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Common Holistic Vet Procedures

Holistic and alternative medicine are used by about a third of Americans. Most people use non-traditional approaches to complement traditional Western practices. Whether it's dietary changes, herbal supplements, or acupuncture, there are all sorts of holistic treatments that we humans use to boost our health, to reduce stress, or to minimize the impact of health conditions.

Have you ever thought if this type of holistic care may also benefit your pet? Holistic veterinarian services are another option that can be used to treat an ailment that your pet is facing. Herbal remedies, dietary changes, and other treatments can ward off common illnesses and keep your pet healthy for years to come.

Cat getting holistic vetrinary services

Benefits of Holistic Medicine for Pets

Holistic procedures are beneficial in that they offer preventative care. Holistic treatment targets the underlying cause of health issues versus just treating the symptoms. A focus on whole health ensures that your pet stays healthy for years to come.

Another benefit of holistic veterinary medicine is the variety of treatment options. Your pet's health can be significantly improved with common procedures, including massage, nutrition changes, herbal remedies, and even acupuncture.

Most importantly, holistic medicine is natural. You don’t have to worry about the side effects of a prescribed drug or having to pick between two not-so-great treatment options. With holistic procedures, side effects are rare, which means less time recovering and more time chasing balls or playing with a toy mouse.

Nutrition

We all know that a better diet improves overall health, eases symptoms of chronic diseases, and reduces inflammation. Adjusting your pet’s diet may have a huge impact on his health. Dogs and cats are both carnivores which mean that a high-protein diet is best. These days, most food, especially dry kibble, is loaded with carbohydrates and nutrition-lacking fillers, neither of which fit nicely into a healthy diet. Take a look at the ingredients in your pet’s food.

If you spot ingredients such as soy, wheat, or corn, consider switching to a different brand. Dietary changes can minimize arthritis pain in a senior dog or alleviate dry skin in your feisty kitten.

An unbalanced diet is a leading cause of obesity in dogs. In fact, dog obesity has been a nationwide epidemic. More than 50% of dogs in the U.S. are obese. Obesity can lead to other heart issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and even certain forms of cancer. A low-quality diet has also been linked to pancreatitis, heart disease, and bladder stones. If your pet is overweight, a dietary change is a wise first step toward improved health.

Herbal Remedies

For centuries, herbs have been used to treat all sorts of ailments. Maybe you’ve drunk peppermint tea to relieve an upset stomach or taken cranberry to ward off bladder and urinary tract infections. Just as these herbs boost our overall health, there are herbs that are beneficial for your pet.

While you can pick up herbs online or at a local health store, it’s best to work with a veterinarian that’s experienced in Chinese medicine for pets. Giving an herbal formula to your pet without clearance from a vet can cause adverse effects. Schedule an appointment and discuss your pet’s head needs so that a safe and effective herbal formula can be created.

Acupuncture with Dog

Acupuncture

For thousands of years, acupuncture has been an impactful alternative treatment for a host of health conditions. Acupuncture involves the use of thin needles that are inserted into specific points in the body. The carefully placed needles can help with pain and pressure relief. In pets, acupuncture can be beneficial in treating a variety of health issues, including:

  • Limping
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle spasms
  • Back pain

Acupuncture can also be used to treat liver and kidney disease, as well as diabetes and seizures. If you’re looking to help your animal experience relief from pain or a health condition, acupuncture is a non-invasive and effective option. A qualified veterinarian in Fort Collins can determine if acupuncture is a treatment option for your pet.

Massage Therapy

You’ve seen how happy your pet gets when being pet or scratched; imagine how he will feel after a soothing massage. Pet massage, especially for canines, has become quite popular in the last few years. Massage therapy is effective in reducing swelling, improving blood flow and reducing anxiety in pets. The experience is therapeutic and calming and will leave your pet feeling brand new. While you could learn massage therapy techniques at home, it’s best to work with a professional who’s experienced in animal massage.

Chiropractic Treatments

Chiropractic treatment focuses on adjusting the spine and other parts of the body into a more proper alignment. This can help with pain relief, especially in the neck and back. If your pet suffers from back or neck problems, chiropractic treatments may be beneficial. With pets, the force used is much less aggressive. Instead, the procedure is extremely gentle and aims to fix the spine's alignment.

Cat with family getting veterinary services

Aromatherapy

When it comes to pets, the nose knows. A dog's sense of smell is a thousand times more sensitive to olfactory sense in humans. In fact, dogs have 220 million olfactory receptors, while cats have around 10 million receptors. Because pets have highly sensitive noses, aromatherapy is an effective way to relieve stress and promote a calming environment.

Scent changes how the brain functions and, in turn, how your pet feels. A scent can make your pet feel anxious, fearful, or discomforted. Safe essential oils that can be used for both dogs and cats include lavender, frankincense, spearmint, fennel, and cardamom. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before using any type of aromatherapy. Overexposure to certain scents such as eucalyptus, orange, and lemon can do more harm than good since they are poisonous to cats.

Homeopathy

Similar to traditional medicine, homeopathy focuses on teaching the immune system to recognize and defend against harmful bacteria and viruses. This system of medicine is based on the ideas that the body heals itself, symptoms must be accounted for when determining the best treatment, and that balanced energy is a must to achieve optimal pet wellness. Common forms of homeopathic treatment include natural diets, herbs, and other procedures to restore your pet back to a balanced state.

Couple with their Dog Exercising

Veterinary Services to Keep Your Pet Healthy

At Advanced Animal Care of Colorado, we use a combination of Western and holistic treatments to ensure that your pet gets the best care possible. No matter if you need to schedule a routine checkup for your pet or if you need more advanced care, our animal hospital in Fort Collins is here to help. We provide a variety of services, including dentistry, surgery, rehabilitation, and even Chinese herbal medicine.
Contact our office today at 970-493-3333. We look forward to meeting you and your furry family member!

Sources

1. http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/11/health/feat-alternative-medicine-study/index.html
2. https://petobesityprevention.org/news/petobesityinformation
3. https://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/U/UNP-0066/UNP-0066.pdf
4. https://www.snopes.com/are-essential-oils-poisonous-to-cats/

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