Red Light Therapy – An Alternative Treatment for Your Pet’s Joint Pain

Any pet owner with an older pet knows how hard it is to watch them age. Their hips and joints become stiff. They start to move slower and slower. Their muscles start to atrophy. It’s painful for them to go through, and it’s painful for you to watch. You may be wondering if there’s anything you can do for them to ease their pain.

Such was the case with a 12-year-old Havanese dog named Star. Star had started walking and running on only three of her legs, rarely putting pressure on her right back leg. The Vet had diagnosed her with mild arthritis of the hips. Without further testing, however, it was hard to know if the hip with the source of the problem. Her owner didn’t want to put her on traditional pain medications, and was looking for alternative methods to treat Star’s pain and inflammation. She decided to try red light therapy.

Red light therapy, also known as LED light therapy, or Low-Level Light Therapy, is a way to help the body heal itself. Wavelengths of light are absorbed into the center of a cell. The energy created by these wavelengths increases the energy within the cell, speeding up the body’s natural healing process. It acts like an energy booster or extra battery that helps a cell function more efficiently by bringing more red blood cells and oxygen into that cell. Red light therapy has been shown to reduce pain, inflammation, decreased circulation, bruising and swelling. It’s also used to help wounds, cuts and scrapes toheal faster.

It’s highly recommended for use after a pet has had surgery to speed up healing. It uses the same principles as the more powerful lasers your Vet may have, but it doesn’t get hot enough where protective eye wear is needed. It can be done in the privacy of your home where your pet is more comfortable.

The first time Star experienced red light therapy; she was somewhat nervous. It’s common during the first session that the pet may feel a little anxious because they have never experienced anything like this before. Still a little nervous during her second session, she was able to put weight back onto her right leg again. During the third session, gentle massage was used along with the therapy to loosen up the muscles and ligaments that were tight from the strain. The massage helped to uncover which areas were most painful for her, which helped determine where the therapy would be most effective. By the end of the fourth session, she was walking more normally, on all four legs.

Clearly, the problem was not her hip, but stiffness and pain in both her ankle and foot. The pain in her hip was caused by overcompensating as a result of the compromised ankle and foot movements. Star is now walking normally the majority of the time, and seems much more relaxed and pain free than she did weeks prior.

Red light therapy ended up being a more effective treatment for Star than pain medication. Pain meds would only have addressed the pain, and not the underlying cause of the pain. Red light therapy, however, targeted the inflammation and stiffness in her ankle, foot and hips, so not only was she in less pain, but her body was actually healing itself. For Star to use her right back leg properly, the tendons and ligaments in her ankle and foot needed to relax and have more flexion. Red light therapy and massage were key to allow this to happen.

Kisses Happen is now offering red light therapy to all our clients, canine and feline. Our large right light pad has 66 lights and can cover a large area on your pet. It is different from other light therapy pads in that it offers two wavelengths, the two that are proven to provide the most efficient healing. Each part of the body that is treated takes only 15 minutes, 2-3 times a week until your pet’s symptoms are reduced, then once a month to maintain their new pain-free condition.

Don’t Read This if You’re the Sensitive Type

I don’t normally post stories slamming the App companies like Rover or Wag. But, I had to post this one. This tragedy could have been totally avoided had the owners been better informed about the pet sitting industry, red flags to look for when hiring a pet sitter, and what to do when you’re unsure about a situation related to dog care.

The story was sent to me by a friend who found it on ( ). It’s about a family who lost a beloved dog while having a pet sitter they hired from Wag. Apparently, they hired their first Wag pet sitter when the dog was still a puppy. The first sitter worked out well. She cared for the puppy while they took a 10 day vacation. So, the couple kept using the sitter once or twice a week. The other times, the dog would go to a daycare or stay home with the owners.

You might ask yourself, if they liked the first Wag sitter, why would they send a dog to a Daycare as well? Most people use Daycares to socialize the dog with other animals. It’s nice, but unnecessary. Daycares and Boarders are risky on many levels. Even though most of them require vaccinations, your dog can still get sick. And no matter how well the daycare vets other dogs, fights will and do happen. At the end, it usually ends up costing the owner more than using a pet sitter or dog walker. There are many other reasons to choose a sitter over a boarder, but I’ll reserve that for a separate post.

