-by Jane Langlois
People put a lot of emphasis lately on eating organic, taking care of our bodies and being healthy. Did you know there’s a day dedicated to doing that for our pets, too? Saturday, August 30th is Holistic Pet Day. Holistic is the term for treating the entire being, not just the parts. Holistic is treating the mind, body and spirit with a healthy living style that incorporates nutrition, exercise, and body care into our daily lives. The goal of this special day is to highlight the importance of “whole pet health” instead of singular systems or problems. Holistic Pet Day is a chance to help improve our pets’ quality of life by strengthening each of the following:
Diet – Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of holistic pet care. A diet of natural and organic food has numerous health benefits such as boosting our pets’ immune systems, which is an easy way to prevent diseases and other health problems. Our pets’ digestive systems aren’t meant to deal with many of the preservatives and chemicals found in cheap pet food. Good quality, natural pet food also helps our pets fight allergies, intestinal problems, obesity, diabetes and other food-related diseases. High quality natural nutrition will not “fix” everything, but it is a critical part of a holistic approach to pet health care and often has a profound positive effect on the way a pet feels. If your pet is suffering from a chronic ailment, speak to your veterinarian about this approach to nutrition as one treatment option. While pets do experience very real diseases that require conventional medicine, the course of many chronic diseases can be changed by excellent natural nutritional choices.
Water – This is the most important nutrient for long, healthy life. Our pets need plenty of fresh water that isn’t potentially contaminated with fluoride, chlorine and other chemicals. We can help to keep our pets’ water safe by using filtered water, never reusing plastic water bottles to fill their water bowls, and using stainless steel bowls instead of plastic.
Exercise – The same way that our bodies need regular exercise, so do our pets’ bodies. Our pets thrive in the fresh air, sunshine, and being able to run freely. Frequent walks and exercise can help to keep our pets physically fit, aid weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, decrease diabetes risk, lessen the risk of heart disease, help with anxiety and help fight certain cancers. Exercise also helps dogs behave, too. You know the saying, “a tired dog is a good dog”.
Mental Stimulation – While keeping our pets physically active is important, so is keeping them mentally stimulated. There are all sorts of different and fun ways to get our pets’ brain cells firing. Some dog toys are specifically designed to challenge a dog to solve a puzzle for a treat. Hide treats in different areas of your home and have your dog or cat search them out using its sense of smell. Try taking an alternative route when going for a walk. Your dog will love the new smells, sounds and sights!
The overall goal of Holistic Pet Day is to help improve your pet’s quality of life. It’s a wonderful opportunity to keep your dog or cat happy and healthy in all aspects of its life. Remember to follow the tips you learned on Holistic Pet Day everyday for a long-lasting and happy relationship with your pet.