Veterinary Food Therapy By HolisticalVets
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What is veterinary food therapy and why should I be interested in it for my pet?
Veterinary food therapy is when food ingredients are chosen for your pet with the goal of restoring and maintaining health and improving the success of your pet’s treatment.
Recipes are specifically designed for your pet based on preventative goals and, if applicable, treatment goals for your pet’s medical (holistic and/or conventional) diagnoses, keeping in mind his or her age, breed, species, lifestyle, unique tendencies and personality, preferences, geographical location, history, and more.
“The beauty of food as medicine is that the choice to heal and promote health can begin as soon as the next meal.” – Author unknown
Food plays a huge role in how pets think, feel, and act. By utilizing this powerful holistic tool, food therapy will help you play an active role in your pet’s meals, empowering you as you’ll learn the ins and outs regarding your pet’s daily nutrition.
Is food therapy be available for all species like acupuncture and Tui-na are?
The formulation of specifically designed food therapy recipes is only available for dogs, cats, and horses. There is a possibility that the formulation of recipes for additional species will be available in the future but cannot be promised at this time.
How are food therapy recipes different from recipes formulated by a boarded veterinary nutritionist?
Your pet’s specifically designed recipes will be formulated by a veterinarian that has underwent additional nutritional education, training, and certification to become a CVFT (certified veterinary food therapist) in order to be able to appropriately and correctly formulate nutritionally balanced diets and recipes for animals. However, it should be noted that boarded veterinary nutritionists have undergone far more training and education in nutrition than CVFTs; therefore, it is always recommended that you consult a boarded veterinary nutritionist first and foremost if interested in having a diet specifically formulated for your pet.
Is food therapy safe?
When performed by a veterinarian that’s specially trained and certified in food therapy and the correct ingredients are chosen, food therapy can be used safely throughout your pet’s life. If needed, it can also be combined with conventional/Western medicine to help your pet get the best of both worlds medically.
What types of food therapy recipes will be available?
Recipes will be designed specifically for your pet, his or her health, and any concerns that may be present and may be categorized into one of the following:
- Health promotion and prevention
- These recipes are designed to improve your pet’s health on a regular basis. They are also useful for the prevention of problems that can affect a pet seasonally.
- Treatment of disease
- These recipes are designed to treat a variety of conditions that may bother your pet (e.g., skin problems, auto-immune diseases, etc.)
- Adjunctive food therapy
- These recipes are designed to complement other treatments your pet may be receiving, regardless if holistic/TCVM and conventional/Western medicine (or both). These recipes are helpful for a variety of conditions, including ear infections, urinary problems, gastrointestinal sensitivity/upset, kidney disease, cancer, heart failure, liver disease, and so much more.
Are results guaranteed with food therapy? If so, how soon can I expect improvement?
Often times, holistic medicine and treatments require more time and effort from everyone involved and since holistic medicine is not a quick fix, overnight resolution is uncommon. Food therapy is a slower treatment option, but its benefits are immeasurable.
While conventional/Western medicine may provide faster results, holistic medicine helps set the foundation and attempts to balance out the scales in hopes of improving health and providing a better quality of life. Regardless of the type of medicine used, whether holistic or conventional, every animal is unique and may or may not respond to treatment in different ways and just like with conventional/Western measures, there are no guarantees in medicine.
Holistic medicine can be helpful for a multitude of problems that may afflict pets (and secondarily, their owners). These problems are not just limited to diseases and illnesses affecting muscles, bones, and nerves, but also those that affect behavior, the skin and other organs, the immune system, and so much more.
While some conditions may be able to be resolved completely, other times (just like in Western medicine) there are afflictions that cannot be resolved (or if they can be, only partially). Often times, especially if the condition is chronic or at or near end-stage, the goal is to simply extend the pet’s quality of life and to slow down or possibly halt the progression of the disease/illness for as long as feasibly possible.