What is holistic pet care? Is it really a good choice for your dogs and cats? Since August 30 is National Holistic Pet Day, it’s the perfect opportunity to know more about what it really means.


What is Holistic Health?

A holistic approach to health means taking into consideration the whole aspect of taking care of one’s body, meaning taking care of ones physical, emotion, and mental well-being. A Holistic approach considers all of the body’s systems and how they are inter-related and affect one another and the whole body.


Conventional versus Holistic: What’s the difference?

In simple terms, a holistic approach is proactive while a conventional approach is reactive. Conventional medicine tends to focus on the disease and treats the symptoms of the disease, while a holistic approach focuses on the entire pet and their environment. A holistic practitioner will pay attention to your pet’s diet, exercise, behavior, emotions, and their surroundings, and try to prevent problems to arise. A conventional approach is to fix the health problems after they have already happened. But of course, conventional medicine is necessary when diagnosing problems. Procedures like X-rays and blood analysis are essential for veterinarians to provide the right treatment for any health problems your pet may have.


Let’s take a look at some of the basic tools of holistic pet health.



Good quality nutrition from pet food should contain real meat, vegetables and few or no grains. Always avoid any food that contains by-products, fillers, artificial additives and chemical preservatives. These would do a lot of damage to your pet’s health and well-being.


Health Care

Do you need to choose between holistic or conventional pet care? As pet parents, you want to give the best possible care for your pets.  Most would accept an integrated approach to caring for your pet. This means that your pet will get the best of all worlds—a combined approach of conventional partnered with holistic for the ideal help for your dog and cat. An integrated approach offers your pets the ideal care specific to his needs. Alternative/holistic veterinary medicine works great together with conventional medicine. It would also be good to have both a conventional vet and a holistic vet so you can get opinions and advice from different perspectives.



A holistic approach tends to avoid the use of vaccinations, immunizations, and non-natural medications, unless deemed necessary due to serious health concerns and your pet’s age. A general rule of thumb is to vaccinate only for life-threatening diseases that are prevalent in your area or a risk because of your pet’s lifestyle.



Physical and Emotional Well-Being

Keeping your pet happy with a lot of quality time, attention, love, and cuddles is essential for all dogs and cats. This helps strengthen the bond you have with your pets. Spending time and petting your dog and cat is not only beneficial for them, but it can also help lower your blood pressure and relieve stress.


Giving your pets regular exercise is vital to maintaining strong muscles, a healthy body weight and a healthy heart. Keeping them mentally stimulated with interactive toys and teaching them tricks also helps keep them fulfilled and happy.



Alternative Medicine

Western and traditional Chinese herbs, acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, massage as well as magnetic and laser therapy are some of the methods used by holistic veterinarians. These alternative medicines can help contribute to the over all health and well-being of your pet.