More now than ever, pet owners have options at their fingertips. A quick trip to Google yields all sorts of opinions, experiences, and information about various pet topics that are sure to make your head spin.
With this influx of information, alternative medicine in pets is also becoming a more and more popular option as well. But pet owners everywhere are asking: Is alternative medicine for pets safe? Paws, Purrs and Exotics Pet Hospital is here to set the record straight.
What Counts as Alternative Medicine for Pets?
The problem with answering questions about alternative medicine in pets is that the definition of alternative medicine is a pretty broad one.
Alternative medicine options encompass things that are outside of traditional mainstream Western medicine. It can include things like:
- Laser therapy
- Herbal medicine
- Chiropractic care
- Essential oils
- Massage therapy
- Rehabilitation therapy
Is Alternative Medicine Safe?
Again, whether alternative medicine options are safe or not isn’t a black and white answer. There are many complementary and alternative therapies that can be quite beneficial for pets. There are equally as many that are likely harmless. And, of course, there are some that are downright dangerous. So how are you as a pet owner to know the difference?
In general, it is best to steer clear of do-it-yourself remedies. Working under the guidance of a veterinarian is always the best way to ensure that your pet is receiving the care they deserve.
Many times, at-home alternative therapies can delay appropriate diagnosis and treatment or even interfere with other treatments or medications! Some alternative therapies like homeopathy do not have any basis in science and can be detrimental to your pet.
There are, however, reputable veterinarians who have training and certifications in complementary alternative therapies such as acupuncture, rehabilitation therapy, chiropractic medicine, and herbal treatments. You can look for holistic veterinarians in your area in order to find a practitioner that can help in treating your pet.
Alternative therapies can be a great complement to more traditional therapies, and may be a good option where Western medicine is exhausted. It is important, though, that if you choose to explore it for your pet that you do so under the guidance of a trained veterinarian after first diagnosing what may be wrong.
When properly utilized, alternative medicine for pets can be a wonderful tool. But, like any type of medical treatment, there is the potential for harm when done without an in-depth understanding of animal anatomy and physiology. If you are interested in these therapies for your pet, let us know so that we can help set you off in the right direction.