September 02, 2020 3 min read

Pet owners not only aim to extend the lives of their domestic companions as much as possible but along the way, they aspire to keep their pets as happy and healthy as what’s in their power. Through this, many pet owners have discovered the benefits of holistic pet care, which can help improve the lives of animals on more levels than the treatment of illness or injury.

What is Holistic Pet Care?

First, it’s important to take a look at what the word “holistic” means and how it relates to pet care. Traditionally, a holistic approach when used in medicine can be defined as treating the whole living thing, in this case, animals. This means that holistic medicine not only seeks to relieve patients of the symptoms of illness or injury but also considers social and mental factors in terms of the animal’s entire health record. 

Holistic pet care takes a look at the animal’s physical, emotional, mental, and environmental health and uses the information present to make informed medical decisions. This method is similar to the traditional route being that the pet’s health is still the primary focus of the care plan. However, holistic pet care looks at an animal’s health from a broader standpoint.

The Focus of Holistic Pet Care

Holistic pet care takes a variety of different approaches to ensure that an animal’s well-being is at its best. For example, a holistic approach will carefully examine and evaluate a pet’s diet to determine the best feeding options for the animal as an individual. As a result, there is an array of different holistic pet food types on the market today.

Additionally, holistic care pays close attention to preventative care so that potential health issues can be avoided in the future, rather than treated when they arise.

In addition to diet, exercise and grooming play a large role in holistic health being that a happy, active pet is typically a more healthy pet. 

Holistic Pet Care and Medicine

Holistic Pet Care and Medicine

Adopting a holistic pet care routine does not mean that a pet-owner should stop taking their pet to a veterinary professional for regular check-ups, but rather, they should take additional precautions along with standard care. Domestic pets should still regularly visit their veterinary doctor and have standard tests performed at their visits to determine the animal’s level of health beyond the owner’s observations.

Part of holistic animal care aims to take a more natural approach when it comes to animal medicine. While some conditions require certain types of medication, pet-owners who have adopted a holistic pet care approach tend to seek out natural remedies and non-pharmaceutical treatments whenever reasonable. 

Take canine diabetes for example. A traditional veterinary professional would prescribe medications to treat the animal’s illness and manage the symptoms of the disease itself. A veterinary professional that is taking a more holistic approach will also treat the symptoms of the dog’s diabetes, but will also examine the animal’s health as a whole to determine where improvements can be made.

Both professionals might recommend diet changes, and both might recommend medication to treat the illness. The holistic professional, however, will take extra steps to evaluate the pet’s environment, habits, mental and emotional well-being, and owner behaviors as well. 

Holistic Pet Care Treatments

Herbal supplements like CBD oil have helped many pet owners see the benefits associated with a holistic pet care approach. For certain health conditions and for pets who have health issues that make medications risky, herbal supplements can provide significant relief from illness and injury. 

On one hand, natural supplements like CBD oil can be a valid treatment for illnesses, and often times they do not present as many side effects as traditional drugs. Also, due to the fact that CBD oil and other natural treatments do not counteract most prescription drugs, they can often be used alongside traditional treatments and medication routines. In less life-threatening cases, natural remedies can be used in exchange for traditional drugs. 

If, for example, a pet has travel anxiety and is usually prescribed a prescription sedative in order to pass car rides without becoming upset, the pet owner might choose to have a conversation with their veterinary doctor about using natural sedatives instead of a harsher chemical compound. Under the guidance of a veterinarian, the pet owner could safely experiment with natural remedies for their pets to determine whether the holistic approach works in their unique situation. 

Holistic pet care is not the abandonment of traditional veterinary care. Instead, it is the opportunity to take a broader look at an animal’s health by examining additional pieces of information that piece together the pet’s condition. While holistic medicine does aim to take a more natural approach when it comes to medicine, the scope of care is still approached with the pet’s best interest in mind.