Holistic treatments that will improve your dog's wellbeing

Picture this: Ollie is lying on his back, paws in the air getting his belly rubbed by expert hands while listening to soothing tunes.

Who can say they have never experienced the bliss of a massage? Apparently not your dog!

Before considering medication or surgery to treat our pets, more and more owners are turning to a holistic approach.

Let’s look at some of the alternative ways to take care of our pet’s health.

Pet massages

Canine massage therapy has been shown to improve not only physical health but also mental health. By helping muscle tension ease, a massage session will see your dog stress and nervous levels disappear.

Massages can also help recover from an injury quicker.

What are the benefits?

  • Better flexibility
  • Relaxation
  • Relief of muscle tension or spasms
  • Reducing arthritis discomfort
  • Improved circulation

Is it for my dog?

If you dog is nervous & anxious or if your dog shows some age-related issues (joint pain, arthritis) then consider massage therapy to improve their overall health and well being.

Consult with your vet or professional canine massage therapist to begin with. If you feel comfortable massaging your dog yourself, they can teach you techniques you can apply at home. It can be a great bonding experience!

Dog lying on the grass getting belly rubs

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils extracted from certain plants, to improve physical and emotional health.

You can use them diluted in oil (almond or jojoba) for massages or in a diffuser. Your dog’s sense of smell is extremely strong so make sure not to overwhelm them and use essential oils lightly. Make sure to purchase high quality essential oils.

What are the benefits?

  • Expect your dog to feel more grounded, relaxed and safe. Essential oils such as lavender or ylang-ylang will help sooth your dog naturally.
  • Inhibits bacteria and fungi (lavender, myrrh, peppermint)
  • Soothes aches and age-related ailments, both physical and cognitive (cedarwood, grapefruit).

Is it for my dog?

All dogs AND their owners can benefit from the use of essential oils.

A little warning: not all essential oils are safe for dogs so make sure to do your research or stick to the most popular ones. Essential oil can burn the skin so make sure to dilute them in massaging oil and rub in your hands before applying to the fur.

Grey dog swimming

Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy has become a popular treatment for recovery after an accident or surgery.

Hydrotherapy is physical therapy but in the water. It is very gentle on the joints as the body floats but also offers resistance. Typically, your dog will be doing one of this three methods: underwater treadmill, whirlpool or dog pool. In any case, your dog will be under constant supervision and the water temperature is controlled.

What are the benefits?

  • Improved circulation & flexibility
  • Decreased joint pain
  • Better endurance & muscle strength

Is it for my dog?

If your dog is recovering from an injury (ie fracture, hip dysplasia) or if your dog suffers from degenerative diseases (ie arthritis) you should consider hydrotherapy.

There are many more holistic approaches to our pet’s health such as acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine, that have become a common step before or alongside traditional medicine.

Let us know in the comments if you & your pet have tried any alternative treatments and what was your experience?

Disclaimer: With every treatment, whether conventional medicine or alternative medicine, seek the professional opinion of experts in holistic veterinary.

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