Red Light Therapy For Dogs

Red Light Therapy For Dogs

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of red light therapy for people, but it might not have occurred to you that you can also use your light therapy device as a non-invasive and effective treatment for your furry friends.

Aging pets such as dogs, but also other animals, can reap the potential benefits of this low risk form of therapy with red and near infrared light. Red light therapy is great for both targeted treatments, and to boost your pet's overall health.

What Is Red Light Therapy for Pets?

Red light therapy is a type of light therapy for dogs, other pets, as well as pet owners, which uses a light emitting diode as a source of red and near infrared light.

There are several studies about the use of red light therapy in veterinary medicine which show great promise. Animals treated with red light have experienced numerous positive effects such as faster wound healing and pain relief.

Is Red Light Therapy Good for Dogs?

If you're wondering how red light therapy can help your dog, the answer is simple.

Red light therapy works in an animal's body in a similar way it does in a human's. The red and near infrared light from red light therapy devices penetrates the body at different depths. A red light therapy device will typically have several light wavelengths that belong to the red and infrared light spectrum. This ensures that you can achieve the best possible results.

On the most basic level, red light stimulates cellular regeneration and supports the metabolic processes which produce cellular energy. This means that after a red light treatment, your pet is likely to experience a significant improvement in energy levels.

But that's not all. Red light therapy is well known for promoting cellular regeneration and proliferation. On a vascular level, it supports the blood vessels while increasing blood flow. These two factors ensure that after a red light therapy treatment soft tissue injuries heal faster.

It also helps to reduce inflammation and swelling, bringing pain relief. For this reason, red LED light therapy is an excellent treatment for conditions such as joint pain.

What Dog Health Problems Can You Treat with Low Level Laser Therapy?

Animal owners who have no personal experience with low level laser therapy might be wondering: how does red light therapy work, and what ailments can you treat with it?

The answer is that red light therapy is pretty versatile. Here are just a few health problems it might help with.

Recovery after Bone Surgery

One study done on rats has shown that this form of LED or low level laser therapy can help regenerate bones faster. The controlled trial was done on four groups of animals - two control groups and two groups who received irradiation with red and near infrared light therapy. The second part of the same study was done on dogs who had previously received a dental implant. Compared to each control group, the irradiated groups in both studies experienced faster healing and shorter post-surgery recovery times.

In fact, another study showed that red light therapy for dogs going through surgery made a significant difference even when it was administered before the surgery itself.

Canine Elbow Osteoarthritis

Dogs suffering from canine elbow osteoarthritis and resulting lameness could benefit from therapy with red and near infrared wavelengths of light. Research shows that using red light therapy to treat this condition can both relieve pain and improve lameness. This indicates that this type of treatment could also help with other joint conditions, such as hip dysplasia.

Wound Healing

One of the most prominent effects of red light therapy, and the thing that makes it such an effective treatment when it comes to various skin conditions and wounds, is the fact that it boosts collagen production. Collagen is an important part of the wound healing process. Collagen provides the scaffolding on which new tissue is built when a wound closes up and a scar forms.

Red light therapy was found to promote healing in a study which researched the role of red light therapy in wound healing. The subjects of the study were horses treated with red light for a metacarpal wound. The epithelization process was much faster in the red light therapy group compared to the control group. These findings suggest that red light therapy could be an effective treatment to speed up wound healing in pets.

Skin Conditions

In humans, one of the most popular uses of photobiomodulation therapy or light therapy is for the skin. Just like in humans, red light therapy for pets can also be used to treat various skin conditions such as eczema or hot spots.

Red and infrared light therapy can target the affected area, improving blood circulation, neutralizing harmful germs and boosting the immune system. This can help the skin regain normal functions faster.

One study done on cats has even shown positive results in the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma with red light.

How Often Can I Do Red Light Therapy on My Dog?

Red light therapy is a non invasive treatment. It is completely pain free and it can be a good drug free treatment for many conditions. With no adverse effects, this is one form of treatments that most pets don't mind or even actively enjoy.

Red light therapy has been seeing more use lately in the veterinary world, so if you consult your vet, they should be able to advise you on how often you should treat your dog with red light therapy, depending on the health issues you are looking to treat.

In general, you can safely give your dog treatments with a red light therapy device several times a week for optimal results.

Red and near infrared light therapy for pets is definitely a form of treatment that you should look into if your pooch suffers from a chronic condition, or if you want to help your pet heal from an injury. Of course, red light therapy is not a cure all - it won't magically erase any illness in the world. But it can be an excellent supplemental treatment which will help your pet be happier and healthier.


  1. Infraredi. (n.d.). What is Red Light Therapy? 

  2. Sasaki, K., Calderhead, R. G., & Chin, I. (2018). Is red light therapy a beneficial antihypertensive therapy option? A systematic review of the evidence. Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 20(7), 1104–1112. doi: 10.1111/jch.13306

  3. Aimbire, F., Ligeiro de Oliveira, A. P., Albertini, R., Corrêa, J. C., Ladeira de Campos, C. B., Lyon, J. P., & Silva, J. A. Jr. (2011). Low level laser therapy (LLLT) decreases pulmonary microvascular leakage, neutrophil influx and IL-1β levels in airway and lung from rat subjected to LPS-induced inflammation. Journal of Inflammation, 8, 19. doi: 10.1186/1476-9255-8-19

  4. Avci, P., Gupta, A., Sadasivam, M., Vecchio, D., Pam, Z., Pam, N., & Hamblin, M. R. (2013). Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: Stimulating, healing, restoring. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, 32(1), 41–52.

  5. Jann, H. W. (2012). Equine wound healing: Influence of LLLT on metacarpal wound healing. Journal of Photonics & Lasers in Medicine, 5(1), 35–41. doi: 10.1515/jplm-2012-0006

  6. Mendonça, F. A. S., Passos, M. C. F., Andrade, Z. A., & Souza, M. H. L. P. (2001). Influence of low-power Ga-Al-As laser (660 nm) on bone structure and cell activity: An experimental animal study. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, 19(4), 573–577. doi: 10.1089/152591001317210894