How Acupuncture helps your Dog

Acupuncture is a safe and proven method that has been used successfully to treat thousands of dogs around the world. It is used to treat pain and joint inflammation by stimulating the body’s self-healing power. Are you looking for natural pain relief for your dog? Acupuncture could be worth trying!

What Is Acupuncture? 

Acupuncture is a type of treatment that involves the insertion of small needles at carefully selected parts of the body. Historians believe that this practice first originated in China around 100 B.C. and then spread to other parts of the world. 

The purpose of the insertion of these thin needles is to stimulate the nerves, increase blood flow to the area, stimulate the release of hormones, and to alleviate muscle spasms. Although ancient cultures didn’t have the technology to prove this, today, through the use of MRIs, the body’s responses to the needles can be recorded. 

dog getting acupuncture treatment

What Medical Conditions Can Veterinary Acupuncture Treat? 

Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions that afflict our pets, a few examples of which include: 

  • Arthritis
  • Pain & Mobility issues
  • Intravertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
  • Paralysis
  • Skin issues such as Allergic Dermatitis
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Gastroenteritis
  • Geriatric Complaints
  • Enhance Performance in Sports Dogs

It’s important to bring all of your pet’s prior medical records to a consult so that we can review your pet’s medical condition and discuss how best to approach treatment. 


How Long Does An Acupuncture Session Take? 

Treatments typically take between 20 and 30 minutes, however, depending on the condition, your pet’s treatment may take a little longer. 


Will My Pet Experience Pain During Their Acupuncture Treatment? 

No, because of the size of the needle the insertion is literally painless for the dog. There is also no pain while the needle is in place. Most pets actually relax and doze off during treatment. 

Pets who don’t like needles could be treated with a special acupuncture laser which has a similar effect.

dog receving acupuncture treatment

Does Acupuncture Have Any Side Effects? 

Side effects from acupuncture are incredibly rare but occasionally pets might seem a bit tired for up to 48 hours after their treatment. 

In fact, acupuncture can even lower the side effects of your dog’s pain management plan as it’s often possible to lower the dose of pain medication because of acupuncture.

How Do I Choose An Acupuncturist For My Pet? 

In the majority of countries, in order to offer veterinary acupuncture services, a person must be a licensed veterinarian and must be additionally certified through formal training. 

Although acupuncture gains in popularity, veterinary acupuncture is not widely available yet. 

If your pet might benefit from acupuncture treatment and your regular veterinarian doesn’t offer this specific service, ask for a referral. 

Certification by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) validates the vet is qualified to provide animal acupuncture and demonstrates expertise & professionalism.

Can My Pet Still Undergo Other Treatments? 

Absolutely! Acupuncture is often used in conjunction with other treatments to improve the overall quality of life for your pet. However, be sure to keep all of the veterinarians treating your pet updated on the current therapy your pet is receiving. 

How Many Acupuncture Treatments Will My Pet Need? 

The number of treatments your pet will need and the length of time they will need to come in depends entirely upon the medical conditions being treated. While some pets may only need a few trips to see us, others might require regular therapy for an extended period of time.

In most cases, we start with four weekly sessions and extend the gap between consults after that, depending on the individual patient’s wellbeing.

Do you have questions or want to book an appointment with an IVAS certified acupuncturist? Get in touch!


– Felix


Further Resources