Understanding your pets wellness

When my pug was diagnosed with liver shunts that would eventually lead to other health issues and the decision to ease her suffering, I wanted to learn as much as I could about pet health and alternative methods for keeping my companion animals healthy and happy.

My research lead me to the Clayton College of Natural Health which offers a distance learning certificate program in “Holistic Care for Companion Animals. The program is self-paced and while I was given two years to complete my certification, I was able to complete it in less than a year.

I was thrilled with the course work and the textbooks that were provided, and learned a great deal about what I could do as a pet owner to help keep my pets well. While the certificate does not replace conventional veterinary care, and does not certify you to care for pets other than your own, it does give you excellent information.

The program starts with an overview of what holistic care for animals actually is, and the three textbooks for the course provided excellent information. The first textbook was The Nature of Animal Healing: The Definitive Holistic Medicine Guide to Caring for Your Dog and Cat by Martin Goldstein, DVM. The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care by CJ Puotinen, and Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, by Richard H. Pitcairn, DMV Phd and Susan Hubble Pitcairn were the other two textbooks required for this course. All three of them were easy to read and have remained reference books I use often in caring for my remaining dog and cats.

The next course dealt with bodywork for your companion animals, which detailed the advantages of body massages as a way to not only bond with your pet, but relax the pet and keep you aware of any physical changes in your pet. In her final days, my pug loved getting back massages, and my current dog just loves getting his paws and toes massaged. It puts him to sleep right away! The textbooks for this course were “The Healing Touch by Dr. Michael Fox and The Tellington TTouch by Linda Tellington-Jones and Sibyl Taylor.

The remaining courses discussed herbs; aromatherapy and flower essences for pets; traditional Chinese medicine for pets; and natural nutritional options. The five textbooks for those courses were fascinating and provided me with information and options that not only made the last days of my pug more comfortable, but have also helped me and my remaining pets. Especially interesting was the textbook for the traditional Chinese medicine – Four Paws, Five Directions by Cheryl Schwartz, DVM- which gave me anatomy points for acupressure points which helped with my pug’s pain.

With the help of this certificate program and the textbooks, I have stayed alert to any changes in my pet’s health and have been able to work with my veterinarian to provide the best possible care for my pets. Our companion animals give us unconditional love and trust, and the least we can do for them is to provide them with the best possible care and ensure their wellness with proper food, shelter, and when necessary, medical care.

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