Surprisingly, there are many people who are seriously committed to green living, holistic healthcare and the organic lifestyle, but who haven’t really considered the application of these philosophies to the care of their pets.
Lots of pet owners fall back on traditional veterinarians and chemical treatments for their furry friends, despite the fact that they’ve long abandoned these things for themselves. So, why this disparity? Perhaps many animal lovers don’t even know about all of the options available to them when it comes to alternative medicine and health. If you’re interested in changing the way you view your pet’s care, a great place to start is by consulting a holistic veterinarian, whose care can offer your animals several health benefits.
1. Preventative Care
If you’re like a lot of pet owners, your animal only sees his doctor when he’s hurt or sick. By that point, however, the only thing the vet can do is treat the resulting effect of underlying health issues that cause problems. Integrative care challenges this practice and asks, “Why repair what’s broken again and again if you can prevent it from breaking in the first place?”
Just like practitioners of alternative human medicine, holistic vets seek to help you maintain your pet’s health through daily lifestyle choices. The guiding philosophy of integrative care, both animal and human, is that the body knows how to care for and heal itself. It’s the holistic veterinarian’s role is to help animals do just that. Essentially, your holistic vet would love it if you rarely had to bring your pet in at all.
2. Bedside Manner
For human health care workers of any kind, bedside manner is a big deal. If you were to visit a new dentist or optometrist or acupuncturist who didn’t make eye contact, treated you roughly or didn’t respond to your expressions of pain, you almost certainly would never return to that person again. Personal rapport is often a significant part of how we assess medical professionals. Yet, we may not think of that aspect of care as much when it comes to our pets.
What sets holistic vets apart is that they prioritize empathy in both exams and treatments. They aim to give care in a way that results in the least possible stress for your animals. For example, they may sometimes employ methods such as Reiki and massage to calm animals that are stressed. You can appreciate how important this is if you’ve ever seen your dog or cat have an extremely adverse reaction immediately upon entering a traditional vet’s office.
3. Whole Health
Get ready to spend a bit more time in your holistic vet’s office than you would normally spend in a traditional vet’s office. This is due to the fact that integrative pet care capitalizes on a much more complete picture of health. A mere physical exam is not early enough to understand your animal’s unique needs – the doctor or practitioner will also need information about your pet’s behavior, lifestyle, diet, social habits and observed irregularities in any of these aspects.
If you think about how in-depth your conversations often are with your own healthcare practitioners, this makes perfect sense. Imagine how strange it would be for a doctor to perform a physical exam without asking you about your lifestyle. An incomplete picture would result in an incomplete diagnosis. Holistic vets know this and make sure to get all the facts before recommending treatments.
4. Treatment Variety
Holistic veterinarians have a diverse arsenal of treatment options available to them. Though the idea may seem foreign to you, pet health can be significantly improved through treatments like acupuncture, herbal remedies, chiropractic, massage, and nutritional therapy.
This should come as happy news to owners of pets with chronic issues that leave them in a never-ending cycle of surgeries and pharmaceuticals. Holistic vets do not treat every animal with a one-size-fits-all approach; instead, they assess each case deeply in order to recommend a unique course of non-invasive treatments that seek to cure the underlying causes of illness.
5. Natural Approach
Many pet owners can attest to the fact that lots of traditional medications result in a whole host of harmful side effects that then necessitate other treatments. This way, you’re often left choosing the lesser of two evils – you accept the harmful side effects because they’re not quite as bad as whatever condition you’re treating. With alternative health practitioners, however, you don’t have to choose. Their natural approach ensures that you don’t treat illness with chemicals that cause different illnesses.
The world of herbal and alternative medicine offers practitioners a wide range of highly effective cures, many of which are actually more effective than their chemical equivalents. This makes a lot of sense when you think about how animals took care of themselves in the wild, before they were domesticated pets in our homes. Left to their own devices, animals seek out plants and herbs which they instinctually know will help them. The holistic vet steps in to restore that relationship between your pet and the natural world.
When it comes to choosing an animal wellness professional, I always recommend going the way of holistic care. However, it must be noted, of course, that many conventional vets are wonderful at what they do and truly have your pet’s well-being at heart. Some have even begun integrating holistic methods into their traditional practice.
If you’re like many modern pet lovers, you view your animals as members of your family, so you do everything you can to maintain their physical and emotional wellbeing. Though you may never have considered alternative approaches to medicine for your furry friends before, it’s never too late to explore your options to find out what non-traditional treatments can do for your pets.