By Josh Hall
Holistic philosophies in health care, the environment and spirituality is a concept you may be hearing more and more of and if you’ve ever wondered what it means exactly, it’s not as complicated as you may think. Holistic philosophy is a philosophy that is concerned with the wholeness of a system, it is a belief that components of a Whole are interconnected and that anything affecting a part of the whole will affect the rest of the Whole. It is basically a belief that everything in a system works together and nothing is separate.
Holistic approaches to preventative pet care are becoming very popular among pet owners and even the scientific community has begun to embrace the concept. Many conventional veterinary practices are becoming more open to utilizing holistic approaches to help cure their patients. Some veterinary practices are even offering alternative treatments and working with chiropractors, nutritionists, acupuncturists, herbalists, massage therapists and ayurdvedic practitioners to satisfy their clientele’s demand for healthy and safe medical alternatives for their pets. Because prevention is always better than the cure (and considerably cheaper), more and more pet owners have been looking into alternative ways of maintaining their pet’s health and quality of life.
One of the most important aspects of holistic pet care is nutrition. Providing your pet with a healthy and nutritious diet is one of the best ways of preventing disease and health problems. Avoiding hard to digest items in poorly designed pet food is crucial if you want to build your pet’s health and boost his immune system.
The intestinal tracts of pets aren’t designed to handle toxic buildups resulting from chemical and bacterial substances. Feeding your pet a nutritionally poor diet or one that is full of preservatives and chemicals will result in chronic illnesses and health problems further down the line. Harmful substances collect and buildup in your pet’s kidneys and liver and fester there until they affect every other organ in the dog’s system.
Another important part of holistic medicine is emotional stress. Dogs are vulnerable to stress just like us and lowering their levels of emotional stress helps them both physically as well as mentally.
Many professional dog trainers have started using holistic approaches in their training methods and when assessing a dog, they will examine the animal’s diet. There have been many instances when formerly aggressive dogs were made calmer and more manageable simply by improving their diet. Toxins in food can result in dramatic behavioral problems and offering dogs a balanced and nutritious diet can make a big difference in a dog’s temperament.
The nervous system plays a major role in the well being of the Whole and acupuncture, acupressure as and massage have been used for centuries to cure many chronic and debilitating conditions. These alternative therapies have been gaining a lot of traction among pet owners despite the fact that there is no scientific explanation available about why these therapies seem to work so successfully.
Small rodents to zoo animals have made seemingly miraculous recoveries after being treated holistically and veterinarians have become more curious and interested in exploring these therapies in their practices. An increasing number of formerly skeptic veterinarians are becoming open to the idea of holistic care especially since holistic approaches don’t involve any negative side effects.
Chiropractic therapy, acupressure, acupuncture and massage have become very popular forms of treatment among sport dog owners as these treatments have been shown to protect athletic dogs from injuries. These alternative approaches also serve to fine tune a dog’s nervous system allowing him to perform more efficiently.
Aromatherapy has also been used in treating animals with some success. As animals very sensitive olfactory senses, this makes a lot of sense.
An appropriate exercise program is an integral part of holistic pet care and your dog’s health.
Last but definitely not least is the fact that when our dogs are unwell we stress and worry, so keeping your dog healthy and happy will help you be healthy and happy as well!