Ayurvedic Medicine for Dogs

One of the primary alternatives to standard veterinary medicine for dogs is Ayurveda. An ancient Indian practice, Ayurvedic medicine is a holistic form of healing that is equally a form of treatment and a philosophy. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine believe in the connection between emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health. While this medicine is typically used for human patients, it is possible to incorporate Ayurvedic beliefs into veterinary medicine as well, and an increasing number of alternative health specialists are using Ayurveda to treat dogs with a variety of ailments.

Basics of Ayurveda

Ayurveda touts the importance of overall balance and equilibrium in one's body to ensure proper health. The idea is that, if your body is perfectly balanced and your constitution is fundamentally strong, there is no way that illness or other negative health conditions can enter into your system and overtake you.

Practitioners of Ayurveda generally divide each animals's wellness into three categories, or doshas. Called vata, kapha and pitta, together they account for all of the processes in your pet's body and his overall health. Working to keep these three elements aligned and balanced will help to ward off disease through a strong defense. Each dog is believed to have a dominant dosha, and it is typically the other two that will require special attention. In addition to determining your pet's health, these facets of his constitution also help to influence his personality, his appearance and other aspects of his life and body.

Incorporating Ayurvedic Techniques into your Pet Care

Many of the most common Ayurvedic techniques used for dogs incorporate the three primary doshas. Vata is representative of movement through air and space, and it is associated with physical properties like coldness and dryness. One of the primary ways that Ayurvedic specialists recommend to incorporate these procedures into your dog's life is through the food that he eats. Standard dog foods provoke allergies and contain a variety of processed and cooked foods that would not be available to pets in the wild.

Ayurvedic diets usually incorporate raw foods and dry types of food only, as this stimulates vata and is considered to help your pet's digestive tract continue to move food through your dog's body. Balancing out this stimulation is important, however, and Ayurvedic specialists recommend allowing your pet up to 24 hours between feedings. Additionally, they suggest that you feed your pet food at room temperature only and that you rotate between different types of protein in your pet's meals. These practices will help to ensure that your pet's vata is not overactivated, which could lead to health problems.

In order to maintain a proper balance, Ayurveda dictates that your pet must also have adequate exercise, sleep and attention from the leader of the pack. Make sure that you play with your dog and provide him an outlet for his physical energy through exercising. Allowing him to sleep close by you is a way of easing his emotional tension, which builds when he feels that he is excluded from a group.

For further hinformation about Ayurvedic practices or their applications for your dog, consult with a specialist in your area.