If only there was a way to make our dogs’ lives infinite, I bet we’d all be lining up right now to discover how to do it. Many of the medical and health options available to our dogs these days are less natural and more synthetic.
But there are other options for treating your dog’s health issues.
We all enjoy and benefit from alternative therapies, herbal medicines, and doses of vitamins, right? It’s about time you get informed about these health care alternatives for your dog as well.
We talk about the advantages of different holistic treatments, give you our pro tips, and recommend some products that can help you boost your best friend’s overall welfare and happiness.
What Is Holistic Medicine For Dogs?
Before we get into our tips and advice, let’s first define what holistic medicine is. It is a type of health care that takes an overall perspective of your dog’s health and lifestyle by using a combination of alternative and traditional forms of treatment.
It specifically aims to encourage altering your dog’s lifestyle and diet habits in order to avoid any illnesses or diseases.
Natural and alternative treatments are known to be helpful not only in preventing health issues but also in treating any side effects and complications that arise from existing health conditions.
For example, choosing a more natural diet for your dog is advantageous since they will have a reduced intake of preservatives and unnecessary chemicals which can be found in processed food, and an increased intake of healthy food full of beneficial nutrients.
The main goal of holistic medicine is to provide a purer, more natural alternative treatment where your dog is less likely to be affected by dangerous side effects or more health difficulties.
A holistic practitioner will look at all aspects of your dog’s life, including medical history, genetics, environment, stress levels, nutrition, and family dynamic. They will treat the physical, mental, and emotional health of your dog.
Some of the most common and successful treatment methods in holistic medicine include physical therapy, traditional herbal medicine, natural supplements, minerals, and vitamins.
These methods can also be paired with reducing toxins in your dog’s environment and getting your dog physically fit, leading to better health and wellness for your pup.
How Can Holistic Medicine Help Your Dogs?
Holistic medicine offers a number of helpful ways to make your dog’s life healthier and happier. It provides a balanced approach to their health and wellness that helps prevent illnesses as much as treating them.
Holistic medicine can help your dog:
- Improve their immune system giving them a better chance at fighting off disease.
- Reduce the side effects of medications for dogs with cancer and other illnesses.
- Relive pain in joints and muscles that could be from injury, arthritis, or aging.
- Promote healing for rehabilitation from injury or surgery.
- Treatment for health conditions like cancer and diabetes.
Holistic medicine can also help to change the behavior of your dog. Research shows that some alternative treatments can help them relax and reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, or fear.
Treating your dog with holistic medicine can provide them with positive physical, mental, and even emotional improvements over time.
If you are looking for a practitioner in your area you can find a holistic veterinarian here.
Holistic Treatments for Dogs
Here’s our guide to the various holistic medicine treatments for your dog’s health.
This 2000-year old healing method has always been popular as a way to relieve pain. It originated in China and is now used as a health treatment to benefit of our furry friends. It is more than just a pain reliever though.
Acupuncture heightens the performance of a dog’s immune system and the functioning of their organs.
As for the process, it includes the inserting of special needles into specific points on your dog’s body. The needles help the body’s energy become harmonized and more in balance and help to release endorphins which are hormones that promote feelings of happiness.
It doesn’t hurt your pet and they will only feel a tingling sensation once needles are inserted. A professional is needed if you wish to treat your dog with this method.
Depending on your dog’s illness and your treatment goals, it usually just takes around eight treatments for it to be effective. It costs around $25-$100 per session and lasts 15 minutes to an hour.
Overall, acupuncture is considered to be a safe therapy and is highly-recommended for dogs that are experiencing joint problems, digestive problems, respiratory problems, and more.
Take a look at this video for more on acupuncture for dogs:
Chiropractic is a treatment that involves manipulating a dog’s vertebral column along with its nerves to help realign the nervous system. This allows your dog’s body to focus its natural ability to heal from injury and illness.
It’s particularly beneficial for dogs since it doesn’t include risky surgeries or drugs that may have harmful side effects.
Chiropractic care helps to restore and strengthen their nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems. Chiropractic therapies can be effective in reducing pain especially with older and larger dogs that are more at risk of the degeneration of joint mobility and function that come with age.
According to Randy Kidd, DVM, Ph.D of Whole Dog Journal, chiropractic care is helpful particularly for hypersensitive animals and those who are suffering from chronic diseases. It can help with skin conditions, digestive issues, and pain relief.
When treated, your chiropractic vet will take x-rays to identify your dog’s issues, and then use them to help realign your dog’s health systems with the appropriate method.
