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Are homeopathic treatments beneficial for my companion animal?

Homeopathy, based on a speculative theory that ‘like cures like’, is defined as ‘a system for treating disease based on the administration of minute doses of a drug that in very large amounts produces symptoms in healthy persons similar to those of the disease’. Homeopathy is one of several types of non-conventional therapies collectively known as alternative or complementary medicines.

Homeopathy has not proven effective in scientific testing [1]. Unless and until there is clear evidence that homeopathic treatments work, their use in place of, or in combination with, conventional treatments is not recommended.

When any animal is unwell then they should be assessed by a veterinarian and where necessary, be offered evidence-based treatment (i.e., treatment that has been reliably demonstrated to be effective). Conventional treatments must not be withheld from animals that are unwell and in need of treatment. Failure to provide an animal with adequate treatment may be considered an offence under animal welfare legislation.

In regard to the practising of complementary and alternative medicine for animals:

  • Veterinarians must be accredited – Veterinarians practising alternative or complementary medicine should have achieved qualifications and competency through relevant accredited postgraduate (or similar) training programs.
  • Treatments must be supervised – Where non-veterinarians use alternative treatments on animals, this must be carried out under the supervision of a suitably-accredited veterinarian.
  • The industry must be regulated – Complementary and alternative medicines should be nationally regulated, including a compulsory registration and licensing system for all veterinary and non-veterinary practitioners.


[1] Rijnberk A, Ramey DW (2007) The end of veterinary homeopathy. Australian Veterinary Journal 85:513–516

Updated on June 18, 2024
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