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The Rise of Homeopathic Treatments for Dogs

Ever heard of veganism or the gluten-free diet? How about homeopathic treatments like CBD oil? Chances are, you have read about them scrolling through social media or heard of them in the news. Products like these are constantly being reviewed in journals and blogs with the idea of creating favorable approaches to different markets. These trends have undoubtedly become the new normal in healthy lifestyles, with products that focus on the root cause of the problem, instead of symptoms. With the increasing demand for products alike, they are becoming more reachable as the days go by. Now, this doesn’t stop with us! With the upscaling wave, the holistic market has reached our pets’ daily lives too. There’s plenty of products ranging from food, toys, treatments, and preventive supplements.


Millennials – people aged 22-40 – are a huge part of this wave and oftentimes early adopters. Millennials are an integral part of fast-paced information sharing via social networks like Facebook and Instagram. As a result, they are the first to know about these healthcare trends! According to the Pet Industry Market Size & Ownership Statistics from 2014 to 2018, pet product expenses increased by 24.2%, with 28% on food alone. Unsurprisingly, Millennials consider their pets family members and for this reason, they are willing to spend boundless amounts of money on their care and optimal health. Recognizing that our pup’s health is in decline is incredibly painful. However, with so many amazing options available, it’s never been easier to take charge.


Conventional Drugs or Medications

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do when your dog gets inexplicably sick. Generally, your only option is to take your fur baby to the vet, hoping to relieve the symptoms as soon as possible. People seek medical care for their pets for a wide variety of reasons and it’s reflected in pet insurance stats. Since 2014, the percentage of healthcare insurance has doubled to 10%, meaning an estimated 9M dogs have health insurance. According to the study, it is more common for owners with young children to have insurance for their dog. Additionally, 18% of Gen Y owners will have pet insurance, with an estimated yearly cost starting at $250 and as high as $499! with an estimated amount of $250 all the way up to $499! Curiously, the medications given to dogs have shown similar patterns during the past decade, and according to APPA National Pet Owners Survey, more than ¾ of dog owners have given some type of medication to their dogs in the past year. Between 10% - 20% of dog owners have medicated their dogs due to different health complications. The most popular are allergy medication, antibiotics, ear medication, and wormers. As a matter of fact, the usage ratio has been pretty steady in the last decade. On the graph below you can see the percentage of surveyed dog owners who medicated their dog from 2006 - 2016.

 

Year of Study

Dog Owners Surveyed

Percents of Dogs  Medicated

2006

580

77%

2008

587

81%

2010

544

78%

2012

527

81%

2014

521

77%

2016

505

77%



In the six years studied, we can explicitly see that more than 77%  of dog owners medicated their dogs. Hypothetically speaking, 50% of dog owners will medicate their dogs during their lifetime. This gives us an idea of how influential the pharmaceutical industry really is. With the increasing desire to elongate their pet’s life, people are more inclined to spend on their care. Last year alone, an estimated expense of $70 billion was spent on pets. Although some of this spend went toward paraphernalia, most of it went toward medical procedures and medications.

 

Advancements in western medicine aside, there’s a dark side to drugs. As we know, just like the medications we take, your pet’s medication can have side effects too. It is very important to slowly introduce new medications to your pup, after consulting your vet, especially if they’re not targeted for furry friends. Here’s a list of possible secondary effects of the most common drugs used to treat doggy diseases:


Treatment

Common Medication

Common Effects

Allergy

Benadryl and Zyrtec

Urinary retention, dry mouth, hypersalivation, loss of appetite and difficulty breathing.

Heartworm

Heartgard Plus, Iverhart Plus, and TriHeart Plus.

Depression, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, convulsions, and dilation of the pupils

Ear Medication

Otomax and Mometamax, Tobramycin, Amikacin, Neomycin

Slow wound healing and immunosuppression. If ingested it might cause  increased thirst and urination, increased appetite and weight gain, panting, diarrhea, vomiting

Antibiotics

Enrofloxacin (Baytril) respiratory, skin, and urinary tract infections.


