Does your senior dog groan when she lies down? Does your cat have a slow, awkward gait? Often, pet parents choose drugs and medications to give their pets pain relief from conditions like joint disease and nagging injuries. However, there is an alternative therapy worth considering, one that doesn't involve heavy medications: animal chiropractic care. The truth is, animal chiropractic care for pets can be very beneficial for their mental health and physical mobility.

As an emerging part of veterinary medicine, chiropractic care offers a safe, non-invasive way for your pet to regain mobility. If you have been searching for a way to help your dog or cat feel better without harsh drugs, consider chiropractic care instead. Let's take a look at the benefits of chiropractic care in pets.

A dog and cat roll on the grass together.

What is chiropractic care, and why does my pet need it?

Chiropractic care is a way to treat your pet for spinal misalignment without the use of conventional medicine. Its holistic approach treats the nervous system first and foremost, which in turn affects every other part of pets' bodies. An animal chiropractor can achieve healthier outcomes for your pup or cat, especially when it comes to dealing with chronic conditions like arthritis or muscle spasms.

This alternative treatment for animals is proven way to provide relief from pain and discomfort. Chiropractors perform spinal manipulation or manual therapy on misaligned vertebrae to move the spine back into a normal position. These gentle movements release pressure on tissues in the nervous system, which relieves discomfort in your pet.

Most dogs and cats try to instinctually hide signs of pain or injury, but sometimes the discomfort is too much, and it's obvious they are struggling. If your animal is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian to see if chiropractic care is necessary:

  • running at an angle
  • reluctance, refusal, or inability to jump up and play, or go up and down stairs
  • a general apathy and lethargy, along with a depressed attitude and loss of enjoyment in life
  • a hunched back
  • sitting or standing in an abnormal position and tilted to one side
  • difficulty standing up or lying down / decreased mobility
  • limping
  • dragging the back legs
  • weak front legs

Chiropractic is a valuable veterinary medicine and treatment option for animals suffering from spine problems or biomechanical-related musculoskeletal disorders. Injuries and illness can cause your pet's health to deteriorate quickly, affecting her movement, posture, and flexibility, as well as impacting other muscles in the body.

Chiropractic adjustments can restore the normal ranges of motion, which will in turn decrease pain and dysfunction. A pet's mind is constantly receiving feedback from all the muscles in the body. This type of input maintains a steady state for how things work, and veterinary chiropractic care can keep your pet's body moving with ease.

A dog rolls on his back on a yellow couch.

What does chiropractic treatment for pets look like?

A veterinary chiropractor will assess your pet's medical records and examine your dog or cat prior to formal treatment. Then, the doctor uses her hands to palpate, or feel, the joints, spine, and movement of the animal during its adjustment so that any corrections can be applied specifically. If a correction needs to be applied during this process, then gentle yet specific thrusts are used that don't cause too much discomfort for animals. Instead, this movement helps ensure proper spine alignment so pets' bodies can function at the best and most comfortable level.

Do not be alarmed if you hear cracking and popping noises from your pet's joints during chiropractic treatment. This sound represents the joint releasing and moving to its proper location. These adjustments may seem inconsequential, but they can provide significant relief to an animal suffering from health issues such as spinal column pain and back and neck pain.

Here are some specific ways that chiropractic care can improve your pet's overall health.

A puppy walks through fallen leaves.

Chiropractic care helps reduce discomfort from arthritis.

Older and senior dogs and cats can reap the benefits of increased mobility through chiropractic treatment. Cats and dogs need to be able to move around easily in order for them to not only be happy, but have a better quality of life. Chiropractic treatments can reduce inflammation which will relieve pain and stiffness, improving mobility greatly. You are likely to bring home a cat or pup who is more playful and active after this alternate therapy.

For example, consider a senior dog with hip dysplasia. For this condition, canine chiropractic care can bring fast relief to a painful disease. The chiropractor will typically work through every joint in the leg, starting or ending with the toes. They correct and restore motion at each individual toe-joint before moving onto another area of concern. The hip joint is a large area that contains many moving parts. Canine chiropractic care allows the chiropractor to use their skills to restore motion and increase blood flow in this vital region, resulting in less tension on nerves while giving your pet quality of life.

