Naturopathic and complementary procedures attain increasing popularity in veterinary medicine. A common understanding of definitions and contents of these fields is crucial for communication between pet owners and veterinarians. This paper reviews the existing definitions and the various contents of naturopathy and complementary veterinary medicine as well as their assigned treatment options. Naturopathy includes phytotherapy, hydro-therapy, thermotherapy, electrotherapy, manual therapy/chiropractic/osteopathy, and dietetic treatment. Homeopathy, homotoxicology, Traditional Chinese Medicine including acu-puncture and Chinese herbal medicine, neural therapy, organotherapy and Bach flower remedies are known as complementary treatments. The level of evidence based on scientific literature and the opportunity for certification procedures differ between treatment modalities. In the area of small animal medicine, the most extensive body of literature is available on the subject of acupuncture, in part comprising high evidence levels.
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