Thursday, August 6, 2009

Holistic Care for Our Pets

Most people are surprised to learn that there are alternative veterinarians available for our animals. When we brought our border collie Izzy home at sixteen weeks old, we drove one and a half hours to holistic vet Karen Becker. The visit was amazing. We were taken to a room without the sterile tables I remember taking our dogs to as a child. Instead the room was painted in calming colors (for the humans I assume) and a blanket was laid out on the floor. Dr. Becker came in and offered Izzy a dehydrated sweet potato which she loved. Then she got down on the floor with her to do the exam. We found out that Izzy had already been over vaccinated. Poor little baby. Sixteen weeks and already full of chemicals. To learn more about over vaccinating cats and dogs, watch this video. It is especially important for smaller dogs.

Fortunately a new holistic vet moved into the area and is only twenty minutes away from home. When Izzy tore a ligament in her knee, she did not receive x-rays. Instead she received herbs and chiropractic care. For four visits and herbs, we paid less than $300. Not to bad when I consider a neighbor who had a similar problem spent over a thousand and is now struggling with getting her pet off medications.

Izzy instantly became a member of our family and like any member of our family, we want to treat her well. We make sure she is exercised everyday, we set up play dates with her best canine friend, we pet her often and provide lots of mental stimulation (hide and seek is her favorite). Also, we make sure she isn't eating a diet full of processed food. Originally we bought a pre-made raw food diet which she preferred 100% over the kibble she received before coming to our home. Then she started throwing it up. My original plan was to provide a homemade diet anyhow, so this seemed the perfect time. Now Izzy gets different foods everyday. I purchase meat, organs and bones from our farmer and mix it with veggies and fruits that we are eating. Not too challenging. If you are considering switching to a raw food diet for your pet or just curious about raw food diets, check out this video.

The health of our pets is important. Just as with our human family members, if we don't treat our bodies right, we will pay the consequences. By reducing the vaccines we put in their bodies to the foods they eat, we can help keep our pets healthy and happy for a long time.