Holistic Medicine—what is it and why should I consider it for my pet? – Seattle Alternative Veterinary Care

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Holistic medicine is considering the whole animal—their physical, emotional and other aspects of life. Holistic medicine considers nutrition—the building blocks of the body—and environment as inseparable from the pet when you consider their health.

For example, if a dog eats low quality food his whole life, he could definitely get over—or underweight, poor coat and immune system, skin infections, and miss out on crucial vitamins and minerals. If an animal is outside in the extreme cold, this is taxing to its warmth, vitality and immune system.

You have responsibility with your pet – image by bellaanđuke.com

These are just examples, but demonstrate how holistic considerations can make a big impact on health and well-being.
When medical issues arise, looking at every aspect of an individual allows the best chance for resolving the condition satisfactorily—meaning safely with minimal side effects, and in a way that minimizes chance for re-occurrence.

Holistic care on dog – image by akc.org

The reason I practice holistic medicine is because I was tired of seeing pet guardians get charged the same charges and get the same prescription repeatedly for conditions that could be resolved completely if the diet was changed. A classic example of this is chronic recurrent ear infections.
I choose to use acupuncture and herbal medicine as my main forms of therapy because I want to “above all else, do NO harm—“ to the pet, the earth, and each other. My practice has been as green and sustainable, non-toxic and natural as possible since 2002.

Herbal medicine is no harm – image by dogsnaturallymagazine.com

Physical: foods appropriate for age, activity, breed, size, cycle, medical conditions
Ex: diabetes, kidney disease, crystals/stones, large breeds, anti-inflammatory, warming and cooling foods

Mental: sporting breeds, working dogs, giving pets “jobs” and mental exercise

Let them have activity – image by highlandcanine.com

Emotional: ability to play, exercise, groom, interact peacefully, nose work

Social: early socialization, ability to meet and interact safely with others of their own kind

Genetics: what are the breed predispositions—can anything be done to offset the likelihood of a condition occurring in your pet?

Nose work for dog – image by akc.org

Environmental: is there too much stimulation around? Too much noise? Stray cats in the yard? Allergens?

Spiritual: does your pet have a purpose? Does he get a chance to fulfill that? Have you ever thought about it?


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