Unfortunately the pharmaceutical companies and the pet food industry have really pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes -but the wool is coming off! People are frustrated with the way traditional care has let them down and are seeking alternatives to help them not only give their pets more quality of life but longer lives. It seems as though we barely get our pets to a “settled” place in our lives before they’re gone. It doesn’t have to be like this.
Please don’t misunderstand, mainstream care does have its place but it should not be the only choice people and their pets have. In fact, I think it’s the imbalanced lean towards allopathic medicine rather than including homeopathic and naturopathic and alternative therapies that is a big part of the problem. At some point where do we stop and say, what happened to “first do no harm“?
Okay, so let’s start with what preventative, natural, holistic care means with a definition of the words holistic, preventative and natural which I obtained from my American Heritage Dictionary:
1. Holistic: 2) emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.
2. Natural: 1) present in or produced by nature; not artificial or man-made; 3) pertaining to or produced solely by nature or the expected order of things
3. Preventive: 1) designed or used to prevent or hinder; acting as an obstacle; precautionary. 2) Thwarting or warding off illness or disease.
When we put all these definitions together: the whole of the parts working interdependently, without artificial ingredients or synthetics, in the natural order of things you will then ward off illness or disease! Now that we have the definition of natural pet care in place, let’s go deeper into the how to do this and thereby lowering the costs of your pet care and increase the longevity of your pets lives.
The first place to always start is with nutrition and that starts with what you are feeding your pets. My initial answer will be as species specific as you can get in a domestic setting. For dogs and cats that means that raw meat and bones need to be the primary ingredient of their food. Not kibble. Kibble isn’t fit for anything or anyone to eat. There are a couple I will recommend in the light of a very reluctant pet owner not being able to stomach the idea of feeding raw meat and bones to their dog or cat (even though I am not asking them to eat but their pets who are designed to eat it), but I will say that as long as you adhere to kibble your pets will experience the problems associated with food that their bodies weren’t designed to digest.
There are many different forms of feeding natural but the best diet, in my opinion, is a S.A.R.F. diet which translates to Species Appropriate Raw Food. This diet consists of all raw meat and bones. Some people will want to feed a cooked diet of meat and vegetables – and while a great improvement over kibble it still is not a species appropriate diet. We need to model as closely as possible the diet intended for them to eat in the wild – and no wild animal cooks its food.
I believe in feeding the raw meaty bones diet that Australian veterinarian, Dr. Tom Lonsdale writes about in his books Work Wonders: Feed Your Dog Raw Meaty Bones and Raw Meaty Bones: Promote Health.
In addition to feeding my dog a species appropriate diet, I also use essential oils to support and enhance his immune system and ease his discomfort*.
He came to us as a very abused, starved, neglected nearly 5 month old puppy. Through trial and error we’ve found what keeps him healthy, strong and happy and he is completely natural. I use a homeopathic nosode (Note: 2011 I no longer do this but it is an option for pet owners to consider) for heartworm prevention. He actually runs with me and traditionally his breed is not a running breed – or so it’s thought!
Next I would consider why vaccinating seems to be so important to your pets health. Let me give you just a few examples of why that could be the very thing that is harming your pets rather than helping them (information from Shirley’s Wellness Cafe):
“Routine vaccination has adverse side-effects, either short or long term. With vaccines that are repeated year after year, the frequency and severity of these side-effects in our pets has increased dramatically. Most of the problems involve the immune system. After all, the immune system is what vaccines are designed to stimulate. But they do so in a very unnatural way that can overwhelm and confuse the immune system.” Donna Starita Mehan, DVM
Don Hamilton, DVM –Yearly “boosters” are unnecessary, provide no benefit if given (will not increase immunity). Thus boosters are either a legal issue (Rabies) or a manipulation issue (inducing clients to come in for examination rather than directly suggesting an examination).
Charles E Loops DVM – “Homeopathic veterinarians and other holistic practitioners have maintained for some time that vaccinations do more harm than they provide benefits. Vaccinations represent a major assault on the body’s immune system…. Vaccine induced chronic diseases range from life-threatening conditions such as auto-immune crises to conditions destroying the quality of life of an animal as in chronic skin allergies.”
These are just a few examples with veterinarians leading the way in sharing this information which I find interesting since vaccinations and surgeries are their bread and butter. A few of the holistic/homeopathic vets I know became frustrated in their conventional methodology and moved into the holistic arena so they could do their patients the most good. Feed correctly with proper back up supplementation and your pets will have natural immunities that protect them naturally from disease.
Another thing to do is to keep your pets stimulated mentally through exercise, play and training. Animals love to have a job and they love to be useful. The key to a good interaction here is training according to the natural interaction of the animal you own. What does that mean? For a dog it meaning approaching him or her using the “pack” mentality. For the horse it means approaching the horse the way another horse would in the herd – a good resource for learning more is the Carolyn Resnick Method. It all makes common sense really. Good practical common sense, do away with all these synthetics, using the natural order of things, and all the parts working together means you don’t treat an illness, you treat the pet. I like what I saw Dr. Shawn Messonnier write recently to one of the groups I belong to, “I don’t treat crystals in the urine, I treat the pet“. That’s what holistic means: all the parts working together interdependently. So not treating the symptoms but caring for the entire animal is the answer to lowering your veterinarian costs and increasing the longevity of your pets lives.
Originally written for the Holistic Pet Care Topic on Suite101. com
About the author:
Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the Author. This article is for educational purposes only. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader.
Dr. Kim Bloomer is a certified animal naturopath and published author, consulting on canine nutrition and wellness. She hosts the internet radio show, Animal Talk Naturally with colleague Dr. Jeannie Thomason. The two are also the Founders of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy. In addition, Dr. Kim is a proficient blogger and writer on natural pet health, having co-authored the book Whole Health for Happy Dogs and authored the book Animals Taught Me That. Dr. Kim’s articles have been featured in various publications such as Animal Wellness, Natural Horse, Dogs Naturally, NM Breeze, Raw Instincts, and the Pet Connection magazines. Website:www.AspenbloomPetCare.com
DISCLAIMER: All information contained here on Aspenbloom Pet Care is intended for educational purposes only. It is not provided in order to diagnose, prevent or treat any disease, illness or injured condition of the body or pets and the author, publisher, and contributors accept no responsibility for such use. Anyone or their pets suffering from any disease, illness or injury should consult with their physician or veterinarian. The ONLY essential oils we use and refer to in ALL our posts, articles, and podcasts are Young Living Essential Oils. We DO NOT use any others and would not. The statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.