I am constantly surprised, or should that be ‘pleased’, to see people who treat their dogs as part of the family rather than just guard dogs or furry toys. The majority of humans these days have realised that dogs are so much more than ‘just’ an animal with four paws and a tail. We see them as sentient beings with hopes (hope I get a walk today!) and fears (did she just say the vet word?). So when they get ill or start acting in a different way we go out of our way to help them. This is where reiki for dogs can come in useful.
Let’s begin by explaining what exactly reiki is. Some of you may have had the pleasure of having a reiki treatment yourself, as this is where most practitioners work, with humans. Reiki is essentially a Japanese energy therapy that was rediscovered by Dr Mikao Usui in 1922. The story goes that he was at the end of a 21-day spiritual quest on top of a mountain when he suddenly became enlightened and was made aware of the reiki energy and sacred symbols.
Dr Mikao Usui then began practising it on his friends and family. It was so successful that he was soon offering it to people all over Japan. He began to train a few others in the practice of reiki when demand for the healing became too much for him alone. However, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that reiki spread around the world and began to be offered as a holistic therapy for people.
How does reiki for pets work?
The practice of reiki involves a qualified practitioner directing energy through their hands which then helps to balance and centre the animal. Imagine an energetic field around every being. This can get depleted from time to time and can be the cause of various issues. Reiki corrects the balance and allows the animal to heal themselves. It is a very gentle and non-invasive holistic healing for animals and has no negative side effects.
In Hinduism they talk of chakras – energy centres that can be found along the subtle body of people and animals. Many other ancient traditions speak of energy points in the body and they are thought to be where the life-force (Chi or Ki) meet the body. Dog’s have chakras and you can even find dog chakra charts showing where they are located along the body. Some reiki practitioners work with healing crystals for dogs. I like to keep the reiki simple and pure so crystal healing for animals is not something I personally do. That’s not to say it isn’t effective though.
Why do dogs need reiki healing?
Just like us humans, dogs can suffer from the same problems in life such as stress, anxiety and fear. Of course, they also suffer physical issues throughout their lives too. We’ve all heard of (or had) dogs that suffer from anxiety or bad behaviour brought on by fear or worry. From what I have experienced as an animal reiki practitioner, dogs respond to reiki very well when it comes to anxiety. It seems to completely relax them and the anxiety appears to melt away.
Dogs and other domesticated animals are effectively living in an unnatural environment. Although dogs have not been roaming the countryside for hundreds of years as wild dogs, they still have those natural instincts that cannot be altered. So living in the human environment can cause stress over time. Things like loud music, TV’s, children being children and many other factors can make dogs feel like they are not on natural ground.
I was asked to help out an adorable little dog called Molly who had very bad anxiety and separation issues. She would follow her owner all around the house and when she had to be left at the ladies mum’s house for a few hours she would pine all the time.With one reiki session, it had gone. The lady told me the next day that it was like Molly was a completely different dog! So much more relaxed and at peace with life. This has continued to this day. And that’s just one reiki session. Many dogs will need more than one session but it just goes to show how effective animal reiki healing can be.
Reiki on dogs can also help with physical problems. If your dog is recovering from an operation you may find a few reiki sessions will help them recover a lot quicker, and the relaxing nature of reiki ensures your animal companion is more comfortable during the healing stage. It’s a wonderful way to help speed up the dog’s own natural healing processes. It can certainly help with pain relief too.
The use of energy healing for dogs has increased markedly in recent years with both pet owners, animal sanctuaries, veterinarians and animal behaviourists. They have seen how reiki healing can reduce tension, fears and stress in dogs and how it can help transform them into happy, healthy canine friends.
Other ways reiki can help dogs:
- Pain relief
- Improve their immune systems
- Help with terminally ill dogs
- Reduce stress, tension and anxiety
- Promote self-healing from wounds and surgery
- Help them be more relaxed and at peace
- Increase the bond between them and you
Will my dog enjoy reiki healing?
From my own experience with offering reiki on dogs, I can say they really do love it, but it must never be forced on them. In fact, you probably couldn’t anyway, as they will either move out of the way or give you a look that you know means ’NO’!
When I go to a client to see their dog I try to ensure we are all happy before beginning the reiki healing. By having a chat with the human in the same room as the dog it helps to relax the dog, knowing that this new person is not a threat. It’s also important to get some background before commencing dog reiki. A lot of dogs will come over for strokes beforehand which is a great way to further that bond before starting the reiki, but for those who have emotional trauma, it may require another tactic.
