Alternative Medical Options for Older Dogs

Holistic pet care takes into account all aspects of your dog's life. Before any holistic medical treatments are recommended a holistic veterinarian wants to understand your dog's medical history, any patterns of diseases, any behavioral issues, the environment in which your dog lives and how you interact with him.

Building upon what most people would call traditional care holistic pet care also includes practices such as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, homeopathy and herbal remedies to list a few.

Holistic pet care looks to isolate the reason(s) for the ailment and not just treat the symptom that is now surfacing. By identifying and treating the main cause of the ailment a longer lasting recovery is more likely.

Holistic pet care works to strengthen the immune system allowing your dog to get stronger each time they are treated and usually with less side affects.

Older dogs will benefit from a natural approach to healing as drugs can weaken their immune system, negatively effect organs and usually have some side affects. If it is possible to remove the drug treatment and strengthen the immune system naturally your older dog will be better in the long run. Always consult with your current veterinarian before making any changes to your old dog's care.



Homeopathic remedies are made from natural substances such as plants and minerals that are highly diluted to remove any toxic effects of the natural substance. Homeopathy works to eliminating the underlying imbalance in a pet's body that is causing the symptoms.

Symptoms are an indication of illness; signs that the body is fighting to return to a state of balance.  Suppressing the symptoms of disease frequently causes the disease to go deeper, resulting in a different, and often more serious set of symptoms to crop up while the underlying imbalance goes unchecked.

The principles of homeopathy state that there are three possible outcomes of treatment: suppression, palliation, and cure.

  • Suppression gets rid of specific symptoms, but drives the disease into other channels by denying the body's expression of the original disease.

  • Palliation means to alleviate symptoms; this is how aspirin treats pain.

  • Cure, only goal of homeopathy, means that the body eliminates the whole disease, not just symptoms, and rises to a state of optimum health.

Homeopathy is becoming a popular treatment option due to its safety and effectiveness. A great place to find out more is at the Only Natural Pet Store

Other great natural resources



According to the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, acupuncture is used to treat

  • Musculoskeletal problems (e.g. arthritis)

  • Skin problems

  • Nervous disorders

  • Reproductive disorders

  • Respiratory problems

  • Poor immunity and internal medicine problems such as heart (cardiac) and kidney (renal) disease.


Massage Therapy

Some benefits of dog massage include:

  • Increased circulation

  • Decreased muscle tension and pain

  • Increased muscle strength

  • Increased flexibility

  • Increased self-esteem and improved behavior

  • Increased bonding between dog and owner

A great selection of books on how to massage a dog are available from Amazon!

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Chiropractic care addresses problems stemming from imbalances in the following three systems:

  • Skeletal system and joints: Bones and joints form a flexible structure and capable of pain free movement when in normal health and alignment.

  • Muscular system: Healthy muscles allow the joints to move freely. Healthy muscles are free of spasm, weakness, pain, knots, or degeneration.

  • Nervous system: Nerves "direct" the functions of the body controlling the flow of communication between the brain and all areas of the body.

    When nerves are pinched, reduced performance levels and pain may result. This can eventually lead to a state of poor health.
  • Special thanks to our friend Dr. Julie A. Kaufman D.C. at Animal Chiropractic And Holistic Health Forum for permission to reprint this information