If you’re reading this post it’s because you’re considering homeopathy to help your dog. And that’s good news. But homeopathy isn’t like any aspirin or other medication you’ve used. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution … remedies are specific to the symptoms of each patient.
This won’t be a discussion on how to choose the right remedy. Instead, here is some basic information to help you use homeopathic remedies for your dog.
Homeopathy Addresses Your Dog’s Entire Being
Homeopathy is a natural system of healing that’s been around for 200 years. It’s based on the concept that “like cures like.” For example, the cure for poison ivy is the remedy Rhus toxicodendron, which is made from poison ivy. The same remedy also addresses skin irritations, itching and rashes – the symptoms of poison ivy that appear in other conditions.
Homeopathy has thousands of remedies for thousands of symptoms. And the remedies work with your dog’s whole body to relieve symptoms, restore balance and cure illness. Homeopathy addresses his entire being – his mental, emotional AND physical state.
But it goes beyond that.
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How Homeopathy Works
Homeopathy works to balance the body’s energy, known by homeopaths as the Vital Force. This is the energy that gives the body the power to heal itself. Any disruption in the Vital Force creates imbalance.
The symptoms of disease are a reflection of what’s happening inside. Homeopathic remedies that match the symptoms stimulate the Vital Force. Homeopathy helps bring the Vital Force into balance so the body can heal.
Homeopathy Works For Dogs and People
Homeopathy isn’t just for people. Homeopathy is safe for dogs and all animal species. Some people even use it to treat plants. Homeopaths choose a remedy based on the symptoms, not the disease. That’s why the same remedies work for the same symptoms … whether it’s for you or your dog.
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Track Your Dog’s Health and Habits
It’s a good practice to have a logbook for your dog. It can include what he eats, what supplements you give him and his activities and habits. You should note any peculiarities you see, and changes over the days, weeks and months. Then if something happens, you’re ahead of the game and can check back for any changes in routine or diet.
If your dog is sick or injured, write down any symptoms. These include changes in his mental or emotional state, or his behavior. As you give homeopathic remedies to your dog, take note of the remedy, the time and observe him for any changes. This will help you determine if the remedy is working.
There are many minor illnesses or injuries that you can handle yourself with homeopathic remedies. But there are other times when you will need an experienced homeopath. Here’s how you’ll know the difference.
Acute means short-term conditions that come on rapidly and have distinct symptoms.
It might be something like a bee sting, diarrhea or a sprain. Or an emergency like an allergic reaction or eating rotten food from the garbage can.
It’s easy to learn how to look at the symptoms and choose a homeopathic remedy for your dog.
There are homeopathic remedies that will treat many common first aid problems. You’ll want to have these in your dog’s first aid kit.
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Chronic Conditions That Need A Homeopath
Chronic conditions are long-term, ongoing problems. Homeopathic healing can take a few days, weeks or longer. That’s why you need a trained homeopath to help with your dog’s chronic conditions.
There are holistic veterinarians who are also homeopaths. Some practice veterinary homeopathy exclusively. Often these homeopaths will provide distance consultations. You might be in the US and the homeopath you have chosen may be in London, England. But the remedies are the same and the method to select them is the same.
Your homeopath will pose dozens of questions to get a true picture of your dog through his symptoms. She’ll analyze your dog’s entire symptom picture, taking physical, mental and emotional symptoms into account. Based on this analysis, she’ll select the best remedy to help your dog heal. She’ll ask you to observe your dog for any changes. And she’ll prescribe different homeopathic remedies for your dog as healing progresses.
Now let’s talk about how to observe symptoms.
Symptoms In Homeopathy
Once you become more familiar with homeopathy, you’ll learn not to panic when you see something wrong with your dog. Symptoms are the body’s way of telling you something’s wrong. Symptoms are also the body’s way of healing.
Homeopathy doesn’t react to a disease and suppress symptoms with drugs (as conventional medicine does). Homeopathy works with the body to support its own healing ability.
For example … if your dog has a fever, a conventional vet will give your dog medication to bring it down. Then the fever is gone but the illness is still there. Instead, your homeopath views the fever as a sign of the body working to heal itself. The fever is a symptom that helps the homeopath select a remedy that supports the body’s own healing.
When you work with a homeopath, she can gather any and all symptoms from you. She relies on you to know your dog and take note of things that are unusual or out of character. If you have a logbook for your dog, you’ll have lots of information already listed. If your dog refuses certain food; has stopped sleeping in your bedroom and moved to the back door; or has slowed down on his walks … these are all symptoms you should note.
The homeopath will compile all the information into a big picture and use that to determine the best remedy for your dog. Environmental, emotional, behavioral and physical symptoms help determine the correct remedy.
You might see that 2 dogs show the same physical symptoms: coughing, lethargy, refusing food. But one may be irritable and gravitate to cold areas … while the other is affectionate and prefers to lie in a warm place. Those different symptoms lead to each dog needing a different remedy.
As you learn more about homeopathy, you’ll be able to take note of symptoms that help your homeopath pick a remedy. You’ll use your senses of observation: sight, sound and smell.
When you know what remedy to use, here’s where to get them, how to select potency and how to use them.
Where to Buy Homeopathic Remedies
Most of the commonly used remedies are inexpensive and easy to find. Most are available in health stores, apothecaries or pharmacies, as well as online. Remedies are available as tiny white pellets or liquid.
