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2:48 AM   April 28, 2015
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Holistic Terms Demystified

Much debate has recently surfaced regarding what constitutes “holistic” in the pet industry. In an effort to capture a growing trend, countless products and services claim a holistic approach. Customers wanting only the very best for their animals often seek out holistic options, seeking guidance from retailers about which products and services are reliable, safe and effective.

Make sure you and your staff is ready to handle inquiries about this sometimes cloudy topic. The health of the pets your customers love is at stake – so too is the public’s faith in an industry they expect will protect them from harm.

Holistic: In general terms, the word holistic implies that the whole animal is treated, rather than just the symptoms of their disease or discomfort. Holistic products should include, for instance, a healthier diet to result in a stronger immune system that is better able to fight off infection – in addition to a prescribed anti-biotic.

It’s also important to acknowledge that a holistic approach is not necessarily in opposition to medical intervention. It, instead, is often offered in addition to good veterinary care. Holistic therapies vary widely from aromatherapy, diet and exercise, to acupuncture, massage and herbal supplements.

Homeopathy: Homeopathy uses organic plant extracts, and sometimes animal derived compounds, to stimulate an animals own healing powers. It’s philosophy is based on the body’s ability to heal itself, with a little boost from Mother Nature.

Complimentary/Integrative Medicine: Complimentary and Integrative are synonymous terms meaning, simply, that these forms of therapy are designed to work together with standard medical interventions. An integrative approach blends the best of science and natural medicine for a better outcome.

Alternative Therapy: As the name implies, alternative medicines are meant to be administered in place of medical interventions. Without the help of veterinary medicines, alternative therapies present certain risks. With only anecdotal evidence to support their effectiveness, in most cases, consumers gamble when pursuing this avenue of pet care.

Natural Medicine: Most holistic options fall under this umbrella term used by many in the animal health industry. Natural simply means anything not man made or chemical in nature. Organic products that contain little or no artificial manipulation are considered natural medicinal products.

It’s important to remember that not all consumers turn to holistic options in times of illness. Often, in favor or prevention or better over all health, pet owners seek out these broad-spectrum approaches to animal care. Anytime is an appropriate time to recommend an holistic product. <HOME>

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