Acupuncture for Dogs [The Ultimate Guide To This Holistic Alternative]

Acupuncture for Dogs [The Ultimate Guide To This Holistic Alternative]
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Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese practice that involves inserting long, thin needles into the body to aid chronic pain, improve blood circulation, and treat disease, among many other benefits. This ancient treatment method has been around for thousands of years for animals and humans alike. But acupuncture for dogs is a new phenomenon that some Western cultures have only recently accepted.


Despite an ongoing debate on the legitimacy of acupuncture, it has continued to grow in popularity in recent years. More and more pet owners are turning to alternative ways to look after their furry friends. Here are some of the main benefits dogs can receive from acupuncture, so you can determine whether it's a good idea for your pup!



Can Dogs Get Acupuncture?

Yes! Acupuncture was just recently introduced to Western societies in the 1970s. Research shows, however, that it was around as early as 3000 years ago in China. Many view it as a holistic, natural form of medicine with very few side effects. Dogs can find advantages from acupuncture, but it's important to find a qualified and experienced acupuncturist.


Why Do Dogs Get Acupuncture?

According to traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture helps balance the flow of energy, or qi, within the body that has been disrupted. In Western terms, doctors believe that acupuncture can stimulate neural-hormonal pathways to reduce pain and improve blood circulation. You can treat Dogs with acupuncture in the same ways that humans can. Additionally, acupuncture may potentially help dogs with specific issues like:


  • Inflammation
  • Allergies
  • Joint pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Skin conditions
  • Diseases


History of Acupuncture

Acupuncture therapy is one of five main branches of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM). TCVM refers to a set of Eastern veterinary practices to treat animals that has seen use for thousands of years. The five branches include herbal medicine, food therapy, tui-na (massage), energetics (exercise), and acupuncture.


It's important to note that acupuncture is an alternative form of therapy. You should always consult your vet for more accurate medical advice before implementing a new wellness routine for your dog.


How Is Dog Acupuncture Done?

There are two main acupuncture methods for dogs: needles and lasers. Acupuncture with needles is the traditional, most common method, but lasers are slowly becoming more popular. Traditional acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific pressure points on your dog's body. The needles enhance blood circulation to relieve pain and help with other issues.


Lasers are a newer method that involves using a handheld device to shine a laser on acupuncture points. Some people believe that lasers are more effective than needles, but there is not much scientific evidence to support this claim.



acupuncturist treating white dog



Does Acupuncture For Dogs Really Work?

Yes, many owners find acupuncture greatly helps their pets with pain, allergies, and other discomforts. However, since it is an alternative therapy, many vets have started to combine acupuncture and modern medicine to treat ailments in dogs. Because it's an alternative treatment, some doctors don't think acupuncture is as effective as traditional Western medicine. This doubt may be the effect of general unfamiliarity with acupuncture in the West, but the lack of definitive research may also be a roadblock to TCVM gaining widespread approval in medical communities.


When looking after our beloved dogs, we want to try anything that might make them feel better. However, acupuncture is only a safe procedure when a certified veterinary acupuncturist performs it. It's always best to talk to your vet before starting any new treatment regimen.


How Often Should Dogs Have Acupuncture?

It may take a few sessions (up to 3) to see initial results in your dog. However, this can vary from dog to dog, depending on their ailments. Most doctors recommend at least one session every 3-4 weeks to keep consistent results. There are a few things to consider when considering acupuncture for your pup:


  • First, not all dogs react the same way to acupuncture. Some dogs may feel energized after a treatment, while others may feel sleepy. It's important to keep an eye on your dog and monitor their condition.
  • Second, veterinary acupuncture is different than human acupuncture. Acupuncturists who treat animals must have a veterinary license and receive additional training in acupuncture.
  • Third, not all insurance plans cover veterinary acupuncture. Acupuncture is a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), so make sure you call your dog's insurance provider (if available) to confirm.


Can There Be Side Effects?

Like with humans, there are some risks associated with practicing acupuncture for dogs. Acupuncture can cause minor side effects like bruising, slight bleeding, and pain, but these are usually short-term and resolved without any issues.


In some cases, over-puncturing (using too many needles or needles left on too long) can cause discomfort. If your dog experiences any adverse reactions after treatment, you should advise your acupuncturist to correct it for the next session.


