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As a dog owner, it’s hard to see the dogs we love in any sort of pain. If your dog has a chronic condition, is recovering from major surgery, or even twists their leg on a walk, you’re probably exploring different ways to help relieve their pain. Drug-free pain relief options for dogs are getting more and more accessible, even in your own home, and there are many different options to try based on your dog’s needs and pain level.

If you suspect that your dog might be in pain, call your veterinarian. Some symptoms like hobbling or paralyzed limbs can be signs of a more serious condition. If your dog is recovering from an injury, these at-home pain relief options can be great options to help them feel better.

Why Use Drug-Free Dog Pain Relief Options?

Depending on why your dog is in pain, you may be looking for other options to help them feel better. If they are recovering from surgery and they are already on veterinarian prescribed painkillers but still seem to be in pain, these options might be good additions to their treatment plan.

If your dog experiences inflammation or chronic pain, you might also want something that you can do to help them recover from home. Veterinarian prescribed or over the counter drugs are good for managing pain, but other treatments can help target specific areas of your dog’s body and enhance the healing process.

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Targeted Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy for Dogs

What is targeted Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (tPEMF™) therapy? If you’ve never heard of it before, it delivers micro-currents of electromagnetic signals to different parts of the body, which has been shown to help heal damaged tissue. Targeted PEMF boosts nitric oxide in your dog’s body, which is a natural anti-inflammatory molecule. This drug-free therapy has been used in human medicine for over 40 years, with results proving that it can help speed healing and reduce both acute and chronic pain.

With the Assisi LOOP® and LOOP Lounge® Systems, you can bring this clinically proven therapy into your home. Both forms of the LOOP allow for your dog’s pain to be managed while they are sleeping or resting. This unique therapy works very well as a stand-alone treatment option or together with your current treatment plan.

Assisi LOOP®

The Assisi LOOP® is a ring that can go around different parts of your dog’s body or sit on top of areas that need targeted pain management. The treatment field for this device extends from inside of the LOOP outwards ten inches above and below the applicator coil.

The LOOP delivers a minimum of 150 15-minute treatments to ease pain and comes in two sizes to suit the needs of your dog. The smaller size, 10 cm Assisi LOOP, is good for smaller target areas like your dog’s eyes, mouth, legs, or paws. The larger size, 20 cm Assisi LOOP, is perfect to target larger areas of the body that are in pain or inflamed. The LOOP is non-invasive, easy to administer at home, and can work through any wraps, dressings, and casts that might be on your dog.

Assisi LOOP Lounge®

For dogs that need full-body relief, the Assisi LOOP Lounge is a great option, essentially acting as a dog bed that transmits the same electromagnetic current over your dog’s muscles to speed healing. The LOOP Lounge comes in four sizes, so you can choose which one is appropriate for your dog’s size and needs.

For dogs that need full-body relief but don’t like to have something on top of or over them, the LOOP Lounge is a great option. The Lounge works similarly to the standard LOOP, treating inflammation and chronic conditions, but it also works great for more full-body conditions, like intervertebral disc disease.

Acupuncture for Dogs

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Acupuncture is another therapy option that targets specific areas of your dog’s body to help relieve pain. It is shown to be most effective for conditions like hip dysplasia, ACL injuries, osteoarthritis, allergies, immune disorders, and bladder and gastrointestinal disorders. This treatment is low-risk, and involves needles being inserted into the body at points where your dog’s nerves and blood vessels come closely together. This is usually an ongoing treatment, used in addition to other pain relief practices.

Acupuncture for dogs can help reduce pain by causing the body to release cytokines, which are signals that help control inflammation of the muscles. When choosing an acupuncturist for your dog, you’ll want to make sure they are a certified veterinary acupuncturist (CVA). Some of these CVAs will already be on-staff at veterinary offices, but you can also look into the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncturists to find acupuncturists that can do home visits.

Water Therapy for Dogs

Water is known to have soothing benefits for people and dogs. Hydrotherapy is a great tool to consider for your dog’s pain management because it comes in many different forms, all of which use water as therapy. Rehabilitation centers often have underwater treadmills and pools for dogs, but you can also do some supervised hydrotherapy exercises at home. Activities like walking or swimming in water can ease pain. For smaller breeds, a kiddie pool can also offer hydrotherapy benefits.

Having your dog exercise in water can help strengthen and condition muscles that may be weaker due to injury. Water therapy is a good choice for dogs who are recovering from muscle strain or weakness. It can also help decrease inflammation.

While hydrotherapy is a great, low-impact tool, it’s often used alongside other treatments, rather than on its own. Hydrotherapy doesn’t target specific muscles in the way that acupuncture and tPEMF™ do.

Massages for Dogs

People love massages for everything from stress relief to pain management, and your dog can benefit from this too! You can take your dog to a certified dog massage therapist or learn how to massage your dog at home – it’s easier than it looks! Plus, aside from decreasing pain and targeting certain areas of your dog’s body, it can also help strengthen the bond between you.

Bernese Mountain Dog paw getting gently squeezed by a woman.
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Massaging your dog is a great tool for conditions like arthritis or muscle pain. It’s something that you can do as needed to help relieve your dog’s pain, without even leaving your couch. This type of pain relief therapy can be used in addition to other treatment methods. You can also find certified dog massage therapists near you and ask if they can come to your home for treatments.

Adding Holistic Pain Relief Treatments to Your Dog’s Care

Holistic, at-home therapies are great options to pair with other pain relief protocols. These additions can really make a difference in helping your pet not only feel better, but also heal faster. Although these are non-invasive treatments that don’t require any sort of drugs to be administered, it is important to consult your vet about the benefits of starting any new treatment. Your vet will also be able to help you decide which therapies are best to pair with your dog’s current treatment plan.

If you are looking to use alternative treatments instead of pharmaceuticals, talk to your vet before stopping any drug administration to your dog. Determining the best treatment plan for your dog is key, whether that involves drugs, therapies, or a combination of both.

At the end of the day, you want your dog to feel better, and you want to do everything that you can to ease their pain. These drug-free options are great therapies to provide continued care for your dog.

Zomedica is an animal health company dedicated to supporting veterinary practitioners by delivering the best in veterinary products and services. As a Zomedica company, Assisi devices are held to the highest standard of veterinary medicine, providing clinically proven therapy trusted by professionals and pet owners worldwide.