See faster recovery from physical and mental injury

If your pet has sustained an injury, it is important to take her in for chiropractic care as soon as possible. The improved circulation triggered by this treatment can speed up the rate at which healing nutrients are delivered throughout the body. Those nutrients then reach the injured areas faster to promote quicker healing and pain relief.

Not only can animal chiropractic care stimulate the pet's body to heal faster, but it also helps with stress, anxiety, and mental health issues in animals. Studies have shown that regular chiropractic adjustments reduces instances of separation anxiety in pets.

Relieve the pain and nagging injuries associated with skin problems

If your dog suffers from hot spots or lick granulomas on her paws, chiropractic adjustment may give her relief. Often, these paw-centered issues ar a dog's response to pain and discomfort from their toes. Many canines' toes can jam together over time, and a toe adjustment is often just what they need to leave their paws alone.

Provides drug-free pain relief

No pup parent wants to see their furkid in pain. However, many owners are also reluctant to give their pet harsh painkillers as the dog or cat can become dependent on medications and potentially lose her quality of life.

Dogs and their owners can feel relief from pain with chiropractic treatment. This is because the procedure stimulates natural endorphins that reduce or eliminate reliance on drugs, preserving your pet’s health while maintaining stability so it doesn't worsen over time.

A cat lies on her back on the floor.

Chiropractic care is non-invasive treatment

Many dogs and cats despise trips to the veterinary clinic, especially for treatments that are invasive and stressful. Chiropractic care is the perfect solution for these animals, especially those that suffer from chronic pain or injury or are easily stressed, like many cats. Not only does it provide instant relief, but there are no invasive treatments like shots, no wounds, and no need for anesthesia. Therefore, your pet can get back to her daily activities quickly without the downtime needed for invasive procedures to heal.

How can you find a certified holistic pet chiropractor?

If chiropractic care sounds like a treatment that could benefit your pet, you'll want to do some research on holistic pet chiropractors in surrounding areas. Consult with your pet's regular veterinarian for referrals and advice on selecting the right chiropractor. Only work with chiropractors who have earned certification from the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). The AVCA website provides a state-by-state list of professional and recommended pet chiropractors who have achieved AVCA certification. Never take your pet to someone who has no degrees and certification in this area of pet alternative therapies.

Two long-haired dachshunds run along the beach.

Does pet insurance cover chiropractic pet care?

Alternative therapies for animals can be expensive, especially for treatments that require multiple visits. Many pet insurance providers offer policies that include coverage for alternative therapies, like chiropractic care, physical therapy, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture. With the right pet insurance plan, you can let your pet benefit from a natural, noninvasive treatment without worrying about the costs.

Does your pet need a pet insurance plan? Follow the lead of thousands of pet owners around the world. Let Pet Insurance Review help you find the best available plans that include alternative treatments. Get a free pet health insurance quote now for your dog or cat!

 

References:

1. Jones, S. (2015). Should You Consider a Dog Chiropractor? Retrieved from https://www.caninejournal.com/dog-chiropractor/

2. Peach Creek Chiropractic. (2021). All About Dog Chiropractic. Retrieved from https://peachcreekchiropractic.com/blog/dog-chiropractic/

3. Geier, E. (n.d.). Dog Chiropractors: What They Do and How to Find the Right One. Retrieved from https://www.rover.com/blog/dog-chiropractors-what-they-do-and-how-to-find-the-right-one-for-your-dog/

4. Buzby, J. (2021). Should Your Senior Dog See a Dog Chiropractor? Retrieved from https://toegrips.com/dog-chiropractor/

5. Puotinen, CJ. (2019). Chiropractors for Canines. Retrieved from https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/care/chiropractors-for-canines/

6. Grover, A. (2014). Chiropractic Care Can Bring Out the Best in Your Cat. Retrieved from https://consciouscat.net/2014/02/24/chiropractic-care-can-bring-best-cat/

7. American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. (2021). Find a Doctor. Retrieved from https://www.animalchiropractic.org/find-a-doctor/