Since the focus of this website is on health here is a brief introduction to the subject. Animals being far more open and uninhibited than most human beings respond extremely well to all forms of alternative therapies. Many people are not aware that holistic treatment for animals is available, and is indeed an area of great potential. Animals that are treated holistically tend to look better, have more energy, have sleek coats and have wonderful muscle tone as well and suffering from less diseases.
The first area is correct diet which is covered in another article on this website. A good healthy natural organic diet will go a long way to making your pet much more healthy without even making a trip to the veterinarian. Exercise is also important. Dogs need to be walked regularly and to run free or swim allows them to keep their bodies in top condition, as well as helping their human friends to become more healthy at the same time! Cats benefit from a scratching post and can be played with to encourage them to exercise. Garfield can indeed become sleek and healthy when weaned off lasagna and made to exercise!
I do not recommend declawing as this is extremely painful, and can have long-lasting traumatic effects. Cats are such beautiful animals and left in their natural state are much healthier and happier. If a cat cannot go outdoors then try and provide some way they can play and toys they can enjoy. Another cat as a companion often works wonders to spice up the life and activity of a couch potato cat. Try to decrease the use of all chemicals in on and around your pet. Both you and the animal will benefit. There are effective organic and natural alternatives to harsh chemicals in most cases.
Fleas can be controlled by citrus extract shampoos, essential oils, and the use of brewer’s yeast and garlic pills. The flea population in the environment can be reduced by using diatomaceous earth, boric acid com pounds and freeze dried nematode worms that safely and effectively eat the developing fleas. Natural wormers using herbal compounds are available, although heartworms are still a problem in endemic area’s and may necessitate the use of a monthly preventative. However, homeopathic nosodes are available as an alternative to both heartworm prevention and regular vaccinations, although rabies vaccination is required by law. Homeopathic remedies can be used to minimize any side effects, or to correct any that develop subsequent to vaccination.
As far as treatment goes, many safe and varied therapies are available for animals, and you can find a holistic veterinarian in your area by contacting the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. Acupuncture works wonderfully on animals suffering from chronic pain, or crippled with arthritis. It also can help with longevity in pets and people and this includes an increase in both the quality and quantity of life. It is a joy to see a geriatric animal frolicking about just because they feel good. Acupuncture often works where western medicine has given up, and is both deeper acting and gentle on the body.
Homeopathy is another modality that can help keep our animal companions in optimum health. If used well it can increase the level of health and give rise to a vital and active animal. It is a form of vibrational medicine that really stimulates the body to heal itself by acting as trigger to the vital force, or innate energy of the body. It works extremely well in acute situations and everyone should have a bottle of Amica available for any traumatic injuries that happen, in both pets and people! It can be safely given on the way to the doctor and can help save a shocked and injured animal. A small homeopathic first aid kit can be kept at home for emergencies or minor first aid.
Homeopathy treats the animal as a whole not by just supressing symptoms, which
western medicine tends to do. Even though it homeopathy may sometimes be slower than a quick fix antibiotic or cortisone shot the animal is so much stronger after the treatment it is well worth using. Another treatment that works well on behavioral and emotional problems are Flower Essences, very refined and diluted extracts of flowers that work on the energy of the body. They can help modify behavior and correct problems such as fear, aggression or any inappropriate response.
Rescue Remedy is another must for the first aid kit, and is used in any time of stress or shock and will resuscitate and calm animals very effectively indeed. It can be used on the way to the vet to calm a nervous animal and even given in the waiting room. It can be used before and after surgery to help in recovery and decrease stress than can delay healing. It is well worth keeping in any household. So, there are many modalities that help animals to become much healthier and stronger and others include chiropractic, reiki, tellington touch, glandular therapy, and even animal communication that certain people do to find out what is going on with your pet and what can be done to help.
Start maybe with a little dietary modification, then exercise, try to reduce chemicals and see what a difference this makes before you even begin treatment! Good luck and don’t forget to have fun with your pets!
Dr. Anna Maria Wolf is a holistic veterinarian, based in Washington State, and practices acupuncture and homeopathy, herbology and other holistic modalities. She lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her teenager and a lot of rescue animals including one dog, six cats, four goats, guinea-pigs, two cockatoos, a donkey, a horse, a flock of chickens, geese and a dozen rescue ducks and several reptiles.