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7 Holistic Dog Treatments (You Should Know About)


Feb 10, 2023
vet performing acupuncture on dog


vet performing acupuncture on dog
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Taking your dog to the veterinarian for regular checkups, vaccinations, and treatments for illnesses and accidents is a necessity. However, veterinary care and treatments are not your only options when it comes to keeping your dog safe, healthy, and happy throughout their life. Certain holistic treatments may also be useful for you and your dog in the coming months and years. Here are seven options to consider.

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Top 7 Holistic Dog Treatments You Should Know About

1. Chiropractor Care

Border Collie getting a chiropractic adjustment
Image Credit: Katsue, Shutterstock

Chiropractic treatments are popular among humans, but did you know that they can benefit canines too? A veterinary chiropractor will work to adjust the musculoskeletal system of your dog for improved functionality of the nervous system. Chiropractic care can relieve pain and help improve conditions such as:

  • Nervous system problems
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Respiratory problems
  • Tension and stress
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Arthritis
  • Incontinence

Chiropractic treatments are non-invasive, require no medication, and don’t create unnecessary stress for the dog being treated.

2. Massage

woman giving body massage to a dog
Image Credit: Rasulov, Shutterstock

Massaging your dog can provide them with relief from the pain and stress that has been building up within their body. Massage helps increase blood circulation, which is crucial for an active dog that likes to run and play throughout the day. The treatment can also help identify body growths before they become too serious.

If your canine is athletic, a good rubdown right before an intense activity can help prevent injury because it will lubricate their joints, muscles, and nerves. You can even do all the massaging yourself. Also, each massage session will give you and your dog the opportunity to enhance your bond.

3. Hydrotherapy

coach with dog on rehab doing hydrotherapy
Image Credit: Gerain0812, Shutterstock

Hydrotherapy is a useful treatment for dogs that have been injured or are recovering from surgery. The idea is to use the buoyancy of water for support during physical therapy sessions. This low-impact treatment option is designed to help improve overall body strength, increase range of motion, and enhance endurance.

The water ensures that unnecessary stress is not put on the joints, making for minimal inflammation during and after each treatment. Hydrotherapy typically involves putting a dog into a tub or tank full of water so most of their body is submerged.

Most hydrotherapy tanks have treadmills on the bottom to accommodate the motion of walking. The dog then slowly walks in place while submerged. Other types of exercises may be incorporated into the therapy, depending on the situation and the reason for the treatment.

4. Acupuncture

Acupuncture needle in dog's leg
Image Credit: Freestocksorg, Pexels

This type of holistic treatment is designed to help the body heal itself by balancing the energy that flows throughout it. This energy, known as “chi” in Chinese culture, is reset with the help of fine needles that are inserted into specific areas of the body. These needles slightly penetrate the nerves and blood vessels, which elevates endorphins that go to work relieving pain and stress throughout the body.

Acupuncture also increases blood flow and helps regenerate nerve damage. It can help treat problems such as degenerative joint disease, arthritis, injuries to the joints and bones, and even cancer. This option doesn’t have the side effects that most prescription medications do. The treatment also cannot cause adverse reactions to any medications that your pup might already be taking.

5. Herbal Remedies

Photo credit: Couleur, Pixabay

Certain herbs can be used as home remedies for various ailments that your dog might have. For example, aloe vera has antibacterial properties and works as an excellent topical treatment for minor scratches, scrapes, and burns. That said, we must note that it should only be used topically, and ingesting it could cause gastrointestinal distress.

Other herbs that can be useful for your dog include:

  • Ginger — It can calm nausea and reduce vomiting.
  • Milk Thistle — It can help improve liver functionality.
  • Valerian — It can help calm a hyper or anxious dog.
  • Goldenseal — It can treat topical bacterial infections and gastrointestinal issues.

It is always a good idea to check with your veterinarian before administering any herbal tinctures, teas, or other treatments to your dog, to ensure that the herbs will not affect any medications that they are taking.

6. Magnetic Field Therapy

Magnetic field therapy is a non-invasive treatment option that involves nothing more than the application of magnets to the body. Certain techniques must be used to properly place the magnets, and the magnets used are specially designed, so don’t raid the refrigerator for magnets to try out this treatment yourself. You’ll want to seek out a professional.

This type of therapy is commonly used to help heal injuries and broken bones and to treat conditions such as hip dysplasia and tendonitis. No side effects to note have been reported from the use of magnetic field therapy, though pregnant dogs should not be treated with it.

7. Nutritional Therapy

Labrador dog eating
Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

Sometimes, enhancing your dog’s diet can help improve their ailments and make them healthier (and happier!) overall. A better diet may help with problems like obesity, arthritis, and high blood pressure. That said, it’s important to first discuss diet changes with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist who can offer recommendations based on things like your dog’s weight, age, health, and medical history.

Your vet may recommend a prescription food or a commercial one with higher protein or fiber levels than what you’ve been offering your dog at mealtimes. An addition of fresh fruits, vegetables, and supplements might also be recommended.



Holistic treatment options can help keep your dog away from unnecessary medications and prevent serious illnesses from developing. They can increase your dog’s overall quality of life, and many are budget friendly. Most holistic treatments can also be used with conventional treatments without the worry of side effects.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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