October is National Pet Wellness month and a great opportunity to research the benefits of various alternative therapies such as massage, acupuncture, and chiropractics as a way of taking care of a senior dog’s general health and well-being.
- Massage improves blood circulation, increasing oxygenation and nutrition to the cells and tissues throughout the body.
- If your dog is on any medication, massage will help it work more efficiently and, at the same time, minimize side effects by removing the toxins and waste products from the system.
- Massage also reduces pain associated with illness or old age because endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers, are released into the system through massage. These natural mood enhancers allow your aging dog to feel better.
- The gentle power of touch also releases lactic acid from sore muscles, decreasing swelling from inflammation. It definitely allows older pets suffering from arthritis and joint discomfort more flexibility of movement and could possibly help them better negotiate stairs around the home.
- Acupuncture is primarily used on pets to treat joint and muscular problems, but it is also said to aid pets being treated for cancer with chemotherapy.
- It’s also an accepted form of treatment for respiratory problems such as chronic asthma, and it is used to stimulate the immune system. Specially qualified veterinary acupuncturists use a variety of small needles and sometimes a low-power laser are used to stimulate the acupuncture points on the body.
- Veterinary chiropractic, also known as animal chiropractic, is an emerging sub-specialization in the veterinary field. So check with your veterinarian, or ask for a referral.
- Veterinary chiropractic is primarily used for common musculoskeletal conditions to enhance performance, function, and quality of life.
OTHER ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES
It’s definitely worth checking them out along with other modalities such as aromatherapy, acupressure and healing therapies such as Reiki and Tellington Touch that can also improve your dog’s quality of life. Start by asking your veterinarian or check the notice board in your nearest pet specialty store for practitioners in your area.