine might meet their specific needs.
Many alternative treatments show potential to help, restore, and optimize pet health. That said, always consider the pros and cons of holistic therapy and look at all possible approaches critically.