(Picture Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Lots of different therapies fall under the umbrella of alternative medicine (also called holistic medicine). But many of them have this philosophy in common: consider and treat all aspects of the patient’s life, not just the symptoms.
Here are a few of the most popular ones:
- Chiropractic care provides hands-on spinal adjustments for your dog, just like you’d get, to relieve pain.
What Vets Think About Alternative Medicine
Some veterinarians don’t care for alternative therapies since, unlike conventional veterinary medicine, some of them haven’t been scientifically proven to work.
However, that doesn’t mean they’re ineffective; it just means they haven’t been put to the test in well-conducted government studies. And there are plenty of vets who are open to the alternative approach. Some veterinary schools now provide tracks in holistic medicine, and some vets offer alternative therapies alongside conventional treatments.
Find A Practitioner
If you’re looking for a qualified alternative medicine veterinary practitioner, word of mouth is often the best way to go. Try asking your vet, and talk to other dog owners. You can also visit one of these organizations for a referral:
When deciding on a practitioner, make sure they’re licensed or certified by whatever organization governs the therapy. For instance, anyone doing chiropractic work on your dog should be certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association.
Use common sense
You wouldn’t give your dog a conventional medication without knowing anything about it or consulting with your vet. The same thing goes for some alternative therapies. You won’t do any harm if you massage your dog, but giving incorrect dosages of potent herbs or supplements is another story. Just because a substance is natural doesn’t mean it’s harmless regardless of how much you give your dog. Water is necessary for survival, but you can also drink too much water and die. Be sure to educate yourself on the substances and doses of alternative medicines and herbs to be able to keep your dog safe.