In the Twin Cities, sick pets have a new breed of options for holistic care.
Brinks wasn’t eating. Although green beans are among his favorite foods, he turned his nose up at two bowls of them placed around the Minnetonka house where the yellow Lab lives.
To help, canine massage therapist Heidi Hesse rubbed Brinks in a specific spot on his ankle, an acupressure point, to soothe his lower back, bladder and kidneys. After an hour of massage with Hesse, Brinks regained his appetite and chowed down on a bowl of the veggies.
Massage is just one of a growing body of alternative therapies that Mary Kelley and Mark Falstad, Brinks’ humans, employ to ease the 10-year-old dog’s stiff joints, jump-start his appetite and soothe his ailing liver. Acupuncture is another.
As people increasingly take a holistic approach to their health, they’re also looking to alternatives to conventional medical care for their nonhuman family members. That’s why a new breed of wellness services for dogs — from chiropractic and aromatherapy to Chinese herbs and psychic communication — is springing up in the Twin Cities.
“It stems from human stuff,” said Dr. Cathy Sinning of Lake Harriet Veterinary (lakeharrietvet.com). “There’s more mainstreaming now because of people learning how it can help themselves.”