Is acupuncture effective in dogs? Find out!

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Nowadays, it is increasingly common to resort to alternative therapies to conventional medicine, especially in the case of chronic health problems or when the use of conventional medicines is contraindicated.

One of the alternative therapies that is being used the most in recent years as a complementary treatment for health problems in dogs is Acupuncture.

We have all heard of this technique, but does acupuncture really work in dogs or is it just a Chinese tale? Next, we introduce ourselves to the world of Acupuncture in a simple way to try to understand how it works and what its effects are in dogs.

Index of contents

  • 1 What is acupuncture?
  • 2 How does acupuncture work in dogs?
  • 3 What effects does acupuncture have on dogs?
  • 4 What applications does Acupuncture have in dogs?
  • 5 Is acupuncture a painful treatment for dogs?

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a technique that has its origin in traditional Chinese medicine and is based on the control of the energy that is distributed in the body.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, two types of energy coexist in the body: YING and YANG. Both energies have opposite qualities:

  • YIN: cold, calm, night, feminine …
  • YANG: heat, movement, day, masculine …

Acupuncture maintains that if both energies are in balance in the body, there is health, if one energy predominates over the other, there is disease.

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Applying this theory, by inserting needles into acupuncture points, the body’s energy can be rebalanced and a disease can be cured.

Although all this seems very holistic, acupuncture is a technique that is over 4,000 years old and since 1979 the World Health Organization recognizes and accepts acupuncture as a method of therapeutic value and supports its research and use.


How does acupuncture work in dogs?

Acupuncture consists of inserting very fine metallic needles into specific points on the dog’s skin called “acupuncture points”.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the dog has more than 180 acupuncture points distributed by its skin in 14 different “energy channels”.

These energy channels are called meridians and are imaginary lines that run through the animal’s organism through which the energy of the body flows.

Each meridian is related to an organ (heart, lung, kidney, spleen, stomach, intestine …), and these channels connect the acupuncture points on the surface of the body with their corresponding internal organs.

So, by inserting needles into the acupuncture points, we can correct energy imbalances of the different organs.

What effects does acupuncture have on dogs?

Inserting needles into acupuncture points has been shown to have a number of beneficial effects on the body of dogs. Acupuncture stimulates the production of anti-pain and anti-inflammatory substances by the body itself.

In addition, it also stimulates the body’s immune system, that is, the body’s natural defenses against disease. Therefore, with acupuncture we can activate the body’s natural healing mechanisms.

It has also been shown that acupuncture has a general relaxation effect thanks to the release of endorphins, better known as the hormones of happiness.

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What applications does Acupuncture have in dogs?

Acupuncture is a technique used to improve the symptoms of many diseases, and contraindications are practically non-existent.

In addition, it is compatible with the treatments applied in conventional medicine, so we can say that acupuncture can be used as a complementary technique in the treatment of any alteration or disease.

In dogs, acupuncture achieves very good results in:

  • Pain relief
  • Improving inflammation
  • Improvement of neurological disorders
  • Infectious diseases (due to its effect of stimulating the defenses)
  • Skin problems, such as allergies
  • Anxiety problems or stress

Is acupuncture a painful treatment for dogs?

The needles used in acupuncture have a very small thickness (less than that of an insulin needle), so that dogs practically do not feel their insertion in the skin.

It is more common for there to be a reaction after insertion of the needle, due to a tingling sensation in the area, produced by energy conduction through the meridians. This sensation is not painful, but being a new stimulus to the animal, it may be a little uncomfortable at first.

However, one of the effects of acupuncture is the release of endorphins, so after a few minutes dogs usually experience a feeling of comfort and relaxation that makes the acupuncture session a pleasant experience for our pet.