specialty veterinarian careers winter haven fl

Benefits Of Dog Acupuncture

As more and more people are becoming dog owners and veterinary medicine continues to advance, there has been an increasing amount of new treatments for dogs available. This, of course, includes acupuncture for dogs. Although doggy acupuncture may seem silly to some dog owners, there are actually numerous reported benefits to giving dogs this somewhat controversial treatment.

There has been some evidence suggesting that acupuncture can help dogs with managing pain, especially when it comes to chronic pain. Amazingly, some have reported that acupuncture has helped their pet get through a variety of medical conditions affecting the skin, GI tract, and joints. Some dog owners have even reported that acupuncture has helped their dog through breathing problems.

In this article we will be describing all of the reported benefits to giving dogs acupuncture. In addition to this, we will also be answering some commonly asked questions and be addressing some common concerns about giving a dog acupuncture as well. Let’s jump right into it!

acupuncture in dogs winter haven fl

What is Dog Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a type of complementary treatment that originated in China. Acupuncture involves inserting many small needles into the skin. Acupuncture is believed to aid in many conditions that humans experience, and recently some have been trying acupuncture for their pets as well.

4 Benefits of Dog Acupuncture benefits of dog acupuncture winter haven fl

There are around four major reported benefits of acupuncture for dogs. These include pain management and complementary treatment for conditions involving breathing, the GI tract, the skin, and the bones and joints. Here are the four benefits of giving your dog acupuncture.

Acupuncture Could Help With Pain Management

Possibly the most common reason why dog owners will get acupuncture for their dog is to help them with pain management. This is because acupuncture is believed to be a very calming procedure that is believed to relieve stress and reduce small amounts of pain.

Acupuncture is a fairly popular procedure for dogs with chronic pain, but it is sometimes used as a complementary treatment after painful procedures like surgery and cancer treatment in dogs as well. Some dog owners even claim that acupuncture helped their dog to recover from things like this more quickly.

Acupuncture Could Help With Skin Conditions

It is also believed that acupuncture may help with treating itchy skin conditions like dermatitis and hot spots due to the improved circulation that it causes. It is commonly believed that acupuncture helps to clear these conditions up in dogs as well. However, your veterinary acupuncturist may offer some other treatments for skin conditions alongside acupuncture as well.

Acupuncture Could Help With Breathing and GI Issues

Even more amazingly, some dog owners have reported that acupuncture has helped their dog get through breathing and stomach issues. When it comes to some breathing problems like asthma, it is believed that acupuncture provides the dog with a natural anti-inflammatory response, thus improving the asthmatic condition.

When it comes to stomach issues, it is believed that acupuncture helps dogs because it increases and improves blood flow. This improved blood flow allows for the digestive system to start working properly again. Many people report that acupuncture in dogs helps to stop issues with vomiting and diarrhea.

Acupuncture Can Help Treat Musculoskeletal Injuries and Conditions

Some people will also get acupuncture for their pet if they have a musculoskeletal injury or condition such as arthritis. It is believed that acupuncture can help relieve the chronic pain in dogs with these kinds of conditions or injuries. Many people that get their dogs acupuncture to treat musculoskeletal issues will report that their dog seems to be calmer and in less pain.

How Long Does it Take for Acupuncture to Work on Dogs?

The answer to this question depends entirely on the dog and what they are receiving acupuncture for. In some cases it may take several acupuncture appointments before dog owners notice any changes in their dog. In other cases you may notice results even after the first session.

How Often Should My Dog Get Acupuncture?

How often your dog should get acupuncture is completely up to you and your veterinary acupuncturist. Many people choose to give their dog an acupuncture appointment about once a week. However, your dog may need acupuncture more or less often than this.

How Long Do Acupuncture Needles Stay in Dogs?

Most of the time the acupuncture needles themselves only stay in a dog’s skin for around 20 minutes. However, this time may be more or less depending on what your veterinary acupuncturist suggests.

In addition to this, the acupuncture appointment is usually longer than 20 minutes as well. This is because your veterinary acupuncturist will likely ask you questions about how your dog is doing and if they are improving with the acupuncture treatment.

Are There Any Risks to Acupuncture in Dogs?

The only major risks to acupuncture in most dogs is minor bruising, bleeding, and soreness in areas where the needles were inserted. However, you will likely need to be extra careful  with dogs that have been diagnosed with epilepsy or a heart problem when giving them acupuncture. In addition to this, dogs that are pregnant or have been diagnosed with certain types of cancer will need to proceed with caution when it comes to acupuncture as well.

What to Look for in a Veterinary Acupuncturist veterinary acupuncturist

Any veterinary acupuncturist that you take your dog to should be a licensed veterinarian that has also studied acupuncture for dogs. In the United States, veterinarians who meet this criteria will have proof that they are a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist, or CVA.

If you are having trouble with finding a certified veterinary acupuncturist in your area then there are some helpful and reputable resources that can help. For example, The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society has a database of certified veterinary acupuncturists on their website. You can even search through their database by city, state, or region.


Canine acupuncture is becoming increasingly more common due to advanced veterinary research and its overall benefits. If you are interested in acupuncture for your dog, reach out to your veterinarian for guidance.

For pups in the Winter Haven, FL area, Veterinary Healthcare Associates offers acupuncture. Reach out to VHA at (863) 324-3340 or make an appointment today!

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About Veterinary Healthcare Associates

Veterinary Healthcare Associates in Winter Haven, FL, was established over 30 years ago as Maxwell Animal Clinic by Dr. John Maxwell. Maxwell Animal Clinic was a one-doctor general practice offering preventive care, dentistry, and standard surgical services to the community. As the years passed, Maxwell Animal Clinic evolved into a thriving 10-doctor general, specialty referral, and emergency veterinary practice.