Working with Your Vet to Become More Holistic

You want the best for your pet no matter what.

So if your dog or cat is sick, you’re willing to think outside the box—even if that means alternative and holistic treatments not offered by your veterinarian.

That leaves you with two options: you can find a holistic vet in your area or you can work with your existing vet. A nearby holistic vet is certainly a good option. But while holistic vets are certainly more and more common these days, finding one nearby could pose a problem. Plus, what if you like your existing vet and he or she is willing to work with you on alternative treatments?

Here are some ways to work with your vet on a more holistic treatment plan for your pet.

Think Before You Act

Unless it’s an emergency situation (your dog was hit by a car, for instance), don’t feel like you have to immediately decide on the treatment plan your vet is suggesting. Hear him out and research those options. If possible, find people who have pets with a similar condition and ask them how their situation turned out with various treatments. If you don’t like the treatment option your vet suggested, research and find some alternatives.

Research, Research, Research

There’s a lot of information available, which can be both good and bad—good because there’s a lot of valuable information that can help in your education on a topic, bad because there’s also a lot of misinformation that may confuse you. Knowing the difference can be tricky. When you go to a website, go to the about page and figure out who the author or organization is. Look for credentials or years of experience. For instance, a homeopathic veterinarian’s website could be a helpful resource, while a random blogger’s post on one pet topic would not be. There are also many books out there written by qualified experts and holistic veterinarians that can also be very useful. Once you have a good amount of research, print it out and take it to your vet or email it to him. Give him some time to absorb it before following up.

Treatment Support Options

After discussing the alternatives with your vet and if you both feel conventional treatment is necessary, find out holistic ways you can minimize the potential side effects of the treatment. For instance, if you need to give your dog antibiotics, you can ask your vet to prescribe probiotics to help keep the good bacteria in the gut from being destroyed by the antibiotics.

A Healthy Vaccine Protocol

Overvaccination of pets is a serious problem that can lead to many possible health issues. According to renowned holistic veterinarian and researcher W. Jean Dodds’ Pet Health Resource Blog, “research shows that our pets simply don’t require annual vaccination boosters to keep them protected…and the truth is that once your dog has completed his puppy series (or kitten series for cats) for the core vaccines, there is a good chance his body will maintain immunity to these diseases for life.” Talk to your vet about taking a much less aggressive approach to vaccinations if you are vaccinating frequently.

Healthy Food Options

Feeding human-grade food to your pets will go a long way in improving their general health. There are an increasing number of healthy pet food options on the market these days, and there is also home cooking. If you go this route, you can work with your vet to create a custom meal plan with appropriate supplements. You can also try The Honest Kitchen’s line of Base Mixes with which you can create balanced meals by adding meat.

Work with a Consulting Vet

There may be cases—particularly with chronic health issues—where you need more than one vet. Many holistic veterinarians will do remote consults. So if your vet doesn’t feel comfortable in treating your pet holistically because he doesn’t have the experience, but he’s open to consulting with a more experienced holistic vet, this could be an option.

Going a more holistic route to care for your pets doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your vet. With open minds and communication, you can create a holistic treatment plan together.

Meet the Author: Jessica Peralta

Jessica Peralta has been a journalist for more than 15 years and an animal lover all her life. She has had dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, and rabbits. Her current children are a German shepherd named Guinness and a black kitten named Riot (and he lives up to that name). It’s because of her love for animals that she focused her journalistic career to the world of holistic animal care and pet nutrition. In between keeping Riot and Guinness out of mischief, she’s constantly learning about all the ways she can make them healthier and happier.

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