If you’re a believer in holistic health care and alternative medicine, chances are you treat your body like a temple. You’re highly conscious of what you put into it and the ways you seek to address various health issues.
But, how intentional are you about the way you care for your pet? Do you apply those same philosophies to your furry friends?
Despite how open your eyes are about the benefits of healthy living, you may be unintentionally harming your pet with traditional pet care practices. The good news is, you can easily turn that around by making a few simple changes.
1. Raw Diet
Just as much of the packaged human food in your grocery store is full of harmful chemicals and preservatives, so is packaged dog and cat food. Unfortunately, most of the mainstream pet food options are the pet’s version of junk food. They are created to be cost effective and taste-palatable, and nutrition is an afterthought.
Ignore the claims and read the ingredients – you’ll find grain fillers, sugar, corn and scary meat by-products, none of which your carnivorous animal needs to be healthy.
Try transitioning your pet to a raw food diet that respects their natural instincts and biological needs. The switch may take you and your pet a little while to get used to, but the health benefits are worth it. You may even find that some of the health issues your dog or cat previously had, improve or disappear once you start feeding them the kinds of food they’re meant to eat.
2. Holistic Vets
One of the most important changes you can make is seeking medical care and advice from a holistic veterinarian.
The underlying philosophy of these doctors is to provide care that is non-invasive and preventative rather than curative. You’ll probably have to do a little research to find ones in your area, but the number of holistic vets is growing as more and more pet owners seek alternative health care.
The idea is to maintain good health upfront instead of using drastic, unnatural means to fix problems later.
This can be accomplished through treatments like herbal supplements, nutritional therapy, chiropractic, and even acupuncture. Traditional medicine can be called upon to remedy an acute condition, but once it’s been addressed, a holistic vet will seek to discover and treat the underlying causes of the condition.
3. Nature Minded
A critical part of applying a holistic care model to your pets is simply your mentality.
It’s important that you begin to think of and prioritize your pet’s natural needs. So, ask yourself questions like:
- “Is my pet getting enough socialization with other animals?”
- “Does he have enough time to run around off the leash?
- “Am I respecting his natural instincts and allowing him to act on those instincts in a safe way?”
- “In what ways are my own habits and routines doing detriment to his quality of life?”
While you may not be able to change everything about your pet’s life all at once, the first step is to begin thinking of care in a new way. For example, if you are keeping your dog in a kennel all day while you’re at work because he chews on the furniture, you should consult a holistic vet for safe solutions that would stop the chewing and allow your pup to roam free while you’re not at home.
4. DIY Fixes
These days, when we have a problem we immediately look for something we can buy to solve it.
Fortunately, there are many homemade solutions to pet issues, and they’re often safer, more natural and better for the environment than something you purchase.
If, for example, you’re having trouble getting your pet to take an herbal supplement pill, make your own raw-food pill pockets. Or if you love to give an occasional treat, make your own chicken jerky that you know is natural and safe.
Though you may not have been raised learning about alternative medicine and holistic health, you took the time to learn about it so that you could make more informed decisions. If you’re committed to having a healthier pet, you’ll also have to invest some time in educating yourself about the best practices for your particular animal.
You also will likely have to go through a bit of trial and error to find out what works best.
You can apply many of the same philosophies you follow for yourself, but you’ll need to do some research to find the equivalent for your furry friend.
For many of us, pets are truly a part of our families. In many cases, we value their company more than many of the humans we know. That’s why it’s so important to be worthy pet guardians who do everything we can to ensure their long, happy and healthy lives.