5 Alternative Health Treatments For Pets

Illness and injury are a fact of life. There are thousands of ailments that can impact a person’s health, but pets are just as susceptible. Fortunately, alternative medicine has given us a better understanding of how to work with our biology and keep everyone in our family as healthy as possible with low-cost treatments. Alternative treatments are usually good preventative measures that can ultimately make healthcare overall cost less. However, if you want to make sure you’re covered in case of any emergencies, you might want to sign up for a pet insurance plan.

Whether you’re looking to improve your pet’s overall health, their quality of life or correct a specific problem, these alternative treatments could help.

Nutrient-Rich Treats

Getting pets to take medications or pills can be a challenge. But if the good stuff is baked into a treat it’s much easier to make sure your dog or cat gets the nutrients they need to be healthy. Today there’s a whole range of healthful supplements for pets, even including doggy biscuits with CBD as one of the ingredients. Like all CBD products, CBD (cannabidiol) doesn’t alter the mental state of users but can help with ailments like seizures and digestive problems. Other helpful nutrients include:

  • Glucosamine
  • Lysine
  • Fish oil
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

Massage Therapy

Getting a massage feels great and is beneficial for the relaxation alone, but an experienced animal masseuse provides much more than that. Massage can ease muscle tension and work out kinks that are causing discomfort. All of those benefits are felt by pets as well. Massage therapy can be a good complementary therapy if your pet has had surgery, and some chiropractors will work on animals as well to provide spinal adjustments.


Acupuncture has been shown to relieve chronic pain in animals as well as humans. There’s also a possibility it can help reduce nausea and vomiting after surgery. Animal acupuncturists use the same practices to facilitate the flow of energy (qi or chi) with needles inserted at strategic points along the energy meridian system. Acupuncture is most commonly used to control pain and treat arthritis in animals.


Veterinarians agree that exercise is one of the best things you can do for the health of your pet. Physical activity can improve the strength of muscles and joints, help boost the immune system, make the cardiovascular system stronger and build bone mass. All of these things can help prevent injuries and illness in pets. Different breeds of dogs need different levels of exercise simply to burn off excess energy. Age is also a factor to consider in amount of exercise, however dog owners should aim to make sure their pooch gets at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

Even though they sleep 12-15 hours per day, cats also need exercise. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention has found that 57% of cats in the U.S. are considered obese and the obesity rates are getting higher. It’s important to give your cat toys and play games with them so they stay active.


Hydrotherapy is a special form exercise that’s done in the pool. It can also be used for relaxation and stress relief in addition to physical activity. This is a highly beneficial alternative health treatment for dogs that have arthritis, hip dysplasia and bone conditions that can be worsened by high impact exercise.

A harness is worn to help dogs stay afloat as a therapist performs the exercises with them. Jet streams can be used to increase the resistance if needed. Typically, hydrotherapy is performed in a heated pool, which can help alleviate muscle pain as well.

If you’d like to learn more about alternative health treatments for your pet, contact the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.

Ashley Andrews is a San Diego-based freelance writer who blogs on a wide range of green living, business, health and technology topics.

See also:
How To Give Your Canine Companion The TLC They Deserve
10 Human Behaviors That Stress Dogs Out