A holistic approach to health is becoming as popular for our pets as it is for us as owners, but what do we actually mean when we talk about holistic medicine?
Rather than a one-size-fits-all prescription of drugs, a holistic approach to (pet) health considers a number of environmental factors such as nutrition, living conditions, family relationships, and any stressful changes to current conditions, as well as the medical history and illness pattern. A disease can present itself in many different ways and instead of treating each symptom in isolation, a holistic vet will take time to consider all symptoms and changes to the pet to treat the condition as a whole. It is natural and humane, minimally invasive and looks after patient well-being with reduced stress.
Raw feeding is the most natural way to feed our carnivorous pets and so is the starting block for a holistic approach to health. By giving your pet a balanced nutritious raw diet, you are giving them the optimum chance at having a strong immune system. Over time you will learn which protein your pet prefers, but there are superfoods that you can add, such as tripe, which can really boost their overall health. If raw feeding doesn’t suit your lifestyle, then you should opt for a high quality whole prey diet.
In addition to feeding a balanced diet, you can add a variety of natural supplements to assist your pet in maintaining a healthy body. Apple cider vinegar has many benefits including good skin and a shiny coat as well as keeping fleas at bay, diatomaceous earth aids intestinal health and can help prevent worms, golden paste can reduce inflammation, while glucosamine eases the joints of active, elderly or large breed dogs.
Homeopathy in both humans and animals alike is based on the principle of “like cures like” and has been around as natural relief for a number of ailments for centuries. A holistic veterinarian can prescribe a variety of herbs that work individually, or in conjunction with each other, to treat not only your pet’s symptoms, but the underlying root issue. An initial homeopathic consultation can differ from a conventional veterinary visit as they will consider your pet’s character, emotional well-being and environmental conditions, alongside the physical health of the animal.
As well as food and herbal supplements, a holistic approach to health will also include physical therapies, where required, to restore a pet’s well-being. This can range from acupuncture and canine Bowen, McTimoney Chiropractic and canine massage, to hydrotherapy. Many of these treatments can be used to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as restoring the joints and ligaments back to health. They may be prescribed as a one-off course or an on-going treatment depending on your pet’s condition.