Like all major transitions in our lives, change usually involves some bumps along the new pathway. When we are carving a new pathway, there are going to be obstacles, but the important thing is to realize the progress and keep moving forward. The transition from conventional pet health care to a more holistic and functional approach to health care is also experiencing some bumps. That’s ok, as long as we keep moving forward without looking back.

Imagine that you have had pets for many years and have become pretty conditioned with their health care. You listen to your vet, do what he or she says regarding preventative care and when one gets sick, you follow instructions to the tee. It is pretty easy to get into that conditional rut. In order to change, it requirers energy and most of us have busy lives and some don’t want to expend that energy regarding a new pathway for pet health care. Especially, if we don’t understand that the old pathway is flawed.

Now, imagine that you have had some friends or colleagues that have started talking about new approaches to health care. Maybe, they have piqued your interest enough that you start to do a little investigation. You Google a few topics such as feeding raw, wholesome food to your pet. Then, you have enough information and desire to give it a try. You contact a holistic vet or one that practices alternative therapies and you jump in.

The new vet gives you some recommendations. She might give you a diet recipe or some guidelines for immunizing your pet and you are off on your new pathway. You start talking to your old friends and start comparing notes. Your new diet recipe indicates that you are going to be feeding a raw diet high in protein and low in fat. But, your friend has been told to feed a raw diet high in fat and moderate protein. Your diet says to give 20% veggies and your friend’s diet has no veggies in it at all. Now, you are confused. You might even decide that it is not worth it and you go buy another bag of Taste of the Wild kibble. Your holistic vet recommended vaccination titers while your friend’s vet told her that her pet did not need any vaccines at all. This kind of confusion might get you to turn back to the old ways and run back to your conventional vet. I imagine this happens all the time.

Needless to say that most of this information is new and there is going to be conflicting opinions, even from the so-called experts. That’s part of the learning curve. The important thing to remember is that you have made an enormous leap in the positive direction, away from the limitations and side- effects of conventional pet health care and the small differences of opinions are likely not important. The simple change from feeding highly-processed pet food to wholesome, balanced food alone will benefit your pet enormously. If, in time, we find out that dogs and cats don’t need veggies in the diet, that’s ok. They certainly don’t hurt. The fact that you are not over-vaccinating your pet has benefitted its immune system dramatically, whether you do titer testing or not.

These are great and exciting times. The old guard of pet health care has needed a facelift for many years and it is happening right before our eyes. I have been watching an online course that a group of brain experts has put together dealing with the aging brain, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. We are seeing some of the same problems in pets and as a senior myself, I am interested in new information.

These brain experts are all medical doctors that specialize in brain function and are renowned world wide. Most of them have been practicing and studying the brain for many years using the traditional, conventional approach to medicine. More than one of these experts talked about 21st century approach to disease. They explained that the conventional approach has alway focused on “what” a patient had that was causing the symptoms. The what might be Alzheimer’s disease. Once they determined the “what” they immediately went to what drug could be used to deal with the what/disease. They said that thousands of drugs have been tested to treat Alzheimer’s, but all of them have failed to even improve symptoms. So, they changed their mindset to the 21st century mindset, to find out “why” these patients were ill. They actually started looking for the root problems. Wow, this is a holistic approach to medicine.

They determined that Alzheimer’s disease displays itself in one of three categories. Two of them are associated with dietary insufficiencies, while the other deals with toxicities to the brain (primarily heavy metals or infections). Once they identify the underlying source, they treat it and guess what, they improve and often resolve. Now, a disease that was considered congenitally derived and non-treatable is now considered a treatable, curable and preventable disease. See what a simple change in mindset can do for health care.

The other thing that they emphasized was the movement away from using pharmaceuticals as during their research they found that some drugs were contributing to the problem. An example was the use of H2 antagonists (antacids) such as Prilosec. They determined that if a person uses these over the counter drugs that their potential for Alzheimer’s disease increased by three times. Now, they focus on functional approaches such as exercise, quality sleep, supplements such as fish oil, vitamin D and turmeric. They discussed the need for stress reduction using meditation, contemplative thinking and prayer. One expert doctor even talked about the importance of developing intuitive skills in order to connect with ourselves and our bodies. Now, if that is not a holistic approach, I don’t know what it is.

The main thing is to keep moving forward. Keep empowering yourself to become aware of the changes that are happening. Refuse to rely on old, outdated protocols that will not ultimately serve you or your pet. Hang in there. The bumpy ride will be worth it.