Tips For Keeping Your Dog Calm For Acupuncture Appointments

If you have a dog with arthritis, then your veterinarian may suggest some acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture has some great benefits. It increases blood flow to the joints and releases pain-relieving endorphins into the body. However, you may have concerns about your dog being nervous during the treatment. If so, read through the tips below to help your canine stay calm.

Keep Yourself Calm 

You may have heard that animals can smell fear. Animals can smell the different pheromones that are released when anxious, nervous, or fearful. However, research suggests that animals can only detect these pheromones in the same species. For example, your dog can smell fear in another canine, but not a human. While this is true, your dog can easily pick up on your body language and how you exhibit fear and anxiety with your posture, hand position, or movements. 

It can be extremely difficult to keep yourself calm if you are worried for your pup. The best way to reduce your anxieties over acupuncture is to actually go through the treatment yourself first. Meet with a human acupuncture specialist and make an appointment. You may be surprised to learn that acupuncture is not painful. In fact, humans and animals find it calming and they will sometimes fall asleep when acupuncture is completed. 

To reduce your fears, you should also know that acupuncture needles are about the diameter of a hair. They are typically about ​.003 inches thick and a small fraction of the thickness of a hypodermic needle. The needles are sometimes a bit more than an inch long. This can make the needles look a little scary, but the longer needles are required to reach deeper muscles.

Calm Your Dog

Some dogs love going to the vet, while others are quite fearful of the appointments. If your dog is nervous at the vet, then you may need to coax him into the office. Once your canine is ready for his appointment, keep stroking your dog's head and keep eye contact with him. These simple gestures are calming and soothing.

Also, aromatherapy can work well. Try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil and tying it around your dog's neck. Also, research suggests that classical music can keep dogs, and humans, calm. so think about bringing a small portable radio with you to the appointment. 

If your dog seems nervous for the first acupuncture appointment, try to make it a short visit to start. Many appointments will last about 15 minutes, but a 5 to 10 minute one may be a good choice. This will also let you see if your dog responds negatively at all to the pressure of the acupuncture needles.