Many people in the UK and around the world use homeopathic remedies to treat a wide variety of ailments and illnesses. The popularity of homeopathy has increased to an extent that it is now being used to treat pets as well as humans. This article offers all the essential information on treating dogs with homeopathic remedies, and how this differs from using conventional medicine.
Homeopathy is a 200 year old system of healing, developed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann in the late 18th century. It is based on the philosophy that elements that might cause symptoms of ill health in a healthy body will actually cure similar existing symptoms in an unhealthy body. This philosophy is sometimes characterised as ‘like cures like’.
Homeopathic medicines usually consist of a very small amount of herb, plant or mineral dissolved in a large volume of water. The ingredients used in homeopathy would often be dangerous if given in a high dosage, but the dilution process ensures that the dosage actually given is so small that it is unlikely to cause any harm to the recipient.
Unlike conventional medicine, the ingredients in homeopathy aren’t themselves intended to have healing properties – instead they are intended to stimulate a healing response from the recipient’s own immune system. This is the same whether the treatment is for humans or dogs – the goal is always to utilise the body’s own resources and energy to aid in the healing process.
Another key difference between homeopathic and conventional remedies is that with homeopathy, the more diluted the active ingredient is in the remedy, the greater the potency of the remedy is deemed to be.
Hahnemann invented a scale called the C Scale to denote the strength of various remedies, with the C referring to a dilution by a factor of one hundred. So a 3C remedy has been diluted 300 times, and is not considered tremendously potent, whereas a 30C has been diluted 3000 times, and is therefore considered to be one of the strongest solutions you can buy. With any remedy higher than 30C, it is recommended that it should only be given on the advice of a trained veterinary surgeon.
The amount you give to a dog remains the same regardless of their breed or size. The only variable factor is the frequency with which you administer the treatment. For conditions requiring a fairly long period of treatment, such as joint sprains and strains, you might give a medium strength remedy three or four times a day, whereas for more short term or serious ailments, you might give a dosage every hour, or possibly even more often.
Experts also recommend that giving homeopathic medicines within 15 minutes of eating or drinking should be avoided if possible, although this is not considered essential.
In recent years, many in the pet health industry have come to the conclusion that in many cases a correctly chosen homeopathic remedy can be faster acting and more effective than any other type of medicine. Used properly, homeopathy offers a useful and safe alternative to conventional medicines used for treating pets.