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Soothing Canine Souls: How Reiki helps Alleviate Anxiety in Dogs

As beloved members of our families, dogs often experience anxiety just like humans do. Whether it's triggered by separation, loud noises, or unfamiliar environments, anxiety can significantly impact a dog's well-being. While conventional treatments exist, such as medication or behavioral therapy, animal companions are increasingly turning to alternative methods like Reiki to provide comfort and relief to their anxious companions. In this article, we explore the practice of Reiki and its potential benefits in calming anxious dogs.


Understanding Reiki:

Reiki is a holistic healing technique that originated in Japan and is based on the principle of channeling universal life energy to promote balance, relaxation, and healing. The word "Reiki" consists of two Japanese words: "Rei," which means universal, and "Ki," which means life energy.


Practitioners of Reiki believe that by transferring this healing energy through their hands (in physical space or over distances), they can stimulate the body's natural ability to heal itself and restore balance on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.


How Reiki Works for Dogs:

When it comes to dogs, Reiki is applied similarly to how it is for humans. A Reiki practitioner will use gentle touch or non-contact methods to transmit healing energy to the dog. This energy flows through the practitioner's hands for the purpose of addressing imbalances in the dog's energy field and promoting relaxation and reducing stress.


A person hovers hands over a dog as people are sitting in the background.

Pictured: Rev. Marshall offers non-contact reiki to a dog at a noisy social gathering. She had been exhibiting signs of uneasiness and behaviors that indicated she was feeling quite anxious. Within moments, she went into a deep restful state as shown in this photo. Photo used with permission from the dog's guardian.


Reiki treatments for dogs involve the following steps:

  1. Preparation: The practitioner creates a calm and quiet environment, free from distractions, where the dog can feel at ease. (Reiki for Today offers in-home Reiki locally and remote sessions all over the world.)

  2. Connection: The practitioner establishes a connection with the dog, either through gentle touch or by directing energy from a distance. Rev. Marshall seeks and confirms consent from the dog in person or remotely before beginning the reiki treatment.

  3. Healing: Energy is transmitted to the dog, focusing on areas of tension, discomfort, or anxiety. Rev. Marshall takes note of any areas which feel imbalanced.

  4. Response: The dog may exhibit signs of relaxation, such as sighing, yawning, or lying down comfortably, indicating a positive response to the Reiki session.

  5. Integration: After the session, the dog is given time to integrate the healing energy, allowing for any shifts or changes to take place gradually. Rev. Marshall likes to check in with the guardian a few days after the treatment to learn what was noticed during the integration period.

Potential Benefits of Reiki for Dogs with Anxiety:

  • Stress Reduction: By promoting deep relaxation, Reiki helps alleviate stress and anxiety in dogs, allowing them to feel calmer and more at ease in their environment.

  • Emotional Healing: Reiki can address emotional imbalances in dogs, providing comfort and support during times of distress, grief, or trauma.

  • Physical Comfort: In addition to its emotional benefits, Reiki may also help relieve physical discomfort associated with anxiety, such as tense muscles or digestive issues.

  • Improved Well-being: Regular Reiki sessions can contribute to overall well-being in dogs, enhancing their quality of life and fostering a stronger bond between canine companions and owners.


It's important to note that while Reiki can complement conventional veterinary care, it should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment. Canine companions should always consult with a qualified veterinarian to address any underlying health issues or concerns.


In a world where anxiety is prevalent among both humans and animals, finding effective ways to alleviate stress and promote well-being is paramount. Reiki offers a gentle and non-invasive approach to supporting anxious dogs, tapping into the power of universal life energy to bring comfort, relaxation, and healing. As more people recognize the benefits of holistic therapies like Reiki, our canine companions can continue to thrive in mind, body, and spirit.


A person with their hands on a dog

Pictured: A dog receiving gentle touch reiki in his home from Rev. Marshall. Post-treatment, this dog's guardian shared a testimonial: "Put at ease by Marshall's calming presence, he was comfortable with the process immediately- a rarity, given his high energy levels. Marshall's work noticeably helped him relax and recenter."

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