Acupuncture Is an Old-Fashioned Way to Keep Your Dog From Getting Sick This Season

It seems there are few things acupuncture can't do, including treating everything from migraines to acne, but what's even more fascinating than its many uses is the fact that it works just as well on dogs.

If you're unfamiliar with acupuncture, it's a traditional form of Chinese medicine that involves inserting very thin needles into the body to produce a physiological response. People often choose acupuncture for pain relief, decreasing inflammation, or increasing circulation, but we wanted to know just what it can do for your pets, so we got the scoop from Dr. Rachel Barrack, who is a veterinarian at Animal Acupuncture.

"Acupuncture can be used to treat an endless array of conditions in both humans and animals," Dr. Barrack shared. Some of the most common applications for dogs and cats include:

  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Neurological disease (seizures, disc disease)
  • Gastrointestinal issues (diarrhea, vomiting)
  • Cardiovascular and respiratory disease
  • Renal disease
  • Skin disease
  • Urogenital disease (incontinence)
  • Immune-mediated diseases
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Neoplasia (can also help with the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation)
  • Postoperative healing
  • Behavioral issues

"Acupuncture can also be used to provide the best possible quality of life for animals on palliative care," she said.

During the colder Winter months, your pets can be negatively affected health-wise, which makes it an excellent time to turn to acupuncture. "Acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy can be used to relieve the associated inflammation, pain, and stiffness" that come from the frigid temperatures, according to Dr. Barrack. And because we're all familiar with the dreaded cold season, we know how unfortunate that can make us feel. But fear not — Dr. Barrack says acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy can even boost your pet's — and your own — immune system to prevent colds and flus.

We haven't given animal acupuncture a whirl yet, but if you have, let us know how it went!