I finished a comprehensive course in veterinary acupuncture in 2006. It was intense. Thinking about health from a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine standpoint as opposed to our standard Western approach is just such a different mindset, but once you think about it, it makes sense. Our bodies are not a collection of closed systems that function independently of one another, yet we’re trained to treat them that way. Once you step back and see the entire organism as a collective effort, your entire approach takes a shift.
August 30th is National Holistic Pet Day, celebrating the myriad ways we take care of our pets’ bodies, minds, and hearts as well as the way we function as part of a larger pet community. Given that I just got back from a conference celebrating that very thing, it’s a perfect fit.
Holistic health its core simply means taking the big picture into account, which makes perfect sense to me. It’s hard to think changing a pet’s diet will make a significant difference if they get no exercise and live in a high stress environment. They’re all puzzle pieces. It’s really not that different from our own lives, right? “I’ll have a double double, a chili cheese fries and a diet Coke. DIET, please. I’m watching my figure.” etc.
A recent survey of 700 pet owners asked them what they currently do to contribute to their pets’ overall well-being.
Out of 700 respondents, 74.8% have dogs and 57.7% have cats
78.7% of pet owners surveyed exercise their pets regularly
2.1% take their dog for Doga (Dog+Yoga!)
26.2% learn about holistic living at their local pet food or natural food store
59.5% use non-toxic household products
48.9% use natural supplements for skin, coat or digestive care
43.7% take their pets for regular dental check ups
54.8% play mind stimulating activities and games with their pets
5.7% take their pets for acupuncture
44.8% help a local rescue or shelter
47.6% use all natural shampoo and grooming products
Well, you all know how I feel about doga, but I’ve done the rest to varying degrees. Do you have a favorite health-promoting activity? Any you’re dying to try?