Dog Health Benefits: Does Acupuncture Work On Dogs

Nov 3, 2023 | Dog Behavior, Dog Health

Are you curious about whether acupuncture actually works for dogs? So are we. The use of acupuncture on pets has been growing in the United States in recent years, but there hasn’t been a lot of scientific evidence that it works compared to traditional Western medicine. But we strive to bring you information on all types of dog and cat-related topics, so even if we don’t know how effective it is, we’ll still provide what we’ve learned. So, we’ll cover the potential health benefits that acupuncture may offer your furry friend, from relieving pain and reducing inflammation to improving overall well-being. This alternative treatment may be valuable to your dog’s healthcare routine, but you should always consult your veterinarian before jumping into the world of acupuncture.

Dog Acupuncture Key Takeaways

Orange Paw Bullet Point   Acupuncture may provide pain management and improve mobility in dogs with degenerative joint disease.

Orange Paw Bullet Point   Acupuncture can help with anxiety problems and chronic pain in dogs, including conditions like arthritis.

Orange Paw Bullet Point   Acupuncture has shown promising results in treating digestive issues such as diarrhea and constipation in dogs.

Orange Paw Bullet Point   Acupuncture is a safe and well-tolerated alternative therapy for dogs when performed by a trained and licensed veterinarian.

What Is Acupuncture Treatment?

Do you know what acupuncture treatment entails? Acupuncture treatments involve the insertion of thin acupuncture needles into specific acupuncture points on the body. These acupuncture points are believed to be connected to different organs and systems within the body. Through acupuncture sessions, the goal is to restore balance and promote healing. Acupuncture has been used in traditional Chinese veterinary medicine for thousands of years to treat various conditions in dogs, including chronic pain. When the acupuncture needles are inserted into the acupuncture points, it stimulates the body’s blood flow and promotes pain relief. The needles also help improve blood circulation by dilating blood vessels. It’s believed this improved blood flow can aid in healing and provide relief from pain for your furry friend.

The Benefits Of Acupuncture For Dogs

While the science is still out on the benefits of acupuncture for dogs, claims have been made that veterinary acupuncture has been shown to provide numerous benefits for dogs suffering from various conditions, including hip dysplasia, chronic pain, and neurological disorders. One of the most promoted benefits of acupuncture is its effectiveness in pain management. By stimulating specific points in your dog’s body, acupuncture can help relieve pain and improve their quality of life. Acupuncture is also considered an alternative therapy for dogs with degenerative joint disease, as it can help reduce inflammation and improve mobility. Additionally, acupuncture can be beneficial for dogs with chronic conditions, as it can help support their overall health and well-being. So, if you’re looking for a natural and holistic approach to improving your dog’s health, animal acupuncture is an option to explore with your veterinarian.

What Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat In Dogs?

Acupuncture is believed to provide relief for a variety of conditions in dogs, including:


Anxiety Problems

If your dog is experiencing anxiety problems, acupuncture may be able to help alleviate their symptoms. Acupuncture, a safe and drug-free therapy used in holistic veterinary medicine, has shown promising benefits for dogs with anxiety. In dogs, acupuncture has been found to have a calming effect, reducing anxiety levels and promoting relaxation. This therapy can also help regulate cortisol levels, a stress hormone that can contribute to anxiety. By promoting a sense of well-being and reducing stress, acupuncture can be a beneficial treatment option for dogs with anxiety problems.

Dog suffering from separation anxiety

Chronic Pain

Acupuncture has become a popular treatment option for dogs suffering from chronic pain. When performed by a skilled veterinary acupuncturist, acupuncture can help increase mobility, decrease pain, and relieve tension in dogs. It’s believed to be an effective treatment for various conditions that cause chronic pain in dogs, such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and degenerative joint disease. By stimulating specific points on the body with thin needles, Acupuncture helps release endorphins and promote well-being. This drug-free therapy can be a great alternative or complement to traditional pain management methods for dogs, providing them with relief and improving their overall quality of life.


Digestive Issues

Acupuncture may address digestive issues in dogs and be an effective treatment option for gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and constipation. Digestive issues in dogs can be a common problem, and acupuncture has shown promising results in treating these conditions. By stimulating specific points in the body, the needles can help regulate the digestive system and promote overall health. Acupuncture treatment may help enhance the immune response, which can aid in the healing process of digestive problems. While conventional treatments may also be effective, acupuncture offers a natural and holistic approach to improving your pet’s condition and promoting their overall well-being.


Heart Disease

While acupuncture is not a cure for heart disease, it can be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for dogs with cardiac issues. It can help alleviate symptoms, reduce stress, and improve blood circulation. Acupuncture is also believed to be beneficial for senior dogs with heart disease, as it can help manage other conditions, such as kidney disease, that often accompany cardiac issues. So, if you are considering alternative treatments for your dog’s heart disease, canine acupuncture may be worth exploring.



Acupuncture therapy has shown promising results in treating various health conditions in dogs, including asthma. In the case of asthma, acupuncture can help by reducing inflammation in the airways and improving respiratory function. It is considered by many a safe and effective treatment option for dogs with asthma, with minimal side effects. If your dog is suffering from asthma, consider acupuncture as a complementary therapy to alleviate their symptoms and enhance their overall health.


Neurological Disorders

If your dog is suffering from neurological disorders, such as seizures or paralysis, acupuncture may be a viable treatment option to consider. Neurological disorders affect the central nervous system of dogs, causing various symptoms that can greatly impact their quality of life. Research and clinical studies have shown promise that dogs can benefit from acupuncture services, as it helps reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms associated with neurological conditions. By addressing the underlying imbalances in the body, acupuncture may provide relief and improve the overall well-being of dogs with neurological disorders.


