We all know that acupuncture is a great treatment. It can help reduce stress and pain, relieve your headaches, and improve your immune system.

But, did you know that acupuncture can also benefit your pet?

That’s right, pet acupuncture is a thing, and it’s time to consider it for your pet. But, what’s so great about pet acupuncture?

Check out this guide to learn the top ways veterinary acupuncture can benefit your pet.

What is Pet Acupuncture?

First things first, what exactly is pet acupuncture?

Acupuncture involves inserting needles into certain points of the body in order to produce a healing response.

Acupuncture is typically used to alleviate pain and treat certain health conditions.

While veterinary acupuncture is just starting to become popular in the US, the practice has actually been around for thousands of years in China.

In China, they use acupuncture as preventative medicine.

Veterinary acupuncture was introduced in the United States in 1971, by two acupuncturists named John Ottaviano and Gene Bruno. Throughout their career, these two acupuncturists treated thousands of animals. Eventually, this led to the formation of the  International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.

When it comes to pet acupuncture vs human acupuncture, the two are actually performed very similarly.

However, you should never hire an acupuncturist who doesn’t have any training on animals for your pet. This is because, in order for the treatment to be successful, the acupuncturist will need to know the correct acupuncture location points on a pet’s body.

How Veterinary Acupuncture Can Help Your Pet

Now that we know a little bit more about veterinary acupuncture, let’s talk about the ways that it can help your pet.

1. Pain Management

One of the main reasons you should try veterinary acupuncture is because it can help your pet with pain management.

Whether it’s chronic pain, pain caused by medical treatment (like chemo), or short-term pain due to an injury, pretty much every dog will deal with some amount of pain in their life.

Typically, medications are given to help pets manage their pain. However, if you’re looking for a treatment to supplement your pet’s medication, acupuncture is a great option.

2. Improve Musculoskeletal Problems

Another major benefit of veterinary acupuncture is that it can help pets who suffer from musculoskeletal problems such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, or nerve injuries.

Acupuncture can be particularly helpful as a part of a rehabilitation program after an injury.

This is due to the fact that acupuncture can help increase blood flow to key tendons and muscles, which in turn can help make them stronger.

3. Alleviate Skin Problems

If your dog suffers from a skin problem like dermatitis, hot spots, or granulomas, acupuncture is a great option.

This is because acupuncture helps increase circulation and therefore improve healing.

Plus, because acupuncture helps to reduce pain, it can also help prevent your pet from overgrooming and succumbing to excess itching.

While overgrooming may not sound like a huge deal, it can actually lead to hair loss and even more skin irritation.

Acupuncture is a great way to stop this cycle.

4. Relieve Gastrointestinal Problems

Does your pet suffer from gastrointestinal issues such as nausea and diarrhea?

While it’s important to talk to your vet to get to the root cause of these issues, in the meantime, you should consider acupuncture for your pet.

Acupuncture can stimulate digestive secretions in order to normalize digestive activity.

Due to increased blood flow, it can also help relieve pain in the gastrointestinal tract.

5. Alleviate Respiratory Issues

If your pet suffers from asthma, allergies, or some other type of respiratory issue, you’ll be happy to know that acupuncture can help relieve their symptoms.

This is due to the anti-inflammatory response that the body has to acupuncture.

6. No Adverse Side Effects

When you put your dog on a new medication, it’s always a gamble as to whether or not they’re going to suffer from any adverse side effects.

The great thing about acupuncture is that you never have to worry about your pet having to deal with adverse side effects.

Also, you can always count on acupuncture as a supplementary treatment, as you never have to worry about it adversely interacting with other medications and supplements.

7. Helps With Relaxation

If you have a pet that’s constantly wound up, you may find that acupuncture helps to calm them down.

In fact, many animals even become a bit sleepy after undergoing acupuncture. If you have something coming up that may cause your dog to feel stressed or act out (such as going on vacation, having guests over, or hiring a new pet sitter), then it’s a great idea to bring your pet in for acupuncture before this potentially stressful event.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Now for the question that’s likely on your mind: is acupuncture safe for your pet?

While getting a bunch of needles pricked into your body may sound extremely painful, the truth is, acupuncture is virtually pain-free. This is especially the case if you have a small animal that only needs small needles.

If you have a large animal that needs larger needles, there’s a chance that they may experience some pain and discomfort upon insertion. However, once the needles have passed, there shouldn’t be any pain.

Also, as we already mentioned, adverse side effects are extremely rare. At the very worst, your pet will get a little sleepy and groggy.

The only thing that can really make acupuncture dangerous is if the needles are administered by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, which is why it’s always important to look into the acupuncturist’s qualifications.

Veterinary Acupuncture: Are You Ready to Try It?

As you can see, there are a lot of ways in which veterinary acupuncture could help your pet.

If you’re ready to book your pet’s first appointment, get in touch with us today.