Amoxicillin/Clavulanic acid (Clavamox)

wounds, respiratory infections, skin infections.


Metronidazole (Flagyl)

gastrointestinal upsets, periodontal disease.

Hives, rashes, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, yeast infections, and stomach irritations

Fleas and ticks

Frontline Gold

Bravecto

Nexgard

Skin irritation, itchy skin if consumed orally  it may cause seizures and lethargy


There’s no question that with each medication that you give to your dog, there will be a secondary effect, making it a questionable or challenging decision. It’s so important to conduct your own research before even thinking of giving your pup any type of medication. Just imagine trying to cure your pup’s ailment only to cause another complication due to the medication.


Easy Ways: Prevention and Medication Alternatives

With the increasing interest in the health of our pets, there’s an increased number of pets that are being medicated. As we know, many drugs have unsavory side effects. So that might get you thinking: what are my options? Well, if you don’t want to start a fire in your house, you’ll most likely try to fire-proof your home. You’d study the space, looking for objects that were potentially flammable. And upon finding them, you would most likely eliminate them, thus lowering your risk of a house fire. Well, it’s no different with your pup’s health. Prevention is the best starting point if you wanted to avoid a trip to the vet. Supplements, like vitamins and minerals, are very popular and highly beneficial alternatives for the health of our four-legged friends. However, almost ¾ of dog owners don't give their dogs vitamins or other supplements. Interestingly enough, owners of medium and large-size dogs, as well as dogs that are taken to vets less often are more likely to take vitamins. The most popular type of supplement is the health and mobility supplement, while skin-coat-nail supplements follow in popularity. Luckily, there are many alternatives in preventing illnesses and diseases, and they might just be easier to implement than you think. Here’s a list to keep in consideration:

  • Do a check-up twice a year with the vet
  • Visiting your pup’s vet is a great way to keep your mind at ease about possible diseases. Early detection is also very important if your pup does develop an issue.


  • Keep an eye out for strange behavior regarding your dog
  • Remember to always acknowledge what’s normal or not when it comes to how your pet is acting. Extreme lethargy, slow activity, loss of appetite, over-salivation, panting, increased heartbeat, and social distress might be factors to take into consideration. When any of these happen, it’s time to take charge!  


  • Consider the best nutrition for your dog
  • Improving your dog’s diet could possibly be the best alternative in prevention. Everything your dog consumes will affect his overall health. Avoid gluten and processed meats. If you can’t adhere to a raw diet, be sure to supplement with fresh fruits, vegetables, and coconut oil. Always be on the lookout of nutrition facts and how they could benefit your pup.


  • Make your dog’s hygiene a priority
  • Keep your puppy's teeth and gums healthy! It will prevent tooth decay and intestinal disease, which can be life-threatening. Oh, and always keep their food-water bowls clean and fresh!


  • Upgrade your dog’s vitamin consumption
  • Vitamins offer a variety of benefits to dogs. Biotin, Vitamin C, niacin, and folic acid are safe for dogs. Fish oil, Omega 3 and fatty acids are great supplements that can help boost our pup’s immune system as well! Remember to consult a vet before deciding on what vitamins your dogs should be consuming.


  • Try alternative products that treat diseases
  • There are many natural alternatives that could help your furry friend’s health. There’s coconut oil, which increases the immune system’s defense mechanism (thanks to its powerful fatty acids). There’s also CBD oil which has many amazing functions. Ask your vet for more information about the uses for CBD.

    homeopathic treatments for dogs

    Pet Homeopathic Treatments

    There are many different views when it comes to drug use on pet dogs: It might be due to the shocking news we read often on their side effects, and the growing controversies that follow pharmaceutical industries. Whether it be the internet’s fast-paced, information sharing shocking facts about drugs or a collective opposition on conventional pharmaceuticals. Because of this, people are now experimenting with homeopathic remedies. Interesting enough, it’s not only reshaping the way we interact with big brands, but it’s changing the pet food market, and positively impacting our dog’s health!

