If you haven’t tried holistic treatment yet, you’ll be disappointed when you hear it actually isn’t something super alternative and mysteriously challenging to practice. Holistic health care is actually what we all should be doing before getting sick – taking care of our physical and mental health by looking at it as a whole. Think of your body as a well-put machine consisting of bits and parts that are connected with utmost precision and logic. If one part doesn’t work or is missing, the whole system breaks down. Holistic approach to self-care means having a wellness-based model to treating your body, mind and spirit altogether.
There are several strong reasons why it’s useful viewing your dog’s health holistically, the most important probably being the fact that achieving animal wellness means addressing the natural, more primal aspects of their being. This usually requires more than what we as humans believe is important and necessary, sometimes considering alternative medicine or treatment for different types of health problems. Consider these five interesting tips for dog health care that can improve their longevity and overall quality of life in order to prevent any kind of potential illness in the future.
Make Necessary Changes To Your Dog’s Diet
Proper nutrition is the foundation for overall wellness of your dog. However, most of busy owners end up feeding their dog with processed and canned food on a daily basis, which most often lack necessary nutrients. In the long run, an imbalanced, poor diet can lead to an array of health issues, especially concerning bowel movement and intussusception, a direct issue of dogs with weaker immune systems.
To ensure a long and healthy life for your furry friend, think holistically – what do wild canines eat? This would include raw meat, bones, organs and some vegetables. Raw meat-based diets (RMBD) can be home- or commercially made. Commercial RMBD are typically frozen or freeze-dried but some are available as fresh refrigerated products and others can even look like commercial dry food (dry food with a raw coating).
That said, there is an ongoing (and very much reasonable) argument against a raw diet, due to the real danger of bacteria contamination, the most common being Salmonella. Although there are many positive indications of improved health condition in dogs, such as better digestibility and gut health, its rather risky exposing your pet to something potentially deadly.
The solution is somewhere in the middle – avoid dry, low-quality kibble that you know even by looking at the price is not rich in nutrients, but also avoid completely raw meat. Instead, try cooking for your dog just as you cook for yourself. Similarly, there are great dog food brands that offer well-balanced feeding options with good ingredients you can find in any pet store. Of course, spending some more money will be necessary, but that is then the question of priorities. Luckily, everything is available online nowadays, so don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what your dog needs to be eating. There’s a myriad of canine-related resources, for example Totally Goldens and many more, that offer information about not only dog food, but also important differences in dog breeds and how to create a perfect diet for your dog accordingly. The crucial thing is investing some time and effort into doing proper research and getting informed.
Exercising Is A Must For Keeping The Vet Away
As with humans, proper exercising is an important aspect of a healthy body and mind. For starters, make sure to at least go for a walk with your dog on a daily basis, but that is the bare minimum. If you’re struggling with time management, simply make a walking schedule that is realist and commit to it. Your doggo will be stimulated both mentally and physically and one step closer to a healthy body. Of course, dogs very much enjoy fun playing of fetch, running and even swimming. The more your dog is active, the happier and satisfied it will get.
Furthermore, try taking your dog to pet parks where it can socialize with other fellow dogs. Regular physical activity and socializing helps in endorphin release, a chemical responsible for stress and anxiety control, as well as mood elevating.
With improved fitness, your dog’s overall stamina, immune system and strength will improve, thus ensuring greater resistance to illness and health issues.
Vaccination – Why/Why Not?
Vaccination is undoubtedly necessary, but there is room for questioning whether all canine illnesses should be handled by giving a shot. For example, puppy vaccination is still in question, since current protocols introduce vaccines that include preservatives, MSG, aluminum, and formaldehyde to very young animals with developing immune systems. There is a belief that over-vaccination is the possible cause of later autoimmune disease, cancer, and joint disease.
That said, you shouldn’t be taking your dog’s health into your own hands, instead think about finding a veterinarian that has a holistic approach to treating. A holistic vet may be trained in animal acupuncture and acupressure, herbal medicine, preventative nutrition, homeopathy, reiki, laser therapy — even animal chiropractic. This can be a first step in finding alternatives to unnecessary vaccination and helping your dog in a different, less invasive ways.
Try Out Alternative Remedies
In times of pharmaceutical expansion, we can’t differentiate any more which medications are a must and which are just an easy way out of proper long-term self-care. On top of that, some conventional drugs and vaccines contain chemical pesticides that can cause health problems of their own.
Some ailments, such as tick and flea treatment, rashes, some skin conditions, separation anxiety, muscle pain, etc. can be to some extent treated with herbal remedies you can even make by yourself, or buy at a local market. Aloe Vera gel, for instance, can be used on dogs to help with minor cuts or burns. Natural cedar oil is a great tick repellant, whereas essential oils can protect from fleas and ticks as well. Geranium, lemon eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, and rosemary oils also provide protection and are perfectly safe for dogs, mostly beneficial for healing respiratory problems or skin conditions. Aromatherapy can be used topically or in form of inhalation.
A Dog Massage? You May Be Pleasantly Surprized
Treatments like acupuncture (or acupressure), massages and chiropractic sessions seem like something humans do to pamper themselves and imagining a dog getting a proper massage, for example, sounds really silly, doesn’t it?
If you think about it, dogs very much enjoy expressions of affection in form of caressing, patting, stroking and even brushing. It not only shows love and approval, but also lowers their stress and anxiety levels, making them calm and relaxed. Why shouldn’t a lovely massage treatment be any less beneficial?
In fact, there are vets who practice acupuncture on animals, back and spine corrections and perform massages on dogs with mobility issues, swelling and for relaxation purposes. Basically, the things you would get a massage for, your dog could benefit the same.
If you are a dog owner, you know that canine loyalty comes unconditionally. What seems to be our responsibility is to make sure they are happy and well all the time. Holistic approach to life and treatment is more a matter of precaution, a healthy and more down-to-earth way of living that can really diminish the risks of illnesses and health problems. It’s the least they deserve, isn’t it?