5 Healthy Lifestyle Steps for Pet Owners for February “Responsible Pet Owners Month”
17 Feb 2008
February is "Responsible Pet Owners Month." Shawn Messonnier, DVM, "The Natural Vet" on Martha Stewart Living Radio, one of America's foremost authorities on holistic pet care and national spokesman for Pet-Togethers PetCentRx "Vim & Vigor" supplements for dogs and cats, has five important steps to create a healthy lifestyle and a more rewarding relationship for owners and their pets.
"Every year, over six million cats and dogs end up in shelters and millions more are on the streets starving and foraging for food. By practicing safe, responsible behavior toward our companion animals, we can help owners have joyful, rewarding, long-lasting relationships with their pets. Five simple, yet important, steps are: prevent disease, say NO to drugs, heal the pet rather than treat the disease, offer 'Hope for the Hopeless,' and save money on pet care," Dr. Shawn said.
#1 - Prevent Disease
Responsible pet owners can do a lot to minimize illness. Vaccines are useful but most of the diseases that afflict pets are chronic degenerative diseases. Conventional medicine is better suited to treating acute problems like infectious disease. A holistic approach utilizes several steps in order to prevent disease. A natural diet, free of harmful chemicals and byproducts, minimizes cell damage. Minimizing the unnecessary use of medications and toxins is also important. Plus, a well-prescribed supplement regimen can reduce inflammation and oxidation in a pet's body, decreasing the chances of the pet developing chronic diseases.
#2 - Say NO to Drugs
One of the most important aspects of a holistic health care plan for pets is saying NO to drugs whenever possible and finding alternatives to traditional medications. Drugs certainly are important in the treatment of many diseases and acute problems, like infections, allergies and arthritis. Chronic problems and minor acute problems often respond best to alternative therapies. Chronic use of conventional drugs is more expensive. Side effects are more commonly encountered. Many pets treated with chronic drug therapy develop side effects or other diseases from drug therapy, which can require other drugs to treat these secondary disorders, leading to further increases in side effects or new diseases.
#3 - Heal the Pet Rather than Treat Disease
The holistic approach focuses on the patient and not the disease, which means restoring the pet to a normal, healthy condition which is disease free. Pets can enjoy improved health even when diagnosed with a fatal disease such as cancer. “They can be healthy as long as possible, fighting off the cancer, keeping it in remission and living with their disease. In treating pets with cancer," Dr. Shawn said, "pet owners need to remember that 'there is a pet attached to that tumor.'"
#4 - Hope for the Hopeless
"Hope for the Hopeless" is the responsible position to adopt when therapies fail for a specific problem like liver cancer or a pet has not responded to appropriate therapies. Often, owners abandon or euthanize the pet before using alternative therapies; yet, many pets that are deemed "untreatable" may respond well to a holistic approach. While not every pet can be cured, many can heal enough to live a good quality life and coexist with their diseases, Dr. Shawn said.
#5 - Save Money on Pet Care
"A holistic pet care program is usually less expensive than a traditional pet care program because it costs less to prevent problems rather than treat them. Using natural therapies often costs less than conventional drug therapy. For example, supplements like Pet-Togethers PetCentRx "Vim & Vigor" (www.PetCentRx.com) are usually less expensive than drugs, especially if generic medications are not available. Chronic drug therapy usually requires frequent laboratory monitoring of the pet to ensure side effects have not developed, which is usually not necessary with natural therapies. Drugs can cause secondary diseases which can require more drugs to treat these diseases. And a natural approach is an important step to ensure that a pet will be healthier and live longer," Dr. Shawn said.
About Dr. Shawn Messonnier:
Owner of Paws & Claws Animal Hospital in Plano, Texas, Shawn Messonnier, DVM, is one of America's foremost authorities on holistic pet care and is national spokesman for PetCentRx Vim & Vigor, human-grade dietary supplements for dogs and cats. In addition to practicing veterinary medicine for more than 20 years, Messonnier has published 16 books, including The Natural Vet's Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats and 8 Weeks to a Healthy Dog. He also hosts the award-winning weekly radio show, "Dr. Shawn - The Natural Vet" on Martha Stewart Living Radio (Sirius, Channel 112 on Tuesdays from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM EST with a repeat on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 11: AM EST).
Pet-Togethers is a visionary companion pet wellness company offering human-grade dietary supplements for cats & dogs, including its flagship wellness formula, PetCentRx Vim & Vigor, veterinarian-recommended to help companion pets feel better, look better and live fuller lives. Pet-Togethers has an innovative business model that offers pet care professionals the opportunity to add residual revenue to their practices through a convenient, continuity program that they can make available to their clients. With its caring corporate culture, Pet-Togethers is focused on developing programs and products that promote holistic care and treatment solutions to improve the quality of life of companion pets and provide peace of mind to their caregivers. For more information, visit www.PetCentRx.com.
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Carol Piaseczny, APR
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