Where to Take Care of Your Dog’s Tired Bones

Acupuncture and chiropractic care

Just like in humans, arthritis affects many aging animals and can be debilitating. Fortunately, many animals respond well to acupuncture and chiropractic treatments. Dr. Shantel Julius of Julius Rehabilitation & Integrative Veterinary Services (Hastings, 612-636-9575) has made monthly home visits adjusting Chester, one of our writers’ dogs, for years. His owner says you could see his ridiculously long basset hound spine straighten immediately. Chiropractic for Everybody (952-484-5460) also treats dogs and cats at its clinics in the Twin Cities, Rochester and St. Cloud.

Therapeutic massage and tui na

If dogs could purr, they would on Niky Bond’s massage table. The owner of Knotty Dogs Canine Massage (651-301-5556) and certified canine massage practitioner comes to your house for an hour of ultimate relaxation that can also increase flexibility. Want a DIY option? Dive down a YouTube rabbit hole to learn a bit of tui na (pronounced “twee-nah”). The traditional Chinese massage technique used on people and pets means “push and grab” and relies on finger pressure at acupuncture points to address “patterns of disharmony” in the body and promote mobility.

Digital thermography

Pets can’t tell us what hurts, but digital thermography can. A Digatherm camera allows veterinarians to determine where animals emit the most energy, which can signal pain. There is no radiation, just information. Ask your vet about this technology the next time Scooter doesn’t seem right.


Underwater treadmills are great for retraining and strengthening muscles, and honestly, they’re adorable too. Jog at Twin Cities Animal Rehab and Sports Medicine (Burnsville, 952-224-9354) and University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center (Como Park, St. Paul, 612-626-8387).

Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy

It sends an electromagnetic pulse to damaged tissue to trigger the body’s anti-inflammatory response and promote cell repair. Better yet, you can do it at home. Press the button on a collar-like device called the Assisi Loop and your pup will receive a 15-minute treatment while looking a bit like Flavor Flav (assisianimalhealth.com).

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