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Health Benefits of Acupuncture for Dogs

While traditional veterinary medicine plays a vital role in the well-being of our canine companions, acupuncture is gaining recognition for its benefits in promoting overall health for dogs. Today our Westminster vets explore the benefits that this alternative therapy could offer your pup.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been used in China for thousands of years to induce a therapeutic response in unhealthy or problematic parts of the human body and is now becoming a more common treatment for health concerns in pets and farm animals.

While traditional veterinary medicine plays a vital role in the well-being of our pets, alternative therapies such as acupuncture are gaining recognition for their benefits in promoting holistic health for dogs.

Are you wondering what the benefits of acupuncture for dogs might be? Let us explain.

Is acupuncture for dogs safe?

Yes! Acupuncture has been used safely and successfully for years on people as well as a variety of animal species, including cats, dogs, rabbits, and horses. Your veterinary acupuncturist can assess your dog's overall health and let you know whether acupuncture could be a suitable therapy option for your pup.

Will acupuncture hurt my dog?

No. Many pet parents are concerned that the needles used in acupuncture will cause their pet discomfort, but the needles are so thin little if any discomfort occurs. Acupuncture sessions are not painful and do not require medications or sedation.

In fact, acupuncture is often seen to produce a calming effect in dogs due to the activation of the body's relaxation response. The gentle nature of the treatment, combined with the release of endorphins, can help to reduce anxiety, stress, and behavioral issues in many dogs.

How many acupuncture treatments will my dog need to see benefits?

One of the significant advantages of acupuncture is its individualized approach to each dog. A qualified veterinary acupuncturist will assess your dog's specific needs, considering their medical history, breed, temperament, and current health status. This personalized approach ensures that the treatment is tailored to address your dog's unique conditions and requirements.

The number of sessions required to treat your dog's specific health concerns will vary from that of another pet. Your veterinary acupuncturist can provide you with an estimate of how many sessions will benefit your dog, but keep in mind that this may change as the treatment progresses.

How can acupuncture benefit my dog?

Wondering if acupuncture could help to treat your dog's health condition? Below are just a few of the beneficial effects that our team has seen when using acupuncture to treat pets:

Pain Management & Relief

Acupuncture has been demonstrated to trigger the body's own pain-relieving endorphins and anti-inflammatory chemicals, which can aid in the relief of chronic pain. Whether your dog suffers from arthritis, musculoskeletal issues, or chronic pain, acupuncture can be used to help alleviate discomfort by stimulating the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. 

Cancer Treatment Support

In cases where dogs are undergoing cancer treatment, acupuncture can be a valuable complementary therapy. While it does not cure cancer, it can help manage side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. Acupuncture can alleviate pain, improve appetite, reduce nausea, and boost overall well-being, providing comfort during a challenging time.

Improved Digestive Function

Acupuncture has shown positive effects on digestive health in dogs. If your furry friend suffers from gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, diarrhea, or constipation, acupuncture can be used to help stimulate the digestive system, regulate bowel movements, and improve overall gut health. This can lead to better nutrient absorption and a healthier digestive tract.

Improved Respiratory Function

Acupuncture can benefit pets suffering from respiratory issues such as asthma and allergies. Acupuncture has been demonstrated to offer relaxing and immune-system calming characteristics, as well as the ability to treat animals with breathing problems. Acupuncture's immune-calming and anti-inflammatory properties assist dogs as well.

Accelerate Healing

By strategically placing needles at specific acupuncture points, this ancient practice stimulates the body's natural healing mechanisms. Acupuncture helps to increase your pet's blood circulation, promote the release of endorphins, reduce inflammation, and enhance the body's ability to repair tissues. This targeted approach can be particularly beneficial for dogs recovering from surgery, musculoskeletal injuries, or other conditions that require tissue regeneration.

Soothing Skin Problems

Skin conditions such as allergies, dermatitis, hot spots, and itching. are a problem for many dogs. By stimulating specific acupuncture points, you veterinarian can use this holistic practice to help alleviate itching, relieve redness, and soothe your dog's irritated skin. Additionally, acupuncture can help regulate the immune system, which plays a crucial role in many skin disorders.

Help With Musculoskeletal Issues

Whether your dog is suffering from arthritis, joint pain, muscle strains, or spinal problems, acupuncture may be a drug-free way to provide pain relief and promote healing. Veterinary acupuncture stimulates the nervous system, releasing endorphins and reducing pain signals, helping to increase blood circulation to the affected areas, reduce inflammation and promote tissue repair. Additionally, this therapy can help to relax muscles, improve range of motion, and enhance your pup's overall mobility.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you'd like to learn more about acupuncture for dogs at our Westminster veterinary clinic contact us today.

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