Nov 9, 2013

Holistic Health Care For Dogs

To many people, having a dog as a pet means putting out food and water, and occasionally taking him for a trot around the block.  Later, they seem surprised and outraged by enormous vet bills, and wonder if they could have done something differently to prevent the disease their pet is suffering from.  Or, perhaps they don’t wonder.

One great thing you can do for your pet is talk with your veterinarian in depth about preventing disease, and make sure you are on the same wavelength as far as a holistic approach.  You may get lucky and find a vet who believes in combining western and eastern medicine to treat your beloved pets.  Prevention is the key to wellness, but treatment of existing issues should also be looked at with an open mind.  Dogs can benefit greatly from chinese herbs, supplements, acupuncture, and acupressure.


We humans are learning more and more about preventing disease through proper nutrition and the fact is, it is the best way to keep your pets healthy too.  Ideally, you and your pets should be eating unprocessed, whole, fresh food.  Whether you decide to feed your dog a raw meat diet, a vegan diet, or something in between, the food should be good quality.  Sprinkling random kibble into a bowl every day, or opening a can of the cheapest thing you could find, is going to cost you big in the long run.

It has recently come to light that some of the ingredients in cheap commercial dog food are highly questionable.  The ingredient “meat and bone meal”, may in fact be ground up dogs and cats that have been euthanized at shelters, as well as the parts of livestock that are too nasty to even be included in hot dogs.

Depending on your dog’s current health, he may also need vitamins, probiotics, or enzymes.


It used to be that pet owners were always told that their dogs or cats needed to be vaccinated annually for a number of things.  Now we hear contradictory data about the annual booster shots.  Vaccinations are a money maker for veterinarians, so many haven’t changed their policy, but some vets say that most of the shots last years longer than originally thought, and that annual boosters will certainly result in health issues.  Many animals suffer serious side effects or allergic reactions to vaccinations.  Long term chronic diseases and health issues are often triggered by vaccinations, including arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, skin allergies, epilepsy, leukemia, and other forms of cancer.  Behavioral changes such as aggression is often noted after getting boosters.  Autoimmune disorders are being seen more and more as well as cancer in younger animals.

It’s a good idea to discuss your particular situation with your vet when decided which vaccinations your pet needs and at what age.  Puppies and kittens should not be vaccinated before they are 12 weeks old.  Their immune systems are not fully developed and can be overstressed by vaccines.  Determining factors include whether your pet will be exposed to other animals, the health of your pet, and whether he has had reactions to vaccines in the past.  If your vet suggests a booster shot for your dog, ask for a blood test to determine if there are still enough antibodies present to resist infection.

Dr. Andrew Webber is a retired veterinarian and writer who is passionate about promoting pet health and safety through his written works online.

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3.

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