Pet care is complex. Every pet will have their own unique health and wellness needs, and what might work for one pet might not work for another. Whether you’re in search of a treatment to cure your furry friend’s health ailment or simply want to improve your pet’s health overall, it’s worth looking into holistic care.
Holistic pet care goes beyond just treating physical symptoms of illness and focuses on caring for a pet’s body, mind and spirit. With attention paid to your pet as a whole, you might find that your pet lives a happier, healthier life.
What is holistic pet care?
Holistic medicine is often compared to conventional medicine. Conventional pet care is similar to conventional (or traditional) care in humans. This approach uses pharmacological treatments like medication and surgery to treat pets’ physical symptoms of illness. These treatments are rooted in a vet’s understanding of the body using biochemistry, physiology and anatomy.
Holistic care goes beyond merely treating obvious bodily ailments by focusing on the body, mind and spirit as a whole. Holistic medical practices typically incorporate alternative therapies, natural approaches and lifestyle changes to address or prevent problems. The belief behind holistic care is that each and every part of your pet’s self is connected and influences the others, and that traditional therapies are not the only ways to solve health problems.
Of course, “either/or” is not the best way to think about pet care. Pets might need a combination of conventional and alternative remedies to rectify their health ailments and put them back on the path to total-body wellness. Holistic pet care does not refuse to use conventional/traditional treatments when necessary; rather, it considers them alongside other forms of treatment to nurture the pet’s entire being. Nutrition, acupuncture, massage and aromatherapy are a few approaches holistic veterinarians might recommend in addition to or in lieu of drugs or surgery.
Why choose holistic pet care?
Holistic pet care is capable of providing numerous benefits to your four-legged friends, but the following three are among the most important.
- Treat the source of the problem: One drawback of conventional veterinary medicine is that it tends to focus more on treating the symptoms of an ailment, rather than solving the ailment at its source. Holistic care, on the other hand, aims to discover why a problem is happening in your pet and how it can be prevented in the future, both physically and mentally. For example, a cat experiencing repeated bouts of diarrhea might be given quick remedies to solve the problem in the short term, when what they really need to soothe their irritated colon is a probiotic supplement to balance their gut microbiome and stress reduction in the home to prevent further flare-ups. Or, a dog experiencing itchy skin might be given a medicated anti-itch shampoo to alleviate the symptom; however, a holistic approach would discover that environmental allergies are to blame.
- Avoid over-medication: Not all of our pets’ health problems can be solved with a pill or shot. Over-medication is a growing concern among pet owners, particularly because some drugs come with numerous side effects that could make your pet feel worse. Additionally, some medications are dangerous to give to pets in the long term, making treating chronic conditions more difficult. Holistic pet care helps to safeguard against over-medicating pets by incorporating other forms of therapy into their treatment plans. For example, holistic pet care providers might opt for treatments like massage or acupuncture before prescribing steroids for joint inflammation in arthritic dogs. This can help protect your pet’s long-term health while effectively treating their health problems.
- Improve your pet’s quality of life: As a whole, holistic pet care can provide a much better quality of life to our furry friends. By combining the necessary conventional treatments with effective and safe natural or alternative therapies, in addition to lifestyle changes that prevent ailments, holistic care delivers total-body-and-mind wellness that makes pets feel great. Holistic treatments urge pet parents to consider their pet’s home life, mental health, stress levels, activity and their physical health, since everything works together to make your pet who they are!
As with all forms of pet care, your veterinarian will be the ultimate resource to turn to when considering changes to your pet’s healthcare and lifestyle. Look for a vet who offers holistic or integrative medicine and discuss the plethora of treatment options available to your pet when they’re faced with an injury or illness.