How to Treat your Dog with Acupressure.

In recent years, acupressure has gained significant popularity as a method for treating dogs. This approach involves the manual massage of specific pressure points on canines, which are situated along meridians. By manipulating these massage points in your dog, blockages are alleviated, allowing for the restoration of uninterrupted Qi flow within the meridians.

Dogs love Acupressure

In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of acupressure points and their therapeutic benefits for your dog. Join us as we take the plunge and discover simple techniques for massaging your dog’s pressure points. Don’t miss out on the exclusive links we provide to help you tackle a variety of health issues – make sure to read until the very end!

What is Acupressure for Dogs?

Canine acupressure is a holistic therapy that involves the application of pressure to specific points on a dog’s body to promote healing and balance.

Similar to acupuncture, acupressure is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which views the body as a network of interconnected energy channels called meridians. By applying pressure to these meridians, acupressure stimulates the body’s natural healing processes, improves blood and energy flow, and releases tension and pain.

Canine acupressure can be used to address a wide range of health issues, from musculoskeletal problems and digestive disorders to anxiety and behavioral issues. It is a non-invasive and drug-free therapy that can be used alone or in combination with other treatments to promote optimal health and wellness for our furry friends.

Unlocking the Potential: Treating a Variety of Health Issues with Acupressure

While acupressure should not replace traditional veterinary care, it can serve as a valuable adjunct to medical treatment by stimulating the body’s innate self-healing processes and expediting the recovery process.

Indeed, almost every health concern in dogs can potentially see improvements with the incorporation of acupressure. Below, we provide a comprehensive overview of the diverse range of canine health issues that may benefit from acupressure therapy.

Preparing For An Acupressure Session With Your Dog

If you’ve decided to massage acupressure points on your dog at home it’s important to prepare some space for the session. Consider the following recommendations when picking a location:

  • Choose a space where your dog is relaxed and comfortable. Large dogs typically prefer to stay on the floor but a small dog might prefer to lie on your lap. Grab a nice fluffy blanket to make them comfy when lying down on the floor.
  • Find a location that allows you to move comfortably during the session. Blood flow and the movement of your own Qi is important during this session to help with energy transfer.
  • Limit distractions. Turn off the TV, put your phone on silent, and consider closing the door so that other pets (or humans) can’t interrupt the session. This also includes mental distractions – be sure to choose a time when your dog isn’t expecting food or playtime.

Meridians & Pressure Points of the Dog

All the acupoints are located on meridians. The concept of meridians plays an important role in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). They are considered pathways that facilitate the flow of life energy (Qi) throughout the body. Constant and free flow of Qi is essential to keep the body in balance and to maintain all its functions. Stagnant Qi causes malfunction and pain. 

Where there is no free flow of Qi there is pain.

List of all meridians and point charts

Meridian NameShortcut
Large IntestineLI
Small IntestineSI
Triple HeaterTH
Gall BladderGB
List of canine meridians

The canine Lung Meridian

The Lung Meridian in the Dog

All pressure points are aligned on the meridians. To keep it simple, we number them starting with “01” at the beginning of the meridian. In treatment charts, you’ll find the points labeled like this: 

Anatomy Basics

We’re now having a brief look at your dog’s anatomy! This short lecture will help you find the right location of the acupuncture points.

anatomy dog
Directional Terms
cun chart dog
Cun Measurments
anatomy bones dog
Major Bones
anatomy joints dog
Major Joints
Directional Terms

Anatomists have developed standardized anatomical terms of location on the body. These six terms will help you locate the acupoints in relation to other anatomical landmarks.

  • cranial – towards the head
  • caudal – towards the tail
  • dorsal – towards the back
  • ventral – towards the abdomen
  • distal – away from the torso
  • proximal – closer to the torso
Cun Chart

The Cun (“Body Inch”) is a measurement relative to the dogs body size. It is used to find acupoints. It’s easy to remember that the widest part of the shoulder blade is 3 cun! This is the most important measurement.

  • 3 cun – widest part of shoulder blade.
  • 9 cun – shoulder to elbow.
  • 16 cun – center of knee joint to hock.
  • 19 cun – hip to center of knee joint.

The meridians and acupoints that will be treated are just under the skin so you only need to apply gentle pressure. Extreme pressure could cause additional pain. If your dog ever shows signs of discomfort at any point, stop to apply pressure and move on to a different area.

How to Treat Pressure Points

There are multiple different ways to work with acupuncture points. Professional practitioners use needles or acupuncture lasers to stimulate them. But you can achieve a beneficial effect by massaging them with your hand as well. This technique is called acupressure.

Massage Techniques for Acupressure

During acupressure, you will use your hands to be aware of any changes happening in the body. These could either be an existing blockage or the free flow of Qi after removing a blockage by acupressure treatment. Learning to sense what the body is communicating takes practice. You can educate your hands by focusing on the various sensations experienced during these sessions and by learning what the sensations indicate.

