There are a plethora of products on the market available to aid our beloved pets in dealing with a variety of issues. We can chose among dozens of remedies for behavioral issues such as anxiety or depression, dozens more for physical ailments such as ear infections, hot spots or even urinary tract infections.
Many of these same products address one condition yet pose a risk for another because of the chemicals contained within them. Additionally, almost all of them have been tested on animals in such a manner as to induce an ailment or condition and apply extreme levels of the remedy. Some animals die due to the nature of the test itself (LD50), and the animals that survive the testing are often killed when they are no longer part of the experimental program.
I prefer a less violent approach; one that can help my Furry Pals, without hurting others. I am fortunate to have discovered a vet that is open to a more holistic approach, and is pretty knowledgeable in both eastern and western veterinary care. That is my first suggestion to anyone interested in decreasing the “commercial” products used on their pets, and increasing the home remedy practice – find a responsible vet that is willing to consider alternatives for your pet. My second suggestion is to research specific issues you would like to address. In the age of information at your fingertips, you can spend hours reading information from the internet. Take notes, and consult with your vet to come up with the best plan.
Sometimes, as with behavioral issues, altering your own behavior or habits helps your pet acclimate to a their own more acceptable behavior – without the use of a product at all. Exercise can release pent up energy, giving your pet ample opportunities to go to the bathroom outside can help avoid inside eliminations, treats are fantastic bribes to positively reinforce good behavior.
Essential oils are commonly used with humans to aid in various ailments and as mood enhancements. Careful use of essential oils can also be effective with our pets. There are a few things to keep in mind, if this is the approach you are interested in taking. Always do your research, and consult an expert to prevent adverse effects. What is great for us may not be great for them. Always use organic or therapeutic grade essential oils (shameless plug for Sound Earth’s therapeutic grade essential oils and blends). Your pet’s olfactory glands are much more sensitive than yours. Never use essential oils that have not been diluted, and never spray your pets face with any solution of essential oils.
As with our own care, it is a process to transition away from products laden with chemicals, but well worth the effort!