Complementary Therapies for Dogs

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There are many complementary therapies that can be used to safely treat your pet for various conditions from post-operative care to anxiety.

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Treating Dogs With Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient form of treatment that uses needles that are specially positioned in different parts of the body to alleviate pain. Acupuncture can also increase a pet’s resistance to disease. With Eastern origins, it has become popular in other parts of the world in recent times. While it has been used for treating humans for many years, it is only recently that it has become a form of pet treatment. It can be used for arthritis, sprains and strains, back pain, problems with the digestive system, incontinence, immune problems and chronic skin conditions in cats and dogs. You can search online for veterinary acupuncturists.

Homeopathy for Dogs

Homeopathy is a controversial treatment among the medical profession. Some people believe in the healing potential of homeopathy for dogs and cats. All forms of homeopathy use diluted, non-toxic remedies to treat a variety of conditions. The basis of treatment is that the remedy will promote the natural healing system; however, even though homeopathy has been used for thousands of years, no one is certain how it works. Essential oils and plant extracts are used to treat anxiety, arthritis and problems with their digestive system. There has been some evidence to suggest that homeopathy has been used to treat cancerous growths. There will be homeopathic vets near you

Hydrotherapy for Dogs

Many vets are recommending canine hydrotherapy to increase the rate of recovery after some forms of surgery. Injuries and surgery can be effectively helped with hydrotherapy to reduce inflammation and pain as well as allowing the repair of soft tissue, muscles and ligaments in hips, legs and paws.

Hydrotherapy is often undertaken in a controlled environment, such as a small pool with or without a treadmill. Each session will be usually short in duration. For some dogs, they will start with a few sessions lasting about 30 or so seconds with a few minutes of rest in between. Age and breed variations will determine the appropriate period of treatment. It can improve a dog’s quality of life. The main purpose of hydrotherapy is to get the dog back to health and restore mobility. If a dog has pain in its legs, then it is unlikely to want to exercise, which in turn leads to the joints and limbs becoming stiff and sore. This is vicious circle that can be broken with hydrotherapy. The treatment can be effective for hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament damage. Such conditions will be treated with a few sessions over a week for a number of weeks to see a marked improvement.

Low Allergen Diets for Dogs

There is growing evidence to suggest that there are a range of food allergies affecting dogs. Finding a way to treat them is not straightforward. Symptoms of allergies in dogs can be ear infections, diarrhoea, itchy skin and a dull coat. All diets need to promote health and wellbeing. It is highly likely that health problems can be associated with poor diet. To avoid unnecessary health issues, dogs can be fed on a low-allergen, hypo-allergenic diet. Such diets will be made without including ingredients such as beef, soya, diary and wheat as well as artificial additives. There are various brands of dog food that are sold in your local pet shop that will be low allergen, hypo-allergenic. You can also find treats that are free of cereals. Protein in the diet can be based on rabbit, fish, poultry or game and rice is often used instead of cereals.

Dog Massage

You can find therapists who are trained to provide canine massage and training to owners. It can be effective in improving muscle tissue and joint conditions. Massage can highlight the early signs of serious problems such as hip arthritis and cruciate ligament injury. Massage can also be effective after some types of surgery. Dogs can display aggression towards other dogs if they feel compromised as a result of hiding injury or pain.

Sensory Therapies for Dogs

We often feel relaxed when we are in specific situations or surrounded with certain things or colours. The same can be said for dogs. There are various sensory therapies that can reduce anxiety and stress in dogs which can also reduce behavioural issues that have become apparent in your dog. Aromatherapy can be used to reduce stress and anxiety in dogs, especially where this is caused by being in unfamiliar places or in situations that they were not expecting. You can also purchase pheromone sprays to reduce distress in dogs, leaving them feeling more relaxed in particular environments and situations. There are products that imitate pheromones released by nursing bitches that helps them realise they are safe. You can also plant various plants in your garden that are suitable for relaxing your dog and encourage them to explore a more sensory space.

Supplements for Dogs

As dogs reach old age, their dietary requirements change. Some will require supplements to support their diet and to deal with mobility, arthritis, problems with digestion and skin complaints. Joint care can be improved with glucosamine and calcium supplements. As dogs age, they will become less mobile. Some products help with brain ageing to deal with conditions and behaviours such as howling at night, disorientation, apathy and tiredness. Fish-based products can help with a range of skin conditions. A dog’s coat can improve with the use of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids such as cod liver oil and vitamins A, D and E supplements.

As with all forms of treatments for your dog it is important to seek veterinary advice before undergoing any change to treatment or beginning a new form, even if your vet is not supportive of or aware of the benefits of your choice of treatment. To ensure that you are not causing any harm to your dog, it is best to ensure that you seek treatment from someone who is qualified to provide treatment and advice. You will find that therapists should be registered with national bodies that support alternative treatments for dogs and will be insured. If you are unsure of any treatment, do not risk it.

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