For a lot of people, dogs have always been the loves of their life and at the center of their heart. They never live long enough, and as they get older, it can be hard to admit that they are indeed “seniors,” entering their twilight years. Older dogs often develop certain chronic conditions, and besides finding the support of a caring, holistic vet, finding a Reiki practitioner to share Reiki with your dog can help both of you navigate the twists and turns of your aging dog’s health journey. Here are five powerful ways Reiki can help your beloved senior dogs (and other pets):
1. An improved appetite. Older dogs often get finicky about eating in their old age. Besides getting creative with food choices, Reiki is a wonderful way to support senior dogs when they just don’t seem interested in food. Many times, I’ve had the beautiful experience of the dog going over to his food bowl and finally choosing to eat, either during or just after a Reiki session. It’s amazing!
2. Physical and emotional comfort. Old dogs deal with a multitude of unsettling physical symptoms, either from disease or just old age: an unsteady gait, a tilted head, nausea, arthritis, deafness and blindness—to name a few. Sharing Reiki sessions can address these issues and help dogs feel more comfortable in their aging bodies.
3. Renewed sense of connection and belonging for the dog. Blindness and deafness can lead to fear and a sense of isolation. Dogs with one or both of these issues may begin to lie on their beds all day instead of interacting with the family. This is where Reiki can play a very important role.
4. Improved mobility. Arthritis is one of the most common chronic conditions present in senior dogs. But when dogs receive regular Reiki treatments, they often show significant signs of improvement in comfort and mobility. Some clients will show a renewed emotional sparkle, bringing toys to play with after a Reiki session, even if they haven’t shown interest in play for a very long time.
5. Additional support during hospice. It’s devastating when your dear companion is diagnosed with a terminal illness. You want to do everything you can to help—including Reiki. Reiki is a wonderful way to improve your pet’s comfort level during hospice.
I firmly believe that Reiki can be key in helping your pet fight against the side effects of the medications as well.
-adapted from an article by Kathleen Prasad originally published in the March/April 2016 issue of Dogs Naturally Magazine.