Call Us! Button

Request an Appointment Button

Online Booking Available
Online Store
Acupuncture In Dogs
December 1, 2022

Does your canine pal seem stiff and sore lately? Is Fido struggling with health issues? One thing that may help your furry friend is acupuncture. Acupuncture is relatively new in the world of veterinary medicine, but this ancient practice has certainly stood the test of time in human wellness care. Here, a Potomac, MD vet discusses the use of acupuncture in dogs.


As you may know, acupuncture originated in China. It is one of the basic pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The practice is based on the use of thin needles, which are inserted into the body at specific points. In Eastern medicine, these spots have traditionally been believed to control the flow of energy (Qi) through the body, much the way that circuits and wires move electricity through your home. Western medicine takes a more scientific approach, noting that these spots are actually nerve clusters. Either way, the needle insertions trigger the release of natural hormones, including painkillers. In turn, that helps promote good healing, relieve pain and stiffness, improve circulation, and increase oxygenation to cells.


Acupuncture sessions are quite short, usually lasting between 20 minutes and an hour. There is no standard for how many sessions a pooch will need. It really just depends on Fido’s condition and results. Some of our patients only need a few sessions: others need ongoing treatment.


Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of issues in pets. Some of these include skin conditions; hormonal and metabolic conditions, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, and kidney disease; gastrointestinal issues, including nausea and diarrhea; nerve pain; arthritis; degenerative joint disease; and intervertebral disc disease. It is also helpful in simply promoting good healing from trauma or injury, such as broken bones, bites, or other issues.

Benefits Of Acupuncture

Acupuncture has some truly wonderful benefits. One of the biggest ones—and this is a huge plus for many of our clients—is the fact that it is extremely safe. There are no known side effects. It’s also painless. While having needles inserted into you may not sound pleasant, these needles are too small to hurt. In fact, many pets visibly relax during their sessions. Acupuncture also works very well in conjunction with modern veterinary treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy. Ask your vet for more information.

Our Advice on Acupuncture In Dogs

What are the signs that my dog might benefit from acupuncture?

Dogs may benefit from acupuncture if they show stiffness, chronic pain, limping, or decreased mobility. Conditions like arthritis, nerve pain, or recovery from injury also indicate potential benefits. Observe any changes in behavior or movement, and consult your vet for a tailored approach.

What happens during a typical acupuncture session for dogs?

During a typical dog acupuncture session, thin needles are gently inserted into specific points on the body to stimulate healing and pain relief. Sessions last 20-60 minutes, with dogs often relaxing or sleeping as natural hormones reduce pain and improve circulation.

How many acupuncture sessions might a dog need?

The number of acupuncture sessions a dog needs varies widely based on the condition and response to treatment. Some may see improvement after a few sessions, while others with chronic issues might need ongoing treatment. A vet’s assessment best determines a customized plan.

What types of conditions in dogs can acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture can treat various dog conditions, including arthritis, nerve pain, gastrointestinal issues, skin conditions, and recovery from trauma. It’s also used for chronic diseases like hypothyroidism and kidney disease, providing relief and supporting overall well-being.

Where can I seek more information or treatment for my dog’s acupuncture needs?

Consult a licensed veterinary acupuncturist or local veterinarian for information or treatment regarding your dog’s acupuncture needs. Many clinics now offer integrative medical options, including acupuncture. Additionally, professional veterinary associations provide resources online.

Do you have questions about acupuncture for dogs? Contact us, your local Germantown, MD animal clinic, today!