People love pets, and I am no exception. My dog Monster’s health is very important to me! Pets can benefit from some of the same holistic medicine tools that are so nourishing and helpful to people. Just remember to talk to your veterinarian first about what is right for you and your pet.
Like people, pets can benefit from whole foods. Consider offering your dog select ‘people foods’ in addition to the usual fare. Eggs and cooked, boneless fish can be a great source of protein. A little canned pumpkin or a few diced prunes (be sure all traces of the pits have been removed) can alleviate digestive problems. Rice can soothe an upset stomach. A bit of yogurt with live cultures can be added to food if your pet is taking an antibiotic.
Enjoy whole-food benefits from the outside-in by soothing itchy pet skin with colloidal oatmeal. Grind oats to a find powder in a blender or food processor, then add to your pet’s bath or mix with a bit of water to form a paste. Rinse your pet with warm water after a few minutes. Vitamin E oil and chamomile tea rinses are other great medication-free options for soothing troubled skin.
People take vitamins and supplements. Should pets? Some should, and some shouldn’t. Talk to a trusted veterinarian about recommended supplements and dosages. Many pet owners are big fans of brewer’s yeast, which can boost pet immunity, prevent fleas, and deliver important B vitamins and other nutrients. There are many whole food supplement mixes for pets on the market, designed to concentrate whole, minimally processed foods into a pet-friendly format. These can be helpful for any pet, especially aging animals and recent shelter adoptees. Other high-quality supplement options deliver doses of useful vitamins and minerals, improving coats and alleviating illness without unnecessary medications.
It can be hard to find unbiased, research-based information about pet health. The best source of information is a veterinarian, an animal expert or a knowledgeable pet owner you know and trust. Never assume that a pet supplement is automatically safe for your animal; check with your veterinarian before adding anything to your pet’s diet. Interested in finding a holistic veterinarian? Contact one in the Chicago area by searching the American Holistic Veterinary Association database at www.ahvma.org.