Herbal and Floral Treatments for Dogs
Herbal medicine is the use of herbs, plants, and flowers to aid your dog in treating and preventing health conditions. It can be useful in helping with digestive problems, skin problems, bladder and kidney issues, and even cancer.
Herbal treatments can come in the form of tablets or a liquid. Herbalists believe that fresh herbs have the most effective antioxidants and produce complex properties of nutrients and vitamins for healing.
For flower remedies, the flower essences are known to reduce stress and anxiety and bring calmness to your dogs. This is helpful with certain illnesses as stress and anxiety can cause and heighten health problems.
Herbal treatments are useful for dogs that have experienced some kind of trauma or anxiety. They are also great for boosting their immune system and help prevent disease. Some of the most effective herbs and flower used by experts include aloe vera, chamomile, garlic, green tea, and black walnut.
You can find a number of natural herbal treatments for dogs from sprays for allergic itchy skin, treatments for kidney support and urinary tract problems, and the Bach Rescue Remedy for stress relief for dogs.
As easy as it seems, you are still advised to book a check-up with your vet to prevent allergic reactions, overdose, and improper intake of these herbal medicines.
Herbal medicines are also known to be a cheaper alternative since you can often make them in your home, and they are more affordable compared to prescribed medications.
A dog’s sense of smell is excellent, which makes aromatherapy treatment a good method to use. Essential oils are known to relax and calm a dog, ease their pain from illnesses, and help to reduce nausea.
Aromatherapy involves the use of various essential oils as a scent, by ingestion, or by directly applying them to your dog’s skin. You can burn scented candles or use oils in a diffuser.
Be sure to put these out of your dog’s reach though so they don’t get knocked over. You can also make or buy rubs and salves for applying directly on your dog. Here are a few oils that can be useful for treating dogs.
- Lavender is a good oil for relaxation and calming. It is also soothing for skin conditions. Try this lavender spray.
- Peppermint is good for circulation, allergies, and arthritis.
- Thyme is good for infections and pain relief.
- Roman Chamomile is good for soothing the nervous system and relieving muscle pain.
Overall, aromatherapy is an effective alternative treatment for your dog’s pains and illnesses. Just make sure you check with your vet before administering any of these treatments. For more information on this we recommend this book on Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals.
Letting your dog have fun playing in water is actually beneficial for them. Who knew? Hydrotherapy uses water to help treat your dog. Water provides both buoyancy and resistance which is ideal for physical therapy activities for dogs with injuries, pain, or mobility issues.
Hydrotherapy is a great treatment for rehabilitation from injury and surgery. It’s a way for your dog to get exercise and helps to strengthen their respiratory system and whole body. This aquatic therapy is helpful for dogs who suffer from obesity, muscle disorders, joint problems, and a weak immune system. It can help dogs recover more quickly from injuries as well.
An underwater treadmill, for example, allows for buoyancy and resistance making exercise easier for dogs with injuries or mobility problems.
If you want to save some money and want to DIY it, you can set up a hydrotherapy pool at home. It can be cost-effective, advantageous, and easy to perform.
Magnetic Field Therapy
Magnetic therapy is a lesser-known alternative as a treatment for dogs. It involves the use of magnets to aid the natural magnetic fields around your dog’s body. It is a non-invasive treatment that can benefit your dog’s health in a number of ways.
It can improve healing from injuries and treat health conditions like tendonitis, arthritis, hip dysplasia, vertebral disease, and other musculoskeletal or neurologic health conditions.
The treatment boosts circulation and hastens the healing process. It helps to increase energy and provides relief from pain for dogs suffering from injury or arthritis.
It can be difficult to tell when your dog is in pain. That is why massage therapy has boomed with its amazing benefits for dogs. Massage therapy for dogs helps to reduce stress, minimizes pain, and reduces inflammation. This is a great therapy for aging dogs who are suffering from mobility and joint pain.
You can opt for professional canine massage therapists or you can also get your own helpful tools such as this infrared dog massager. Just make sure that you don’t experiment with hard pressure types of massage on your dog to prevent injury and muscle problems.
You can take a look at our article on How to Massage Your Dog for more detailed information.
If you are looking for a great resource on natural health for your dog you can try this book on how to Heal Your Dog Naturally.
Our dogs depend on us to keep them healthy and happy. The more you know about holistic medicine as a way to complement your dog’s health and wellness all the better it will be for your dog. Always speak to your vet for expert advice before trying any treatment for your dog. Not all holistic treatments will be suitable or successful for your dog but some of them may just improve your dog’s life.
For more on your dog’s health see our article on The Best Pain Relief for Dogs.