Reprinted from Dog.com
On August 30, 2020, we celebrate National Holistic Pet Day - a special day highlighting the importance of whole pet health!
What does “holistic health” mean?
Simply put, it is a wellness approach that addresses the “whole” animal - body, mind, and spirit. Holistic health is all about health and wellness, not disease. It is a preventative lifestyle that incorporates the WHOLE animal. Holistic solutions are gaining more acceptance with pets. It’s been proven that many natural substances, whether found in the earth or produced by the body, can give an immune system a well-needed boost. Just as it works for humans, so it can for pets. National Holistic Pet Day is a chance to help improve your pet’s quality of life by strengthening each of the following:
Nutrition is the cornerstone of holistic pet care. A diet of natural and organic food and treats has numerous health benefits, such as boosting your pet’s immune system, which is an easy way to prevent diseases and other health problems. Our dogs’ digestive systems aren’t meant to deal with many of the preservatives and chemicals found in overly processed pet food. High-quality, natural dog food also helps our dogs fight allergies, intestinal problems, obesity, diabetes, and other food-related diseases. Once you find a food that your pet likes, consult your vet for more information on feeding. Water is the most important nutrient for long, healthy life. Dogs need plenty of fresh water that isn’t potentially contaminated with fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals. Keep your dog’s water safe by using filtered water, never reusing plastic water bottles to fill their water bowls, and using stainless steel dog bowls instead of plastic.
One of the best ways to keep your dog healthy in body is plenty of exercise. In addition to keeping your dog physically fit, it aids weight loss, lowers cholesterol levels, decreases diabetes risk, lessens the risk of heart disease, helps with anxiety, and helps fight certain cancers. It doesn’t take much to get your dog moving around and exercising. Go for plenty of walks or maybe a run. How about a fun game of fetch? Dogs love to chase down their favorite ball or toy. Another added benefit of exercising your dog is that you also get plenty of exercise, and in turn help improve your own health. It’s a win-win situation! Along with muscles, joints, and bones, it’s important to take care of skin and fur, too. Using only natural grooming products and flea and tick preventatives, which include essential oils and extracts instead of synthetic chemicals, will also encourage a holistic lifestyle.
While keeping your dog physically active is vital, so is mental stimulation. A healthy brain will keep him or her happy, well-balanced, and rid of bad behavior caused by boredom. There are all sorts of different and fun ways to get your dog’s brain cells firing. Some toys are specifically designed to challenge dogs to solve a puzzle for a treat. Hide treats in different areas of your home or apartment and have your dog search them out using its sense of smell. Take a trip to your local doggie park for interaction with other dogs, or try taking an alternative route when going for a walk. Your dog will love the new smells, sounds, and sights! You play a very important role in the health of your dog. Its food and amount of exercise and mental stimulation lead to excellent health and well-being, affecting your dog's physical, behavioral, and emotional health. Taking small steps to incorporate “holistic care” into your pet’s life is a wonderful opportunity to keep him or her happy and healthy - in body, mind, and spirit.