Many people have embraced the benefits of acupuncture, including help with headaches, joint pain, and inflammation, as well as reduced stress and anxiety. Many of these benefits can also be helpful for furry friends. In particular, dogs that are dealing with painful conditions like arthritis or suffering from anxiety may benefit from regular veterinary acupuncture. Here are three things to know about getting acupuncture for your dog:
Acupuncture is a Natural Pain Reliever
One of the biggest reasons pet owners turn to pet acupuncture is that it's a natural pain reliever. When the tiny, painless needles are inserted into the skin, it naturally stimulates the release of the body's natural pain-killers, such as endorphins and dopamine. These results can last quite a while after the appointment as well.
If your dog is experiencing painful joints, has a bad hip, or is otherwise in chronic pain, acupuncture can make a big difference. Unlike prescription pain medication, acupuncture doesn't include any serious side effects. Your dog may be a little sleepy after their appointment, but that should be the extent of it.
In addition, many dogs have allergies or intolerance to pain medication, so acupuncture can serve as a safe alternative in some cases, under the guidance of your vet.
Dogs Aren't Usually Scared of Acupuncture
Some dog owners are reluctant to try pet acupuncture because they're worried their dog will be afraid of the needles. In reality, acupuncture is a very relaxing service administered in a calming, often spa-like environment. Your pet acupuncturist will ensure your dog is in a calm and restful state through gentle massage before beginning to apply the needles. In fact, most dogs fall asleep or at least become very relaxed and sleepy during their acupuncture appointment because it's so relaxing.
Pet Acupuncture Works With Other Complementary Medicine
Just like with humans, acupuncture can be easily complemented by other forms of natural medicine. Your vet will be able to create a treatment plan specific to your dog's needs. For example, they may receive acupuncture a few times a month, as well as swimming therapy to provide exercise while reducing pressure on the joints. Their treatment plan could be rounded out with massage, a prescription raw diet, or Chinese herbs.
Getting your dog into an acupuncture routine may seem a little unusual, but once you try it, you'll likely find it helps your dog feel their best and less pained.