What is Bowen Therapy for Dogs?

What is Bowen Therapy for Dogs?

Health & Safety

Bowen Therapy is a very gentle approach to treating a dog as a whole and not just any particular condition your four legged friend might be suffering from. It's a holistic manipulation of key points on the dogs body, focussing on soft tissue rather than bone. This gentle manipulation helps promote better balance in the dog and therefore may have a welcomed calming effect on the animal's nervous system. This in turn helps reduce any pain levels whilst at the same time promoting the healing process.

A Great Therapy When Combined with Homeopathy

The therapy works really well when combined with homeopathy, although on its own the treatment can work wonders when it comes to getting a dog back in 'balance', helping them to heal and offering pain relief at the same time. The technique was first developed by Tom Bowen, an Australian and was bought over to the UK in the mid eighties. Because it is such a gentle non-invasive therapy that treats the entire body, results can continue to happen and be seen up to seven days after a dog has actually undergone a manipulation session with a trained Canine Therapist – all the while improving their overall wellbeing.

Why Would You Take Your Dog To A Bowen Therapist?

Dogs who suffer from all sorts of nervous conditions can really benefit from the therapy. It is especially useful and effective on rescued dogs that may be showing signs of stress from what they have had to previously go through in their lives – it also helps them settle into a new home and lifestyle. However, Bowen Therapy is also extremely effective when other conditions are apparent and these are listed below:

  • Nervous and stressed dogs
  • Dogs suffering with arthritis
  • Dogs with neck and/or back injuries
  • Dogs with any sort of joint problems
  • Dogs showing signs of intermittent lameness and have gait problems
  • Dogs suffering strains/sprains and any kind of ligament damage
  • Dogs with muscle soreness and/or tightness
  • Dogs that are due for an operation as well as post op can benefit to help with healing process
  • Dogs that need to keep in shape – agility, working or even showing
  • Dogs suffering from epilepsy or any other sorts of seizures
  • Dogs with either/both elbow or hip Dysplasia
  • Dogs with degenerative joint disease
  • Dogs suffering with any sort of digestive complaint
  • Dogs with either eye or ear issues
  • Dogs with kidney complaints
  • Dogs suffering from any sort of allergy

The therapy helps maintain as well as improve a dog's quality of life. However, Bowen Therapy should never be considered as a treatment that could replace any veterinary attention a dog may need but rather a complimentary treatment that is useful when the dog is ill. Dog owners should always discuss any doubts they may have about taking their four legged friend to see a Bowen Therapist before booking an appointment.

What Does The Therapy Involve?

Normally, your vet will refer you to a Bowen Therapist for your dog to be treated. You may have to fill out a questionnaire so the trained therapist has a little background knowledge about your pet before they start any treatment. The therapist will want to discuss in the depth just what the problems and issues are before they start because they will need to know all the relevant information in order to access how to proceed with any therapy manipulation.

The time an owner spends discussing the problems their dog may be experiencing is a great way of settling them down before any treatment actually begins. The therapist may ask you to walk or trot your dog up and down as this will help them assess just how well or badly your pooch is moving. After this, the therapist will gently examine your dog making sure they are happy to have this done to them. All this takes a little time, because the dog needs to feel comfortable and relaxed about the situation and what is going on.

Once the therapist feels the dog is quite happy for things to proceed, they will start the gentle manipulation of soft tissues at key points along the dogs' body all the while paying close attention to how the dog reacts – in fact the dog is the one that leads the session, a therapist will never force any manipulation on an area the dog does not want them to touch. The welfare and comfort of the dog is of paramount importance at all times during a Bowen Therapy session.

The manipulation consists of very small movements over chosen key points of the dog's body which is similar to a rolling action of the fingers. In fact, therapists roll their fingers over the soft tissue, being the muscle, tendons, facia and ligaments found on the body. Although it may not actually look like the therapist is not actually doing anything, the effects of the gentle rolling manipulation is extremely powerful.

Throughout a Bowen Therapy session, the therapist will take quite a few short breaks – very often it is the dog that decides when the breaks should happen. It is during these breaks that dogs feel the changes happening in their bodies. Once the session is over, owners are given after-care sheets to keep note of any changes that occur over the following days after the session.

Will My Dog Enjoy the Therapy?

You may find the first time you take your dog is nervous and wary during at the outset of the therapy session, which is a perfectly normal reaction. However, once the therapist has earned the dog's trust and they start to feel the effects of the manipulation which can come on pretty rapidly, dogs soon feel the pain going away and subsequently really enjoy being treated. Even timid shy dogs can change characters when they arrive for their second Bowen Therapy session.

What About Working and Performance Dogs?

Bowen therapy is particularly useful as a treatment for working and performance dogs because it helps them get back in balance. Dogs that have to work or perform strenuously can be put under a lot of stress both physically and mentally. They pull muscles and ligaments, they get stressed out and become nervous. A session with a trained Bowen Therapist will put them right and get them back on track reducing any stress levels – in short the dogs become happier and more settled even when they finish work – something many working dogs find hard to do.


Responsible dog owners always want the best for their four legged buddies and when it comes to keeping them in tip top condition, a session or two with a trained Bowen Therapist can really help do just this. If you think your dog would benefit from this sort of gentle manipulation, you should first discuss the prospect with your vet and then ask them to refer you to someone who is highly trained in the art of Bowen manipulation – you will be amazed at the results and your dog will thank you forever for making their lives more comfortable.



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