Holistic Pet Health Care

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show

There is growing interest in holistic pet care and alternative approaches to good animal health. Larry Meiller learns about natural parasite preventatives and ways to boost a pet’s immune system.

Featured in this Show

  • Tips For Protecting Against Fleas And Ticks Naturally

    Sometimes a thick line is drawn between conventional medicines and natural remedies. The truth is, though, that most modern-day medications were developed from age-old herbal preparations and those more natural treatments can be both very effective and easier on the body for both people and pets.

    Dr. Carrie Donahue, the owner and founder of Full Circle Holistic Veterinary Care in Madison, provides an option for holistic and alternative care in addition to basic conventional veterinary services. Among the services that she provides are acupuncture and botanical medicine, vaccines and other wellness care, including nutritional recommendations.

    Donahue said that with winter finally loosening its grip on the state, pet owners need to start thinking about preventatives for their pets.

    “I get a lot of people coming in, asking me: ‘What are the natural alternatives to flea and tick preventatives?’” she said.

    While it’s hard to predict exactly how this year’s flea and tick season will turn out, Donahue said that last season was “pretty tough.”

    It’s definitely important to make sure that pets are protected, and Donahue said that there are natural alternatives to the conventional, topical preventatives, which includes Advantix, Frontline or Vectra.

    “What I’ve really found in my practice is that every animal is so individual,” Donahue said. “Some dogs just tend to get ticks, some dogs tend to get fleas, some cats do, so you really have to see what’s going to work best for your pet.”

    Donahue recommends that people start out with a natural alternative and she shared that most of those are essential oil-based. One that she uses frequently is a cedar oil-based spray from the Wondercide Co. Having used it in her practice for a few years, she said she feels that it works well.

    The difference between a natural alternative and the traditional treatment is the frequency of treatment, she said. While the traditional flea and tick preventatives are systemic and will be active for a month at a time, the more natural approach requires more frequent application.

    “It’s something that you need to do probably every other day, or a couple times a week. And definitely any time that you’re going out into a heavily tick infested area, or if you know that you might have fleas in your yard, you need to use some of these things more often,” she explained.

    One doesn’t need to use just the traditional approaches or just the alternative options. Donahue said that many pet owners will use the traditional preventatives when needed, but will supplement with the natural products when the situation allows for it.

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Producer
  • Dr. Carrie Donahue Guest

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