This ancient Chinese healing method uses tiny needles to stimulate specific parts of your pet's body. Acupuncture can improve organ function, soothe muscles, get the blood flowing, and release feel-good hormones. It's good for animals with muscle or skeletal issues, skin problems, respiratory problems, or digestive troubles.
The smell of certain plants and oils is the basis for this therapy. It's gentle and noninvasive, and it can help treat a four-legged friend who has anxiety or other forms of emotional or physical stress. Check with your vet first, though. Some essential oils can be toxic if your pet drinks them. Others could cause allergic reactions if you put them on his skin.
Another way to harness plant power to calm an anxious animal friend is to use flower essences -- a diluted herbal solution that you can drop in his water or directly in his mouth. Often you can find this remedy as a blend of several flower essences in one.
Dogs or cats who have a slipped disk or pinched nerve may benefit from chiropractic. A trained practitioner uses gentle pressure on joints to realign the spine and keep feeling and function flowing in muscles, organs, and tissues. It might help with other problems too, like epilepsy, skin disorders, or behavior issues.
Supplementing your pet's diet with herbal medicine might treat digestive issues, kidney and bladder disease, parasites, skin problems, and bone or tissue injuries. It's important not to use herbs without consulting a vet first -- some are toxic to pets, and others may cancel out when used as a combo.
A vet gives your pet an extract that causes symptoms similar to the problem he already has, but the extract is diluted to harmless levels. The idea is to help his body learn how to fight off disease by building up a defense to these symptoms.
Lasers or LED light used at low levels get down to the cellular level to help treat pain, inflammation, and speed up healing time for wounds. Your furry friend won't feel a thing.
This technique is all about energy flow in the body. A trained practitioner puts her hands just above or lightly on your pet to encourage healing and calm. You might choose this treatment for an animal who's anxious or afraid, or has a chronic condition, or as a way to promote a peaceful transition at the end of life.
Massages are more than just a menu item at the day spa. Done right, they can ease your pet's cramps, reduce pain from injuries, and improve circulation. Find a trained massage therapist who specializes in animals, so they know which muscles and soft tissues to target.
This holistic approach to medicine is based on moving and handling your pet's muscles and joints in a specific way to help his body heal itself. You might turn to osteopathy to help a pet who has trouble walking, or who has stiffness, problems holding his head well, muscle tension, or changes in behavior or digestion.
Water can help your pet work out injured muscles without putting weight on them. Hydrotherapy may also help treat certain behaviors. A trainer will spend time with your pup (or cat, though they tend to be warier of getting wet) in a pool swimming, walking on a treadmill, or playing therapeutic games.
Your companion's diet can have a big impact on his overall wellness. The foods you choose may also help improve certain health problems like heart disease. Together with your vet, you can craft meals that focus on the specific nutrients that best address your pet's needs.
We don't know whether medical marijuana, and specifically CBD or cannabis oil, can treat injuries and diseases in animals. You can buy cannabinoid products, like treats or tinctures, online or from places that sell medical marijuana. But definitely ask your vet first. There haven't been many scientific studies on it as a treatment for pets, and if they have the wrong amount, it can be toxic.
Talk to your vet before you try any natural treatment for your pet, even if it's something your doctor has given you the OK to take. While regular medications for humans are researched and studied in clinical trials to make sure they're safe, the same doesn't always apply for natural treatments and supplements. That's even more true when it comes to natural remedies for pets.
IMAGES PROVIDED BY:
- American Animal Hospital Association: “Complementary veterinary medicine.”
- American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association: “Holistic Veterinary Therapies.”
- Texas A&M University: “Could your pet benefit from essential oils?”
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Reiki: In Depth.”
- The Animal Medical Center: “Reiki.”
- MSPCA-Angell: “Hydrotherapy.”
- Alternative Medical Reviews: “Nutritional therapy in the treatment of heart disease in dogs.”
- ASPCAPro: “CBD, Hemp Pet Treat Dangers & Overdose Treatments.”