Wellness in Animals: A Final Word
By William Pollak, DVM
We strive for more than freedom from physical limitations, pain or disease; we seek Wellness. True Wellness is a natural state of life that is our birthright. The absence of disease is a by-product of this state.
We can easily lose touch with our natural selves and the environment. The very fortunate of us with gardens that bear fruit still experience a link. The only way most of us can still share in a natural joy is through bonding with a companion animal. Our pets allow us to go beyond the constraints of our human situations and into a larger, older, more harmonious world-view. The very act of caring for our friends and, in return, receiving their unconditional devotion, brings us closer to our roots and allows us to experience our humanity from a place of greater emotional well being.
Caring, bonding and the act of nurturing address our whole selves. This supports our body’s abilities to heal, focus on prevention and cure disease. Proper nutrition is the foundation upon which many holistic practices build our pets’ (and our own) quality of life and Wellness. Poor nutrition is one of the major contributors to our pets’ (and our own) lower life expectancies. By feeding our pets most commercial pet foods, we unintentionally deprive them of important nutrients needed to sustain the state of greater Wellness their genetics allow.
Our companion animals provide us with a reminder of our link to nature. The closeness we feel toward them reinforces our vision of them as full family members and life companions. Our animals live in a natural state of oneness no matter what “illness” they may have. Our gain from their unconditional acceptance of us is transformed into our wanting more Wellness for them, and for ourselves.
Western medical science views our bodies as “bio-mechanical parts” that can be repaired or replaced. Non-holistic medical and veterinary practitioners address illness the same way. You can repair or remove a part through surgery or support it with external chemicals or substances. Laboratory workups support medical diagnoses with “scientific fact”; in turn, tests confirm the malfunctioning part. This is only part of the holistic model of disease.
Many of us seek alternatives to this model. We want more encompassing methods for ourselves and our animals. Instead of viewing a living body as a flesh-covered skeleton composed of “bio-mechanical parts,” holistic methods view bodies as constellations of diverse “biological” activities. Inclusive forms of treatment address the whole organism.
Few people suggest holistic approaches should totally replace medical and veterinary science, especially in the case of accident or acute illness. However, many alternative methods achieve significant results.
As lovers of companion animals, we want to take an active role in their care and assume responsibility for their quality of life and “Wellness.” The average life expectancies of companion animals have dropped in the last 40 years. Poor nutrition, overmedication and over-vaccination have led to an epidemic of allergic-based diseases that challenge our pets’ defenses. Our pets have grown hypersensitive to common environmental allergens their ancestors casually threw off.
What can you do? What you learn here, and on our web site, will help take you, and your companion, to the next stage of Wellness. Learn from what your pet can teach you about health and nutrition, and accept their love and devotion in return. It is as simple and joyous as that.