Homeopathy for Dogs

Homeopathy for Dogs

Not sure what exactly homeopathy is? You have come to the right place! Please read on ...

This page will answer a lot of questions that many dog owners have regarding this alternative treatment for dogs:

What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a distinct, comprehensive and deep healing system originally developed by Samuel Hahnemann about 200 years ago.

It is based on the principle of similars ("like cures like"), which means that a substance that can cause certain symptoms in a healthy body can cure similar symptoms in an unhealthy one.

Homeopathy for dogs aims to aid and stimulate the dog's own defense and immune processes. It uses small doses of specially prepared ("potentized"), highly diluted remedies to set the body's systems back in order and stimulate the body's own energy toward a natural healing process.

Homeopathic remedies are derived from a variety of plants, animal materials and minerals. These remedies are prescribed to fit the needs of each individual person or animal, given in much smaller and less toxic doses than traditional medications, and are used for both prevention and treatment.

How is Homeopathy for Dogs Different from Conventional Dog Medication?

Conventional dog medication usually applies certain chemical or biological agents to our dog's body in the form of antibiotics and antiviral drugs. These drugs work by suppressing the dog's illness symptoms.

During this process of symptom suppression, the dog's inherent defense mechanism is weakened. Conventional medicine may make the symptoms go away (for the time being) but does nothing to remove the predisposition of disease and the weakness of immune system.

Instead, it weakens the system further, predisposing it to more and frequent diseases.

Homeopathy for dogs, on the other hand, helps the dog's body to overcome diseases by strengthening its inherent immune system and let the body take care of the disease causing agents.

By doing so, two objectives are attained.

First, the disease is cured effectively, and sometimes rapidly, without the side-effects of many conventional medicines.

Secondly, as the immune system is further strengthened, the predisposition to diseases is overcome and their recurrence prevented. Thus there is overall health benefit in the long run.

Which do you think is better for the wellbeing of our dogs? For me, I give two thumbs up for homeopathy for dogs!

Are Homeopathic Remedies Safe for My Dog?

Yes! They usually are. Homeopathic remedies are given in very diluted forms. They do not contain any chemicals or added colors in them.

Moreover, since they work with the body's immune system, not in spite of it, they usually do not cause adverse reactions.

However, this does not mean that homeopathy for dogs is totally harmless. Homeopathic remedies are harmless only when selected properly and used in moderate potencies for a limited period of time, or when used under the careful guidance of a holistic veterinarian.

What Kind of Dog Illnesses Can Be Treated by Homeopathy?

Almost all dog illnesses are amenable to homeopathic treatment.

However, homeopathy for dogs is best used to treat chronic ailments - skin irritations, chronic gastric and intestinal disorders, asthma, allergies, arthritis, etc.

Even in cases where curative treatment is not possible, such as advanced cases of arthritis, cancers etc., homeopathic remedies are effective in reducing pain (without causing side effects) and improving the animal's quality of life.

In addition, homeopathy for dogs is very effective in the treatment of acute ailments and injuries, such as acute diarrhea, bleeding, bites and stings, etc. Very often, the action of a rightly selected homeopathic remedy is faster than any other medicines.

Where Can I Find a Homeopathic Veterinarian?

You can find a list of certified homeopathic veterinarians in the United States on the site of The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy.

Alternatively, use the search form on the site of American Holistic Veterinary Medical Associationto find a vet who practices homeopathy in the U.S. or Canada.

For those who are in the UK, please access the website of British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons.

Diagnosing and Choosing a Remedy for My Dog

When you take your dog to a homeopathic vet for the first time, the vet usually asks you a lot of questions to find out as much as possible about the symptoms of your dog as well as about the dog himself (e.g. his temperament, food preferences, any recent behavioral changes, etc.)

The discussion goes beyond the disease name, to the actual signs and symptoms experienced by the dog, as well as the possible causative and aggravating factors, and so on.

This whole process of understanding the individual dog who is ill can take quite a while (especially in chronic ailments).

How Long Does it Take for a Homeopathic Remedy to Take Effect?

Homeopathy for Dogs In some acute cases, such as swelling from a bee sting, the conditions will clear up rather fast. However, it takes much longer for chronic ailments to heal.

According to Dr. Pitcairn, "when a treatment is working, in the sense of health being recovered, an acute illness generally responds quickly (within a few minutes, a few hours or, at the longest, a day or two).

Chronic illness, on the other hand, changes slowly. It often takes a couple of weeks or more to see a change for the better, and months, or even a year or two, for complete recovery." (Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, p. 288)

When using homeopathic remedies or other natural remedies, we also have to pay attention to the "signs of progress". Very often, after taking the remedies for the first time, the patient's conditions will actually get worse before getting better.

But how can you tell whether your dog is actually healing or is just getting worse?

This is what Dr. Pitcairn says, "If your dog has an increase of (usually) one symptom (diarrhea, for example) but, at the same time, seems to feel better overall, then the change is favorable. Equally important, a temporary healing increase in a symptom is almost always over quickly... In other words, although with a healing therapy some of the symptoms may temporarily worsen, this is brief and followed by definite improvement." (p.289)

How To Give A Dog A Homeopathic Remedy?

Remedies can be given to your dog by either:

  • dropping the pellets in his mouth; or
  • dissolving them in a small amount of water; or
  • grinding them into a powder that is poured into the mouth.

Also, please note the following:

  • Do not handle the pellets as they can easily be neutralized.
  • Do not mix remedies into foods.
  • Administer the remedies at least 45 minutes to one hour before feeding your dog.
  • Avoid other medications (especially allopathic medicines) while your dog is on homeopathic treatment. If you want to use homeopathic remedies in conjunction with herbal remedies, consult your holistic vet first.
  • Avoid vaccinations while your dog is on homeopathic treatment. Consult your homeopathic vet on this matter.

D. Hamilton, Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs (North Atlantic Books, 1999).
R.H. Pitcairn, The Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats (Rodale, 2005).

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