Chiropractic care is becoming an increasingly popular holistic treatment option for maintaining canine health and wellness. But many pet owners wonder – how much does it cost to have your dog seen by a chiropractor?
In this article, we’ll break down the average fees, factors that impact pricing, insurance coverage, and tips for finding affordable chiropractic care for your pup. Read on to make informed decisions about this important aspect of dog healthcare.
Pet chiropractic care focuses on alignment of the spine to improve overall function and mobility. Regular spinal adjustments can prevent or address issues like pain, decreased range of motion, gait abnormalities, and poor performance.
While not a substitute for traditional veterinary care, chiropractic treatments are a proactive way to optimize wellness and prevent more serious health problems in dogs. When included as part of a comprehensive wellness plan, chiropractic care offers many benefits for canine health and quality of life.
How Much Does a Dog Chiropractor Cost?
On average, pet owners can expect to spend between $35 and $250 per chiropractic visit. However, prices ultimately depend on your specific location and individual provider.
Some typical charges include:
- Initial consultation: $100 – $250
- Follow-up adjustment: $35 – $100
- X-rays: $100 – $300
- Therapy or rehabilitation of dog chiropractic session costs between $50 – $150
- Packages or wellness plans: 15-30% discount when prepaid in packages
Urban clinics often charge over $200 for the first visit, while rural clinics may be under $100. Discounts are common when treatments are purchased in bulk packages.
According to WagWalking.com, the majority of owners can expect chiropractic care to cost between $50 and $200 per session, which is roughly equivalent to conventional physiotherapy.
At Simcoe Muskoka Animal Chiropractic the initial assessment and treatment for canine chiropractic is priced at $100, with follow-up appointments and treatments at $55.
CanineJournal.com mentions that the cost of a dog chiropractor can range from $50 to $200 per session, with prices varying based on the location and the age, condition, and behavioral disposition of the individual dog.
At ChiropractorForAnimals.com the initial visit for small animal treatment, including dogs, cats, and exotics, is priced at $85, with follow-up visits at $55 and follow-up re-evaluations at $70.
What is Dog Chiropractic?
Chiropractic care for dogs involves applying controlled force and movement to the spinal joints and musculoskeletal system. Certified veterinary chiropractors use their hands to apply precise adjustments that realign the spine and restore normal nerve function.
The goal of chiropractic treatment is to remove interference and imbalance in the nervous system by correcting joint dysfunction or “subluxations”. This helps the body regulate and heal itself. Specific techniques used in dog chiropractic may include:
- Spinal manipulation and mobilization
- Stretching, massage, and range of motion exercises
- Therapeutic ultrasound or electrical muscle stimulation
Regular chiropractic adjustments can help manage pain, improve mobility, aid recovery from injury, optimize athletic performance, and prevent compensatory patterns that lead to more serious issues over time. It is considered a safe, drug-free way to support overall wellness in dogs of all ages.
Factors Influencing the Cost
Several factors impact the cost of dog chiropractic services:
- Type of service – Prices will vary for the initial exam, follow-up adjustments, x-rays, and rehabilitative therapies.
- Chiropractor’s expertise – Those with advanced certifications or many years of experience often charge higher fees.
- Clinic location – Fees tend to be higher in major metro areas versus rural areas.
- Frequency and duration – More frequent or long-term treatments generally have lower per-session costs.
Insurance and Chiropractic Care
Pet insurance can offset some of the costs of dog chiropractic treatment, depending on the plan.
- Many policies cover therapies for injury rehabilitation or pain management.
- Carefully review policy details to confirm coverage. Chiropractic may fall under rehabilitation, alternative therapies, or specialist care.
- Average reimbursement is 70-90% after the deductible is met. Reimbursement amounts may be capped.
- Pre-approval may be required for the insurer to cover chiropractic costs.
Consult your veterinarian on whether they think insurance claims for chiropractic care will be approved. Keep detailed receipts from the chiropractor for submittal.
Choosing the Right Dog Chiropractor
Not all chiropractors are equal – be selective when choosing someone to treat your dog.
- Look for certification from the AVCA (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association) or IVCA (International Veterinary Chiropractic Association). This ensures proper training and qualifications.
- Ask about the provider’s education, years of experience treating dogs, and continuing education. Look for advanced knowledge in canine anatomy and physiology.
- Make sure the chiropractor works cooperatively with your veterinarian. Communication between providers is essential.
- Consider reviews and testimonials from past clients. A skilled, caring chiropractor is crucial.
- Evaluate the clinic’s facilities and protocols – they should be clean, professional, and calm.
Taking these steps helps find a knowledgeable chiropractor you can trust to provide quality care for your dog. Don’t hesitate to ask questions!
Alternatives to Chiropractic Care
Other holistic modalities to consider for canine health and mobility include:
- Massage therapy – Relaxes muscles, increases blood flow, and relieves tension.
- Acupuncture – Stimulates specific body points to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Laser therapy – Uses light waves to accelerate healing of tissues and nerves.
- Hydrotherapy – Water environment improves mobility and reduces weight-bearing.
- Supplements – Glucosamine, fish oil, etc. support joint health.
Chiropractic care is most impactful for musculoskeletal issues, pain conditions, performance concerns, and spinal dysfunctions. Work with your vet to determine if it should be included in your dog’s wellness plan.
While chiropractic care represents an added cost for pet owners, the benefits for optimizing canine health and longevity make it a worthwhile investment. Fees vary based on provider expertise, location, treatment frequency/duration, and other factors. On average, costs range from $35 – $250 per session.
Review your pet insurance policy carefully – many cover some portion of chiropractic treatments with pre-approval. Finding a skilled chiropractor, you trust is very important. Combining chiropractic with other holistic modalities can provide comprehensive wellness care tailored to your dog’s needs and your budget.
With an informed, selective approach, chiropractic care can be affordable while providing big rewards for your dog’s comfort, mobility, and quality of life.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to expect after a chiropractic adjustment for a dog?
After an adjustment, you may notice improvements in things like range of motion, posture, gait, and willingness to move. Your dog may be brighter and more energetic as nerve function improves.
Mild muscle soreness or fatigue are common and resolve within 24-48 hours. Significant changes could take several adjustments over weeks. Follow all post-care recommendations to support the treatment.
Are chiropractic adjustments safe for dogs?
Yes, chiropractic is considered a very safe therapy when performed by a properly certified veterinary chiropractor. Techniques are adapted to each patient’s size and condition.
Serious risks like fractures are extremely rare. Mild side effects like temporary soreness may occur. Overall, the risks are very low compared to the benefits.
What not to do after chiropractic adjustment?
Avoid strenuous activity, jumping, stairs, or rough play for at least 24 hours after an adjustment. Restricting movement helps joints settle into place.
Follow all instructions from your veterinary chiropractor, which may include resting, ice/heat therapy, gently stretching or exercising the area, or continuing prescription medications. Staying aware of your dog’s response and communicating with the chiropractor is key.