Start Here: Vitality and Balance for New Pets

Dr. Jeff

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Here's some of the text in progress for an upcoming HA! new pet report:

To start your relationship, survey the landscape of animal health, and your new pet’s long term happiness and quality of life, not just one part of their healthcare, like preventing infections, or fleas and ticks, or when to spay or neuter.

Focusing on single goals or symptoms tends to obscure the forest for the trees and can make you lose sight of long- term happy lives for your new companions.

Fortunately,  it’s easy to “keep your eye on the prize” by using just two critical factors that will help you put everything else in context.

They are Vitality and Balance.

Vitality can be most readily thought of as energy. In Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine it is also known as Prana and Chi.

Vitality is the factor that allows internal processes to proceed normally. Living beings are born with high vitality. Our job as loving guardians is to preserve and foster it, and help maintain that high vitality in a stable balance.

Your pets bodies function in a “dynamic equilibrium”. Meaning that they are always changing and responding to their environment. Vitality helps maintain that stability.

Everything affects that balance. Daily lifestyle decisions like what you feed, how you vaccinate, and what chemicals you put on and in their bodies all make a difference. Most important though, is how you react to individual symptoms. Working with the body builds balance and preserves vitality. Working against it, with “antis”, creates imbalance and decreases vitality.

One very helpful way to think about this is with the Ayurvedic model of health, which sees dis-ease as an imbalance in the body typically caused by external factors that affect the chakras. These are things that you have daily control over like:
<ul>
<li>freshness (= vitality) and purity of the food you feed</li>
<li>toxin exposure such as in vaccines and most flea and tick treatments</li>
<li>play, fun, and exercise</li>
<li>mental stimulation</li>
</ul>
Building and preserving vitality with these simple lifestyle choices will transform your pet care.

<strong>Socialization</strong>

With new pets, it all starts with socialization-internally as well as externally.

Internally socialize your companion animal by offering a wide variety of fresh foods. In general, if it it’s good for us, it’s good for them. Notable exceptions include:
<ol>
<li>Grapes and raisins</li>
<li>Chocolate</li>
<li>(Xylitol - not good for us either, but potentially very toxic to pets)</li>
</ol>
Even eating small amounts of dirt and poop is not bad for our animals. Puppies may sample all parts of their new environment as part of their normal exploratory behavior. This serves the function of helping to socialize their internal environment.

However, imbalanced pets will also chew potentially dangerous indigestible items like electrical cords, plastic, etc. that can cause serious injury or obstruction. Keep an eye out and correct this early warning sign of internal imbalance.

As you’ll learn later, the balance of this internal “terrain” is critical in health maintenance and your practicing proactive prevention.

External socialization also starts today. It’s easy and fun! For dogs, take your pets with you wherever you go. For cats, expose them to new sights, sounds, people, and animals as often as you can.

The earlier you start, the better. Some animal breeders and shelters do it with all new pets. Starting at two weeks of age!

Do not hesitate to let your new puppy (or any pet) walk on the ground in the open air. Sure, she may be a tiny pup, but her immune system is big and you are helping it develop natural resistance. However, be mindful about early age exposure to sick animals and socialization with unknown pets.

Gradual exposure to infectious agents helps her immune system develop properly. Just like the lower rates of allergies for human children who play in the dirt or live on farms.

Use your intuition and common sense while raising you animal companions. If you're still not sure what is best, just consult with your knowledgeable holistic healing team (we'll talk more about building your team later).

One very important part of making your new pets part of your life is their elimination habits such as where they pee and poop. Kittens usually instinctively use the litter box, so we’ll focus on puppies here. They often need some help, so let’s talk a bit more about housebreaking to integrate your new pet into your life.

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The report will start with housebreaking a new pup, then go onto other new pet topics such as, "preventive" care, how to know and what to do if they get sick, etc.

All other suggestions for new pet topics, just let me know.

Dr. Jeff
 
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