Naturopathic Care for Canines

Beneficial Holistic Health Care Strategies

Naturopathic health care is a distinct health care strategy with a heavy emphasis on disease prevention and the cultivation of optimal health. Natural and non-evasive methods along with therapeutic modalities and substances are employed to encourage the inherent self-healing process that is programmed into the DNA of every biological being.  The breaking of the basic biochemical laws, more often than not, results in sickness, pain, and physical degeneration. Naturopathy encourages and promotes adhering to those laws for the prevention of illness and dis-ease conditions. While it does not always exclude medically supervised drug use, it rather considers it as a last resort and not a first. Naturopathic medicine includes both modern and traditional scientific methods, most of which are empirically based. The naturopathic approach to canine health care has the benefit of an extensive array of preventative and therapeutic methods and modalities and is in no way limited to the conventional pharmaceutical and surgical veterinary approach.

There are six principles that are the foundation stone upon which stands the practice of naturopathy:

  1. Vis Medicatrix Naturae (The Healing Power of Nature)
    There is the recognition in naturopathy of the inherent DNA-programmed self-healing process in every biological being that is both ordered and intelligent. The naturopathic practitioner undertakes to identify the cause for a condition or dis-ease, acts to remove impediments to allow for healing and recovery, and assists and supplements this inherent self-healing process.
  2. Tolle Causam (Identify and Treat the Causes)
    The naturopathic practitioner pursues to first identify and then remove the underlying causes of conditions and dis-ease rather than suppressing symptoms and thereby halting the cure in-progress.
  3. Primum Non Nocere (First Do No Harm)
    A strict adherence to the following guidelines ensures the naturopathic practitioner avoids harming the patient: 1) Utilize only those methods, modalities, and medicinal substances that prevent or greatly minimize the risk for dangerous side effects. This is attained by utilizing the least force necessary; 2) Avoid whenever possible the dangerous suppression of symptoms; and 3) Acknowledge, respect, and utilize the biological being’s self-healing process.
  4. Docere (The Doctor is a Teacher)
    The naturopathic practitioner is first and foremost a teacher. They serve to educate their clients and to encourage self-responsibility for their own health and the health of their animals. 
  5. Treat the Whole Person/Animal
    The naturopathic practitioner takes into consideration each client’s individual physical, mental, emotional (spiritual), genetic, environmental, social, and additional factors to ensure healing and that the cultivation of optimal health is not hindered.
  6. Prevention
    Naturopathy emphasizes disease prevention by assessing risk factors, genetics, and predisposition to disease. Following assessment, the practitioner formulates appropriate interventions in order to partner alongside their clients with the single goal of preventing illness and dis-ease.

When considering and planning a health care strategy for your canine, the inclusion of naturopathy into the stratagem broadens the potential for dis-ease prevention and the possibility for full recovery from illness and health crises should they occur. Naturopathy employs the usage of:

  • Nutrition: Species-appropriate fresh whole food is vital for providing life-sustaining nourishment to your dog’s body AND as therapeutic medicine. “Let food by thy medicine and medicine by thy food.” -Hippocrates
  • Herbs: Herbs are nourishing foods that provide nutrients along with medicinal constituents, healing phytochemicals, and powerful essences.
  • Plant Essences: Plant essences, or Bach Flower Remedies, contain the electromagnetic energy of various flowers that, when taken into the body, intermingles with the physical and energetic body systems offering physical, mental, and emotional healing.
  • Essential Oils: Concentrated oils of plants containing the fragrances and potent healing components. These offer numerous therapeutic properties for the body, mind, and emotions.
  • Sunshine: The sun is our main source of energy for health and healing. The sun provides photons, light, energy, and warmth all of which are required for life.
  • Fresh air: Fresh, clean, pure air is essential for health and healing. Air during the early hours just prior to dawn offer the highest oxygen-saturation. Allowing your dog to take advantage of pre-dawn air is therapeutic on numerous levels.
  • Earth Grounding: Grounding allows your dog to receive a negative charge from the earth floor via the paws and body (when in contact with the ground such as when lying on grass, sand, and soil) to combat ROS*, reduce inflammation, and many other positive benefits. Grounding is essential to prevent cancer and in cancer therapy.
  • Exercise: Exercise is essential for cardiovascular health, strong muscles and bones, endurance, lymphatic massage, and oxygenating the body systems.
  • Pure water: Water is essential for hydrating cells and tissues, cleansing, and internal balance.
  • Positive mindset: Rearing a happy dog encourages the cultivation of optimal physical and mental health and healing. By providing your canine with activities they love, it encourages a moderate and composed temperament and mental poise.
  • Homeopathy: Powerful medicines that must be recommended/prescribed by a licensed and/or certified homeopath.
  • Acupressure: A therapy to free up and reestablish the basic flow of energy to benefit healing, and for the maintenance of harmonious energy flow throughout the body.
  • Acupuncture: Through the insertion of fine needles into specific acupuncture points, acupuncture stimulates pain relief, the release of anti-inflammatory chemicals, improves blood flow, increases tissue oxygenation, removes toxins, and relaxes muscles. This therapy must be provided by a licensed acupuncturist.
  • Massage therapy: Massage stimulates blood flow, relaxes muscles, improves energy circulation, releases “feel-good” hormones, stimulates healing, provides pain relief, and is a great bonding activity.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Reiki therapy are other natural therapy options.

