Mind-Body Health

5 Ways to Boost Your Pet’s Health and Well-Being Using Ayurveda

Two small dogs on a country road

The ancient wisdom and tradition of Ayurveda applies to every living being, including every sentient being. Here are five tips that can be easily incorporated into any animal’s life to promote optimal well-being.

When someone’s lifestyle is focused on living in harmony with nature, it can make the difference between them surviving or thriving. It is something that comes naturally to a dog or cat but can get lost within our modern, often chaotic human lifestyles. A little ancient knowledge can guide us to bring our companion animals (and ourselves) back into a state of healthy balance.

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest mind-body healing science and it reminds us there is an underlying intelligence in nature that works with us and for us when we allow it. When we assimilate its safe, time-tested tools and techniques, the results promote a more harmonious, healthy lifestyle for us all.

Just like us, dogs and cats live in a sensory-oriented world. They continually consume information through their five senses or gateways. Meaning, what they touch, smell, hear, see, or taste influences their mind-body system. Ayurveda acknowledges the significance of each sense and guides us toward holistic choices to maintain a system-wide balance.

Here are five health-boosting Ayurvedic tips for your pet.

1. Meditation

In what is known as emotional contagion, studies show that dogs are influenced by the emotions of their human guardian. With this in mind, it’s important that we consider how they feel our stress, just as they feel our relaxation and ease. One proven method for humans maintaining a peaceful, relaxed existence is incorporating a regular meditation practice. If you are calm, animals typically respond to your calm energy.

Sit in stillness and watch them gravitate toward you. Meditation may help ground and rejuvenate a pet in the same way it does us. Our human practice can benefit from their zen nature as well, oftentimes helping us to meditate with increased frequency and comfort.

Mediate anytime, anywhere with the Chopra App. Access guided meditations on the go from the well-being pioneers.

2. Environmental Sounds

An animal companion’s hearing frequency is far more sensitive than ours—an excellent trait to have in the wild but quite burdensome in a home with loud televisions and voices. They depend on us to protect their extra-sensitive ears.

Start by identifying loud or startling sounds that could induce anxiety and increase stress in our furry friends. These noises may not bother your human ears, so dial-up your awareness to pay close attention. And don’t underestimate the power of silence. It can be the best refuge from the world’s constant attack on the canine or feline ear.

3. Commit to Clean Water

Canines are accepting by nature and will drink whatever water we give them. But unpurified water sources can be harmful to any human or animal’s overall health. Proper hydration is critical. Without it, the organs, especially the kidneys, need to work even harder to keep the body clean, which oftentimes speeds up the aging process.

Hydration isn’t the only concern. Water straight from the tap may contain contaminants. For this reason, many humans have already traded their tap water for filtered water. Why not share the same with our pets? Commit to provide only clean, filtered water for you and your companions, and take an important step to ensure continued health.

4. Fresh Foods

On average, canines and felines require about 70 percent hydration in their food. Something they found easily from hunting, but lack in today’s commercial pet food diets. Luckily there are many pre-made pet foods that can conveniently supply what is needed.

Fresh food that is biologically appropriate is also a superior option for receiving vitamins and minerals. Commercially processed food is similar to junk food for humans; any body will struggle to extract what it needs from non-fresh foods. Animals are especially connected to nature, so it’s helpful to make their meal as natural as possible.

Consider the importance of fresh food while you examine your pet’s bowl. Is there color and life in the bowl? Or does it look brown, dry, and old? Feed your loved one the same life-affirming food you want, and increase their chance of a long and healthy life.

5. Routine

Many people find value in establishing a routine with their pets. It provides comfort, safety, and things to look forward to. Companion animals instinctually set the perfect schedule for us because a dog or cat in balance usually aligns themselves with nature’s rhythms. They wake up with the sun, expel the most energy and play during the day, and then rest and nap in the late morning and late afternoon. Support these instincts, and you both harmonize with nature.

Don’t forget to get outdoors! Dogs love exploring to engage their senses. (Many cats are kept indoors for their safety, so this tip is easier with dogs.) It’s healing for dogs to get their paws off the concrete and onto the earth. Make it a habit, added to your scheduled feedings and walks, and you’re setting yourself up to have a happy and more content companion.

These Ayurvedic tips are suitable for every dog, cat, and human. Ayurveda recognizes that each individual is unique, and we all have our own blueprint or mind-body personality type. These three types, also known as the three doshas, create specific physical and behavioral characteristics. To learn your dog’s mind-body personality type, take the dog dosha quiz.

Discover your dosha type here.

Each of these five practices can support and promote your pet’s optimum health and well-being—as well as your own! Start to weave them into life with your companion animal and you’re well on your way to taking your pet parenting up a notch.

*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.