by Kim Lee May 02, 2019 3 min read

If you’re looking for natural alternatives for your pooch, try acupuncture. Canine acupuncture has seen a rise in popularity as a complementary non-medicated treatment to managing pain and boosting overall well-being.

*It’s important to note that holistic treatments such as canine acupuncture do not serve tocureany pre-existing conditions that your dog may be suffering from. Canine acupuncture does not prevail over any other form of treatments, but stands as an alternative that could also be integrated to work synergistically with Western approaches.

What is canine acupuncture?

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Acupuncture is one of the cornerstones of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) and when performed by skilled andcertified veterinary acupuncturists, is very safe and essentially painless for animals. It involves the insertion of very fine needles at specific points of the body. The intention is to encourage the body to heal itself from within - by enhancing blood circulation, stimulating the nervous system, and correcting energy imbalances.

Each acupuncture treatment plan is crafted to target specific needs of a dog. This means that the selection of acupoints, number of needles, duration of each session, and length of treatment varies from dog to dog depending on the severity of their conditions. The average session typically lasts 10-20 minutes, with the interval between visits gradually increasing as their condition improves.

How it works

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There are about 360 key acupuncture points in a dog’s body. The insertion of needles through any of these points will stimulate nerve impulses to release naturally occurring endorphins which is the fundamental tool the body uses to aid in healing itself. The entire process is so seamlessly non-invasive, painless, and relaxing that many pets doze off when needles are in place. Though, your dog might need time to adjust to certain new sensations (tingling or numbness) in the first session.

5 Benefits of Canine Acupuncture

Pain Management

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If you’re looking to alleviate pain sans the painkillers for your pup, then acupuncture is your best bet. Endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers) are released during an acupuncture session which relieves pain and produces a sense of well-being. The effects are on par with that of analgesic pills, but without the potential adverse side effects! Remember to bring along your pup’s favouriteFuzzyard bed for maximum comfort!

Better blood circulation

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The insertion of needles at vital points stimulate the walls of blood vessels, which improves blood circulation andincreases oxygenation of tissues. Tissue oxygenation promotes regeneration of damaged muscle or nerve tissues. Thus, dogs who suffered nerve injuries often do a lot better when acupuncture is administered during rehabilitation. Be sure to monitor your dog during the entire treatment period as she could over-exert herself when the pain is lifted and aggravate her injury, disrupting the healing process.

Reduces inflammation

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The increased blood flow also facilitates the deployment of anti-inflammatory aids such as cortisol within the body. Cortisol is a natural anti-inflammatory hormone that enables the body to cope better with stress while fighting inflammation. Dogs with musculoskeletal problems (arthritis, hip dysplasia) tend to benefit greatly from this!

Immune boost

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Improved blood circulation calls for a more efficient mobilisation of immune system cells such as white blood cells as well. This gives your dog an extra immune boost to fight off infections and remove metabolic toxins more effectively. An immune support supplement (likeDr. Mercola’s) will also contribute tremendously to building a fully functioning immune system, when used in conjunction with acupuncture sessions!

Lack of adverse side effects

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It can get really confusing keeping track of the pills your pup can take together without it possibly culminating into a terrible accident from an ill-advised concoction. That said, canine acupuncture has no adverse side effects (when properly performed) whatsoever and is good to be paired with any supplements or medications that your dog is currently on. So you can put your worries of drugs interactions to rest and continue feeding thatNaturVet Supplement with ongoing acupuncture treatments! It’s also the perfect alternative for immunocompromised dogs who are hypersensitive to many prescription drugs.

Kim is an avid dog lover, serial guac and chips eater, and thrill seeker - all in one body. Currently chillin’ with her dogs.

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