While we often turn to holistic healing when we or our pets are ill, truthfully holistic healing is even more important for staying healthy and decreasing illness in our lives. In fact, Goal #1 of a holistic healing program is “Prevent Disease.”
Unfortunately, the focus conventional medicine for both people and pets seems to concentrate more on “disease” rather than “health.” While the treatment of disease is important, is much more important to focus on staying healthy. Looking at statistics from human medicine, billions of dollars devoted to treating people with the top three reported diseases could be saved simply by following a holistic program design to keep us healthy.
There are several stages of a holistic healthcare program, and these basically follow the ideas put forth in my book 8 Weeks to a Healthy Dog. In general, staying healthy following a holistic program focuses on minimizing putting things into or onto your pet’s body that are potentially harmful and promote disease and maximizing putting things into or onto your pet’s body that promote health.
For example, most commercial pet foods contain potentially harmful animal and plant byproducts, artificial flavorings and preservatives, and various chemicals. Feeding your pet a natural food or even a homemade diet would be preferable as these foods, especially organic ingredients are chosen, do not contain any potentially harmful chemicals or byproducts.
Likewise, using organic shampoos and flea and tick sprays on your pet is more likely to promote a healthy lifestyle than constantly applying potentially toxic chemicals that accumulate in your pet’s body for a very long time. Many of my new patients have the chemical flea and tick products applied to them on a regular basis, yet when I question their owners and ask if their pets ever have flea or tick problems, the majority of them tell me they do not. If that is the case, one has to wonder why these owners are wasting money applying chemicals needlessly to their pets, especially when the chemicals do nothing to promote health and may promote illness.
Finally, giving your pet quality nutritional supplements such as fish oil, antioxidants, enzymes, probiotics, choline, and health maintenance formulas do a lot to keep pets healthy and prevent diseases. In my own life, I take a number of supplements each day and as a result rarely get sick. The majority of my patients who follow my holistic health program, which includes eating a proper natural diet, taking nutritional supplements, minimizing vaccines, and reducing the amount of conventional medications and chemicals in their bodies stay healthy and rarely become sick and typically live longer. It’s not unusual for example for larger dogs such as retrievers to live 15 or more years if they follow a holistic healthcare program, even though most larger dogs will only live 10 to 12 years if following a strict we conventional approach to healthcare.
While it is true that holistic care can help pets with chronic illnesses such as allergies, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, urinary tract problems, kidney disease, heart disease, and of course cancers, using the same holistic approach can prevent or at least minimize many of these problems by maintaining health and maximizing longevity.