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FAQ's for Animals

Discover the Answers You Need

As you explore the world of animal acupuncture, it's natural to have questions about this ancient practice and its application to your pet's well-being. Here, we provide answers to frequently asked questions about animal acupuncture, empowering you to make informed decisions about your beloved companion's health.

Which animals benefit from acupuncture?

All animals can benefit from acupuncture. In Maryland, a licensed acupuncturist certified in animal acupuncture is legally allowed to treat companion animals. These include: horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, donkeys, birds and reptiles to name a few. It is illegal, under any circumstances to treat wolves, wolf-crosses, or any natural wildlife.

Do the needles hurt my pet?

Most pets don’t even notice the needles as they are going in at all. Often they just think they are being pet and being paid loving attention.

How do you get the animals to stay still?

Most people are surprised at how calm and relaxed their pets are throughout the treatment. The treatment space is very different than most veterinary offices. The needles are not painful for your pet and the animals do not have a negative association with their visits. Therefore, they often start with less anxiety to begin with. Even the pets that come in anxious or excited tend to relax as soon as the needles are in. It is not uncommon for dogs and cats to fall asleep during their treatment.

How long do the needles stay in?

Single use, ultra-fine, sterile needles are usually inserted just below the skin’s surface. Depending on the treatment designed for your pet, some needles may be left in for a brief period of time (10-15 minutes), while others may be inserted and removed immediately. 

What is the relationship between acupuncture and veterinary medicine?

Maryland law states that an animal must see a veterinarian within 14 days before having their first acupuncture treatment. Continuing to see your veterinarian on a regular basis is strongly recommended. Acupuncture is used successfully in conjunction with veterinary medicine. Traditional acupuncture is a specific therapy with its own rewards and limitations. Other health providers are fully cooperated with.  Altering medications or other therapies without consulting your veterinarian is not recommended. Acupuncture often helps your pets' medication to be more effective while decreasing unpleasant side effects.

What can I do to enhance the health of my pet?

To enhance the value of therapy, plan your pet’s activities so they can relax after each treatment. Avoid exposing them to situations that are stressful or over stimulating. Just like people, pets need time to incorporate their treatment for healing to occur. By providing your pet with adequate rest, good nutrition and regular exercise, you cultivate a mutual respect and promote a healthy environment for your pet’s body, mind and spirit.It is important to recognize that pets are keenly aware of the stressors going on in the lives of their human companions. When you are not feeling physically or emotionally well, it is likely to affect your pet. Taking care of your own health, and being aware of how you are interacting with your pet, will go a long way in supporting their health.

What should I expect at the first visit?

The first visit takes about 45 minutes, during which time you have the opportunity to speak at length about your health concerns for your pet. This appointment is designed to enable your practitioner to assess the underlying conditions leading to your pet’s current situation. This initial visit includes a confidential discussion of your pet’s health and history, followed by a physical examination and a needle treatment for your pet.  

What about subsequent visits?

Follow-up visits generally last about 20 minutes. Treatments are usually scheduled on a weekly basis for the first month in order to create an internal balance of energy, which can be maintained between treatments. As this balance is achieved, treatments are extended to every other week, every three weeks, monthly, and eventually, seasonally. The number of visits required varies according to each animal’s individual needs. After four weeks of treatment, your pet's progress will be re-evaluated. Most people report significant benefit from acupuncture treatments for their pets.

Check out Maryland's premier pet resource guide at: 

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