KAREN Galbraith, of Miller, has called on people to take responsibility and get their pet's health checked at least once a year.
Mrs Galbraith, who has raised dogs for more than 20 years, said animals could sometimes suffer because people did not take notice of the warning signs of pain and illness.
She said dogs in particular had quite a high tolerance for pain.
When they started to show signs or had a noticeable mood change, things were usually quite serious.
Her dog Angus, a 10-year-old border collie, developed arthritis in his back after a nasty fall around 18 months ago.
After several assessments and medicated pain therapy, Mrs Galbraith turned to natural remedies to improve his mobility and his quality of life.
"At first we put him on cortisone which made his weight balloon, and he became unfit and could barely walk," she said.
"That is when I decided to try traditional Chinese medicine to see if alternative therapy would work, and it did."
Mrs Galbraith said the treatment improved Angus's health without subjecting him to nasty side effects. It was cheaper than western treatments.
"I put him on a rosehip supplement for his arthritis and almost immediately I started to see his mood change," she said.
"Angus was clearly unhappy, his face drooped, his ears drooped and his mood was quite depressed.
"Now, after a few months of herbal treatment combined with acupuncture, he has his bounce back in his step."
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner Lyn Stevens from Alternative Therapies at Austral said pet owners must be aware that alternative therapy was not a "one size fits all remedy".
"Each animal is different and a proper assessment from a vet needs to be completed before treatment can begin," she said.
"'Traditional Chinese medicine works with western medication to help improve health naturally and the animal's quality of life."