Natural Animal Health Care

Course CodeBAG218
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment



Healthy, effective alternatives to synthetic chemicals do exist

  • Learn to understand techniques used to manage animal health naturally
  • Work and care for animals in a more natural and holistic way, 
  • Avoid chemical toxicity and adverse reactions in your pets and children
  • 100 hour, self paced course -extensive support from expert tutors

This course covers holistic therapies such as naturopathy, homeopathy, herbal treatments, tactile therapy, and natural nutrition, and discusses a range of conditions that affect domestic animals and provides a range of natural ideas and solutions for treating these conditions.

“This course has been written to give people an overview of philosophies associated with this diverse and interesting topic. It deals with possible remedies for different common animal problems and conditions.” M. Cullen - Dip. Landcare & Natural Resources, Assoc. Dip. SMI, B. Teaching

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Natural Animal Health Care
    • Limitations of Conventional Medicine
    • Holistic Treatments
    • Homeopathy
    • Flower Essences
    • Naturopathy
    • Natural Nutrition
    • Tactile Therapy (Massage, Equine Tactile Therapy, Bowen Therapy, Canine Myofunctional Therapy)
    • Physiotherapy
    • Shiatsu
    • Reflexology
    • Osteopathy
    • Chiropractic
    • Acupuncture
    • Microcurrent
    • Microwave Therapies
    • Ayurvedic Medicine
    • Traditional Chinese Medicine
    • Benefits of Natural Health Care
    • Codes of Practice for Animal Welfare
    • Health & Safety in Veterinary Practice (Separating Animals, Infectious Diseases, Containing Disease, Disposal of Dead/Infected Tissues, Dangerous non-Animal Wastes, Storage & Handling of Supplements/Equipment).
  2. Signs of Ill Health
    • Normal Vital Signs
    • Recognising ill health
    • Disease Diagnosis
    • Homeopathic Remedies
    • Signs of Shock
    • Signs of Internal Bleeding
    • Signs of Poisoning
    • First Aid
  3. Natural Nutrition for Animals
    • The effect of Modern Living on Domestic Animals
    • Processed Pet Foods
    • Effect of Poor Nutrition on Animal Behaviour
    • Good Nutrition for Domesticated Animals (Carbohydrates, Protein, Fats/Lipids, Minerals, Vitamins, Supplements, Recipes)
    • Nutritional Problems in Animals (Allergies, Dermatitis, Overweight, Underweight, Liver Disease, Livestock (Mineral supplements for farm animals, Nutritional Supplements)
  4. Holistic Health Care - Maintaining Health
    • Creating a Healthy Environment (Domestic pets, Livestock)
    • Health Maintenance
    • Preventing Arthritis in Dogs
    • The Vaccination Debate
    • Pet Dental Care
    • Flea Control
    • Disease Prevention in Livestock
    • Preventing Disease in Poultry
    • Avian Influenza
  5. Holistic Health Care - Treating Health Problems
    • Naturopathic Treatment
    • Homeopathic Treatment
    • Herbalism
    • Treating Common Ailments (Arthritis, Skin Problems, Digestive Complaints, Diabetes, Dental Problems)
    • Pain Management
    • Identifying Pain
    • Pain Relief Medication
    • Herbal Treatments
    • Homeopathy
    • Flower Essences
    • Physical Therapy
    • Equine Tactile Therapy
    • Bowen Therapy
    • Canine Myofunctional Therapy
    • Behavioural Problems (Dogs-excessive barking, digging, aggression, phobias; Cats ...urine spraying, scratching furniture, aggression; Birds)
  6. Animal Diseases & Health Problems (Domestic Animals)
    • Dogs- Distemper, Heartworm, Parvo virus, Hydatid Disease
    • Cats- Ringworm, Feline Aids - Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Hairballs, Feline Herpes Virus or Cat Flu
    • Rodents - Respiratory problems and Mycoplasma, Abscesses
    • Reptiles - Mouth Rot or Canker (Stomatitis); cytoparasites (Mites), Pneumonia, Fish and Cage Birds
  7. Animal Diseases & Health Problems (Livestock)
    • Notifiable Diseases
    • Control of Internal Parasites
    • Horses (Tetanus, Lock Jaw, Strangles, Parasites, Colic, Equine Influenza)
    • Cattle (Parasites, Mastitis)
    • Pigs (Exudative Epidermitis of pigs (Greasy Pig), Leptospirosis, Parasites); Sheep (Enterotoxemia (Pulpy Kidney), Cutaneous Myiasis (Blow Fly strike)), Poultry (Newcastle Disease (NCD), Yolk Sac Infection, Infectious Bronchitis (IB))
  8. Animal Health Care Case Study Research Project
    • Evaluate symptoms of ill-health displayed by an animal
    • Determine the problem and decide on a natural course of treatment for the specific health problem suffered by the animal
    • Develop a management plan that the owner of the animal can undertake to help treat the problem and relieve associated pain and discomfort.


  • Explain the principles and benefits of natural animal health care
  • Recognise common signs of ill health in different animals
  • Explain the principles of natural nutrition for animals.
  • Describe requirements for preventative health care in animals.
  • Recognise common diseases, health problems and natural treatments for those problems in domestic animals
  • Develop an understanding of natural treatments for health problems in animals
  • Recognise some common diseases, health problems and natural treatments for those problems in livestock.
  • Develop a natural treatment plan for a specific health problem of an animal


Holistic Treatment or “Holistic Therapies” are designed to treat the whole patient whether it be animal or human as opposed to the specific symptom they may be displaying.

