Alternative Remedies for Pets are a thing
Alternative remedies for pets are a pretty confronting idea when you’ve read as much about them as I have.
I once took my cat to a local vet who seemed nice enough and didn’t suggest anything kooky or strange. On my last visit, though, I noticed some flyers in the waiting room. Reiki for pets. Yeah, no.
If you’re not in the know, reiki is a quack remedy involving using your hands to draw out bad energy, magically curing the ailment. Except it isn’t magic because it doesn’t actually work. Bacteria, viruses, tumours, diseases and so on need actual treatment. Not a waving of the hands and a nice visualisation.
I didn’t go back. I couldn’t trust my furbaby to anyone endorsing this rubbish, even alongside conventional treatment. Knowing that there’s no proof that reiki does anything at all, I saw it for what is was; a way to extract money out of well-meaning pet owners.
People accuse pharmaceutical companies of greed, but it’s funny how they ignore the fact that alternative remedies aren’t free. They just lack something pharmaceutical treatments must have- evidence of safety and efficacy.
Ugh, Pet Aromatherapy, I’m not kidding
Certain oils are toxic to certain pets. Cats are at risk and so are dogs. Their bodies process the chemicals in essential oils differently to ours. So while lavender might make you feel nice and calm, it won’t work the same way on your furry friend. Some people, however, think otherwise and often, it’s the MLM essential oil sellers trying to convince pet owners.
Blaming oil brands for adverse reactions in pets is all too common- “Don’t order from Amazon, buy from meeeee!” Essential oil via MLM means your seller has a financial motivation and often little to no unbiased info on their product. Generally speaking, while some oils might be safe to use around pets, it’s really more of a human thing. Dogs and cats have an acute sense of smell, so diffusing oils around them, if nothing else, can be super overwhelming for them.
Homeopathy and Herbal Alternative Remedies for Pets Are A Bad Idea
You can buy homeopathic drops for your kitty and herbal pills for your dog. As alternative remedies for pets go, homeopathic remedies won’t hurt your pet. Why? Because they’re literally just water or sugar pills.
The active ingredients are so dilute that they aren’t even measurably present anymore. The danger being, of course, that if your furry friend is actually sick or injured and in pain, you’re giving them nothing to help. No treatment for the condition or injury and nothing for the discomfort or pain they’re in. But that’s okay, right? Because it’s not like they can tell you it hurts. Many vets have called for homeopathic animal treatments to be banned outright. Since we know homeopathy doesn’t work, this makes perfect sense.
Herbals are a worry, too. If you’re buying them off the shelf or online without consultation, how do you know what dose suits your pet, for sure? Herbs are natural, yes, but that doesn’t make them safe! And it definitely doesn’t make them effective for whatever you’re wanting to treat. You could be giving them too much or not enough. Herbal treatments can cause serious health issues on their own. There is even the potential for giving them something that interacts with a medication they are on. If you’re considering a herbal supplement of some kind, check with the vet first.
Amber Necklaces for Cats and Dogs, Seriously
Yep, you read that correctly. Not content with flogging necklaces to the parents of infants, despite the lack of evidence to support their use and the obvious dangers, alternative remedy peddlers have moved on to fur-kids. This company is selling amber necklaces for pets as a preventative against fleas and ticks. I guess most babies that wear them don’t get fleas and ticks, so there’s your evidence, right? Never mind the fact that non-amber wearing kids don’t routinely suffer flea and tick infestations!
Honestly, fleas make your pet miserable and can lead to infections and illness. Ticks, you know what they can do to a cat or dog? They can kill them. By all means, buy your dog a pretty necklace if you absolutely must. But first, buy something that actually fucking works to keep your pet safe from these dangerous parasites.
Black Salve To Burn The Shit Out Of Your Pet, I Cannot Even!
I recently shared an article about a woman who used this salve to treat ovarian cancer. Proponents say it magically draws the cancer out of the body through the skin. In actuality, it’s an escharotic compound that does nothing but cause severe and painful burns to the skin and tissues. Many black salve survivors need reconstructive surgery as well as actual cancer treatment. The woman in the article I shared did not survive. She died a very painful death from untreated cancer. Her abdomen was a raw wound. That didn’t stop one person from defending it’s use and tagging in her mates. Can I just reiterate, this was on an article about a woman who used this godawful stuff and DIED? One of them said this:
Yes, people use this horrific stuff on their pets as well. They apply a salve that is illegal, has no evidence to support it, causes significant and deep burns and results in horrific injuries (see pics here if you have the stomach for it) to their pets! Alternative remedies for pets are dangerous but this one is flat-out cruelty and animal abuse.
Be A Good Pet Mum or Dad
Alternative remedies for pets are nothing but a cash-grab, much like such remedies aimed at humans. I often see people claiming that modern medicine is nothing but a profit machine and sure, the pharmaceutical industry isn’t perfect. There have been published studies that were later proven to have been fraudulent (Andrew Wakefield, anyone?). Some medicines that were thought safe were later shown not to be. The upshot of such instances is tighter regulation and more onus on proof and peer review.
Often, using alternative remedies results in delays to real treatment, meaning wasted time and suffering as well as money. This is true for people and animals. Our pets rely on us to care for them and we have a responsibility to make sure we do all we can to keep them healthy and well. If your pet isn’t feeling great or you’re considering a supplement, a reputable veterinarian should be your first stop. Not someone selling essential oils or herbs on the internet. Alternative remedies for pets aren’t a good idea. Your pet deserves safe and effective treatment, period.