Dog Holistic Health Tips

Since dog holistic medicine treats illnesses as a whole, rather than parts of a whole as does traditional veterinary medicine, it is important to understand the philosophy and terminology used. Holistic medicine treats each part as it interrelates to the rest of the body. Holistic medicine also uses natural alternatives such as herbs, acupuncture, natural nutrition, electromagnetic field therapy, homeopathy, chiropractic, massage and other natural noninvasive methods.


Arthritis is a common disease as the dog ages. However, there are a number of dog holistic treatments that you can perform in order to alleviate the pain and swelling that accompanies arthritis.

  • Daily short walks are important in keeping the joint limber. Low impact exercises such as swimming, walking on a treadmill, downhill walking and slow jogging are necessary in order to keep the swelling and pain to a minimum.
  • Massaging the muscles using small, circular motions can warm up muscles and alleviate some of the pain.
  • Using ramps to allow dogs to "climb" into cars or to get around will help minimize irritation in the joints. Elevating dog food bowls and water bowls will decrease stress on the neck, spine, shoulders and limbs.
  • Using natural supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, for joint health and repair will slow down the progress of the disease. Other natural herbs, such as perna mussels and hyaluronic acid will also increase joint mobility. Vitamin C, creatine and omega-3 fatty acids will help reduce the severity of the disease.

Flea and Tick Control

Pyrethrins are natural flower extracts made from chrysanthemums. Used to control fleas, ticks, lice, mosquitoes and mites, they are applied directly onto the dog as a holistic treatment. Being oil based, they can be spread over the dog's body without being diluted. In rare cases, an allergic reaction can occur with vomiting, tremors, salivating and seizure. Seek immediate veterinarian attention if this occurs. Pyrethrins work by interfering with the nervous system of the insect, thereby causing repetitive nerve firings and ultimately death.

It is important to read and understand all warning labels, especially the precautions and risks mentioned in using the product. Not all products contain equal amounts of pyrethrins and therefore each product carries its own set of risks.

Holistic Veterinarians

There are not many veterinarians that are schooled in both veterinarian and holistic medicines. That means you must do your own research for a veterinarian's qualifications. Usually if a veterinarian possesses holistic knowledge, he advertises that knowledge with a certificate on the wall from a reputable school or he mentions it in his advertisements. Sometimes you can find a good holistic veterinarian through friends or other social networks.

If you do not understand an instruction or a concept that the veterinarian has mentioned to you in the course of explaining your dog's treatment plan, be sure to ask for clarification. If you do not ask, then the treatment plan could be erroneously followed, which in turn would not restore health to your dog. Most holistic veterinarians understand that holistic medicine is a new concept to Westerners, and are happy to discuss or clarify further.