Know Your Homeopathic Potencies
Potencies are the numbers listed next to the name of the remedy (like Arnica montana 30C).
The potency means how many times the medicine has been diluted and succussed (shaken). The more times a remedy is diluted, the higher the potency. Higher potencies act more deeply to stimulate the Vital Force.
Lower potencies are 6X and 30X. X means 10 so that means it’s diluted in a ratio of 1:10, 6 or 30 times.
The next level of potencies are 6C , 30C and 200C. C is 100 so it’s diluted in a ratio of 1:100, 6 or 30 or 200 times.
So 200C is a “higher potency” than 30C, and 30C is higher than 6C.
Higher potencies are the “M” potencies: 1M, 10M or 50M. M means 1000C, so a 1M potency has been diluted in a ratio of 1:100, 1000 times. The M potencies are much deeper-acting remedies. Only use these when your homeopath prescribes them.
For acute conditions that you’ll be handling by yourself at home, 30C or 200C are the best potencies to have on hand. 30C remedies are the easiest to find at most health stores. But 200C can be faster acting if you have an emergency first aid situation.
How To Handle Homeopathic Remedies
Try not to touch the pellets with your hands. The remedy is on the outside of the pellets and will rub off on your fingers. Most pellets come in a clever tube designed with a twist cap. You invert the tube and give the cap a few twists to drop 3 or 4 pellets into the cap.
Homeopathy is energetic medicine. This means you shouldn’t store the remedies next to electromagnetic appliances like TVs and computers. Try to avoid leaving them in the bright, hot sun for any period of time.
You can give the pellets directly to your dog as a dry dose or you can make up a liquid. It’s known as wet dosing. Here are both methods.
How To Give Your Dog A Homeopathic Remedy
Dogs aren’t always easy to dose so choose the method that works best for you. For acute situations, a wet dose is often best.
How To Give A Dry Dose
- The size of the dose in homeopathy doesn’t matter. You could give 10 pellets (or drops) to a Chihuahua or 1 to a Great Dane. Giving 2-3 pellets or drops to any size dog is a good size dose.
- Except in an emergency, give the remedy at least 20 minutes away from food. So it’s best not to try to hide the remedies in food or treats.
- Homeopathic remedies need to contact the mucous membranes … meaning your dog’s gums. If you pull out your dog’s lower lip near the corner, you’ll find he has a built-in pouch there. Drop the pellets straight from the cap into that pouch. Or have your dog lie down so you can tip them onto the upper gums.
- You can dose him with liquid in the same way … just use a dropper to place it on his gums or into his cheek.
How To Wet Dose
Many homeopaths recommend wet doses for dogs. And many dog owners prefer wet doses because they’re easier to give to dogs.
Wet doses can penetrate deeper than dry pellets. Also, when you have to give frequent dosing in acute situations, it’s much easier to have your wet dose ready on the counter to re-dose.
You can easily prepare a wet dose as follows:
- Place 2-3 pellets or drops of liquid remedy in a small glass of spring or filtered water. (Never use unfiltered tap water). Or you can use an amber glass dropper bottle to make up your wet dose. Then you stir vigorously, shake or “succuss” (pound the base of the glass bottle against the palm of your hand) about 10 times.
- A single dose is a teaspoon or a dropper. When you give it to your dog, give it in small amounts to make sure the liquid is on his gums for as long as possible. Put it into his cheek or onto his gums as you would the pellets.
Don’t refrigerate the liquid. You can keep it on your counter for 2 or 3 days. Stir vigorously, shake or succuss it before each dose.
How Often To Give The Remedy
If you’re working with a homeopath on a chronic condition, follow your homeopath’s instructions.
For acute conditions, you can dose more often. Homeopathic vet Dr Dee Blanco recommends this dosing schedule for acute dosing.
If you’re using 30C or less, dose every 15 minutes for 4 doses. Then once an hour for 2 hours, until you see a response.
With a higher potency like a 200C you can dose every 30 minutes for 2-3 doses, or until you see a response.
Watch Your Dog For Changes
When giving a remedy for an acute case, you need to assess the results of the remedy more quickly than in a chronic case. The response and changes will happen much faster.
After dosing your dog, watch him for changes. Remember that improvement could be as subtle as a lethargic dog lifting his head. You need to be attuned to his physical and emotional state. Watch how your dog reacts in 15 minutes, an hour, or several hours.
If your dog starts to get better, the remedy is doing its work, so stop dosing. If you see the initial symptoms reappear, or if the improvement stops, you can re-dose once. Continue this process as necessary.
If your dog doesn’t start to improve after the first few doses (within a couple of hours), it’s time to try a different remedy.
Keep It Simple
When you’ve got a sick or injured dog you may be tempted to try several remedies at once. But if you do that, you can’t tell what’s actually working … or not working.
If you try a homeopathic remedy, just use one at a time. Choose the best one to suit your dog’s symptoms. If the first one doesn’t help within 1-2 hours, then you can try a different remedy. Repeat the process of dosing and wait and observe.
These basics should give you the confidence to try homeopathic remedies for your dog.
Homeopathy is a powerful and fast-acting medicine for acute cases that you can handle yourself. And when your dog has chronic issues, a veterinary homeopath is only a phone or Zoom call away.