Dr. Laurel Davis, Asheville’s homeopathic vet, offers Stories from a Holistic Veterinarian, the blog of a holistic vet and “animal interpreter.” With a clinic in downtown Asheville, NC. Dr. Laurel also offers animal health, lifestyle and vaccination advice for cats, dogs and their human friends across the country.
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Can Supplements Help My Animal Friend?
For humans looking to supplement their diet with vitamins and minerals, the options are endless. But what about supplements for your dog or cat?
On average, the foods created for our animal companions are lacking in essential nutrients and the variety necessary to attain a balanced diet. Add to that the fact that our animals often eat the same food every single day. It’s no wonder I see so many dogs and cats who need a little nutritional oomph added to their diets in the form of nutritional supplements!
Our dogs and cats benefit greatly from nutritional supplements due to the nature of their diets.
The general population of our canines and felines are served up kibble for breakfast and dinner. Can you imagine eating meatloaf for fourteen-plus years of your life?! This singular diet is a lot like that! Whether kibble or canned, commercial food has most of the nutrition cooked out of it. Therefore, the pet food company attempts to remedy the situation by adding man-made nutrients to the recipe. These manufactured vitamins and minerals may be over-dosed, under-dosed, or unable to be absorbed by the animal’s gut and/or utilized by their bodies.
The top three issues for which I find myself turning to supplements in my holistic practice are musculoskeletal dis-ease, skin issues, and gastrointestinal issues. Some ways nutritional supplementation can help prevent these issues include the following:
Musculoskeletal dis-ease – decrease inflammation, increase joint lubrication, and plump up cartilage cells.
Skin issues – decrease inflammation, raise the animal’s allergy threshold, and help with both yeast and bacterial infections. Skin issues are quite often connected to gastrointestinal issues, so I find that supporting the GI Tract with high-quality nutraceuticals can help with these issues as well.
Gastrointestinal issues – decrease inflammation, coat the stomach and upper small intestine, address gut flora imbalance, further support a normally functioning intestine, and help supply nutrients to the body that would normally be acquired by a well-functioning digestive tract.
Although these are common issues I treat daily in my Asheville NC practice, pretty much any issue can be addressed by carefully selected nutritional supplements.
Does that mean that any issue your animal might have can be cured by supplements? Certainly not, but there are supplements that can provide ease, support or needed nourishment for just about any condition. Yes, combined with diet and lifestyle changes, they often can provide a cure, depending on the condition, how advanced it is, and the animal’s overall vibrancy and ability to bounce back. Supplements can be used to support dis-eased organs, and to help animals who have certain conditions that cause specific nutrient deficiencies within their bodies. A carefully chosen supplement can bring balance to an ailing dog or cat so their body’s natural healing abilities can kick in.
So, how do you know what supplements will help your furry friend? Well, over the years, I have seen what tends to work for certain conditions, so my consults with clients naturally take into account my experience. During office and phone consultations, I use clinical kinesiology to ascertain which, if any, of the supplements we stock at Sunvet Animal Wellness resonate with the energy of my four-legged patient. In my initial assessment of my furry patient, I generate a mental list of what supplements may be helpful to the dog or cat before me. Many times, the animal’s caretaker will have gone online to investigate their buddy’s ailment, and they sometimes present a list or a bag of supplements they have tried or want to try. We review these supplements and their ingredients together, and I check them using clinical kinesiology. This way, the human and I collaborate to discern the appropriate, individualized combination for their beloved pal.
Make sure to tune in next week for some pro-tips on navigating the world of nutritional supplements!
Dr. Laurel Davis is Asheville’s integrative vet offering phone and Skype consultations for animal lovers everywhere. Call 828-254-2221 or order an Ask Dr. Laurel™ phone or Skype session or bring your dog or cat to her downtown Asheville, NC clinic. Read more patient stories.
Get to know Dr. Laurel by reading her blog.
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