Acupuncture for dogs can be used to treat a variety of ailments from arthritis to skin disease to gastrointestinal problems. Your dog should feel relaxed after each session. However, one session alone cannot typically treat the conditions your dog is struggling with, so be prepared for four to eight weekly or biweekly sessions. If you're interested in trying this form of treatment, here are 3 tips you can use to prepare your dog for the session.
Choose a Comfortable and Relaxing Environment
As needles will be inserted into your dog, you need to make sure your dog is fully relaxed, so that their muscles and tendons aren't tense for the session. Find and choose an environment that is both comfortable and relaxing for your dog. If the acupuncture is going to occur at a clinic, you might want to bring your dog's favorite pillow, blanket, or stuffed toy along in order to emulate the environment at home. Give your dog plenty of time to adjust to the new environment before beginning each session.
Stay with Your Dog and Pet It Throughout the Session
Having a stranger in such close contact with them can make your dog anxious or stressed out. This is especially true since acupuncture is very hands-on. If you're going to sign your dog up for acupuncture, make sure you clear your schedule, as you should definitely be in the same room. This is not a situation where you can simply drop your dog off and pick them up at a later time. Calm your dog down by petting or massaging them prior to a session. Also, ask the veterinarian whether or not you can pet your dog during the session to keep them calm and relaxed.
Provide a List and Record of the Symptoms or Ailments and Their Severity
Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide array of symptoms and ailments. Knowing what your dog is struggling with can help a veterinarian determine which pressure points to target. Some pressure points will only specifically be beneficial in certain situations. After each session, keep a record of whether your dog's ailment has improved or not. This information can help a veterinarian determine which pressure points are most effective for your dog, so that each session can be tailored to better fit their needs.
Acupuncture has been known to do wonders for some dogs although it may take several sessions for the full effect of acupuncture to become noticeable. It's definitely something worth trying – especially since it is relatively non-invasive and pain-free. For more information, contact local professionals like Downing Center For Animal Pain Management.