Holistic treatment is thought to treat the illness by boosting the immune system and overall health of the animal, which will in turn treat any secondary illnesses. The foundation of holistic treatment is optimal nutrition. This is the “fuel” for the body and therefore needs to contain all of the essential components that an animal needs to boost its immune system and maintain health. We look at natural nutrition in more detail later in the course.

Other important elements of the holistic treatment of ailments and diseases in animals are naturopathy, herbal treatments, tactile therapy and homeopathy.

Natural therapies are not always supported by the same degree of research as mainstream veterinary practices. This course is not designed to endorse particular therapies, nor to make you into a practitioner, but it will raise your awareness and understanding of what might be considered.


At the turn of the 21st Century, about 25% of physicians were homeopaths. Homeopathy is a system of medicine where animals are given herbal preparations in minute doses, which cause the same symptoms as the condition (illness) which they are being used to treat. Homeopathic treatments are intended to stimulate the immune system, so that the body can in effect “cure” itself.
Homeopathic medicines work by communicating a frequency of energy through the entire body to catalyse self-healing.

There are four main principles underlying the practice of Homeopathy. These are:

1. Law of Similar (Like treats Like) – Treat diseases with remedies that produce similar symptoms in a healthy animal.

2. Doctrine of using Proved Remedies – Use only remedies which have been proven to work. This is carried out through systematic investigation of the pathogenic power of the medicine under varying parameters.

3. Doctrine of Single Remedy – Use only a single remedy at a time so that it can demonstrate its pure action.

4. Doctrine of Potentisation (Dilution) – Homeopathic medicines should be diluted or reduced inline with methods outlined in the homeopathic pharmacopoeia.

Homeopaths treat a single disease in an animal by looking at all of the symptoms of this disease. The homeopath will then prescribe one medication which is chosen as it can produce all of the symptoms observed in an animal, rather than treating each individual symptom with a specific medication (as in conventional medicine). This single treatment is chosen as it is found to be the best catalyst for the body’s total defence response. This minimises the use of medicines and treats all of the symptoms at the same time. It is also more cost-effective than traditional medicine.

The remedies prepared by homeopaths contain minute doses of herbs, minerals or animal products such as bee venom and cuttlefish ink. These are diluted and agitated repeatedly which means only miniscule amounts actually enter the animal’s body. Concern has been voiced that there is not enough of the healing properties left in the mixture to work successfully. However, homeopathic belief is that the medicine contains the “healing energy” of the original material, therefore, large quantities of the healing substance are not required.

Flower Essences

These are homeopathic preparations often used to treat emotional and behavioural problems in animals. Commonly used flower essences include Bach Flower Essence and in Australia, the Australian Bush Flower Essences. Flower essences have been used to assist dogs with the treatment of aggression, submissiveness, fears, separation anxiety, stress and trauma.



The medical dictionary defines naturopathy as a drugless system of therapy by the use of physical forces, such as air, light, water, heat, massage and the like. Naturopathy is a holistic approach, aiming at getting the whole body to fight disease which is usually attributable to excessive amount of toxins in the body.

Principles of Naturopathy

1. Primum non nocere - Do no harm. Provide the most effective care possible with the least amount of risk at all times.

2. Teach Prevention - Prevent rather than cure.

3. Tolle Causum Treat the cause, rather than suppressing or eliminating the symptoms.

4. Holistic Approach. Treat the whole person. Treat each person on an individual basis considering their health factors and influences.

5. vis medicatrix naturae – Nature inherent in individuals has innate healing powers.

6. Doctor as Teacher – Encourage self-responsibility and educate patients on the benefits of positive lifestyle changes.

Veterinarians using naturopathy have recorded great success in its use on animals. One vet in the US found that 9 out of 10 patients he treated for skin irritations with naturopathy recovered within two weeks. This vet also found naturopathy to be beneficial in treating many other ailments including obesity, rheumatism and arthritis, constipation, gastritis, kidney stones and heart worm among others.



Hippocrates once said “Food should be our medicine and medicine should be our food”. With this philosophy in mind, we look at the importance of nutrition in health maintenance and fighting disease. Natural nutrition is the movement away from highly processed animal foods to whole and raw foods especially designed to cater for the nutritional needs of specific animals. Due to the mystifying nature of food labels and the effect of processing on the nutritional value of food, people are becoming more wary of purchasing these foods for their pets. Whole, raw foods are also free from preservatives and additives which can have negative long term effects on the health of animals.

Some pet owners and specialists are moving towards whole raw foods that contain optimal nutritional value. Variety is essential in the preparation of meals to ensure the best balance of nutrients. Animals differ in the way they absorb certain proteins, vitamins and minerals. A variation in their diet will ensure that they get the most out of food and avoid boredom.



Tactile therapy is focused on treating animals with touch or physical therapy. There are many forms of physical therapy available for animals, ranging from massage to chiropractic treatments. It is important to keep in mind that although animals do not generally openly display signs of pain, it can be present and should always be checked for and monitored.

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