Dog Integrative Medicine

Holistic Pet Care and Integrative Medicine for Dogs

If your dog has been struggling with an ailment or disease that hasn’t responded to one treatment, your veterinarian has likely suggested using integrative medicine. As such, you’ve probably begun to do your due diligence by turning to the internet to find out more about using multiple modalities to treat your dog’s condition. We’re glad you found us! Here at GeniusVets, we believe that pet care information should come directly from veterinarians, as other articles you see online could come from what we like to call “keyboard warriors.” Although they mean well, pet bloggers and the like share information that’s sometimes inaccurate and potentially harmful. That’s why we decided to send FAQs on dog integrative medicine to renowned veterinarians across the U.S., and we’ve compiled their responses to provide you with helpful information you can trust.

We sourced the cat anesthesia information below from leading veterinarians, but we encourage you to speak with your veterinarian. If you don’t currently have a veterinarian, use the GeniusVets Directory to find a trusted vet near you.

What is integrative medicine, and how can it be helpful to my dog?

Integrative medicine is the combination of multiple treatment modalities that, when you combine those modalities of treatment and holistic options; you get a better effect than using an individual therapy alone.

What are the different types of integrative medicine?

There are quite a few different types of integrative medicine, and your veterinarian will make suggestions based on your dog’s specific issue.

Some of the different types of integrative medicine are:

  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal medication
  • Tui na, or therapeutic massage
  • Food therapy, which uses different foods to get an effect that we're trying to accomplish
  • Spinal manipulation, which is similar to chiropractic in people
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Rehab therapy
  • Loop therapy
  • Homeopathy-type treatments
  • Ozone therapy


Again, your veterinarian will likely recommend one or more of the above approaches depending on your dog’s presenting illness or ailment.


How does integrative medicine impact the health and wellbeing of my dog?

Integrative medicine is very beneficial in helping to control illness, injury, or pain. It allows you to reduce the amount of pain medication your dog may need to take. And it also gives you a different approach if you have a dog that's not reacting to some of the standard medications we use.

How old does my dog need to be to start integrative medicine?

We can start integrative medicine at any age. There are no age restrictions as far as that goes.

What are some medical conditions that would benefit from the addition of integrative medicine?

There are quite a few benefits to adding integrative medicine, but we commonly use integrative medicine for bone and joint disease, specifically arthritis. It's perfect for dogs with chronic back or hip pain and dogs that have a slipped disc and are partially or completely paralyzed in their back limbs. Other things would include muscle strains and sprains and any ongoing chronic illness, specifically cancer patients.

What is the benefit of a joint supplement for my dog?

Joint supplements are good for your dog because, depending on which one you're on, they can do quite a bit to slow down the progression of arthritis. Especially if you have a really athletic dog, our joint supplements can help protect cartilages and help keep those cartilages nourished and lubricated. Another benefit is that they can sometimes help you decrease the amount of actual pain medication your dog may need.

When would a veterinarian recommend NSAIDs for my dog?

NSAIDs - or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - have been a mainstay for pain control for a long time. And if we detect that your pet is in a good bit of pain, especially if it's affecting their daily life, then we're likely to recommend doing an anti-inflammatory. But a lot of that depends on other conditions. Does your pet have any underlying issues, such as kidney issues or liver problems? Some of those things would prevent us from using those, and we might have to pick a better approach. And again, that's where integrative medicine is convenient. It gives us more tools to use in terms of pain management.

Why is it important to avoid treating my dog with medications and supplements before consulting my veterinarian?

Many of us make mistakes out of good intentions. We think we're doing the right thing. But when it comes to the biology of our dog patients, it's different than humans. You could easily get the wrong dose or the wrong medication. Giving them too much can cause some issues that are perhaps difficult to treat. It’s always crucial to consult your vet or your vet clinic before giving your dog any pain medication you have at home.

If you have further questions about integrative medicine for dogs, please reach out to your vet. If you don’t already have one, we are here to help you find a trusted local veterinarian.