Homeopathy for Dogs Examined

Homeopathy for dogs is a type of alternative medicine that is growing in popularity. Homeopathy is based on the belief that all creatures have a self-healing response, and that medical conditions develop when this response is inhibited. However, there's a lot of debate about homeopathy; many doubt its effectiveness. Here's what you should know about homeopathic medicine for dogs.

How Homeopathy Works

Homeopathic medicine is based on a principal of "like cures like". Homeopathic veterinary practitioners believe that sickness occurs when your dog's system becomes imbalanced, inhibiting your dog's natural healing response. Homeopathy regards veterinary symptoms within the overall context of your dog's physical condition.

A homeopathic veterinary specialist will try to stimulate your dog's natural healing response by giving him treatment that will cause symptoms similar to the ones he's already showing. In this manner, the remedy replaces the illness. This allows the dog's natural response to overcome the condition.

The Debate About Homeopathy

Homeopathic medicine is at odds with Western medicine on many points. For one, many homeopaths are against vaccination, which they see as disruptive to the body's natural balance. Homeopaths believe that a substance becomes more potent when it is more diluted, and many doubt the efficacy of homeopathic remedies.

What To Expect From Homeopathy

A homeopathic veterinary specialist should do a physical exam and may ask a lot of questions. The key to success in homeopathy for dogs is individualization, so your homeopathic vet will want every last detail about your dog's condition, his symptoms, his behavior and his lifestyle. Homeopathic medicine is also administered differently from conventional medicine. Here are some of the things that might be different:

  • Homeopathic remedies aren't given with food. Allow at least an hour before an after feeding so that the food and treatment don't interfere with each other.
  • You shouldn't mix homeopathic treatments with any other kind of treatment. This includes conventional medicine, homeopathic treatments for other conditions, acupuncture, chiropractics and massage.
  • Homeopathic veterinary specialists believe that vaccinations interfere with your dog's natural body systems and responses; they are against vaccination.
  • Symptoms may actually worsen for a brief period after treatment. This phenomena is known as "homeopathic aggravation." It's believed to be part of the healing process; homeopaths believe it leads to a speedier recovery.
  • Homeopathic treatment may cause discharge from the eyes and nose. It may cause diarrhea. Homeopathic treatments for dogs may even cause behavioral changes, such as developing new fears or sleeping in a new location. Homeopathic veterinary specialists recommend that you not interfere with these new developments; they are considered to be a sign of healing.

Choosing A Homeopathic Veterinary Specialist

  • If you'd like to try homeopathy for dogs, the best way to find a veterinarian is through a referral. Ask friends or relatives, or even your own conventional vet. Many of the country's veterinary colleges offer certifications in homeopathic veterinary, so even if your vet isn't a homeopath himself, he might know someone in the field. If all else fails, you can find recommendations online at the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy website.