girl sitting on ground with dog before acupuncture

Like in people, acupuncture for pets relieves symptoms like pain and nausea. It’s a common treatment in traditional Chinese medicine that’s been used for thousands of years. And it can help cats and dogs feel better too. Our certified veterinary acupuncturists provide gentle, in-home treatments to give your pet the best quality of life.

What is pet acupuncture?

Acupuncture for dogs and cats is based on the principles of traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM), which focuses on correcting imbalances of energy. Before an acupuncture session, our veterinary acupuncturists will examine your pet and develop a treatment plan. During an acupuncture session, the veterinarian inserts thin, sterile needles into specific points along your pet’s body. This redirects energy and stimulates healing.

What does acupuncture for dogs and cats treat?

Acupuncture treats a number of conditions by stimulating the body’s healing mechanisms. It improves blood circulation and promotes the release of hormones that act as natural painkillers and stress relievers. Pet acupuncture is commonly used alongside standard veterinary care and provides additional treatment options for conditions including:

Auto-immune disorders and metabolic diseases such as:

  • Cushing's disease
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Thyroid dysfunction

Behavioral problems such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Obsessiveness

Cancer and treatment side effects such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Pain

Digestive issues such as:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Muscle and skeletal issues such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Ligament or tendon injury
  • Surgery recovery

Neurological conditions such as:

  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures

Respiratory ailments such as:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Chronic bronchitis

Skin conditions such as:

  • Allergic dermatitis
  • Hot spots (moist dermatitis)

Types of acupuncture for pets

In addition to inserting hair-thin needles into various points on the body, veterinary acupuncturists have a few other tools to use as well. Our veterinary acupuncturists may add a tiny electrical current to the dry needles (electroacupuncture) or inject vitamins or herbal
medications into acupuncture points (aquapuncture).

What to expect during treatment

Our veterinary acupuncturists come to your home, where your pet is most comfortable. Your dog or cat relaxes in their favorite spot while the veterinarian inserts acupuncture needles.

How long do acupuncture needles stay in dogs and cats?

This depends on the age and condition of the pet but ranges from 5 to 30 minutes depending on the acupuncture treatment.

Is acupuncture painful for animals?

Similar to acupuncture in people, pets may feel a tiny prick or nothing at all when the needles go in. The needles are incredibly fine and veterinary acupuncturists quickly tap them in. But pets that are in a lot of pain may be more guarded about certain areas of their bodies.

Are cats and dogs sedated for acupuncture?

Veterinarians don’t use sedation for cat or dog acupuncture because it could negate the effects of acupuncture. However, it is necessary for pets to be relatively still for the duration of the session. Our veterinary acupuncturists use positive reinforcement (treats and praise) to encourage pets to lie down.
Most pets that we treat have no problem remaining calm and relaxed, especially since they're at home.

Are there acupuncture side effects in dogs and cats?

There are no known adverse effects for acupuncture. They will usually be sleepy/tired the day of treatment. Typically they are back to normal the day after treatment.

How often should cats and dogs get acupuncture?

The optimal number of acupuncture sessions for cats and dogs varies. It depends on your pet’s condition. Our veterinary acupuncturists create individual treatment plans for pets on the first visit and then continue to reevaluate that plan throughout the course of treatment.

Typically, we start with three acupuncture sessions in the first three weeks. After that, your veterinary acupuncturist will determine the best treatment frequency based on your pet’s progress and condition.

What does acupuncture for pets cost?

Please enter your zip code on our homepage and see if we offer acupuncture in your area. Our prices will be here.

Schedule a Pet Acupuncture Appointment

Want to know if acupuncture could help your cat or dog? We’re happy to discuss it with you. Call or text us today at 602-960-2501.

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