As a pet owner, you want your furry friend to be healthy and happy. When your pet is in pain or suffering from a health condition, it can be challenging to find the right treatment. One non-invasive and drug-free option that has gained incredible popularity in recent years is red light therapy. In this guide, we will explore the benefits of red light therapy for pets and how to use it effectively.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy, also known as low-level light therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation, uses specific wavelengths of light to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. The therapy has been used for decades to treat various health conditions in humans and animals. Red light therapy is non-invasive, painless, and does not require any drugs, making it an attractive option for pet owners.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work on Pets?
Red light therapy works by stimulating the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, to produce more energy. This energy production leads to increased cellular activity, which can reduce inflammation and pain. The therapy also stimulates blood flow to the affected area, which can speed up the healing process.
Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Pets
Red light therapy has numerous benefits for pets, including:
Reducing inflammation: Inflammation is a common problem in pets, especially in older dogs and cats. Red light therapy can help reduce inflammation by increasing blood flow and stimulating the immune system.
Relieves pain: Pets suffering from chronic pain due to arthritis, injuries, or other conditions can benefit from red light therapy. The therapy can stimulate the body’s natural pain-relieving mechanisms and reduce discomfort.
Promotes healing: Red light therapy can accelerate the healing process of wounds, cuts, and surgical incisions. The therapy can stimulate the growth of new cells and tissues, which can speed up the healing process.
Improves skin and coat health: Pets with skin conditions such as dermatitis, hot spots, and acne can benefit from red light therapy especially when used in conjunction with topical benzoyl peroxide. The therapy can improve skin and coat health by reducing inflammation, increasing blood flow, eliminating bacteria and stimulating the production of collagen.
Reduces anxiety: Pets suffering from anxiety or stress can benefit from red light therapy. The therapy can stimulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, and reduce anxiety symptoms.
Best Red Light Therapy Devices for Pets
There are various red light therapy devices available in the market that can be used on pets. The best devices for pets are those that can be securely applied to the animal like a flexible wrap or have been specifically designed for animal use and have the right wavelengths and irradiance outputs.
LED Light Therapy Mats/Wraps: These mats emit a low-level light that can penetrate deep into the tissue and promote healing. They are easy to use and can be placed on the pet’s bed and when they lye down you can simply turn it on.
Handheld Devices: Handheld devices are great for targeting specific areas of the body that need treatment. They are portable and easy to use, making them ideal for pet owners on the go. Example is the Lightning Bolt.
Light Therapy Collars: These collars are designed to be worn around the pet’s neck and emit a low-level light that can promote healing and reduce inflammation. Example is the Miniflex.
Large Panels: Especially useful for horses as they can be hung above the stables and controlled remotely on certain models. Some of these can also be used with electric hoists to allow them to be remotely lifted up and down to the perfect level.
How to Use Red Light Therapy on Pets
Before using red light therapy on your pet, it is best to consult with a veterinarian to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your pet’s condition. Here are some tips for using red light therapy on pets:
Start with a low power output: It is best to start with a low power output and gradually increase it as your pet becomes accustomed to the therapy if your device has intensity settings. Otherwise position your pet further away from the light and gradually move it closer once it is comfortable.
Use the device as directed: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using a red light therapy device on your pet.
Be consistent: Consistency is key when using red light therapy on pets. It is best to use the device regularly to achieve the best results.
Red Light Therapy for Specific Pet Conditions
Red Light Therapy for Cats: Red light therapy can be used to treat various conditions in cats, including arthritis, wounds, and skin conditions. The therapy can help reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and promote healing.
Red Light Therapy for Dogs: Dogs can benefit from red light therapy for arthritis, joint pain, skin conditions, and anxiety. The therapy can reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and promote healing.
In this study published in 2022 by the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs with bilateral hip osteoarthritis, as a mere example, concluded that Red Light Therapy reduced pain levels and improved clinical findings in dogs.
Red Light Therapy for Horses: Red light therapy can be used to treat various conditions in horses, including arthritis, tendon injuries, and muscle soreness. The therapy can reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and promote healing.
Red Light Therapy for Pet Anxiety: Red light therapy can help reduce anxiety in pets by stimulating the production of serotonin and reducing inflammation. The therapy can be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as medication and behavioural therapy.
In conclusion, red light therapy has shown potential benefits for pets in various ways, such as promoting wound healing, reducing pain and inflammation, improving joint mobility, reducing anxiety and enhancing skin and coat health.
The more research that is conducted, the more promising results regarding the effectiveness and safety of red light therapy for pets. Pet owners should always consult with their veterinarian if their pets have undergone certain operations and or under current medications.
In the words of Tania Carli, who treated her 15 year old dog named Rozie with a Leredd flexible wrap
“This has helped so much with arthritis, especially in my old dogs. Nothing short of a miracle.“
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