More often than not, disease conditions are a result of imbalance within the body, mind, and/or emotions. Naturopathy serves to restore balance thereby reducing the reliance on conventional medicine and philosophies. The Holistic Canine specializes in nutrition, nutrition therapy, and natural remedies and therapies for puppies through senior adults. Naturopathy is safe, prevents and reduces the frequency of acute health crises, often results in faster recovery from illness, is a long-term solution to chronic disease without the worry of uncomfortable and/or fatal drug side effects, slows the progression of degenerative disease, cultivates balance, and eases the body, mind, and emotions of pain and stress. And the best part? It is far less stressful on your canine than having to make frequent trips to the veterinary office.

Understand, however, that while naturopathy is often a valuable and efficacious treatment strategy, it is never a replacement for licensed veterinary care, especially in the case of an emergency. A veterinarian is trained to diagnose and save your dog’s life in the event of trauma or if a life-threatening condition occurs. Always take your pet to the veterinarian if you suspect a life threatening consequence may result. Never delay! Naturopathy is a passive treatment strategy. In emergency situations, naturopathy is a supplemental ONLY option to work along with emergency after-care from a licensed veterinarian.

For more information on nutrition and natural therapy, go to our contact page and request valuable information!

©2019 Kimberly Lloyd, PhD, BCHHP, Cert Raw Dog Food Nutritionist

*ROS reactive oxygen species


Welcome to The Holistic Canine

Welcome! The Holistic Canine was created to provide
biologically-accurate and species-appropriate raw feeding, naturopathic, and natural therapy information, educational resources, and personalized services to pet parents who desire to provide their beloved canines with the absolute best of care from the holistic realm. Raw feeding and naturopathic information abounds in published literature and on the world-wide web. Much of that information is pretty darn on-point, while some is missing the mark in big ways. How to sort through the plethora of information almost requires a how-to guide in and of itself. This is where The Holistic Canine comes in. It is my goal to provide the most current scientifically-accurate information from both the world of science research and my own education and experiences as a naturopath, orthomolecular nutritionist, and canine raw food nutritionist.

Science-based information means that it is based on test studies and trials that are either conclusive (factual) or highly reliable or a strongly supported theory regarded as correct. While the former certainly wins for authenticity, factual surety, and/or is near absolute, the latter can actually be based on a completely erroneous perception, concept, or idea that is propagated to push a strongly held viewpoint. Unfortunately, the internet is filled with this type of information along with a plethora of conjecture and speculation. When well-meaning pet parents excitedly or frantically search for needed information and guidance to commence on a new raw feeding and/or naturopathic journey, there is often no easy way to know or determine whether the information that sounds “scientific” is actually based on well-researched and reliable test trials that led to certainty. Providing raw feeding and natural health care information via the internet and books is a essential to furthering a better path to dog care. It is an admirable and vital service to give to the public especially when the motive it to inform and assist for the betterment of overall health and well-being for our pets. And yet, still the advice is not always safe or the best approach. One way we can conclude if “science-based” information is accurate or hypothetically-based is if it is in-line with the harmonious “real-life” functioning of a biological system or if it is inconsistent with that reality.

Here, yet, is another quandary to consider. While “science” is the study of what we can observe and test, it does not mean that scientists and doctors always come up with correct conclusions. Much of science begins with end-points. It is necessary to accurately reverse-engineer an observed end-point to discover the true map or path that led to the end point. Many times, the conclusions are 100% erroneous. Unless we observe from beginning to end with all variables clearly considered, a conclusion leading to an absolute fact cannot truly be discovered. Science must see it “in action.” Scientists and doctors are left with making educated guesses. They can test the validity of their conclusions, but because biological systems are so individualized, and factors leading up to end-points are rarely known to a greater extent, we are left with their hypotheticals or everyone’s best guess. Much of the time, science proves that man’s conclusions are incorrect and we must begin again. We see this in the countless studies that tell us to eat this or that, or this is good for us, or be sure to practice “such-and-such,” or avoid that like the plague, when out of nowhere and often years later we learn those “truths” and warnings were erroneous, some even completely invalid. Such is the system we call “science,” a dynamic and ever growing, ever progressing method of discovering truths.

When it comes to biological systems, they are so complex that we are only just beginning to understand the true paths to health and wellness; especially when it comes to our animals. Ultimately each one of us is left with the responsibility to make crucial decisions for each of our pet’s nutritional and health care needs. Our dogs are completely in the fate of our discretion and understanding. Sometimes our research and strategy proves advantageous, and we celebrate a long life filled with vitality and joy. Then we repeat the same strategy with a our next fur-babies and something goes wrong. It is for this reason I have stepped up to the plate to offer guidance, encouragement, and best of all, real life answers and solutions.

Let’s join together is this wonder-filled and amazing world of furry and not so furry, tongue-lolling, balls of energy and affection which we lovingly call “man’s best friend.” Bring on a long lifetime of wet kisses and hair-filled houses!

©2018 Kimberly Lloyd, PhD, BCHHP, Cert Raw Dog Nutritionist