Acupuncture for Dogs: What You Need(le) to Know

Routine check of puppy's health

Looking to incorporate acupuncture into your dog’s wellness routine? These days, it seems like everyone and their pupper is giving this traditional Chinese medicine practice a shake. We’re all about helping your pal live a happy and healthy life, so we dug up the lowdown on acupuncture for dogs!

What is Veterinary Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been used on humans for over 2,000 years. It’s based on the premise that all living beings have a vital energy force known as their chi, which circulates along invisible meridians throughout the body. In veterinary medicine, an acupuncturist uses thin needles to stimulate certain points on a dog’s body where many nerves are concentrated. This enhances the natural flow of energy and improves blood circulation, healing, and pain relief.

Why Do Dogs Get Acupuncture? 

Many pup parents seek to integrate acupuncture as a complement to their dogs’ existing wellness plan. Acupuncture can be used to treat a number of conditions and can also be a game changer when it comes to pain management. It can be safely used to treat arthritis, some neurological disorders, asthma, digestive issues, kidney disease, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and more.

Benefits of Acupuncture for Dogs

  • Pain Management – The most pupular reason for its use, acupuncture can greatly assist with pain management. It’s also often used in conjunction with other medical treatments
  • Respiratory Ailments – Because acupuncture is anti-inflammatory and calms the immune system, furry allergy sufferers and asthmatics often find relief.
  • Skin Problems – Increased circulation assists in healing, so issues like allergic dermatitis or hotspots often respond well to treatment. Further, dogs receiving acupuncture might also scratch and overgroom less.
  • Musculoskeletal Concerns and Injuries – Frequently employed during canine rehabilitation, acupuncture is often a successful component of treatment for nerve injuries, arthritis, hip dysplasia, and more.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues – Acupuncture can help stabilize digestive problems like nausea or diarrhea by way of both increased blood flow and secretions.

What to Expect at an Acupuncture Session for Dogs

At your dog’s appointment, a veterinarian will begin inserting thin needles so she can stimulate specific points along your dog’s body. No need to be alarmed—the dog will not experience pain, and many dogs lay down and relax during this process. Then, the needles remain in place for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending on your pal’s care plan. Pawrents are usually encouraged to *stick* around for the whole session—see what we did there?

How to Find a Veterinary Acupuncturist

After determining whether acupuncture is right for your dog, her vet can help make a great recommendation. Additionally, many canine rehabilitation facilities have a veterinarian who can perform acupuncture in-house. If not, they typically have a veterinary partner they tend to send folks to!

Featured photo: Ruby Schmank

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