If you're considering acupuncture for your furry friend, it's important to do your research beforehand. Acupuncture may help improve your dog's quality of life, but it's important to weigh the risks and benefits before deciding.


Canine Acupuncture Cost

The cost of acupuncture for dogs varies depending on the practitioner, location, and severity of the treated condition. Generally, canine acupuncture will cost between $50 and $100 per session. Pet insurance plans do not typically cover acupuncture, so be prepared to pay out-of-pocket.



Dog Acupuncture Alternatives

If you're not ready to jump to acupuncture yet, you can try a few other options first! Massage therapy, hydrotherapy (swimming therapy), or chiropractic care are popular choices to help treat pains or aches in pets.


Topical and consumable CBD products can also be a good alternative to acupuncture for dogs. HolistaPet has the best CBD products on the market, as our products are quality, affordable, and easy to use.


Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a great way to relieve tension and pain in dogs and improve circulation and joint mobility. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety in canines. Best of all, you can massage them right at home!


Start by gently massaging your dog's body from head to toe. Take your time and be gentle, as you don't want to cause any discomfort. Always use a light touch when massaging your dog. You should never apply too much pressure or massage too deeply into the muscles. Make sure to pay attention to your dog's body language. If they seem uncomfortable or start to pull away, stop massaging them.



Hydrotherapy, or swimming therapy, is another option that can assist dogs with problematic joints. This form of treatment uses swimming to stimulate blood flow and joint movement to help with injuries or illnesses. Water's gentle resistance helps move blood and lymphatic fluid around the body, which can help speed up healing.


You can even try hydrotherapy in conjunction with other treatments like acupuncture. One of the main reasons why people choose hydrotherapy for their dogs is that it's a non-invasive, low-impact exercise that's easy on the joints. The additional exercise can help with other issues such as obesity.


Lastly, hydrotherapy is available in most areas. Many places offer hydrotherapy for dogs, and most pet insurance plans cover the cost. If you're interested in trying hydrotherapy at home, you can talk to your veterinarian about how you can try it in your pool.


Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is when animal chiropractors use special techniques to help relieve pain and improve mobility in dogs. These techniques include alignments to improve flexibility. This is intended to correct any abnormalities in their muscle and skeletal systems.


Like acupuncture, not all pet insurance plans cover chiropractic care because it's considered complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Chiropractic care is generally safe and has few side effects, but it's important to find a qualified chiropractor who has experience treating dogs.



CBD products are the newest holistic trend for dogs that may not be in good condition or shape. This unique, natural compound is from hemp and has many great soothing benefits for dogs. The best thing is that CBD has very few side effects and is well-tolerated by most dogs. The most popular CBD products include tinctures, oils, and treats.


The most important reason why so many pet owners have started to give CBD to their dogs is that it provides a natural, holistic solution to discomfort or ailments. While it's not meant to replace prescribed veterinary medicine, you should consult a vet for more accurate advice.



woman giving black dog acupuncture



Where To Buy CBD Products

Your best bet when buying CBD products is shopping online, like at HolistaPet! You can find better options and more variety when you shop online, all at the most competitive prices. While some local brick-and-mortar pet stores or dispensaries may have good products, the chances are that most will only have limited selections. Plus, buying online means you won't have to leave your home, and you can ship everything right to your front door!


Why Do People Choose HolistaPet?

CBD products are available in many places, but it's important to find a reputable supplier with a history of providing quality products. HolistaPet is the #1 trusted supplier of CBD products for pets. We offer a wide variety of easy-to-use and affordable products, perfect for all pets.


We make our products with natural, hemp-derived CBD with your pet's wellness in mind. Also available is our 30-day money-back guarantee on all our products, so you can try them risk-free! If you aren't satisfied for any reason, you can return them hassle-free. Because we believe your pets always come first! Check out our amazing selection of products on the HolistaPet site and learn more!



Final Thoughts - Acupuncture For Dogs

We highly recommend visiting the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society website. Here, you'll access even more detailed information. Acupuncture treatment can be extremely helpful for your dog to help circulation, boost natural energy flow, and even relieve discomfort in your dog. Of course, you can use acupuncture in conjunction with amazing CBD products for double the comfort. For more information on CBD, check out our Blog section on the HolistaPet website!

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