Complementary Therapy for Dogs.


At Holidays4Dogs we take an interest in all aspects of dog health and welfare. This article will consider some of the more well-known approaches to complementary therapy for dogs. 


When it comes to the care of animals, complementary therapy is still a highly debated treatment amongstdog laying down at vet professionals and lay-men alike. While many people swear by complementary medicine, others are highly dubious about the health benefits which can be achieved.

Complementary therapists should always work alongside a trained vet and only operate by referral from a conventional veterinary practitioner.

However, non-conventional medicine, or therapy, should not be considered as an ‘alternative’ to traditional and qualified veterinary care.

The British Veterinary Association do not endorse medicines, or treatments, that claim to have therapeutic benefits without proven efficacy.

However, they do acknowledge that some veterinarians and owners may wish to use complementary therapy for dogs and other animals. You can read the full statement here. If you feel complementary therapy would be beneficial to your pet, ask your vet about options available.


This is a system of medicine, the principle of which is to cure using, ‘like for like’. In short, the theory dictates that a substance taken in minuscule amount, will cure the same symptoms it would cause, if taken in large quantities.

Many vets in the UK are members of the British Association of Homeopathic veterinary Surgeons (BAHVS) which ensures the highest standards of practice. Therefore, it is encouraging to know that with such support, there are a growing number of vets who use homeopathy as their main practice.


Modern vets are increasingly beginning to understand the benefits of nutritionally supporting the immune system to aid healing and recovery. Complementary therapy for dogs in the form of herbalism is said to achieve this. For interest, you can read more about herbal remedies for dogs in our other Holidays4Dogs article here. Should you feel this may be of benefit to your pet, seek advice from your vet.


The object of this therapy is to re-balance the circle of energy flow in the body. Crucially, the technique involves fine needles inserted into specific points within the body. This is an ancient Eastern philosophy and, according to its belief, relates to the continuous flow of energy around the body.


Hydrotherapy often aids recuperating animals and is a popular complementary therapy for dogs. The Canine Hydrotherapy Association can provide details of dog swimming pool centres who abide by the CHA code of practice.

Chiropractic care.

A chiropractor will look for abnormalities in the animal’s movement and/or posture. Therapy consists of short, firm thrusts to certain areas of the body to alleviate muscle spasm. This helps return the joints to a more natural state of movement.

Always consult your veterinary surgeon first and foremost.

There is a lot of information about complementary therapy for dogs available on the internet. While this is very useful, it is always wise to check your sources carefully.

A holistic practitioner will aim to take a broader look at the animal in question, with the intention of treating the root cause.

There are a many vets U.K. wide who practice complementary medicine for all animals. In some cases, pet insurance policies will provide cover for this, where appropriate. For referral, speak with your veterinary surgeon.

Final thoughts.

At Holidays4Dogs we have several staff with an interest in complementary therapy for dogs, including natural healing. There is much better communication nowadays between conventional vets and those who practice complementary therapies. As a result, this can only be a positive step towards the greater good of our pets.


Note. Complementary medicine, or therapy, should not be regarded as a substitute for conventional medical care. Neither must it delay treatment with conventional medicine. Failing to provide your dog with protection from, “pain, suffering, injury, or disease” (Defra Animal Welfare Act 2006) could result in prosecution.