What is Reiki for Dogs?

by Sundays

Grey dog breed with eyes closed by the water

If you’re wondering how to do Reiki for dogs, exactly what’s involved, and what kind of benefits you and your dog can get, we’ve got the answers for you.

You may have heard of people using Reiki for dogs, but if someone asked you what it is, could you explain it? Most people probably couldn’t. 

If you’re wondering how to do Reiki for dogs, exactly what’s involved, and what kind of benefits you and your dog can get, we’ve got the answers for you.

Then you can decide if you want to try out Reiki for dogs–whether at home with your forever friend, or as a certified Reiki master.

So, what is Reiki for dogs?

In the most simple terms, Reiki is a way to channel the energy of the universal life force and send it to a person or animal. “Rei” means higher knowledge, spiritual consciousness, or universal life, and “ki” means life energy. So “Reiki” means universal life force energy.

With Reiki, you use your hands to direct the energy through you and into your pet’s body at specific points. If you start getting really into Reiki, they’ll refer to these specific points as chakras. 

Both people and pets have chakras. When a certain area or chakra is blocked, you can seem unbalanced. There are seven main chakras that most will agree on:

- The crown: top of the head

- The third eye: middle of the forehead

- Throat: neck

- Heart: chest

- Solar plexus: halfway down the back

- Sacrum: lower back

- Root: base of tail

Then some people say that dogs have two additional chakras, and other sites insist that dogs have even more. But to do Reiki healing for dogs, you don’t have to focus on chakras or even know what they are. 

Where did Reiki healing for dogs begin?

Some sources say that Reiki originated in India, then passed through Tibet and China, and was finally rediscovered in the 1920s in Japan. The man credited for the current, most popular type of Reiki practiced today is Mikao Usui. He studied medicine, psychology, and religion. He went to a sacred mountain to meditate and fast and came back with the idea of healing through Reiki.

How does Reiki help dogs?

There are many ways that Reiki is said to benefit people and dogs. Whether you believe in the practice of Reiki or not, there is no denying that it’s a special bonding time between you and your pet. When you do Reiki, you shut out any distractions and focus only on sending positive energy to your pup, so this one-on-one time is a benefit in itself.

Beyond that, people claim that Reiki can help in many situations:

- Helping calm dogs that have just come out of surgery to promote faster healing

- Providing relaxation and stress-relief for dogs that are anxious or have separation anxiety

- Giving dogs comfort when Reiki is sent to the pet from a pet parent that’s away

- Helping animals that are grieving

- Comforting pregnant dogs

- Calming dogs in shelters

- Helping dogs that have been abused or neglected

- Easing behavioral or physical issues

Can I do Reiki healing for my dog at home?

Yes, you can perform Reiki at home, but it’s important to remember that it should not replace going to the veterinarian if your dog is having any symptoms or you have any concerns about behaviors. Reiki is not a cure-all, but a complementary practice for healing.

So how exactly do you do a Reiki session? 

The most important thing to know before you begin is that Reiki should always be done as an invitation or offering of energy, and should never be forced on an animal. They decide whether they want to accept it or not. 

The first step is to tune into a positive emotion. This will be easy if you think about your pet and how much you love them. Make sure you have that positive feeling before you pass your energy on to your pet.   

You don’t have to know where your dog’s chakras are to do this. You can start near their neck or head, and move down their spine, focusing on any areas that you know might need healing energy. 

If it’s your own pet and they are comfortable with touch, you can gently touch them in the area where you want to start. If they are sitting or standing, you can put one hand on each side of their body, directed toward that spot. It’s okay also if they are lying down; you can just use one hand. If your pet seems nervous, you can also use one hand to gently pet them from their head down their spine and the other to focus on the one area. You’ll soon find out what works for them.

If your pet gets up and walks away at any point, let them do so. They may come back to continue the session, or they may not. Just hold on to the positive vibe and see what they want to do. 

If you are trying to do Reiki for a pet you don’t know or a stray, it will still work if you are not touching them. Just hold your hands away from their body to a point where they are comfortable. You can also use earplugs to help you focus and meditate. 

How to take your doggy Reiki skills to the next level

If you want to go even further with your Reiki practice, you can look into classes that are taught by Reiki masters. Check out the directory with the International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork (IAAMB) to find a practitioner. You can also try out classes to become a Let Animals Lead practitioner through the Shelter Animal Reiki Association.

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