Holistic and Gentle

by Sally Gutteridge

Traditional pharmaceutical drugs have been increasingly left on the chemist’s shelf over the last few years in favor of holistic and herbal remedies. Natural remedies offer less, if any, side effects and many people are great advocates of their effectiveness. No longer referred to as old wives tales, natural treatments have been around for as long as human beings and animals, certainly longer than chemical and pharmacy created medications. Natural treatment is freely available for most ailments including arthritis, depression, bruising, sleeplessness and dental pain.

Moving on to us well-meaning pet owners, we have spent a long time going to the vet with our pet’s ailment, being dispensed medication then giving it to our dog or cat without question. This routine, just as it is with the same routine for us human beings is gradually changing in favor of holistic medicines and natural treatments. With chemical free remedies becoming the chosen treatment of many people it is not surprising that we as loving and concerned pet owners are considering the same therapies for the domestic pets that we share our lives with.  

You may have heard of the more common ones such as cod live oil for joints or scrambled egg to settle diarrhea but here are some lesser known health enhancing treatments that could benefit your pet;

1.  Bach Flower Remedies are fantastic for both Feline and canine.

The most common Bach remedy is rescue remedy and can be purchased from most health food shops, pharmacies and supermarkets. Rescue Remedy is used to take the edge off nerves and anxiety. For dogs and cats it is great to use during fear of fireworks and thunderstorms, in fact rescue remedy is great for any situation where your pet may become worried.
Other common Bach remedies are used to treat jealous behavior, lack of confidence and abuse or trauma. There is a vast list of remedies and their effects on unhelpful symptoms. If you feel this type of remedy may be worth trying it is worth looking for a local practitioner who can consult with you and your pet.

 2. The use of sunlight and light therapy for the wellbeing of your pet during the winter months.

During the dull winter months your pet may become unhappy, lethargic and depressed. This type of depression is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, Increasingly recognized in humans and domestic animals the cause of SAD is lack of sunlight reaching the brain through the eye of the sufferer. Sunlight stimulates production of the chemical that makes us happy, lively and positive. With insufficient light comes lack of the hormone.
Light therapy is the use of a light which simulates the brightness of sunlight for set periods of time throughout the winter months. Normal household lights are insufficient for this and light therapy needs at least 1000 lux energy to be effective. Light therapy for pets is a non-invasive and low cost treatment because, after the initial purchase of a good quality light box, you need spend no more on this treatment to improve your pet’s well-being throughout many winters.

3. Adaptil (formerly DAP) and Feliway use natural hormones to comfort your pet.

Adaptil (formerly DAP) and Feliway are items that release pheromones into the living area of your pet. They are available as plug in, spray or collars and provide the dog (Adaptil) or cat (Feliway) with the effect of a calming hormone.
Used to help your pet to deal with stress and worry the pheromone is released slowly. This remedy can help to settle aggressive or destructive behavior. Both of these therapy types can be ordered from your veterinarian or purchased from a good pet store.

4. Simple shop purchased apple cider vinegar is used for dogs and cats as an effective holistic medicine.

This unexpected remedy, regularly used to aid human digestion, is a little known treatment for domestic dogs and cats. Even horses benefit from regular ingestion of suitable amounts of Apple cider vinegar. Fleas and ticks are less likely to inhabit a pet that has acidic skin and ingestion and topical application will provide an uncomfortable host for them. It is also used to alleviate the irritation of allergies and take the immediate discomfort away from bites and stings.
Itchy and dirty ears will benefit from a wipe out with an apple cider vinegar soaked cloth. Home prepared dog and cat meals can have a little of the vinegar added to them to aid digestion. Regular ingestion of it is reported to increase mobility. For cats specifically, regular use of apple cider vinegar has been reported the heal cystitis and urinary tract infection.

5. Magnetic therapies benefit our dogs and cats.

Magnet therapies are a natural and external holistic treatment for pets and people alike. Collars and pet beds are available from many outlets that make magnetic pet therapy easy and convenient.  

Magnetic therapies are non-invasive and no risk treatments that can help your pet through many conditions. Because of its use within human therapy you probably know that magnetic treatment is frequently used for arthritis, joint swelling pain and stiffness within domestic pets. It may surprise you that this therapy type is also great for deterrence of parasites such as fleas and ticks as they dislike the magnetic field. Other positive results from the use of this therapy type are increased healing, reduced stress and nervousness based problems.  

Magnets work by increasing the blood flow around the body. Because of the increased speed of the blood more oxygen is carried into tissue and organ which in turn improves healing of damaged tissue and reduction of pain. The pet that wears a magnetic collar benefits even more than humans because the magnets are closer to main arteries therefore the blood flow is quickly bought up to a healthy and rapid healing level. Another plus of magnets as a holistic therapy is the cost effectiveness. Once a collar or bed is purchased there will be no need to purchase further treatments.