Back to the story: Last December, one of the owners had a last minute engagement he had to attend. I’m assuming they couldn’t get the dog into the daycare, probably because it was during the holiday season. They couldn’t hire their favorite sitter since it was last minute and she was unavailable. So, they had to sign up for the “first available” sitter on Wag.

Such a bad idea. First of all, the dog doesn’t know the sitter. It’s absolutely imperative to schedule a “meet and greet” with your new sitter before you allow that person to care for your dog. Not only do you have to know who you’re hiring, you have to judge whether or not the dog appears compatible with the sitter. A professional pet sitter is able to establish trust almost immediately with the average dog. He or she should have several years experience with multiple satisfied customers. Otherwise, you’re taking a huge risk in hiring someone who is completely unable to handle an emergency, should it happen. And you can bet, unexpected things can happen during a walk. Dogs get spooked, dogs have boundary issues, dogs have anxiety issues – all of which is immediately recognized by a professional, experienced dog walker or pet sitter, and who knows the necessary precautions to take.

When they found the new “first available” sitter, they found that she had two profiles on the Wag App. The owner communicated to the new dog sitter through the app, asking why she had two profiles and what her real name is. The sitter never responded back. Instead of calling Wag or cancelling, the owners went forward with the sitter they were uneasy about.

You know the rest of the story. If you want the grim details, please feel free to click on the link above. But since I’m extremely passionate about this subject, let me end this article with one thought that I hope will stay with you. A dog is like a child. Before you take a shortcut when hiring someone to care for your animal, ask yourself if you would take that same shortcut if the animal was your human child. If the answer is no, then don’t do it.



Kitty Home Alone

Pete the cool catVacation time is here and you can’t wait to take off. The good news is, you won’t feel as guilty about leaving because you’re the proud caregiver of a cat instead of a dog. Everyone knows how independent cats are. And although they need the same love, they certainly don’t need the same care as a dog.

Not true. Cats are indeed different. But consider, cats DO NOTICE when you’re not around. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, there are some things to consider. [Read more…]

What’s Your Cat’s Personality?

Cats come in all sizes and colors. But did you know they all fall under five primary personality types? See below which personality type your feline friend might fall under:

Closeup of Cat [Read more…]

Preparing for your new Puppy!

Lincoln the dog

So, you want to get a puppy. Congratulations! Puppies can bring you many hours of entertainment and joy. But don’t bring a puppy into the house without adequate preparation. The wise puppy owner will be fully prepared with supplies and equipment, the right service providers and a plan for house rules as well as regular routines. [Read more…]

The Chronicles of Beckett Blue and Jack Daniel

The Tennis Ball

As brother and sister, Beckett Blue and Jack Daniel couldn’t be more Gleeful Beckett with Jack and Balldifferent from each other. Jack, the oldest, is a 7-year-old Miniature Australian Sheppard who has an intense interest in tennis balls. Beckett, a youthful 5-month old French Brittany Spaniel, is a girly girl!  She likes to flit around and get into whatever suits her fancy on any given day. And like any girly girl, she changes her mind frequently. What delights her on Monday, may become extremely boring for her on Wednesday. [Read more…]

Chewie Update

I started working with Chewie when he was 9 weeks old. I fell in love with him the moment I met him. He’s friendly, inquisitive, stubborn and cute as can be! Even as a young puppy, he Chewie7immediately warmed up to humans. If he sees a stranger on the street, all he wants to do is to walk up to the person and greet him/her. He loves men, women, and children. He’s one of the most social dogs I know. [Read more…]

My Poop Eating Pooch!

I pet sit this beautiful little puppy client on a daily basis. She lives withHappy pit bull dog her older canine brother. In the last few days I noticed that the puppy started to eat the poop of his older, male sibling. They live in a very clean, ideal setting so I decided to do a little research to learn more about why dogs do it and how they can be broken of the behavior. [Read more…]

Online Pet Sitting Directories and Apps – Buyer Beware!

More and more pet-sitter directory websites and apps are Smiling dogcontinuing to grow in the market place. As tech companies, they are often backed by venture capitalists whose main objective is turn a quick profit. The last thing on their mind is the safety of your pet. Pet owners need to learn the difference between a local professional pet sitting, dog walking business and this high tech alternative. [Read more…]

Happy Thanksgiving!

I don’t know about your household, but in mine I can almost Miles and Paisley the dogsguarantee my pets will be begging for food during Thanksgiving. Table scraps that consist of lean protein and fresh veggies are great. But also know about the hidden dangers in holiday fare. [Read more…]