Whenever you hear the term ‘holistic’, you will think of alternative medicine. This will instantly bring to mind terms like herbal remedies and acupuncture only. It is nothing but a misconception as there’s more to holistic care than just acupuncture and herbal remedies. It combines different alternative and traditional therapies to treat sick dogs into one approach with the focus on all that are important.
There are some people who confuse holistic dog health with homeopathic dog health. Homeopathic remedies are about stimulating the natural healing response of the body by using minerals, plants and animal substances combined with natural treatments.
If you’re someone who has been thinking of treating your pet in a holistic manner, he should be prescribed an herbal remedy or some kind of prescription drug. He might get massage therapy or require lab work done. In layman’s terms, holistic dog health looks for the healthiest and best ways of treating a dog without thinking of being on the alternative or traditional side of the fence.
The Evidence-Based Guide to Holistic Dog Care
Is there a striking similarity between organic, holistic, alternative, natural and healthy approaches? No there aren’t though all these terminologies can get confusing for the pet owners who are extremely concerned about their pets. They are all left wondering about which is the best approach for your dog.
NATURAL DOG FOODS AND DOG TREATS
When it comes to the ‘natural approach’, it refers to treating and feeding dogs with components and ingredients that come from natural sources and that have no artificial additives.
With regards to dog food, the FDA still didn’t put a clear definition on what natural foods for dogs are but they allow the label to read ‘natural’ if it doesn’t comprise of any artificial flavors, added color or synthetic substances.
After too many controversies from the pet food industry, more and more pet food companies are focusing on manufacturing natural dog treats and dog foods by reducing the use of additives and increasing the good quality ingredients.
ORGANIC DOG TREATS AND FOODS
Organic dog supplies and pet foods are regulated by the government and hence they’re pretty easy to locate. Products that bear the organic seal of USDA are made out of ingredients that are 95%organic. You have to understand the fact that organic has nothing to do with veterinary treatment of dogs and this is only applicable in cases of treats and foods.
No matter what, only having the ‘Organic’ label on pet foods doesn’t guarantee that it is the best food for your pet but it is definitely an indication of a good quality product. You can always check the top USDA certified dog foods or the best organic dog treats from their official website.
ALTERNATIVE HEALTHCARE FOR DOGS
The alternative dog health care approaches are different from the conventional drug-based techniques. For instance, alternative vet medicine can include homeopathic therapy, acupuncture and several other unconventional ways of treating dogs. The organic approach has got no relation with treatments and alternative healthcare for dogs has no relation with dog treats and dog foods.
For the longest time, alternative medicine for pet dogs has been a controversial topic as scientists totally disagree with this methodology. Scientists always speak against homeopathic treatment, acupuncture and other aforementioned medicines.
There are many studies that show alternative medicine to be inappropriate but there is evidence that few alternative methods may work, like acupuncture. So, it entirely depends on you what you wish to believe and what you don’t.
HOLISTIC PRACTICES THAT MAY BENEFIT YOUR DOG
If you have ever had a massage, you could vouch its calming and healing properties. The benefits of dog massages go beyond relaxing the sore muscles. Massages improve oxygenation, blood flow, cure strains, sprains and reduces pain and stress among dogs. In fact, there are some experts who even believe that a pro massage can strengthen the immune system, help in digestion and in the elimination of toxins.
Chiropractic Treatment for Dogs
Chiropractors usually manipulate the spine along with other bones in different parts of the body to cure muscular, joint and skeletal issues. Veterinary chiropractic is a gentle procedure as extremely low force is utilized for making adjustments to relieve pain and diminishing agility without the help of medicines. However, it is vital to get in touch with your vet before starting any such care.
This is an ancient Chinese therapy that has been here for more than 5000 years. It comprise of the insertion of thin needles within the body where blood vessels and nerves come together at the exact points of acupuncture. The main goal of acupuncture is the motivate the body to heal by rectifying the energy imbalances of the body. If you choose to move this way, you will come across several benefits for your dog like anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties. Acupuncture also reduces anxiety, stress and enhanced blood circulation.
Just as acupuncture, acupressure is also based on conventional Chinese medicine (TCM) and it can be helpful in treating anxiety, injuries and in improving general health and well-being. As per TCM, by using acupressure points, you can rejuvenate the balance of blood flow along with other substances to help the body in healing. This is a non-invasive and gentle practice for healing injuries and calming down a stressed dog.
One more tool in the realm of holistic treatment is aromatherapy. Did you ever fall asleep with the help of lavender essential oils or from the scent of a candle? If yes, you’d know the calming impact of aromatherapy. Given the heightened sense of smell of a dog, calming scents can be immensely useful for a dog. Scent is of utmost importance in the life of an animal and it can alter the way their brain function.
Therefore, if you’re thinking of offering your dog a holistic treatment, make sure you choose any of the above mentioned options. However, do so, only after you’ve done a complete research of the pros and cons of the same.