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What is Holistic Medicine for Pets?

Keeping Your Pets Healthy, Naturally

We all want what’s best for our pets. Holistic medicine for pets opens up possibilities that may not be available with traditional medicine. However, there are things to consider.

holistic medicine for pets

Holistic care is based on using a body’s own natural healing powers to help the body heal itself. The four main therapies used to do so are:

  • Acupuncture: The insertion of needles at specific body points in an effort to restore the flow of energy to the body.
  • Chiropractic: The manipulation of the vertebrae to correct alignment.
  • Homeopathic: A system for treating disease based on the administration of minute doses of a drug that in massive amounts produces symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those of the disease itself. 
  • Herbal Medicine: The use of specific herbs and plants for medicinal purposes. 

Did you know that “holistic” medicine is a term used to encompass all of the different medical modalities? Above all, it means that it offers more opportunities to stay healthy.

Many of us have heard of or used Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Herbs, Homeopathy, and Nutritional Supplements. However, most people do not considered “holistic” medicine or these modalities to treat their pets.  The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Board) does not currently recognize all modalities as effective. This does not imply that holistic modalities are not effective. They are, however, best used in conjunction with regular Western veterinary medicine.

Holistic Plus Traditional Medicine

Holistic medicine is not all or nothing. Your pets can also benefit from eating healthier foods and finding traditional medical care when needed. Medical care can be with a traditional veterinarian or one specializing in holistic medicine. For example, use acupuncture to relieve pain and strengthen the body’s immune system. Herbal medicines can enhance nutrition and improve body synergy. Lastly, homeopathy can treat the deepest innate causes of your pet’s diseases.

When holistic medicine modalities are used in conjunction with Western medicine modalities, all of these “tools” create a more complete approach to treating your pet. A trained veterinarian may more fully serve the pet and owner with this type of approach. For instance, acupuncture by itself is only one part of holistic medicine. It is one branch and one theory of medicine. Consider using one tool to treat a pet in conjunction with other traditional methods.

Which Modality is Best?

No one modality is best. As a result, sometimes you need to use multiple tools to be most effective.   And, sometimes using one at a time will identify which your pet responds to best.

Why Choose Holistic Veterinary Care?

While most Western medical approaches may work for infectious diseases, holistic medicine uses preventative measures by treating the whole body. Holistic veterinary care is much more effective when treating chronic illnesses. These diseases may include heart disease, obesity, allergies, digestive problems, joint pain, emotional imbalances, cancer support and more. Traditional Western medicine is also helpful for these issues.  

For emergency situations requiring surgery, for example, Western medicine will save a pet’s life. In addition, holistic veterinarians will integrate typical diagnostic methods in their care regimen such as X-rays and laboratory tests.

What to Look For in a Holistic Practitioner?

A good holistic practitioner must have a thorough working knowledge of traditional medicine. They will also have certifications for each modality and demonstrate a thorough understanding of each. They must be able to work with your existing traditional veterinarian to maximize your pet’s ability to heal. Similarly, a holistic veterinarian must welcome the traditional expertise and integrate with them to optimize your pet’s ability to heal.  To clarify, a fully trained “holistic” Veterinarian will offer:

  • Acupuncture
  • Herbs
  • Homeopathy
  • Nutritional Supplements
  • Chiropractic
  • Western or Allopathic
  • Ayurvedic
  • Massage
  • Physical Therapy
  • Aromatherapy

Is Holistic Medicine for Pets Expensive?

Traditional medical treatments can be expensive for your pet. However, some holistic approaches offer less expensive and equally effective results. Herbs and nutritional supplements do not have patents. Therefore, the holistic veterinarian will be able to offer a wider array of remedies. This can make a significant difference, especially in chronic illness cases.

Find Out More About Holistic Medicine

If this has piqued your interest, pet owners can conduct a free search for holistic veterinarians by state or specialty at the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association’s website. As always, consult your veterinarian before trying any new treatments on your pets.

For More Information

If you have questions about this topic or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC House & Pet Sitting. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com. View more of our articles on pets here.