What Are the Uses of Acupuncture for Dogs?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 09 August 2019
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Acupuncture for dogs may be used to relieve painful conditions such as arthritis. This method is an alternative to traditional treatments. Holistic healing for dogs is a relatively new approach in veterinary medicine, and acupuncture may provide relief from stiff and sore joints, as well as improve mobility in older dogs. Modern veterinarians use acupuncture for dogs to treat various other canine conditions, such as gout or kidney disease. Not all veterinarians practice holistic healing for pets, however.

Dogs with respiratory conditions, such as canine asthma, may be treated with acupuncture. Veterinarians who practice alternative medicine believe that targeting certain pressure points through acupuncture may relieve some symptoms, such as coughing or congestion. Some animal experts also believe practicing acupuncture for dogs with asthma may improve energy levels and stamina.

Specialists may perform acupuncture for dogs that are recovering from surgery. This form of treatment may ease post-operative pain and is an alternative to the traditional use of pain-relieving drugs. Some canine pain killers may cause side effects, including digestive issues or other problems, which is why some pet owners and veterinarians choose acupuncture for controlling pain.


Musculoskeletal problems, such as slipped or herniated discs, which are more common in certain dog breeds, may be treated with acupuncture. If a veterinarian believes surgery is not an option, holistic treatment may be considered. When performing acupuncture for dogs with musculoskeletal problems, small needles are used to stimulate blood flow to affected area.

Canine cancer is sometimes treated with acupuncture for dogs. Depending upon the extent of the disease however, acupuncture may not be the best option for treating a dog with cancer. Some dogs may benefit from chemotherapy treatment as well as acupuncture. In the case of any illness or disease, an animal care expert should be consulted when considering the advantages and disadvantages of any type of treatment.

Although there is controversy surrounding this treatment, some veterinarians perform acupuncture on dogs with obedience issues. Many experts believe that some behavioral problems are due to anxiety. In such a case, acupuncture treatments are used to promote calmness in a dog.

Potential risks of acupuncture for dogs do exist, so it is wise to consider the pros and cons before deciding if this is the best method of treatment for a dog. Although it is not common, temporary inflammation or soreness of the treated area may last for a few days.


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