What is Holistic Pet Care?
Holistic pet care is the consideration of the pet as a whole including physical, emotional, and social well-being. Holistic care is a combination of traditional and non-traditional remedies. As with every modality of care for our pets we want the very best for them. Modern traditional methods are often the best response to minimize the impacts of a sickness, disease, or injury. There is no simple replacement of remedies to be found on the “web” that will replace the years of schooling and medical practice of an experienced physician. However, there are some holistic remedies that are appropriate for most families.
Some Holistic Solutions
One of the most common problems with pets is fleas. While we can’t eliminate all fleas there are two simple remedies that may help to reduce their impact.
Brewers Yeast – Adding a bit of powdered brewers yeast to your pets dry food. This will cause them to be less savory to fleas and mosquitos. This is a solution where a little is good and more is not better. If your pet gets to much they may experience a mild to wild case of gas and intestinal upset. If your pet has existing food allergies you should consult with your veterinarian first.
Nematodes – The second remedy focuses on reducing the flea population in your yard. Nematode worms eat flea larva. Placing these worms in your yard may help to reduce the flea population over time.
Sometimes our friends can get a little irregular. You may notice your pet straining or being a little less regular. Like us constipation can cause lethargy and discomfort. A simple potential solution is to give your pet a little canned pumpkin. Often this will help to smooth things out and help things along. If the problem persists for more than a day or two it is best to seek the assistance of a quality veterinarian.
On occasion we will notice that our pets will get hotspots on their face. Symptoms may include excessive face rubbing and minor hair loss. The problem might be something very simple that your pet interacts with everyday, their food bowl. If you use plastic food bowls replace them with metal, glass, or food grade ceramic. Bacterial nastiness can hide in the porous plastic and result in significant discomfort for your friend. If the facial hotspots are severe, are causing your pet significant discomfort, or if changing out the food bowl does not help in a couple of days immediately contact your veterinarian.
Like with us itchy skin can be caused by a wide variety of problems. These problems include sunburn, bug bites, eczema, or dry skin. For minor cases of itchy skin there are two common home remedies that often work well.
1. Oatmeal – Make a paste of finely ground oatmeal, cooled of course, and apply to the effected areas. Let the paste set for a few minutes before rinsing off.
2. Chamomile Tea – Make a small batch of chamomile tea and cool in it the refrigerator. A light application carefully applied often helps reduce itching. Be careful how you choose to apply the tea. Often spraying will result in a startled pet and unhappy results. If spraying is not an option try using a clean cotton cloth dampened in the tea and gently dabbing the area.
If the itching is severe, there are open wounds from scratching, or if it persists contact your veterinarian for professional help.
While we love our pets and want to find simple remedies for their issues often times the best remedy is to call a qualified veterinarian. An integrative veterinarian can help identify environmental as well as physical health issues that affect your pet, and in New Jersey you can always rely on Dr. Kendra Pope.