The overall health of your family is very important to you, so naturally, you choose the best care to ensure everyone’s health and happiness — this includes your pets.

Similar to how you select health care for your family, selecting the type of care for your pet is an important, personal choice, that may or may not reflect your own form of health care. However, when traditional or conventional care can no longer help your pet with particular ailments, you might consider looking into holistic pet care as an alternative method for a pet’s overall health treatments.

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Maybe your pet does not respond well to conventional veterinary medicine and you want to find an alternative form of veterinary care for them. Or, you could be concerned about a pet’s weight and the physical side effects that come with an overweight and sick pet. There is no better time than the present to start looking into holistic pet care and seeing if this health care option would be right for your beloved four-legged companion.

1. What does holistic mean?

Holistic pet care means to take a more “natural” and “common sense” approach to your pet’s health care while taking into account the whole animal, as in the mind, body, and spirit. In this sense, holistic simply means being in tune to your pet’s best interest by being an open minded pet parent and seeing your companion’s capability to heal himself/herself.

2. What does holistic approach treat?

It treats your pet as a “whole!” Instead of trying to treat a specific problem, meaning a single issue, a holistic approach treats the whole pet to hopefully prevent further diseases, illnesses, and physical or mental pains. This is all while treating your pet for their current issue as well. With holistic care, regular vet check ups and testings are typically still recommended when choosing holistic pet care.

3. How does holistic pet care consider health and nutrition?

Since holistic pet care refers to evaluating the whole pet, it pays close attention to diet and food, nutritional supplements, preventive care, exercise, and grooming as well as the whole range of options available for any needed treatment. An evaluation can show what areas of your pet’s life need improving such as by suggesting necessary natural and herbal supplements to improve overall pet health. A holistic approach tends to avoid the use of vaccinations, immunizations, and non-natural medications, unless deemed necessary due to a pet’s age and other factors.

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4. What’s the difference between conventional and holistic veterinary care?

Conventional or traditional veterinary care is what many of us are accustomed to. It allows for vaccinations and medications and will typically look at the single problem instead of tracing back to the source of the problem. For example, if you take your dog into a traditional veterinary clinic to have an eye growth looked at, the vet will look at and evaluate only the growth and the eyes. On the other hand, a holistic vet will look at the growth, then evaluate the whole dog to find out what factors have led up to the growth and what could have contributed to it. A holistic approach is not meant to completely take the place of conventional veterinary care. Instead, the two ways of care can complement each other to best fit the needs of your pet.

The focus of holistic care and natural remedies is to nurture and support an animal’s own healing process, thus helping to prevent the development of disease. Similarly to a holistic healing approach in humans, an animal’s body has the ability to heal itself naturally, but the holistic approach does not completely rule out the need for complementing its healing techniques with conventional medicine when deemed appropriate. With the combination of good nutrition, daily exercise, and proper vet care, your furry companions will live a healthy life right along with you and your family.

Image source: zaimoku_woodpile / Flickr

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