Thursday, April 30, 2009

Holistic Alternatives for Pets

You may ask, what does the term ‘holistic’ mean? The word holistic is derived from the word ‘whole’. Holistic veterinary medicine, therefore, refers to the treatment of the whole organism rather than the treatment of individual body parts or simply the removal of symptoms. Under the heading of holistic veterinary medicine are many modalities including acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic, homeopathy, Chinese herbs, Western herbs, flower essences, energy healing modalities such as Reiki, applied kinesiology, magnetic therapy and nutrition.

Holistic alternatives are more readily available for pets than in the recent past and their use is growing in popularity among many veterinarians. Holistic alternatives can be used as complimentary therapies in conjunction with your pet’s regular veterinary care. For example, if your pet has a broken leg your veterinarian would need to do surgery to repair the break. In addition, a holistic therapy could also be used to help speed the healing process and decrease the amount of pain and inflammation that would accompany a broken leg. This is how traditional veterinary care and holistic veterinary medicine are used to complement one another to the benefit of an animal’s health.

The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association’s web site,, is a great resource to locate a veterinarian in your area that is certified in holistic modalities. I would recommend seeking holistic alternatives for your pets in addition to any traditional treatments that are available.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Is Your Dog Afraid Of Thunderstorms?

As the old saying goes "April showers bring May flowers". However, those April showers often bring thunderstorms with them. This begs the question (no pun intended), "Is your dog afraid of thunderstorms?"

Dogs being afraid of thunderstorms is a very common occurrence. Sometimes dogs become frightened by the loud noises and flashes of light. Sometimes their human companions are fearful of thunderstorms and project that fear to their pet, sometimes it's picked up from the pet's parents, siblings or other animals in the house.

I frequently receive calls asking how to correct this problem. By communicating with the pet I am able to find out the reasons why they are frightened by thunderstorms, what they would like to see happen to help them and discuss with their human companions measures that need to be taken.

Here are some helpful tips that seem to work well:

* Allow your dog to wear a close-fitting t-shirt that has a familiar scent. This allows them to have a since of security similar to when they were in the womb of their mothers. This is similar to when a child has a security blanket.

* Find a place for them to hide and call it their "safe place". Each time it looks like there is going to be a thunderstorm, tell them to go to their safe place. After showing and telling them this a few times, they learn what to do. A safe place can be under the bed, in a partially closed closet or in a room without windows.

* Use a calming herb or flower essence solution before the thunderstorms start. Bach's Rescue Remedy is a great product that is easy to find at your local health food store. Consult your veterinarian before giving any supplements to your pet.

Try these suggestions before the thunderstorms start and you should have a calmer time with your furry friend.

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