Complementary therapy is often used alongside conventional treatment. Its use can be contentious, as there is poor regulation and sometimes outlandish claims. However, at CAM we do advocate combining recognised, well regulated, professional complementary therapies with mainstream intervention. We encourage owners to explore what’s available and to make an educated decision about what might benefit your dog.
The same types of therapies that humans use – physiotherapy, osteopathy, acupuncture and chiropractic – are also available for dogs. Careful choice needs to be make about what is suitable, who is suitable to give it.
Use these guidelines to help make your decision:
- Seek advice from your vet first. They may have good relations with practitioners who are delivering good results.
- Read about the therapy before your first treatment so you understand what they claim to offer
- Ask the practitioner what their qualifications are, what organisation they belong too, how they are regulated, and whether they have their own personal indemnity insurance
- Have a clear understanding of costs, and the time and financial commitment expected of you to get the desired effect from the therapy
- All complementary therapists should seek permission from your vet to treat your animal. If they don’t you should ask why
- Meet the practitioner and expect to be questioned in reasonable depth about your dog’s condition and current management regime. If you are not, you should question their service
- Usually you should be allowed to stay with your dog during the treatment
- We do not have a true understanding of what level of pain our dogs are in, and treatments can be unintentionally painful. The dog should be able to leave the ‘work area’ at any time. This is a reliable indicator that it wants to avoid further discomfort
Any treatments/supplements/remedies taken from the practitioner should be clearly labelled with the name of the practice, contact details, the content, and the amount. It should be clearly labelled for use in that animal only and to be kept out of the reach of children