Clearing Your Animal’s Airways with Acupressure

The smoke-filled air from North America is affecting all of us—including our animals. Obviously, breathing is obligatory. We can’t wave a magic wand and rid the air of smoke particles, but we can give our dogs and cats some respiratory support with an acupressure session.

The intent of offering your dogs and cats this acupressure session is to help keep their airways as clear as possible. There are specific acupressure points, also called “acupoints,” that are commonly used to enhance respiration. The following acupoints have been carefully selected so you can take a few minutes and work with your animal to focus on respiration.

Lung 9 (Lu 9)

To locate Lu 9, lift the dog’s or cat’s front paw at the carpus (wrist) and tuck your forefinger under just below the joint. If your animal is happy with you holding your finger on the point while his paw is up for a slow count to 20, that’s good. If not, extend his leg down while continuing to hold Lu 9 for a slow count to 20 before moving on to the next acupoint. Repeat this process on the opposite paw.

Bladder 12- Bladder 13 (Bl 12 – Bl 13)

Find Bl 12 by placing the soft tip of your thumb between the animal’s scapula cartilage at the top of the scapula. Press lightly into acupressure point Bl 12 and then slide down to Bl 13 just past the scapula and about an inch off the spine. Repeat rubbing between Bl 12 and Bl 13 for a slow count to 20. Repeat this procedure going to the other side of the dog or cat, then move on to the next acupoint.

Conception Vessel 17 (CV 17)


This acupressure point is found on the ventral (lower) midline. Direct your hand under the dog’s or cat’s chest at the level of their elbow and feel for the midline on the chest. Place your forefinger on CV 17 and slowly count to 20.

Take a few minutes every day to sit with your favorite animal to help improve their respiratory function. It will go a long way to having them breathe more easily and be more comfortable.

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