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Pets

Looking for a a Holistic Veterinarian or other Natural Health Practitioners who focus on pets? See Pets.NaturalHealthcare.ca for the directory.

Always consult your local veterinarian for advice. You may be able to find a holistic Veterinarian in your area.

Selecting a pet · Feeding Requirements · Dieting · Dangers · Resources

contented cat

When deciding to get a pet for yourself or your family, it's best to invest a little time in researching what matches your lifestyle. It's time to be brutally honest with yourself about the demands a living creature will place on your time and patience.

Too many people seem to consider pets as a one-sided proposition; they give you love, but you have to seriously assess your commitment to the animal and be responsible enough not to drop it off at the pound or a back road at the first sign of trouble.

Consult your veterinarian for advice. S/he will be able to provide you with information on what to expect and what breed(s) will be best suited to your lifestyle and environment.

Selecting the right pet is not an easy task, and should not be taken lightly. There are several factors you need to consider:

  • How long the pet will have to be alone each day?
  • How much energy do you want to put into walking and cleaning up behind the pet?
  • Does the pet have to be rugged enough to withstand the mistreatment of youngsters, but gentle enough not to fight back?
  • Who has allergies?
  • How large will the pet get?
  • How energetic is the breed?
  • How big is your yard?
  • Are you thinking of leaving this pet outside no matter the weather? During the day? Never?
  • Can you afford to treat the pet should a surprise injury occur?
  • Can you afford to spay/neuter, vaccinate, feed, purchase toys/collars/leashes/dishes for him?

Maybe you could consider an adult pet, from the pound or from someone who can no longer care for or keep their pet. This way, they are likely to be trained, fixed, vaccinated.

Some good resources for comparing pet types:

Selecting a pet · Feeding Requirements · Dieting · Dangers · Resources

Feeding Requirements

Different pet have different needs, and you cannot expect to feed a cat the same diet as a dog, or vice versa. Cats require more protein than dogs, and in particular they need the amino acids Arginine and Taurine. Cats cannot produce these amino acids and must intake it. Without them, cats suffer depression, tremors, muscle spasms and loss of coordination, retinal degeneration, blindness and, eventually, death. If you are planning to make pet food from scratch, keep that distinction in mind.

Making pet food from scratch is a good way to cut down on chemicals such as preservatives. Many of the ailments pets suffer (allergies, skin disorders, kidney and liver trouble) originate in their diets. By controlling their intake, pet owners can reduce the number of health problems. Alternatively, there are a number of pet food manufacturers who focus on natural remedies.

Here are some tips for you if you decide to make your own pet foods:

  • When making pet food, do not add salt, as there is enough naturally occurring in the foods.
  • Pets use their sense of smell to guide their appetite since they are colourblind.
  • Dogs can eat any vegetable they want, but cats should not be fed peas, lima beans, potatoes or any other starchy vegetable.
  • Deep sea fish such as mackerel is an ideal choice for cats since they are less likely to contain contaminants.
  • Cats will get uppity if you feed them their favourite foods, and begin to refuse to eat anything else. They will get "addicted" to seafood, but you must give them a variety of proteins.
  • Onions are toxic to cats, do not throw them in for flavour.

Selecting a pet · Feeding Requirements · Dieting · Dangers · Resources

Pudgy, pudgy, pudgy.

Older pets often need to be coerced into exercising, which is why they tend to get overweight. See what your pet's interests are that will entice him into racing around like he did when he was a youngster. This requires effort on your behalf too, maybe running through the house with that ribbon dragging behind you for your cat. As ever, be careful not to injure their claws or teeth by yanking when the pet does not expect it.

If you can't find your pet's ribs, it's time to consider an exercise regimen. If you see signs of obesity in your pet(s) consult your veterinarian for advice. Too rapid weightloss can be unhealthy; in cats it results in liver problems.

Walking the cat

Some Ideas:

  • Walk your pet - yes, even some cats will go along with this, as you can see.
  • A higher fibre diet means that the pet can eat as much as s/he wants, and yet not absorb as many nutrients. (check with your vet!)
  • Help your pet eat more slowly - try dividing the dinner into smaller bowls and spread them out around the kitchen.
  • Low calorie treats between meals will prevent them from feeling deprived.

Be warned, cats in particular will be extra annoying as you travel down this path, don't give in.

Selecting a pet · Feeding Requirements · Dieting · Dangers · Resources

Dangers to Pets

Plant Effects and the Symptoms of Poisoning
  • Cactus Punctures skin, infection can occur
  • Caladium Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pawing at mouth, shaking head, difficulty breathing
  • Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane) Same as above (affects central nervous system)
  • Philodendron Same as above
  • Ivy Vomiting, diarrhea, excitable behavior
  • Mistletoe Ingesting berries can cause vomiting, diarrhea, blistering in the mouth, difficulty breathing
  • Poinsettia Same as above
  • Easter Lily Acute Renal (kidney) failure
  • Azalea loss of coordination, trembling, collapse
To find out more information, please see the National Animal Poison Control Centre (US - ASPCA) site for a comprehensive list of poison information.

Selecting a pet · Feeding Requirements · Dieting · Dangers · Resources

Resources

Books:

See the Books page for more listings.

Sites:

Looking for a a Holistic Veterinarian or other Natural Health Practitioners who focus on pets?
See Pets.NaturalHealthcare.ca for the directory

Always consult your local veterinarian for advice. You may be able to find a holistic Veterinarian in your area.

Information on this website is for information purposes only.
Please consult a qualified health practitioner before taking any course of action.
Always check for counter-results before deciding on a course of action.

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