How many of us consider our pets to be one of our children? I am sure most pet owners would say “Yes! I do!“ Our pets seem to snuggle their way right into our hearts and right into the family hierarchy of our home. They do this by using a thing called “unconditional love“. That means that they love us no matter what. They love of us for just the way we are. They love us without expecting anything in return. All they want to do in life is make us happy.
For this reason, it is around our animals that we feel the most at ease, the most comfortable and many times, the most loved. This gift of unconditional love that they give us is so rare and priceless, that we pet owners somehow want to preserve it forever. As a veterinary homeopath, I have found that pet owners, in an effort to make their animals live forever, will, in actuality, cause some damage or imbalance in their loved one. By trying to shelter their pet from the harsh realities of the world, pet owners, in essence, have robbed their pets from being themselves. By adding fad foods and diet supplements or sheltering them from the great outdoors, we have somehow lost sight of the fact that our pets are animals.
I will give you an example. I have recently encountered cases in both cats and dogs where pet owners have fed them pumpkin due to the latest report of its benefits. The daily feeding of pumpkin caused irregularity in bowel movements, constipation and/or diarrhea. Pumpkin also caused some animals to become extremely gassy and uncomfortable, especially straining while having a bowel movement. In homeopathy, we always choose a remedy according to the totality of symptoms, but some of our top remedies used for digestive disturbance are: Nux Vomica, Lycopodium and Carbo Vegetabilis. Lycopodium will aid the animal when the animal is passing a lot of flatulence. If the animal seems to be “gassy“ overall, Lycopodium many times fits the picture. One must always investigate Phosphorus (and Sulphur for that matter) when there is a yellowy, watery stool. Phosphorus is indicated when there is vomiting immediately after ingestion of food. Phosporus is also an overall wonderful remedy for the elderly dog or cat when it fits the picture. It aids with stiffness due to old age and upper respiratory problems that come into play for the older animal. Nux Vomica is indicated when the animal is constipated and generally agitated from over eating or eating something that didn’t agree with them. Carbo Vegetabilis is indicated when there is so much gas that it begins to cause shortness of breath and blueness in color of the gums.
An animal’s diet is of upmost importance for a healthy life, but we need to keep in mind what foods our animals would seek out naturally, if they were left to fend for themselves. For the most part, animals will show us through signs and symptoms what they need and what they don’t need. They are much more in tune with their biological needs than we humans are. We just need to learn how to listen to them. Here are some cases I have had to give you some examples:
When we try to prevent something bad from happening to our pet, we sometimes do the opposite and cause them grief and anxiety, which eventually leads to physical symptoms. I will give you an example. I had a case in which a pet owner confined her dog to the kitchen and only walked her on the pavement to go to the bathroom, due to a diagnosis of an allergic reaction to something outside. The dog eventually became “down on life“ and would refuse to go anywhere. In all cases, we look at the animal holistically, meaning we look at each animal as a whole, unique individual. We look at the overall picture, research all the symptoms the animal is showing and then choose the remedy. In this case, the correct match of remedy not only cleared the animal’s depression, but it cleared up her initial “allergy“ symptoms, giving the pet owner security in letting her enjoy the great outdoors.
Some of the top allergy remedies that pertain to the skin are Sulphur, Rhus Toxicodendron and Natrum Muriaticum. I have had success with Nat Mur when the underlying cause of a skin eruption isn’t so detectable. Also, the animal will not seem to be as itchy or uncomfortable as with Sulphur. Sulphur is needed when the animal is in extreme discomfort from constantly itching. Rhus Tox is always indicated when there is stiffness in getting up that shows up simultaneously with the skin rash. In a situation such as this in which grief, anxiety and/or fear exist, we must also take into consideration some of our top grief and anxiety remedies. For a deep seated depression in which the animal has lost his or her zeal for life, I look to Aurum Metallicum. Remember, Aurum Metallicum is gold. Gold is the color of sunshine. Those of us who need Aurum may have experienced the loss of their “sunshine” in their life. For depression with anxiety we can look into Ignatia Amara and Phosphorus. For anxiety with fear and the animal constantly wants to take flight, think Aconite. However, the greatest remedy of all is to allow your pet to be who they really are: a fun loving animal who loves to play in the great outdoors.
I am not going to tell anyone not to worry about their pet, because I know we all do. It is because we love them so much. I can, however, tell you this: in homeopathy we have many beautiful remedies that will help with many different situations. Let this ease your burden of worry. Don’t put worry first in your life with your pet. Put your pet’s happiness with life first. Share that happiness for life with your furry little friend. Because ultimately it is the love and happiness in which the two of you share that becomes the greatest remedy of all.