    So, what exactly are homeopathic treatments? To start off, homeopathic comes from the Greek word homeopathy, which means “like disease”. All in all, homeopathic treatments revolve around the acceptance of a holistic approach. It encompasses natural treatments with natural ingredients such as minerals, oils, herbs, floral or plant-based products.


    Homeopathic practices have recently spread to pet care. In fact, there are vets that specialize in holistic care who can give advice regarding treating different illnesses or disorders in a natural way. This includes chronic conditions like skin irritations, arthritis, respiratory problems, and digestive issues. Homeopathic treatments can also help with conditions such as bites, diarrhea, and stings. This practice is an effective option which can be combined along with other treatments/medicines.


    According to the APPA National Pet Survey, 7.2M dogs receive homeopathic treatments, which is twice as many dogs than previously reported. Gen Y and Gen X owners are giving more homeopathic remedies, but Gen X show a higher report of homeopathic remedy use (16%). Interestingly, people who own more than one dog are more likely to use natural remedies. The following graphic shows a peak in homeopathic remedies during 2016 with 8 percent over 2004’s lowest consumption (in the last decade) with a low 3 percent consumption of homeopathic remedies.

    Table 3: Percentage of Dogs Given Homeopathic Remedies

    There is no denying that with each generation, new views, fashion trends, lifestyles, and opinions arise.  Each generation is defined by influential statements and practices, and whether you agree with them–or not, there's no stopping the wave. With pet products is naturally no different. Each of these creates an influential statement that seems to almost define decades as if everyone had agreed –or not– on them, and with pet products is naturally no different. The use of homeopathic treatments have risen in the last decade and are slowly becoming the new normal. Reasonably, a significant difference that separates Millennials from Gen Z consumers is their outlook on organic and natural nutrition. As stated by Packaged Facts, Gen Z consumers don’t trust natural and organic products as Millennials do. Although similar in views, the Gen Z group is more likely to question the products and advertisements on products they consume. Millennials, on the other hand, put a lot of weight on labels when it comes to choosing products. They choose products that are marketed as being sustainable or raw products, without much question. The survey’s study revealed that 59% of Gen Z consumers hold the opinion that natural products are safer, whereas 73% of Millennials think they’re better. This gives us an idea of the position Millenials and Gen Y hold about natural/organic products. But what about the other generations? How do they feel about natural remedies? Well, according to the APPA National Pet Survey 16% of Gen X (born between 1965-1980), reported the highest level of homeopathic remedy use, followed by Gen Y with a lower 10%. On the graph below, we can see the contrast between generations and the percentage of homeopathic remedies given to their dogs.

    Table 4: Percentage of Dogs Given Homeopathic Remedies by Generation

     

    So there’s a new bad boy in town! Homeopathic treatments are becoming more popular as the years go by. There is no doubt that soon enough they will show up in your nearest pet shop or local store. Sometimes it’s inevitable falling under the medication regimes for our pups’ health especially if there's a disease involved, which subsequently cause side effects. Yet, an important factor to acknowledge is that prevention is possible in different ways, which could help reduce the chances of worsening or developing diseases. Thankfully, nowadays homeopathic treatments are becoming more popular and more accessible, which open new opportunities for health treatment and welcoming new solutions.


    We have seen how much people are willing to medicate their dogs for different reasons and how these could eventually cause side effects. From side effects and diseases we saw how we can prevent illnesses by studying our pup’s behavior, doing routine medical check-ups, and opting for natural remedies! While on that, we studied the rise in homeopathic remedy uses in 2016 with the highest percentage in the last decade and how closely related millennials and Gen Y are when it comes to choosing their pet’s food and caring for their health.


    As younger generations start running businesses and more research emerges, the pet food and health market will inevitably change. But you be the judge! Do you think that natural products have a place in your pet’s health care regimen? Or are you skeptical of this new and emerging trend? We hope this data convinces you of the former but in case it doesn’t completely convince you, remember that holistic treatment can always be used in conjunction with conventional drugs, creating a partnership that will show you how effective homeopathy can be for your furry baby.

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