dog getting acupuncture
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This ancient Chinese healing method uses tiny needles to stimulate specific parts of your pet’s body. Acupuncture can improve organ function, soothe muscles, get the blood flowing, and release feel-good hormones. It’s good for animals with muscle or skeletal issues, skin problems, respiratory problems, or digestive troubles.

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cat smelling lavender
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The smell of certain plants and oils is the basis for this therapy. It’s gentle and noninvasive, and it can help treat a four-legged friend who has anxiety or other forms of emotional or physical stress. Check with your vet first, though. Some essential oils can be toxic if your pet drinks them. Others could cause allergic reactions if you put them on their skin.

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flower essence
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Flower Essences

Another way to harness plant power to calm an anxious animal friend is to use flower essences -- a diluted herbal solution that you can drop in their water or directly in their mouth. Often you can find this remedy as a blend of several flower essences in one.

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dog getting chiropractic adjustment
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Dogs or cats who have a slipped disk or pinched nerve may benefit from chiropractic. A trained practitioner uses gentle pressure on joints to realign the spine and keep feeling and function flowing in muscles, organs, and tissues. It might help with other problems too, like epilepsy, skin disorders, or behavior issues.

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Herbal Medicine

Supplementing your pet’s diet with herbal medicine might treat digestive issues, kidney and bladder disease, parasites, skin problems, and bone or tissue injuries. It’s important not to use herbs without consulting a vet first -- some are toxic to pets, and others may cancel out when used as a combo.

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A vet gives your pet an extract that causes symptoms similar to the problem they already have, but the extract is diluted to harmless levels. The idea is to help his body learn how to fight off disease by building up a defense to these symptoms.

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dog getting laser therapy
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Laser therapy

Lasers or LED light used at low levels get down to the cellular level to help treat pain, inflammation, and speed up healing time for wounds. Your furry friend won’t feel a thing.

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dog getting reiki
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This technique is all about energy flow in the body. A trained practitioner puts their hands just above or lightly on your pet to encourage healing and calm. You might choose this treatment for an animal who’s anxious or afraid, or has a chronic condition, or as a way to promote a peaceful transition at the end of life.

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cat getting massage
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Massages are more than just a menu item at the day spa. Done right, they can ease your pet’s cramps, reduce pain from injuries, and improve circulation. Find a trained massage therapist who specializes in animals, so they know which muscles and soft tissues to target.

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dog osteopathy
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This holistic approach to medicine is based on moving and handling your pet’s muscles and joints in a specific way to help their body heal itself. You might turn to osteopathy to help a pet who has trouble walking, or who has stiffness, problems holding their head well, muscle tension, or changes in behavior or digestion.

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Water can help your pet work out injured muscles without putting weight on them. Hydrotherapy may also help treat certain behaviors. A trainer will spend time with your pup (or cat, though they tend to be warier of getting wet) in a pool swimming, walking on a treadmill, or playing therapeutic games.

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person cooking for cat
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Nutritional Therapy

Your companion’s diet can have a big impact on their overall wellness. The foods you choose may also help improve certain health problems like heart disease. Together with your vet, you can craft meals that focus on the specific nutrients that best address your pet’s needs.

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medical marijuana
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Medical Marijuana

We don't know whether medical marijuana, and specifically CBD or cannabis oil, can treat injuries and diseases in animals. And in some states, vets aren't even allowed to discuss CBD in relation to pets. You can buy cannabinoid products like treats or tinctures online or from places that sell medical marijuana. But definitely ask your vet if you can or another expert if your vet cab't discuss it first. There haven’t been many scientific studies on it as a treatment for pets, and if they have the wrong amount, it can be toxic.

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woman with vet
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Keep It Safe

Talk to your vet before you try any natural treatment for your pet, even if it’s something your doctor has given you the OK to take. While regular medications for humans are researched and studied in clinical trials to make sure they’re safe, the same doesn’t always apply for natural treatments and supplements. That’s even more true when it comes to natural remedies for pets.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 08/10/2020 Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on August 10, 2020


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American Animal Hospital Association: “Complementary veterinary medicine.”

American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association: “Holistic Veterinary Therapies.”

Texas A&M University: “Could your pet benefit from essential oils?”

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Reiki: In Depth.”

The Animal Medical Center: “Reiki.”

MSPCA-Angell: “Hydrotherapy.”

Alternative Medical Reviews: “Nutritional therapy in the treatment of heart disease in dogs.”

ASPCAPro: “CBD, Hemp Pet Treat Dangers & Overdose Treatments.”

Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on August 10, 2020

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE VETERINARY ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your pet’s health. Never ignore professional veterinary advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think your pet may have a veterinary emergency, immediately call your veterinarian.