For this, I would just sit and open up the reiki energy into the room. It may take a few minutes but once you have created that peaceful space it usually ends up with the dog coming over to enjoy the reiki vibes. This is working at the dog’s pace which I feel is very important. By letting them choose to take the reiki energy we are not making any demands of them and it can facilitate a better result.
What if my dog doesn’t like the hands-on approach?
When offering reiki energy for dogs, we need to work with the pet as an individual and respect their boundaries. Not all animals will respond in the same way. Some might love the hands-on healing approach whilst others will prefer it with hands off. This is a technique that I actually favour as I can feel the energy better than doing hands-on. There are times when the laying on of hands is better and most of the time I am guided by my intuition. When working with reiki you are connecting with the other being on a spiritual level which brings with it a deeper understanding that can only be described as intuition.
If your dog is timid or fearful they will not want a hands-on session or even a non-touch healing session. For those unfortunate dogs I would either ‘beam’ the reiki to the animal or just send the reiki out into the room and the dog can take it from there. Reiki does not require you to be right next to the animal. Which leads us on to the next question…
How does distant reiki healing work?
Also known as remote or distance healing, this is an invaluable tool to reiki practitioners. When someone is attuned to level 2 reiki they are taught how to send reiki to another person, animal or event through distant healing. I will be writing a comprehensive article on how distant reiki sending works in the near future so look out for that.
The main thing is it does work! I have seen it time and time again. Clients have called me the next day to say their animal seems so much better and the fact that they are an animal removes the placebo effect argument.
Distant reiki sending is ideal for animals that are aggressive or extremely scared. It can also be useful when treating wildlife that will not allow you to get near to them. Sometimes working with animal sanctuaries and zoos can yield great results like this.
Energy healing for animals in shelters
Bringing reiki into animal shelters and rescue centres is something that can have such a positive effect on the animals. We often see fearful, depressed and aggressive dogs in shelters. These can all benefit from some peaceful reiki sessions. It allows them to let go of the emotional issues that have stemmed from being abandoned, abused or from losing their human companions. When we can alleviate the anxiety and negativity from these dogs they become much happier, calmer and therefore ready for rehoming. It breaks my heart to hear about dogs that have been in shelters for years. Of course, the shelter workers are doing a fantastic job but if we can utilise reiki to get those dogs ready to be re-homed then we are making a real difference. And if we can help those in shelters that normally have to put those dogs down… well, we are helping to save lives too.
How many reiki sessions will my dog need?
This really depends on upon the dog and their illness. I have seen amazing results from just one session. Results that make you think there must be something else causing the effect it is so profound! Other times we can see steps of improvement, but a succession of reiki treatments may yield the full result we are looking for.
I worked with a dog that had aggressive issues and that took 6 sessions. Yet every session made significant improvements and by the end of it the owners couldn’t believe it was the same dog. They now take the dog out in public with no fear of it attacking anyone and it has even won a few awards at a dog show!
A holistic approach to healing pets
Reiki for pets is not an alternative therapy. We call it a complementary therapy as it works in conjunction with other veterinary treatment or holistic therapies to relieve symptoms and encourage recovery. By using it as a holistic approach you can ensure your pet gets the best help they can get.
Of course, reiki energy helps dogs that are unwell but it is also an excellent way to ensure your canine friend stays healthy in a preventative way. That’s not to say by getting a reiki session once a month will stop your dog getting ill, as we all fall ill at some point. However, reiki works to restore balance to the whole being so they are balanced emotionally, physically and mentally. And the great thing is it can be done morning, day or night. Even when the dog is asleep!
Using reiki for dogs is not something that should be seen as a replacement for veterinary care. As a qualified reiki practitioner, I always work by the code of conduct and ethics provided by The Reiki Council. You must have had consent from your vet to allow reiki treatment before I can offer any. Thankfully, most vets are more than happy as long as you take their advice regarding any treatments they suggest too.
Reiki for dogs really does get their tail wagging – and their love for life renewed. One of the things I love about reiki for dogs is how it brings peace into their lives. It’s like we’re pulling the mists of negativity from their being and letting them live their lives in the light. Try a reiki session for your dog and see how it can have such a positive change to their lives. I look forward to helping you and your dog soon!Book a Reiki Session for Your Dog