Many pet owners, myself included, are looking at more natural diets and forms of treatment for our pets. Most veterinarians practice the traditional form of medicine, but holistic vets are entering the market in greater numbers.
Holistic vets look at all aspect of the pet’s life that contribute to his well-being. Some of the factors analyzed include nutrition, physical environment and social environment. Vets that consider themselves holistic often will use a combination of traditional and alternative practices to address health concerns.
When looking for a holistic vet it’s important to be sure their care philosophy and yours match. Be sure to ask questions to ensure the holistic vet will meet your needs. If possible, look for vets that use a combination of traditional and complementary methods, this is the “best” of both worlds.
Here are some questions to ask when looking for a prospective practitioner for your pet:
- What diet do you recommend? What vaccine schedule?
- How do traditional and complementary practices differ in treating my pet’s condition?
- What are the pluses and minuses of either approach?
Ask about the practitioner’s training in alternative therapies, since some of the techniques do not have a large number of college programs available (for example, there is only one program for vets that teaches medical acupuncture grounded in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology).
Holistic treatments can offer a lot of help for many illnesses, but it’s important to find a qualified practitioner. When looking for a holistic practitioner in your area, check with your vet or the website of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (ahvma.org).
Information from Natural Cat Magazine, Fall 2010 issue was used for this post