Massage Techniques:

  • The One-Finger Technique: During this technique, you’ll use the finger pad of your thumb. Place it on the acupressure point and apply gentle pressure to it. Depending on the location, you can gently move your thumb and work a little bit deeper into the tissue. This technique is best used on fleshy, well-muscled body parts or on the limbs of larger dogs.
  • The Two-Finger Technique: To perform this technique, place your middle finger over the nail on your pointer finger and apply gentle pressure on your dog’s body surface. Use this technique on smaller dogs or on the legs.

Acupressure Charts

Canine Acupuncture Charts

Equine Acupuncture Charts

Unlock the full potential of canine acupressure with our Acupuncture Charts! Don’t miss out on This e-book that offers a comprehensive guide to all 12 canine meridians, along with their most potent acupressure points.

Whether you’re a novice or a pro, these printable PDF charts are essential for mastering the art of canine acupressure. Download your copy now and take the first step toward optimal wellness for your furry friend!

Practise, Practise, Practise!

The meridians and acupoints that will be treated are just under the skin, so you only need to apply gentle pressure. Extreme pressure could cause additional pain. If your dog ever shows signs of discomfort at any point, stop to apply pressure and move on to a different area.

If you are unable to feel changes in your dog’s body at first, that’s ok! It takes time to learn how to feel the sensation of moving Qi and removing blockages through the hands. Simply apply gentle pressure to the acupoint for approximately 30 seconds. If you don’t manage to stay on the point for the full 30 seconds, don’t worry, that’s ok too, it will still work. While performing your acupressure session, look for signs in your dog. Your furry friend will tell you when you’re getting better at what you’re doing.

How to Treat Pain in Dogs with Acupressure

Chronic pain is one of the most underdiagnosed problems in veterinary medicine. Dogs are unable to verbalize what they are experiencing, and it is up to us to interpret their behavior. Just like humans, every dog has a unique pain tolerance level. What could cause one dog to shriek in pain might not even make another dog flinch. Symptoms that might indicate your pup is suffering from joint pain caused by osteoarthritis include: 

  • Limping
  • Lethargy
  • Generalized Stiffness
  • Difficulty Getting Up
  • Difficulty Urinating Or Defecating
  • Yelping When Pet Lifted
  • Crankiness/Mood Changes
  • Reluctance To Play Favorite Games or To Go on Walks
  • Excessive Licking Of Specific Joint
  • Difficulty Finding Comfort
  • Frequent Vocalising

Acupressure Points for Pain in Dogs

Acupressure Points for Pain
  • HT 07 – in the groove above the carpal joint.
  • BL 18 – 1,5 cun away from the midline in the 10th intercostal space. (when you start counting from the last rib it is the 3rd)
  • LI 04 – between the 1st (dewclaw) & 2nd finger.
  • GV 14 – on the midline in front of the first (easily palpable) 1st thoracic vertebra.
  • BL 23 – 1,5 cun away from the midline, between 2nd & 3rd lumbar vertebra.
  • LIV 03 – between 2nd & 3rd toe.
  • GB 41 – between 4th & 5th toe.
  • BL 60 – in the deep groove over the hock joint.
Point Chart Pain
Acupressure Dog pain
Click to enlarge
Acupressure Points Dog
GV 14, BL 18 & BL 23
HT 07 & LI 4
GB 41, BL 60 & LIV 3
GB 41 & LIV 3

Unlock the Power of Acupressure with More Point Charts for Health Issues in Your Dog

Unleash the Healing Power of Canine Acupressure with Our Comprehensive Charts!

Our site provides you with a range of acupressure charts for various canine health problems. Whether you’re dealing with arthritis, skin issues, or digestive disorders, our charts offer a detailed guide to the most effective acupressure points for your dog’s specific needs.

By exploring the links below, you’ll gain access to a valuable resource that can help your furry friend achieve optimal health and wellness. Our easy-to-use charts are perfect for novices and experts alike, and they offer a safe, natural way to support your dog’s health.

Click on the links below and start exploring the incredible benefits of acupressure for your dog!

Acupressure Workbook

Do you want to dive even deeper into the world of canine acupressure? That’s great! For those who want to learn to treat even more canine health issues, we designed the Canine Acupressure Workbook. This e-book is made for dog enthusiasts, canine therapists, and trainers who want to have a useful resource on canine acupressure right there where they need it.

Canine Acupressure Workbook

This e-book gives you a complete step-by-step guide on how to treat your dog with Acupressure. It provides you with high-quality illustrations and concise instructions. This workbook shows 19 condition charts for common canine health problems.

ACU-Horse, Dog & Cat

The Acupressure books by Tallgrass ACU-Dog and ACU-Horse give a step-by-step guide to an acupressure session with color photos and charts. It explains how to apply Chinese medicine theories, plus active descriptions and photos of hands-on techniques.

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