In modern times, many people are seeking more natural alternatives for health. A lot of wellness relates to diet, exercise, and emotional state. While meditating or going for a jog won’t treat an underlying disease, they’re certainly productive tools that improve the way we think and feel.
Holistic medicine is something typically associated with the care of people, but it’s just as valuable in the care of pets. If you want your dog’s wellness being approached from all angles, taking the holistic route only makes sense.
Just keep in mind that there’s a time and place for holistic wellness. It isn’t a substitute for regular trips to the vet or commonsense practices for the care of your dog. Treat holistic medicine as a complementary therapy rather than a primary method of treatment.
What is Holistic Medicine?
Holistic medicine is an approach to healthcare that addresses the overall needs of a person or an animal. Rather than looking at just an illness or injury from a surface level, holistic practices consider the way the entire body works to support overall wellness.
The theory behind holistic medicine is very rational. Holistic medicine is designed to treat the mental, emotional, and physical wellness of a patient simultaneously. Pets and patients need to feel well on all fronts in order to experience true wellness.
How Does Holistic Medicine Differ From Traditional Medicine?
Holistic medicine is not used to treat specific illnesses or injuries. Holistic medicine won’t address or resolve problems like arthritis, cancer, or infections. Traditional medicine is designed to treat or cure these serious ailments.
Traditional medicine involves the use of pharmacological treatments or therapies. Your dog may require prescription medication, diabetic insulin, or antibiotics to manage and/or treat the condition they’re afflicted with.
Holistic Medicine Isn’t a Substitute for Proper Medical Care
If you believe your dog is ill or injured, don’t run right for holistic methods. Your dog needs proper veterinary care. Once your vet has examined your dog and conducted the proper tests, you can enter the phase of formulating a treatment plan.
Oftentimes, holistic medicine can be used in conjunction with traditional medicine to treat your dog while improving their overall wellbeing. The two methods work hand in hand to improve the potential outcome for your dog.
When To Use Holistic Medicine for Your Dog
You don’t have to wait for a medical need to arise in order to incorporate holistic wellness routines into your dog’s life.
You probably have a daily wellness routine you follow for yourself or implement for your family, and that routine serves to keep everyone feeling well. No one needs to be sick in order to benefit from a healthy diet, a little bit of exercise, and the support of vitamins or supplements.
Think of it more as a holistic way of life. Every choice you make for your dogs can benefit their holistic wellbeing.
Supporting Your Dog’s Wellness Holistically
There are many holistic choices you can make for your dog’s wellbeing that you can easily implement today. These choices will help to support your dog’s health. Before instituting holistic changes, speak with your dog’s veterinarian about your plan.
Your vet will help you determine which changes or choices may be most beneficial for your pup. Many veterinarians support holistic changes to improve your pet’s lifestyle, such as ensuring they get regular exercise and outdoors time, or suggesting fresh, whole-food diets. Your vet may even be able to make direct recommendations about specialists to visit or brands of products to use.
Changing Your Dog’s Diet
Switching to higher-quality, refrigerated fresh dog food is easy. It provides your dog with whole, high-quality, balanced nutrition. It’s usually less processed than hard bits of kibble, and it doesn’t contain nearly as many filler ingredients.
A dog’s diet should be slowly and gradually transitioned. Abruptly switching foods, especially if the foods are drastically different nutrient-wise, may cause gastrointestinal upset. Start by taking away a little bit of your dog’s old food and replacing it with new food. Keep gradually transitioning as tolerated by your dog until the old food is gone and the new food takes its place.
You can also ditch dubious dog treats in favor of things like fresh fruits or vegetables that are safe for dogs to consume. When it’s warm outside and you’re enjoying a picnic with your family, you probably love a slice of seedless watermelon. Your dog can enjoy the same snack.
Massage is just as valuable for pets as it is for people. Very active pets, as well as older pets, may benefit from the relaxation and restorative benefits of the occasional massage. Dogs with mobility issues and dogs who are hyperactive may experience strains or soreness in their muscles that they cannot communicate to you. A massage administered by a professional animal masseuse can help to ease their aches and pains.
Aromatherapy for Pets
Aromatherapy successfully works to moderate the moods of people. Your dog’s ability to smell is far superior to yours. This means that dogs may be more susceptible to the benefits of aromatherapy than people since scent is the dominant sense that helps them navigate the world.
That having been said, a dog’s nose is also far more sensitive. Some essential oils may be toxic to dogs, including any citrus oil, peppermint, pine, tea tree, and ylang ylang. Before you start a calming aromatherapy routine with your dog, speak to your vet about the safety of your pet. In most cases, citrus essential oils, mint essential oil, and lavender essential oil are safe for dogs.
Don’t apply the oil directly to your dog anywhere on their body. Instead, use the oils diluted in a diffuser near the place where your pup likes to rest. Make sure the diffuser is in a secure location where your dog can’t knock it down or directly breathe in the vapor from the top of the diffuser.
Spending Time in Nature
Your dog can get stir crazy from being cooped up in the house all day. Dogs need exercise and a change of scenery. Bring your dog with you on your next camping trip or hike. This will provide your dog with an opportunity to get plenty of exercise and live some new experiences. These little adventures are good for your dog’s mental and physical health.
Using CBD Tincture
CBD tincture is a popular holistic supplement that provides similar benefits in people and pets. Your dog’s body is able to utilize CBD just like your body utilizes it. CBD may help your dog feel calm, it can support overall homeostasis, and can work to support joint mobility, regular brain health, and normal gastrointestinal health in animals.
Keeping Your Dog Well
You should always follow the guidance of your veterinarian when creating a wellness plan for your dog. Changes to your dog’s diet or the addition of supplements should be carefully considered. If you believe your dog would benefit from holistic wellness practices, mention it to your veterinarian at your dog’s next appointment.
VETCBD believes that holistic wellness can enhance your dog’s quality of life. Our CBD tincture is specifically formulated for your pet. Our American grown hemp can help to support your dog’s wellness, mobility, and mood. Ask your vet if CBD is right for your dog.
What Is Holistic Health Care, Anyway? | Dignity Health
How to Switch Dog Foods: Transitioning Your Dog's Diet | American Kennel Club
Therapeutic Massage and Your Dog | VCA Animal Hospital
Are Essential Oils Safe for Dogs? There Are Quite a Few Risks Involved | AKC