Acupuncture For Dogs

Thursday, April 26, 2018 09:27:42 AM America/Los_Angeles

Acupuncture has been around for over 4,000 years. The Chinese developed the procedures as a non-drug treatment for many ailments. The earliest method involved the insertion of needles at specific points in the body to bring about physiological changes and suppress pain. The same principles are applied in acupuncture for dogs. If you find your dog has difficulties using the dog potty or playing, it could be having muscular aches. This and other illnesses can be relieved by the help of a veterinary acupuncturist.

What kind of canine illnesses can be treated using acupuncture therapy?

Canine acupuncture is commonly used as an alternative or complementary treatment. This means that it can be used alongside other conventional treatment methods. However, this method of treatment is not ideal for emergencies and acute illnesses such as serious bacterial infection and broken bones. However, acupuncture is very effective in treating conditions that require pain relief such as small fall injuries and where the dog needs treatment for neurological conditions. There are also many other conditions that can benefit from acupuncture as well.


Here are common conditions where canine acupuncture may be effective.

  • Urinary disorders

 If your dog has a hard time peeing on the pee pads or cannot hold the urine till it gets at the potty, consider having the procedure done.

  • Musculoskeletal problems

If your dog shakes when bending to potty on the Doggielawn, has the degenerative joint disease, sprains, osteoarthritis and muscle spasms among other skeletal issues, consider acupuncture.

  • Neurological disorders

 These include paralysis, coma, stroke or deafness

  • Gastrointestinal problems                                                                                       By Daniel Barrios Jurado via Shutterstock

They include colitis, vomiting, gastroenteritis, rectal prolapse or the chronic idiopathic diarrhea. You can tell that your dog has these issues by looking at the consistency of their poo. Potty grass for dogs, such as a DoggieLawn would be useful in this situation. 

  • Systematic skin inflammatory conditions

 Include allergies, skin inflammation and lick granulomas. 

  • Cancer treatment

Research has shown that acupuncture lessens the side effects and pain that comes with cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. It also helps boost the immune system of the dog. 

What is involved in the treatment?

As said earlier, canine acupuncture follows the same procedure as that of human acupuncture. Each treatment option is individualized to meet the need of the dog as well as the severity and type of the condition. The most common method involves placing small tiny metal needles at acupoints on the skin of the dog.

According to acupuncture, there are 365 acupoints and 12 major meridians in the body. The meridians connect the entire body and are pathways for the Qi life force energy. An experienced veterinary acupuncturist determines the location of the acupoints and places the needles carefully. Your dog does not feel any pain during the procedure. On the contrary, it will feel relaxed and might sleep for the entire period of the treatment.

There are other alternatives to the traditional acupuncture procedure. They include;

  • Laser acupuncture

 This procedure uses laser technology. It is ideal for dogs that fear needles.

The procedure involves injecting a solution of saline and B12 to the acupoints. The procedure pressurizes the skin at those points thereby boosting the stimulation of the point for long. You can try the procedure if the dog does not stay still for at least half an hour.

  • Moxibustion

 This procedure involves the heat treatment of the acupuncture needles with dried herbal incense. These herbs are known to stimulate blood flow and works well with older dogs and those with tight muscles and stiff joints. You can tell that your dog has stiff joints by looking at it when playing or when they are utlilizing their DoggieLawn.  

  • Electroacupuncture

The procedure involves supplying the acupuncture needles with small doses of current from a battery. The current boosts the flow of blood along with lymph fluids at the meridians. This improves the rate of healing of the dog.

  • Acupressure

In contrast with the traditional acupuncture, acupressure makes use of fingers on acupoints. It is similar to the Japanese shiatsu. This procedure is fast gaining popularity as it is not invasive and can be done by the dog owner after some training. 

Acupuncture can also be used as a method of relaxing the dog even if the dog does not suffer from any condition. The therapeutic nature of the procedure relaxes the stiff joints after a long hiking weekend.

Is acupuncture safe for the dog?

There are no known side effects from the acupuncture procedure. Some animals may feel a little tingling and numbness as human do. Such animals can use the alternative methods explained above. However, you need to hire a professional and licensed veterinary acupuncturist. The effectiveness of the procedure depends on the following factors;

  • The condition of the dog and the length of the time that the dog has been sick. Severe conditions may require several visits before positive results can be seen
  • The length and the consistency of the treatments. It is recommended that you have a few acupuncture treatments over a given period for the results to be evident.
  • The technique used by the acupuncturist as well as his or her experience in the procedure.

Canine acupuncture is a simple yet effective method to deal with a number of ailment and conditions. However, do not stop any other conventional treatment unless advised so by your veterinary. Work with the acupuncturist to develop a treatment plan for the dog. Please follow the schedule to the letter. The effectiveness of the procedure is highly affected by the consistency in the treatment.

A comfortable and relaxed dog that is not in pain is fun to keep company. It feeds well, plays well and uses the indoor potty for dogs without a problem. You will also be glad that the pain is lessened if the dog is taking some medication. Give canine acupuncture a try today.