While a great number of dog owners resort to taking their dogs to their trusted veterinarians and having them treated using conventional medications and procedures, a growing number of dog owners are drawn to seeking out homeopathic practitioners who treat their canine companions with herbs and natural remedies. This current trend originates from the desire for dog owners to avoid the use of traditional medications which at times can be straightforwardly harmful and downright dangerous, opting instead for natural healing options. One of the most famous homeopaths in the pet world is Dr. Richard Pitcairn, a graduate of the University of California Davis and author of books.
Homeopathic Versus Traditional Medicine
While both traditional and homeopathic medicine focus mainly on easing the pain and suffering of dogs, both of these practices attempt to reach their goals using different paths. The main goal of homeopathic medicine is to heal the body on its own, by stimulating its underlying vital forces. Instead of masking symptoms by using drugs as in the traditional Western approach, homeopathy stimulates the body’s innate powers to heal itself.
Conventional medicine on the other hand, tends to focus mostly on the body part than seeing the body as a whole. For instance, a traditional veterinarian when faced with a dog affected by a cough, will likely focus on the dog’s chest, by auscultating the lungs and possibly prescribing a cough suppressant. A homeopath on the other hand, will see the coughing episodes as something suggesting that the body is out of balance and must be stimulated to heal by relying on its natural self-healing response. This is accomplished through the administration of homeopathic remedies.
Guide to Using Homeopathic Remedies for Dogs
Homeopathic remedies mainly focuses on triggering symptoms similar to those that the dog already has. This may be a quite confusing concept in those new to this practice because it may sound quite controversial. However, this is the staple of homeopathy, stimulating the body to respond by resorting to its own healing powers.
For instance, a dog who is suffering from episodes of vomiting will be treated with very diluted amounts of a plant, mineral or animal substance that on its own that would cause vomiting in the first place. Because the amounts of such substances are tiny, they will not be toxic; however, they will be sufficient to stimulate the body’s own healing powers to overcome the condition.
Currently, there are more than 2,000 homeopathic remedies designed for pets that will treat a variety of both acute and chronic conditions. Some of the most common remedies are made of sulfur, bee venom, and even poison ivy. While these ingredients may cause concern to many dog owners, as already mentioned, these substances are diluted in such a way that they are very safe to use.
One of the main considerations owners must keep in mind when considering homeopathic remedies for dogs is that they are not miracle cures. These remedies may or may not work. This is an important factor to keep in mind, because often dog owners tend to resort to homeopathy in the hope that their dog will ”resuscitate” and make a full recovery. Under certain circumstances, the dog’s healing powers may not be stimulated because the body itself is already too badly damaged by a serious disease or accident, therefore, healing cannot take place and homeopathic remedies will not be effective.
Deciding if Homeopathy is Right for Your Dog
Is homeopathic medicine the right therapy for your dog? Will your dog improve when embracing it? Have you already tried traditional medications? You should carefully evaluate if homeopathic medicine is the right choice for your dog by keeping into consideration some important guidelines that must be followed when giving homeopathic remedies to your dog.
- Generally, in order to work, homeopathic remedies should be given on an empty stomach, at least one hour prior to feeding. This comes from the belief that food may interfere with the proper absorption of the remedies.
- Homeopathic remedies are mostly given by mouth and need to melt on the gums. They are more commonly found under the form of pellets or liquids.
- According to Dog’s Naturally Magazine, it’s important to not touch the pellets directly with your hands to save their integrity. You’ll have to drop them into your dog’s cheek.
- Homeopathic medicine does not typically cause any side effects. The side effects are mostly seen in the injectable forms that aren’t used as often. The low chances for side effects is a very welcomed feature for all those dog owners concerned about adverse effects derived from traditional medicine.
- A condition known as “homeopathic aggravation” may occur. What this means is that the dog’s condition may deteriorate a little after treatment, but this is a sign suggesting that the remedy is working since it’s part of the healing process. These episodes are usually short-lived, mild and harmless, according to Homeopathy Plus.
- Dogs treated with homeopathic remedies should not be given any other medications or supplements without consulting with the homeopath first.
- Several homeopaths believe that dog vaccinations tend to interfere with homeopathic treatments as they affect the dog’s immune system.
- A reputable homeopath will usually start off by performing a physical exam before prescribing anything and will collect a lot of information about the dog’s medical, dietary and behavioral history.
- Looking for a good homeopath for your dog? The Academy of Veterinary Homeopaths may help you find a veterinary homeopath in your area.
The Bottom Line
If your dog has been dealing with chronic conditions that do not respond to conventional medicine or if your dog has suffered from side effects, homeopathy may be a viable option. The first step is to find a reputable homeopath or a veterinarian that specializes in this practice. If many people are benefiting from homeopathic remedies there is no reason why dogs should not benefit from these natural treatments as well.