Holistic healthcare is increasingly recognised and adopted by individuals and health services globally, as key to optimising human health and overall wellbeing. As we have increasingly humanised relationships with our pets, many of these approaches are being adapted and developed in the animal health space. Liz Barton at vetsnet.net analyses the future of holistic pet care.
‘The Future of Holistic Pet Care’
Holistic healthcare is increasingly recognised and adopted by individuals and health services globally, as key to optimising human health and overall wellbeing. As we have increasingly humanised relationships with our pets, many of these approaches are being adapted and developed in the animal health space.
The Petcare Innovation Summit, May 18-19 2021, hosted a virtual panel of innovators at the forefront of developing holistic healthcare solutions for pets. It brought together individuals working in the fields of genetics, nutrition, precision pharmaceuticals and veterinarians to discuss the growing trend towards holistic pet care and how we can work together to ensure the optimum outcome for both the pet and pet parent. This article is borne from that discussion.
What is Holistic Care?
Where healthcare was historically restricted to limited medications dispensed by doctors, the word holistic conjured up thoughts of alternative and mystical therapies. However, the definition of holistic healthcare is the treatment of the whole person – in this case animal – taking into account the total of all influences on health including mental and social factors, rather than just symptoms of disease.
The Personalised Health Revolution
In recent years, we’ve seen the explosion of personalised health solutions for people, driven by innovation and our ability to gather data on a previously unimaginable scale. Greater understanding by the population at large of how our health is impacted by everything from how we breathe to what we eat has brought much of the control of overall health into the hands of the individual. This control is facilitated by technology, including the use of wearable devices and mental and physical health apps, to diet, microbiome, precision treatments and increasing awareness and attention paid to the drivers of mental and physical wellbeing.
Genomics and Pet Health
We have more genetic information than we have the time and capacity to analyse. This black box of data is set to inform our health management to an ever-increasing extent. Everything from conception via pre-breeding screening to precision treatment through genetic evaluation of specific tumours in the individual animal.
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