Kidney Disease

While Western medicine often focuses on medications and laser therapy for kidney disease, acupuncture offers complementary treatments that can help alleviate symptoms and improve your dog’s overall health. By stimulating specific points on your dog’s body through acupuncture, you may be able to regulate physiological changes and promote the flow of energy. This can be beneficial for dogs with kidney disease as it can help reduce muscle spasms and alleviate pain. Additionally, acupuncture may help improve kidney function by aiding in the elimination of metabolic waste and promoting better overall blood circulation.

Dog Acupuncture Side Effects

Acupuncture needle going into dog paw

Pet parents considering acupuncture for their dogs may have concerns about the potential side effects of acupuncture. However, acupuncture is generally considered a safe and well-tolerated alternative therapy for dogs. Unlike conventional medicine, acupuncture is believed to target the body’s natural healing abilities to promote well-being and overall health. When performed by a trained and licensed veterinarian, the risk of side effects is minimal. Some dogs may experience mild discomfort during the insertion of the acupuncture needles, but this is usually temporary and quickly subsides. In rare cases, dogs may exhibit temporary signs of pain, tension, or nausea after the treatment. However, these side effects are typically short-lived, and most dogs experience positive health benefits from acupuncture without any adverse reactions.

Only Trust Your Pets With A Medical Veterinary Acupuncturist

Dog acupuncture

When considering acupuncture for your pets, always trust a medical veterinary acupuncturist. Acupuncture therapy is becoming increasingly popular for dog health benefits, as it offers a safe, drug-free therapy option, but choosing a qualified professional specializing in veterinary acupuncture is critical. A medical veterinary acupuncturist has the necessary knowledge and training to accurately diagnose and attempt to treat your pet’s specific condition using acupuncture. They understand dogs’ unique anatomy and physiology, ensuring that the treatment is tailored to their needs. By trusting a medical veterinary acupuncturist, you can have peace of mind knowing that your pets are in capable hands. They will provide acupuncture treatment that may improve your dog’s health and alleviate some acute symptoms. So, make sure you don’t expose your dog to untrained hands. Choose a medical veterinary acupuncturist who is well trusted and has many great reviews for your pets to experience the benefits of acupuncture therapy.

How Long Will It Take For Acupuncture Services To Help Dogs

Acupuncture services may start benefiting your dog within a few sessions. According to the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, this ancient practice may be effective in treating various conditions in dogs. During the initial consultation, the veterinary acupuncturist will assess your dog’s health and determine the appropriate treatment plan. Some dogs may be good candidates for acupuncture if they have chronic pain or musculoskeletal issues or do not respond well to prescription medications. Acupuncture sessions typically involve the use of small needles that are gently inserted into your dog’s skin. Ongoing treatment may be necessary to maintain the benefits of acupuncture for your furry friend.

Dog Acupuncture Frequently Asked Questions

Can Acupuncture Be Used As A Primary Treatment Option For All Dog Health Conditions?

Acupuncture can be a valuable treatment option for many dog health conditions, but it is not usually the primary choice. It’s best to consult a veterinarian to determine the most suitable for your dog’s specific needs.


Are There Any Risks Associated With Acupuncture Treatment For Dogs?

There are some mild risks associated with acupuncture treatment for dogs. It is important to consult with a veterinarian before starting any treatment to ensure the safety and well-being of your furry friend.


Can Acupuncture Help With Behavioral Issues In Dogs?

Acupuncture may be beneficial for dogs with behavioral issues caused by anxiety. It can help reduce anxiety, improve focus, and promote overall well-being. Consult with a veterinarian to determine if acupuncture is a suitable treatment option for your dog.


How Often Should Dogs Receive Acupuncture Treatment?

You should consult with a veterinarian to determine how often your dog should receive acupuncture treatment. They will be able to assess your dog’s specific needs and create a treatment plan.


Is Acupuncture A Suitable Treatment Option For Puppies And Senior Dogs?

Acupuncture can be a suitable treatment option for puppies and senior dogs. It is believed to provide numerous health benefits and can help alleviate various conditions they may experience.

The Tail End

While the jury is still out on acupuncture, many believe it can provide numerous health benefits for dogs and is a safe and effective treatment option for various conditions. However, consulting with your regular veterinarian and trusting your pets with a qualified veterinary acupuncturist is important to ensure proper care. While the length of time for acupuncture services to help dogs may vary, many dogs may show improvement after just a few sessions. Consider acupuncture as a holistic approach to improving your dog’s well-being, but don’t rely on it as their main source of healthcare.

You May Also Enjoy Reading:

Behavior Of Labrador Retrievers: Can Labs Be Aggressive?

Labrador retrievers are widely regarded as friendly, gentle dogs. However, some labs may occasionally show aggressive behaviors. The good news is that aggression is relatively uncommon in the breed. We'll explore the types of aggression labs can display, typical...

read more

Are Labradoodles Hypoallergenic And Good For Allergies?

Labradoodles were originally bred to be hypoallergenic service dogs, combining the labrador retriever's friendly temperament with the poodle's non-shedding coat. However, the question remains: are Labradoodles truly hypoallergenic and suitable for those with...

read more

How Much Should You Feed A Labrador Retriever Puppy

Bringing home an adorable Labrador Retriever puppy is so exciting! But as a new owner, you may wonder how much I should feed my Lab puppy. What kind of food is best? We'll walk you through everything you need to know about feeding your Labrador Retriever properly...

read more