Natural Wellness Options for Your Four-Legged Friend


Pampered Pup

Dog owners don’t usually think of their canine companions as separate from their families. Here at HealingRadius, neither do we. My Havanese, Nola Bijou, is as spoiled as a dog can get and her health is one of the things that I put on my priority list in my household. When it comes to pet care, I trust my vet, but I find value in alternative wellness options as well. Sorting out the legitimate from the controversial can be difficult sometimes. If you’re considering some alternatives to traditional medicine for your pup, I’ve put together a small cheat sheet on the ones I’ve considered myself: doggy massage and acupuncture. Enjoy!


While there hasn’t been a lot of vetted research when it comes to massages for pups, the popularity of this treatment is on the rise. First treated on horses and popularized in the early 1960s, the transition from horse to canine has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.

Show Me the Money:

Ranging from $900 for a national certification as an animal massage therapist to as little as $35.00 for a 45-minute visit with an outside therapist, the amount you want to spend is really up to you.

What Are the Benefits for Your Fur Baby?

The following benefits are listed on several websites of pet massage therapists and pet massage schools:

  • Stress relief 
  • Relaxation 
  • Enhances muscle tone 
  • Helps dogs rehabilitate after surgeries and other traumas 
  • Reduction of inflammation and swelling in joints, thereby alleviating pain 
  • Increases flow of nutrients to the muscles 
  • Stimulates circulation and release of endorphins 
  • Eases muscle spasms 
  • Lengthens connective tissue 
  • Generally improves the disposition of the animal

What Are the Possible Issues?

  • Aggravate a prior medical condition 
  • Soreness 
  • It won’t work as advertised

If you’re ever in doubt, check with your vet to see if pet massage therapy is right for you and your pup.




Acupuncture has been rising in popularity among humans since the 1970s, however, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the demand for pet acupuncture started to increase. As with pet massage therapy, there are few peer-reviewed studies that conclude definitively that pet acupuncture is a valid medical treatment while some dog owners and veterinarians swear by it.

Show Me the Money:

The more severe the condition, the longer the treatment and the more often the treatment needs to be repeated. A 30-minute session with a certified acupuncturist will probably run about $75, according to the Washington Post. Other sites quoted prices up to $120 for a 30-minute session. The frequency of treatment will vary from once or twice a week to once a month, and in most cases, until the treatment is complete.

What Can Acupuncture Treat?

Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian who wrote a piece on animal acupuncture for the Huffington Post, sites the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture to claim the following ailments can be treated with acupuncture:

  • Hip dysplasia 
  • Degenerative joint disease 
  • Degenerative myelopathy 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Asthma 
  • Urinary tract infections 
  • Inflammation (systemic inflammatory conditions)

In addition, the following are ailments that she has personally used acupuncture for:

  • Traumatic nerve injuries 
  • Lick granulomas 
  • Degenerative joint disease 
  • Arthritis 
  • Musculoskeletal problems 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Allergic skin conditions

What Are the Possible Issues Associated With the Treatment?

  • Typically there is very little pain associated with acupuncture for your pup, but swelling or redness at the injection site can occur.
  • It might not treat the illness you would like it to. If so, back to the drawing board.

Treating your pet with holistic methods isn’t nearly as difficult as it might seem. So long as you work in conjunction with your vet, you will hopefully have a great experience with whatever wellness alternative you’ve chosen.

Would you like us to discuss another type of natural wellness treatment for your Fido? Leave it in the comments below!

Did you love learning about Wellness Options for Your Pup? Let us know how you feel in the comments below or email us your own blog to share!

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