Not Always the Best Medicine: The Dirt on Homeopathic Pet Remedies

While the term “natural” appeals to most of us, the push for more natural ways to care for our pets isn’t always in the best interest of our four-legged pals. Things like arsenic and opium are natural, but that doesn’t make them safe for a dog or cat. Homeopathic pet remedies are often ineffective and, in some instances, harmful.

Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates wants to be sure that you have all of the information so that you can care for your pet in the safest and most effective way possible.

The Facts About Homeopathic Pet Remedies

Even though homeopathy is a trendy thing, it isn’t new. You might be surprised to learn that it was first created in 1796 by a man named Samuel Hahnemann. Samuel theorized that something that caused symptoms of a particular disease in healthy people could be used to cure other people with that disease.

If you spend a little time thinking about this, you will be quick to realize how silly this premise is. Sure, sniffing pepper may make you sneeze, but a noseful of the spice is hardly a cure for allergies! The scientific community at large tends to regard homeopathy as unfounded.

This hasn’t stopped homeopathy from thriving, however. People are constantly in search of alternative answers, and this branch of pseudoscience seems to play right into that tendency. This is particularly true for more difficult or chronic problems for which modern medicine does not have an easy cure.

Most homeopathic pet remedies are derived from herbs, minerals, and other natural substances. Because homeopathic remedies tend to be very diluted, in most situations they are not harmful. There are some exceptions to this rule, though.

Homeopathy Gone Wrong

Before you go searching for a homeopathic cure for whatever ails you or your pet, be sure to think things through. Typically, the actual ingredients in these remedies don’t cause harm in and of themselves. This doesn’t mean that homeopathic pet remedies are totally benign.

Remember that:

  • Seeking a homeopathic treatment is likely preventing or delaying your pet from receiving scientifically founded and effective treatment (this is particularly critical if your pet’s condition is life-threatening or emergent)
  • Dabbling in at-home remedies may prevent your pet from being properly diagnosed
  • Homeopathic solutions, in the wrong hands, can be harmful or interact with other medications
  • Those who abide by homeopathy may steer you away from established wellness care recommendations

Natural isn’t bad, and veterinary medicine in general is growing and embracing many types of alternative techniques. From acupuncture to laser therapy, chiropractic medicine to traditional Chinese herbal medicine, our pets have more options than ever before.

The difference is that these types of treatments are done under the supervision of a veterinary professional who knows you and your pet.

Homeopathic remedies for pets may have their place, but it is wise to avoid these types of cure-all treatments unless we are able to evaluate and discuss them with you. Working together as part of a team ensures the best care for your pet.