Each beloved pet I have had the privilege of meeting and treating teaches me something along our paths together. Some of my patients have been coming to me for Traditional Chinese Medicine since I started practicing almost 10 years ago. It is a joy to get to know them and their families.
One of my favorite things is meeting a pet and looking into their eyes. It is true that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and it is no different with animals and most notably, our pets. We often connect with our pets through our hearts. We are custodians for their care and well-being. We do the very best we can to make sure they are happy and healthy so they can enjoy their lives with us.
We tend to bond with our pets deeply for many reasons. Often times they are more involved in our daily lives than any human is, and they are valued family members. We tend to live many years longer than they do, and it is common that pet parents wish their pets could live happy and healthy for as long as we do as humans. Life spans of 10-17 years most typically just do not seem long enough.
In recent years with the importance of pets living inside the home in family units, taking advantage of advanced medical diagnostics and treatment protocols have become more accessible and sought after by more and more pet parents. Integrative medicine versus a strictly holistic or strictly western perspective tends to offer more treatment options and a higher rate of success. Recently more focus has been placed on a diet, which is a very important branch of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.
Food is the cornerstone to health. We are what we eat has proved to be true time and time again. Food is medicine, and food can also be poison to the body. In recent months, more of my new clients have scheduled appointments for guidance with Food Therapy for their pets. This field is growing in the past year with several whole food pet food brands entering the market.
I have been amazed at the longevity of my patients with incorporating food therapy as a basis and building on from there. Daily walks in the fresh air are also ideal. Just 30 minutes per day can make the difference. Even in cold weather, our pets should still be walked in order to see what’s going on outside their homes in their corner of the world. Walking together also creates an increased bond due to “pack behavior”. This is a great activity we can enjoy with our pets to keep us living in the moment and also sharing in some great exercise. Diet and exercise are the most basic elements of health, and time and time again my patients have demonstrated this to me. Our lives are about balance, and our pets can help us to achieve this even while we are doing our best to help them.