Merriam Webster's dictionary defines "holistic" as "relating to or concerned with whole or complete systems," meaning that it encompasses both the physical and emotional well being of your animal.
Holistic health emphasizes maintaining wellness, instead of treating disease. The idea being that paying attention to what helps your animal thrive will also help prevent disease. Instead of treating the symptoms as they occur, a holistic approach to your pet's health will support the fundamental systems that keep them healthy and happy.
NUTRITION & DIGESTION KEY TO HOLISTIC PET HEALTH
The foundation of holistic health is nutrition. Feeding a high quality feed goes a long way toward ensuring your animal receives the correct nutrients for their body's needs. Further, selecting a biologically-appropriate food, one that provides the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat for your animal, will more closely represent what they would normally eat in the wild.
Since 70% of circulating white blood cells live in the gastrointestinal tract, promoting good digestive health is critical to your pet's overall well being. Many health challenges begin in the gastrointestinal system, so supporting your animal's digestion is a smart component of holistic health. Added enzymes will improve digestion by allowing pets to absorb nutrients more completely from their food. Both prebiotics and probiotics will further support digestive health by increasing the naturally-occurring bacteria already present in your animal's gut.
HOLISTIC APPROACH TO JOINT HEALTH IN ANIMALS
A holistic, nutritional approach may be particularly helpful in maintaining joint function and total structural health in your animal. Researchers estimate that at least one in five animals suffer from poor joint health, affecting all sizes, ages and breeds. Since an animal's structural support system involves multiple cells, tissues and bones all working together, a holistic approach to supplying nutrients to all critical components (tendons, ligaments, cartila and bone) should be considered.
Research is identifying new ingredients for animal supplements that can provide new sources of supportive nutrients for healthy joint function. One such ingredient, Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM) is derived from eggs and contains glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, collagen, peptides and amino acids all in one source and in the appropriate biologic ratio. These are all vital components for maintaining total structural health and joint function in your animal.
Another novel ingredient to look for is TelaFIRM, a micro-ingredient system of minerals designed to support normal bone remodeling. These two proprietary ingredients work in combination to provide complete support of healthy joints, hips, cartilage, bones, tendons and ligaments.
EMOTIONAL WELL BEING AS PART OF HOLISTIC HEALTH
Considering your animal's emotional and behavioral health is another component of overall well being. Like humans, animals experience stress and prolonged stress can impair their ability to fight off illness and infection. In addition, behavioral problems are often related to underlying emotional factors. For example, a shelter dog entering a new home or an animal experiencing the loss of a loved one may feel sadness and withdraw. In the same way, having multiple animals in a home can lead to feelings of jealousy and selfish behavior such as fighting over toys or food.
Holistic products, like flower essences, can support animals and reduce emotional stress. The specialized infusions of specific blossoms work synergistically to address the common situations that affect all of our animals at hone time or another throughout their lives; trauma, stress, abandonment, loss, aggression, insecurity, etc. The different blends are issue-specific and address the various emotional conditions that prevent your animal from moving forward.
By keeping these three pillars in mind, you can help your animal lead the happiest and healthiest life possible...naturally.