The popularity of alternative medicine has surged in recent years, but many people are starting to realize that many of the same treatments and preventative care are applicable to pets as well. But despite this recent interest in natural medicine for pets, it’s actually almost as old as natural medicine for humans. Two forms of natural medicine which people use regularly and can apply to pets are homeopathy and acupuncture.
Homeopathy is a form of natural medicine which follows the principle that if you want to treat a particular illness, you can use a substance that produces the same symptoms. While that may sound counter-intuitive, the key point is that the substance is diluted thousands of times, sometimes even millions of times, and the more dilute the preparation, the stronger it is at curing the ailment. This principle applies to veterinary homeopathy as well. However, if your pet is suffering from some kind of illness, you would have to consult a veterinary homeopath, as the effect of substances can vary across species.
Acupuncture is an ancient form of alternative medicine that has become particularly popular in recent times due to the growing body of research proving its efficacy. But what’s interesting is that the field of veterinary acupuncture is nearly as old as acupuncture itself. The earliest record of acupuncture on animals was over 3000 years ago in India, but the origins of veterinary acupuncture as an organized, codified form of natural medicine was about 2500 years ago in China. Just as humans have acupuncture points (acupoints), so do animals. But just as with veterinary homeopathy, if you’re interested in veterinary acupuncture for your pet, you’ll need to see a veterinary acupuncturist.
The use of natural medicine for pets is slowly increasing as people become aware of these alternative treatments. There is already a growing market for natural health products and supplements for dogs, cats, birds, and even some other pets. As a pet owner, you should always be informed of any and every forms of treatment or preventative medicines for your companion.