The concept of a “healthy lifestyle” has gone to the dogs. And cats.
Pet health trends abound, particularly where most of Vetted’s clients live in sunny California. What’s the latest-and-greatest when it comes to unusual pet treatments, and what should you think twice about? Here’s our take on the hottest health trends for pets.
Haven’t heard of Reiki yet? (You must not live in L.A.!) Reiki is a Japanese technique for treating stress that’s all about energy, specifically channeling it into another person – or pet! – by hand. Reiki masters say that “laying hands” on a stressed individual can change their “life force energy,” and they’re no longer only treating humans. It’s now relatively simple to find a Reiki Master near you willing to provide Reiki sessions specifically for your pet (dogs, cats, and birds tend to be the most popular), saying the treatment helps alleviate anxiety, assists with healing after surgery or trauma, and can even move a pet through the bereavement period.
Acupuncture for Pets
Acupuncture is anything but new and has in fact been a tent pole treatment Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Acupuncture for animals, though, is really coming into its own. Once the domain of “alternative” vets, acupuncture has been widely adopted by thousands of traditional DVMs across the U.S. as a potential treatment for everything from chronic pain to separation anxiety. Acupuncture is said to improve circulation, stimulate the nervous system, and release anti-inflammatory hormones, but it’s best carried out by a professional. Thankfully, the treatment doesn’t require a “sterile” hospital environment to perform, so many vets are now offering acupuncture as a house call service for clients.
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“Natural” Pet Solutions
Pet people like us see their pets as an extension of their family. With over 44% of Millennials saying they see their pets as “starter children” it should come as no surprise that pet products are going greener and cleaner than ever. We’re seeing a huge uptick in interest in holistic pet treatments like amber flea collars, for example. And the pet industry is taking notice too, manufacturing more and more pet products designed to appeal to the chemically-conscious. From essential oil pet sprays to all-natural grooming “spas” to Dog Rocks designed to eliminate unsightly pee marks in the grass, no area of pet care is now without a chemical-free option.
Magnetic Field Therapy
Magnetic Field Therapy is just what it sounds like. Usually used to treat chronic joint pain or other injuries in pets, it’s an alternative treatment harnessing the power of magnetic fields to “realign” the nerves and compounds in a pet’s body. It doesn’t have much backing among traditional vets but with virtually no side effects, a small footprint, and inexpensive price tag, magnetic therapy might be worth trying if you’ve run out of options for your pet. Remember, it was only a few decades ago that Western doctors all rolled their eyes at the concept of “alternative medicine” altogether!
Cold Laser Therapy
Used on humans for going on forty years, Cold Laser Therapy is one of the fastest-growing alternative treatments for dogs. You may have even heard it called “low-level laser therapy” or “Class IV laser therapy.” Designed to stimulate cells and increase circulation, it’s meant to promote healing in dogs with arthritis, joint injury, and other issues that cause chronic pain. The equipment itself is available only to doctors and is quite expensive, so it’s a professionals-only option. The best part? It’s totally painless and pets even release endorphins during treatment so…why not?
Interested in alternative treatments for your pet? It’s always a good idea to talk to your vet before undergoing anything new. While some treatments are beneficial at best and totally harmless at worst, others could actually negatively impact your pet if not used properly. When in doubt, talk it out!