5 Non-Conventional Treatments & Alternative Therapies for Dogs

Non-Conventional Treatments & Alternative Therapies for Dogs
Non-Conventional Treatments & Alternative Therapies for Dogs

Popular Choices in Alternative Therapies for Dogs

As natural healthcare options and alternative animal therapies have gained popularity recently, many pet enthusiasts are turning to holistic approaches for their furry companions.

In this discussion, we delve into standard alternative therapy options for dogs:

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Acupuncture and Acupressure

Both acupuncture and acupressure are alternative therapies that draw upon the ancient Chinese concept of energy flow along the body's channels linked to specific internal organs.

Acupuncture involves stimulating a dog's energy to alleviate pain and inflammation. Modern veterinary acupuncture employs traditional acupuncture needles, needle-electric stimulation, or laser-based stimulation to address canine health issues.

Acupressure, similar to acupuncture, is an alternative therapy that focuses on energizing the body but without using needles. It relies on finger or thumb pressure applied to specific areas of the dog's body to alleviate discomfort.

It's worth noting that organizations are dedicated to animal acupuncture, such as the International Veterinarian Acupuncture Society, a nonprofit committed to promoting excellence in veterinary acupuncture practice. For dog owners interested in exploring acupuncture and other therapy treatments for their pets, this society can help locate certified veterinary acupuncturists in their area.

Massage Therapy

As dogs age, they can develop bone and joint problems and strain their muscles like humans. Dogs, too, can benefit from a soothing therapeutic massage.

Various massage techniques can be employed, including kneading, rolling, and rubbing your dog's skin and gentle stroking, which provides a calming effect. When done correctly, any form of massage can be therapeutic for your furry friend.

Massage promotes flexibility, relieves tension, and strengthens the bond between you and your dog. It can also help you discover hidden lumps or masses under your dog's fur that might indicate potential health issues.

Canine Chiropractic Therapy

Canine chiropractic therapy involves manipulating and adjusting spinal bones to align vertebrae properly. This therapy enhances your dog's body alignment, restores flexibility, and improves range of motion in affected areas. Chiropractic care is an alternative therapy treatment that can benefit animals with joint, muscle, and nerve problems and is typically administered by a veterinarian or a certified veterinary chiropractor. In most states, the law requires chiropractic treatment of pets by a certified veterinary chiropractor or under direct veterinarian supervision.

Pet owners may seek chiropractic care and other forms of alternative therapy for their dogs for various reasons, such as difficulty in mobility, recovery from injuries or illnesses, or preparation for athletic competitions. Those interested in chiropractic care for their pets can search for practitioners certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, an organization established in 1989 by veterinarians and chiropractors dedicated to advancing the field of animal chiropractic.

Hydrotherapy For Dogs

Hydrotherapy is an alternative treatment for dogs that offers a valuable alternative to high-impact exercise, especially for canines dealing with chronic bone conditions or debilitating injuries such as arthritis or cruciate ligament trauma.

During hydrotherapy sessions, a trained professional assists your dog in entering and exiting a specially designed pool, reducing stress on their body and minimizing the risk of injury. A dog harness is often employed to help your furry companion maintain an above-water position. The pool water is also frequently heated to relieve muscular discomfort and pain.

One common approach to canine hydrotherapy involves using underwater resistance jets, creating a current for the dog to swim against, and promoting strength and mobility.

Another form of hydrotherapy is underwater treadmill therapy, where dogs walk against water resistance to build muscle and improve mobility. Like water aerobics, this method is gentle on joints while effectively engaging muscles.

Notably, this type of hydrotherapy for dogs has gained popularity due to its space-efficient nature, as it requires only a compact tank rather than a full-size pool.

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Cold Laser Therapy

Cold Laser Therapy, aka Low-Level Laser Therapy, or LLLT, emerged as a therapeutic option two decades ago and is currently making significant strides in animal well-being. This treatment utilizes highly concentrated and coherent light directed toward a pet's muscles, tissues, and organs. It effectively diminishes inflammation, alleviates muscle spasms, and expedites recovery for conditions related to discs and the spine, all achieved within mere minutes. Remarkably, laser therapy for dogs is painless and non-invasive, yielding results akin to non-steroidal medications but without the associated side effects. A multitude of veterinarians now provide this cutting-edge service.

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