Natural Animal Health Care
Natural animal health care is a holistic approach to caring for domestic animals and livestock. Rather than treating illness as a singular entity, natural health care focuses on caring for the whole body to help maintain health and fight disease
This approach to health care encompasses many factors including natural nutrition, naturopathy, homeopathy and tactile therapy.
Holistic Treatment or “Holistic Therapies” are designed to treat the whole patient whether it is 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.
Examples of Holistic Practices
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. Diseases are believed to be attributable to excessive amount of toxins in the body.
Principles of Naturopathy
Primum non nocere - Do no harm. Provide the most effective care possible with the least amount of risk at all times.
Teach prevention - Prevent rather than cure.
Tolle Causum Treat the cause, rather than suppressing or eliminating the symptoms.
Holistic Approach - Treat the whole animal. Treat each animal on an individual basis considering their health factors and influences.
Vis medicatrix naturae – Nature inherent in individuals has innate healing powers.
Doctor as Teacher (in humans) – Encourage self-responsibility and educate patients on the benefits of positive lifestyle changes.
Hippocrates has been recorded as once saying 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 towards 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 also 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.
"Whenever an animal is forced into the service of men every one of us must be concerned for any suffering it bears on that account. No one of us may permit any preventable pain to be inflicted, Even though the responsibility for that pain is not ours. No one may appease his conscience by thinking that he would be interfering in something that does not concern him. No one may shut his eyes and think the pain, which is therefore not visible to him, is nonexistent." Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)
Tactile therapy is focused on treating ailments in animals with touch or physical therapy. There are many forms of physical therapy available for animals. 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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