When it comes to the health of our pets, more and more people are adopting a holistic approach. But what does that actually mean?
A simple definition of “holistic health” is an overall wellness approach, that involves the whole animal, both physically and mentally. This includes adopting a preventative approach when it comes managing disease and illness.
Here are some simple ways you can improve the quality of life for your canine companions:
The most important aspect to holistic health involves feeding your furry friend a proper and appropriate diet – “They are what they eat”!
A balanced, natural, minimally processed diet is best – preferably homemade. But, if you do need to use a commercial dog food, then try to stick to low carb, low grain product. A dog’s digestive system is simply not designed to process all the chemicals, artificial preservatives and flavorings commonly found in commercial dog foods.
That’s why, supplementing their diet with health-supporting supplements, such as probiotics, fatty acids and antioxidants are also helpful for whole-body health, promoting good health from the inside out.
It’s also been proven, for both humans and our furry best friends, that many natural substances, either produced by the body or found in the earth, can give a beneficial boost to the immune system, which is the cornerstone for fighting intestinal conditions, allergies and disease prevention.
Don’t forget the importance of plentiful FRESH, CLEAN water in your dog’s diet too. Water contaminated with chlorine, fluoride or other chemicals, or simply dirty water is too easily the transmitter for water-borne parasites, causing tummy bugs and sickness. Keep it safe by using filtered water wherever possible and regularly cleaned water bowls.
It’s no surprise that one of the best ways to keep your hound healthy is through fresh air and exercise.
As well as keeping them physically fit and mobile, it deceases the risk of heart disease and food-related diseases like obesity and diabetes. What’s more, it helps with their sociability skills and helps reduce anxiety.
In fact, us humans can reap the exact same benefits from exercise, so double the incentive to walk the dog!
The holistic lifestyle also extends to taking good care of your dog’s skin and coat too. Only use natural grooming products, sun screen and flea/tick preventatives.
Supplements containing Lecithin are particularly beneficial, as this ingredient helps restore and maintain the overall well-being of your dog, assists the healing process and revives skin and coat condition.
A healthy, active brain is just as important as a healthy, active body.
Mental stimulation is vital for a happy, healthy dog. It keeps boredom at bay and prevents related bad behaviors, such as house trashing and shoe chewing.
This is so easy to do with numerous toys available that are designed to challenge your dog to solve a puzzle to get to a treat. Alternatively, you can just play “hide and seek” by hiding treats around your home, for them to sniff out and enjoy!
Interaction with other dogs is as enjoyable and stimulating for them as us having a chat with our best buddies. It also helps new pups with socializing skills or older, maybe rescue, dogs to correct behavioral problems by learning from other dogs.
Vary your walks, both routes and times of day, so you both benefit from new sights, sounds and smells.
At the end of the day, your dog is totally dependent on you for their health and wellbeing – you dictate what they eat and the amount of exercise and mental stimulation they get.
If you can implement just a few of the small changes above, you will make a huge difference in helping your faithful friend have a healthier, happier life.
…and like most other dog-lovers, if my dog’s happy then I’m happy!
Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always!
Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team
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