Alternative Medicine For Pets

Catherine Forman

If alternative medicine like acupuncture and aromatherapy can help humans, why can't they help your pets, too? Many types of alternative medicine are perfectly safe and beneficial for your four-legged friends.


Please note that alternative medicine is not always the best treatment for people OR pets. If, for example, your dog is suffering from an infection, a course of antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian will be the most helpful treatment. Please talk to your veterinarian before beginning any sort of alternative medicine or therapy for your pets. Your vet can help you find a trusted, licensed practitioner to help care for your pets.

Alternative medicine may be best and most useful for pets with chronic conditions. The pain of arthritis, for example, may be relieved with acupuncture, acupressure, or even gentle massage. Some horses feel the benefits of sports massage! Hydrotherapy can be beneficial for animals who have suffered an injury or undergone surgery.

A dog with severe separation anxiety may benefit from the calming effects of aromatherapy; the same chamomile scent that can ease human nerves can help relax your pets. Keep in mind that animal noses are MUCH more sensitive than human noses; be sparing with your scents. Too much of a scent can do much more harm than good.

If you are planning to practice alternative medicine on your pets, please do your research. Know what you are doing before you try anything. You could unintentionally do more harm than good. Your vet, groomer, local shelter, or breeders association may be able to point you to a licensed practitioner to help teach you what you need to know.

Most often, a combination of conventional medicine, alternative therapies, and tender, loving care from family members will be the most effective treatment for a sick or injured pet. Sometimes, knowing that you are loved, valued, and wanted is the best medicine of all.


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May 25, 20060 found this helpful

I try to remain open minded about alternative therapies, but I wonder how an acupunture or aroma therapist can know if an animal is feeling better after a treatment. How do they tell you they are no longer in pain, as a human would? Is it a case of making the human feel better, or the animal?

Anyone who considers alternative therapies might be wise to first consult to get a consumer's watch, rational, and skeptical point of view about these things before they part with the big bucks that "alternative medicine" practitioners usually charge for their services.

Just an alternative point of view and some food for thought... :-)

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May 26, 20060 found this helpful

I do preventative maintenance with nutrition....God's Medicine! I have to defend acupuncture though (from a well trained individual) because I have met people that have had dramatic results (same with reflexology...if you have a headache, find a sensitive spot on the fleshy part between your index finger and thumb, then apply pressure, it has to be on the same side of body.) It is amazing what the Chinese/Japanese know, and it shows by their longevity!

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By Leonie Edge (Guest Post)
July 31, 20080 found this helpful

I use Juliette de Bairacli Levy's The Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat, and have found it to be absolutely without peer. I have dachshunds, and one was sick, the other not. I gave what was suggested, the healthy one would not touch the medicine the sick one wolfed it down and was fine the next day. That convinced me, along with the incredibly healthy dogs I've always had and the lack of vet bills. My dogs are not snappy, but they are bright and intelligent.


Last year, I was given a six yo daschie, his coat was so dull and smelly from the "normal" diet. Within a few months, having had his system cleaned out by the diet she recommends, his coat is shiny and the only time he is smelly is either when he rolls in something nasty (a very doggie trait as we all know!), or needs his ears cleaning out.

So de Bairacli Levy does it for me! And my dogs and cat. Dominus tecum, Leonie in Australia

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August 27, 20080 found this helpful

I have heard that acupuncture is very good for pets - such as a dog with arthritis. There are professional vets that offer this service.

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