As animal lovers, we’re always looking for ways to give your animals the safest, most effective treatment whenever something pops up.
And one of our favorite methods is homeopathy. And we have some pretty amazing homeopathic practitioners here on the Veterinarious team, so we’re super lucky.
In recent years, many pet owners have to turned to homeopathy as a way to treat both acute and chronic conditions ranging from upset stomach to cuts and scrapes to epilepsy. In fact, a handful of remedies makes an impressive first aid kit to have on hand any time your pet is not feeling their usual self. Which remedies should you include? We’ve put together a list of our favorites.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is based on the belief of “like cures like” – the idea that substances that would cause symptoms in large doses may stimulate the body’s natural healing processes when given in a diluted dose.
So, essentially, you take a remedy that contains a minute amount of whatever you’re trying to cure, or a remedy based on the specific condition being treated. With each remedy, the body heals itself by strengthening the immune system and by bringing about balance.
Remedies are made using a process that involves diluting the original substance several times, vigorously shaking the solution in between each dilution. The number of dilutions determines the potency of the remedy. The more a remedy is diluted, the stronger it gets.
Yes, you read that correctly – it’s not a typo 🙂
This age-old practice is an effective alternative or accompaniment to many conventional medicines and holistic vets often use it as part of a plan to treat chronic and recurring conditions.
Homeopathy for Pets: The Ultimate First Aid Kit
We’ve gathered up our favorite go-to homeopathic remedies for our animals. Here’s what’s in our first aid kit:
1. Arnica Montana (Leopard’s Bane)
If you only get one remedy, this should be it. It’s generally good for trauma, pain relief and treating musculoskeletal injuries, but it also helps prevent bruising, limits bleeding, encourages healing, and reduces the effects of shock. You can give it to your pet for anything from minor sprains and strains to helping with serious traumatic injuries such as a car accident.
2. Euphrasia (Eyebright)
You might have guessed from the name that this remedy is particularly useful for eye conditions. It is commonly used to treat eye problems like conjunctivitis. If you notice your pet rubbing at their eyes, or if they seem goopy or swollen, reach for this one.
3. Arsenicum Album (White Arsenic)
This remedy is particularly helpful for the gastrointestinal tract. If your animal is showing signs of digestive upset,including grumbling, discomfort, vomiting or diarrhea, reach for this one.
4. Sulphur (The Element)
Sulphur is best known for its ability to treat skin problems, particularly skin allergies. This includes flea allergy dermatitis and general itching and scratching.
5. Silica (Flint)
Reach for silica to help expel foreign material from the body, if your dog is romping through the field and comes back stuck with thorns, for example. Many also use it to help resolve abscesses which have burst and to heal discharging sinuses. Silica can also help slow the development of cataracts and with healing eye ulcers.
If your pet is nervous or fearful of loud noises, thunderstorms and fireworks for example, reach for Borax (the remedy, not the powder!!!).
7. Rhus Tox (Poison Ivy)
Despite its name, Rhus Tox is actually great for treating arthritis and joint stiffness, especially arthritis that’s better with a little movement or worse in cold, damp weather. That said, with poison ivy as its source, it makes sense that homeopaths also use this remedy to treat various skin problems, especially ones related to allergies, including if there’s inflammation of the skin.
8. Cantharis (Spanish Fly)
This remedy is handy for treating skin conditions and burns. It’s also handy to relieve the symptoms of cystitis. Appropriate to its source, this one’s also convenient if your pet gets a bee sting or particularly itchy bug bite.
Homeopathic Dosing for Pets
If you’re new to homeopathy for pets, we’re going to hit you with something big. Unlike conventional meds, with a homeopathic remedy, the dose is the same no matter the size of your animal. This is energetic medicine, and the dose isn’t dependent on weight. The dose is the same for a small cat as it is for an adult great dane.
Remedies come in pill or liquid form. Both are the same, you just choose the type that’s most readily available or that you find is most convenient to administer. You want the remedy to melt on the gums, so you don’t want to add it to your animal’s food. Either drop a liquid dose or pellet dose directly into your dog’s mouth.
Unless you’re an experienced homeopath, don’t go for high potency remedies. Your lowest choice will probably be 6X, and veterinary homeopaths agree that home prescribers shouldn’t go above 30C.
Start by giving one dose (3-5 pellets) and then WAIT and OBSERVE. If there’s no improvement at all within a few hours, give another dose. If, after 3 doses, there’s no change, then it’s time to try a different remedy.
Homeopathy for Pets: Tips to Remember
The thing to remember with homeopathy is that it treats the individual, not the symptoms. So, you may have noticed that several of the above remedies are for similar ailments. When you administer a remedy, you need to watch and observe your animal. You want to see if the situation gets better or worse, or if there’s no change. If it gets better, stick with that remedy. If it gets worse or you don’t notice a change, pick a different remedy. Just be patient, and give the remedy time to work before jumping to a new one.
When you see improvement, you generally decrease the potency or stop giving the remedy.
If you’re overwhelmed by the intricacies of homeopathy for pets, don’t worry – you’re not alone. There is a reason people go to school for years to learn all they can about it. If you want to know more about homeopathy to help heal your dog and want some expert advice, you can always go to a holistic veterinarian. Find one near you with the “Find a Vet” tool from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.
The Veterinarious team is made up of pet owners, pet lovers, and pet experts from around the globe! We’ve banded together to create a community of like-minded pet people to give you the latest research and health advice for your beloved beast!