When you are sick, your cat keeps you company. Your dog hides during arguments with the kids. When you are feeling blue, your pets act depressed, too. Dogs and cats are so deeply influenced by what they see, hear, and sense that our words and emotions have the power to hurt and to heal.

Dogs and cats are so deeply influenced by what they see

With their sharply tuned senses and their ability to perceive the most subtle signals, dogs and cats are intimately involved with everything around them. They react to things that we are barely aware of, from the sound of the wind or the tone of our voices to the composition of the light that surrounds them. Some holistic veterinarians believe that these and thousands of other things emit a kind of vibrational energy, which, if properly directed, can be used to heal the body as well as the mind.

In the last few decades, an increasing number of veterinarians have begun using “energy therapies” derived from nature’s invisible but potent healing potential. They have found that they can use such things as music, light, color, crystals, and even thoughts to treat a variety of problems, from pain and emotional stress to problems with the immune system, says Teresa Fulp.

These therapies are still in their infancy, however, so veterinarians aren’t entirely sure how they work. But research suggests that they do work, in some cases better than medications and other conventional treatments. Researchers have found, for example, that listening to music for as little as 15 minutes may bolster the immune system. Lowering stress has also been shown to strengthen immunity, which is why you can make dogs and cats stronger simply by acting—or even thinking—calmly around them, says Deborah C. Mallu.

The wonderful thing about energy healing is that you don’t have to be a veterinarian to use these techniques. Everyone can learn how to use music or crystal therapy. In fact, keeping your pet healthy is sometimes as simple as talking to her when she needs reassurance or switching on the radio when she is feeling stressed.

Since these therapies are still quite new, not all holistic veterinarians practice them. In some communities, in fact, the only place you will find animal communicators or color or crystal healers will be on the bulletin boards in health food stores. Some of these practitioners will be veterinarians, but others will not. It will probably be another 10 years or longer before energy healing becomes widely available. In the meantime, you can start using the healing energy from your own mind and body to keep your pets healthy.

Healing with Thoughts

When you have a backache or your head throbs, you are able to tell your doctor how rotten you feel. This is important because much of your doctor’s diagnosis is based on your “history,” or what you tell him. Dogs and cats don’t have the advantage of speech, but understanding what they are feeling is just as important for their health. The problem is that many people, including veterinarians, don’t know how to “listen.”

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Dogs and cats understand a lot more than we give them credit for—not only the words we use but also the pitch, intonation, and emotions in our voices. Their uncanny attention to detail makes them seem like mind readers, and it explains why they always seem to be hiding when we are ready to give them baths. “We share a consciousness with our pets,” says Dr. Mallu. “We are not separate, but are interconnected on an energetic level.”

Veterinarians have noticed, for example, that pets often get depressed or sick or refuse to eat when there is a lot of emotional turmoil in their families. This is because pets and people inhabit the same fields of energy, says Dr. Mallu. When you are feeling poorly, those feelings will spill over to some degree to your pet.
Positive feelings also spill over, which is why it may be possible to heal physical and emotional pet problems by changing negative thoughts to ones that are more upbeat, says Kathleen Carson, D.V.M.

This isn’t the same thing as telepathy, Dr. Fulp adds. Your pet doesn’t literally read your thoughts any more than you will hear little dog and cat voices in your head. But people do mentally communicate with their pets in subtle ways. Holistic veterinarians call this animal communication, but you will recognize it as plain old intuition.

You have probably had a vague feeling at one time or another that something isn’t quite right with your pet, and then come home from work or gotten up in the morning to discover a soiled rug that proved you were right. By trusting more in your intuition, it may be possible to get a jump on your pet’s health problems. And once you start communicating positive messages with your thoughts, you will find that your pet will feel better and heal more quickly, no matter what is causing the underlying problem.