Practicing Holistic Pet Care
As pet parents, we care deeply about the health and well-being of our fur babies. In honor of National Holistic Pet Care Day on August 30, Run Those Dogs has put together a few elements that you might consider when approaching the care of your pets from a holistic perspective.
Holistic pet care means to take a more “natural” and “common sense” approach to your pet’s health care while taking into account the whole animal, as in the mind, body, and spirit. Using a holistic approach means that you focus on improving things that will help an animal heal itself rather than treating the medical symptoms of a disease.
Diet and Nutrition
The old saying, “you are what you eat” is also true for our pets. Taking a holistic approach to diet and nutritional supplements means that we’re feeding them a quality diet and supplements that help them maintain a healthy weight and immune system. For pets, the most common cause for a pet being overweight or obese is due to overfeeding. An owner can look at this from several angles.
- Portion Size & Calories–This is often the biggest factor for both humans and pets. Although on-demand feeders are convenient for a pet owner, like us, not all pets are able to self-regulate their intake. Doing a little research to determine what’s best for you and your pet is worth the time investment. This article helps figure out what’s right for your dog. And don’t forget! Even though your pet might love those table scraps, you’re really not doing them any favors in the long-run.
- Quality–We know that a health human diet includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lower carbs and fat. We must also choose the right food for our pet. Check out Dog Food Advisor and Web MD for your cats for identifying the best food for your pets.
- Nutritional Supplements–Some ailments or general ill health may occur because something is lacking in the diet. Seeing a veterinarian that uses a holistic approach, one who considers the animal’s diet first and then supplementing any missing elements can be of great value to your pet.
The value of exercise and its effect on health and behavior cannot be over-emphasized. Run Those Dogs owner Jen Sewell feels so strongly about this that its what drove her to start her business. Different pets need different amounts and kinds of exercise so figure out what is right for your pet and for you. Play is the best form of exercise. Get creative, build in variety, and stay active. When you just can’t get to it, we’ve got your back. Check out these other ways to stay fit with your pet.
Just like humans, preventative care for pets means that you can be proactive by visiting the veterinarian when pets are well. Annual visits are recommended to monitor your pet’s weight and overall health, to address any concerns and identify any underlying issues your pet might have. Dental care is also a preventative measure to consider. Check out our recent blog post for more information on Pet Dental Care.
Most might overlook grooming as an element of holistic pet care. But a good groomer will consider many elements when caring for your pet. From choosing the best possible products and providing a safe and comfortable environment, to making sure that not only the physical but also the psychological and emotional needs of the animal are supported during the grooming process. There are many ways to ensure your groomer is considering these elements. Be sure to research your groomer. Ask friends for recommendations, read on-line reviews, notice whether they ask you the right questions about your pet, or stay and watch them groom someone else’s pet. Pay attention to how your pet behaves after being groomed and trust your gut instincts. Also be sure that your grooming choices are more about the needs of your pet and not just about their appearance.
Alternative Treatments for Disease
In certain situations, conventional medicine just doesn’t work for your pet. For example, if your animal has an ailment that affects their kidneys or liver, they might not be able to handle conventional pharmaceuticals. Older pets also sometimes require alternatives because their bodies may not be functioning at full capacity. That’s where alternatives come in.
The focus of holistic care and natural remedies is to nurture and support an animal’s own healing process, thus helping to prevent the development of disease.
Run Those Dogs owner Jen Sewell has some personal experience with alternative treatments. You can read more about how she used hemp seed oil as an alternative treatment for her dog Lilo’s seizure disorder. This natural alternative may also help with arthritis and mobility issues, nausea and digestive ailments, skin and coat conditions, and ailments related to aging.
Sewell also employed titer testing as an alternative to vaccination when Lilo’s immune system was compromised.
When your pet is in need, as Lilo was, it’s good to know alternatives exist that may provide comfort and pain-relief. As advised when considering and administering any new product, pet owners should exercise caution and proceed under the advisement and guidance of a veterinarian or pet care provider.
Be sure to give yourself a pat on the back for considering these elements of holistic care of your pet. When combined, a holistic approach can mean your pet and their immune system will be at their healthiest all year long.