Reiki for Dogs – a quick how to guide by Sarah Berrisford

reiki for dogs

How to do Reiki on Dogs

Can I give my dog Reiki? How do I do Reiki on dogs? How do I know if I’m doing it right?

These are all common questions I often hear. The simple answer is ‘yes’ of course you can share Reiki with your dogs, simply let it flow!

For some people and their animals this works just fine, however, sometimes it doesn’t quite go to plan, so here’s a quick ‘how to guide’ to set you on your way.

Setting the Scene

Whenever possible I like to share Reiki with dogs in a place they feel comfortable, a place where they often relax, try not to change everything and then expect the dog to suddenly go to sleep as soon as you start the treatment. It’s very simple, but a common issue encountered, the dog becomes excited in the new area he is in, he wants to sniff, jump around and generally be a dog!

Just imagine taking your child to a Theme Park and then trying to give them a Reiki treatment, yes Reiki will still go to your child, but don’t expect them to lie down and go to sleep on the nearest bench!

Prepare Yourself

It is important to prepare yourself before giving Reiki to dogs. If you are feeling a surge of emotion, whether it is anxiousness, excitement, sadness or so on, the dog will feel it, more so than if you are working on a human.

We can overcome this by working on ourselves at the beginning of the treatment. We can use the Hatsurei exercise or perhaps connect to Reiki and become aware of each part of our body in turn. Focus the Reiki energy on any parts of your body that are holding emotion. If you are finding it hard to release the emotion, think of replacing it with love.

Once our energy is ready, then it is time to begin…

Connecting with your dog

Now that you have set the scene and prepared yourself, let energy flow to your dog. You do not need to go straight over to the dog and touch him! Keep your hands to yourself for a while and just focus on the connection.

You could be around twenty minutes getting the energy flow going between you and the dog, don’t rush – enjoy feeling the connection.

Once the energy flow is there and you can feel that there is an energetic two way connection, you may feel drawn to go over to the dog and place your hands on or near to him. Some animals prefer hands off, hovering a few inches away from them.

It is important to overcome the need to touch the dog. Many practitioners feel that they would always like their hands to be touching the animal, this isn’t always what the animal wants. Put your heart in your hand, listen to your intuition and the dogs’ reaction as to whether you send Reiki from across the room, have hands on or hands a few inches away.

Let go of all expectation and enjoy the connection!

Over to you

How do you use Reiki with your dog? How does your dog like to be treated?

Post a message below to let us know.

Interested in learning more about Animal Reiki?

equine reiki for horses courseSarah Berrisford specialises in writing about and teaching Equine and Animal Reiki. If you’re interested in learning more about how to treat dogs and other animals, then follow these links:

Animal Reiki book or Animal Reiki eBook

Animal Reiki practitioner live training course

Animal Reiki home study course




Photo credit: David Mertl


15 thoughts on “Reiki for Dogs – a quick how to guide by Sarah Berrisford

  1. I have used Reiki on my dog after a traumatic operation, he was in alot of discomfort and unable to settle, I put him in his favorite spot near a sunny window and began to focus on the connection with him then put some reiki music on which seemed to help him get into a very relaxed zone. As I started to chanel the reiki he feel into a deep healing sleep, I did this for a couple of days and his recovery was outstandingly quick, the vet was even surprised at his speedy improvement. It worked so quickly I was amazed myself.

  2. Reiki is not only a wonderful healing option for dogs, I know a few dogs who have been initiated in reiki too. Most interesting. 😛

  3. I have two dogs and the older of the two asks for Reiki every day. He just taps me with his nose. He likes me to place my hands on him. He stays completely still and when he decides that’s enough he wags his tail, licks my hand and walks away. My other dog doesn’t like me to lay my hands on her so I send her Reiki remotely and she just goes to sleep, she loves cuddles but isn’t too sure about Reiki so I’ve only given it to her a couple of times.
    My older dog is a lot more energetic and the stiffness in his front paws has greatly improved.

  4. I have used reiki on both my dogs, but the most satisfying has been the anxious rescue dog. Given up to the rehoming shelter as aggressive, he had never been socialised or given boundaries and was very jumpy and growled at his own shadow! When he got to a point where he would lay beside me and relax a little I rest my hand on him and let reiki flow, he is becoming far more chilled and relaxed and with some help from a behaviourist his whole demeanour is improving dramatically! Love it!! ? Thank you reiki.

  5. I used Reiki to introduce a traumatized cat into a house with 4 other cats. a couple of years ago I adopted a cat when my friend passed away suddenly. Her cat was left alone in the house with her for 3 days before they found her, She had rescued the cat a year before this. First I did reiki on my 4 cats talking to them each individually and telling then about this new cat. Then I used reiki on the carry kennel that I brought her home in. Then I did reiki on the new cat before putting her in the kennel to bring her home. When we arrived at home I put her kennel in a bedroom with water and food and left the door open for her. One of my cats layed down in front of the door and waited patiently for the new cat to come out of the room which took 2 days… In the end there was no Fighting, no Growling, no establishing of a pecking order…Just acceptance from all of the cats. It was a beautiful experience.

  6. Thanks for all of your comments everyone! Lovely experiences – Reiki is wonderful and I think we all get that extra bonus working with animals 😀

  7. Hello Taggart and team. I often use reiki on my dogs, my elderly chap has just sadly gone over the rainbow bridge at 14 years old, but he loved to chill and have reiki for his hip pain. My mama dog is 4 and has begun to have seizures in the last few months, no reason found, she is on meds and CBD oil, but reiki has been very relaxing for her too, and Skye enjoys hands on. The puppy is 16 mths and is happy to snuggle close by but doesn’t appreciate being touched when she has reiki. All different! ?. Nice to be able to share, if I’m doing hatsurei I soon have company! ?. Hope you are well, and happy we are at last moving forward a little from the pandemic. Steady does it tho… take care. Rose x

    1. Dear Rose, I was sorry to hear about your dog sadly passing, and I am glad that you have been able to use Reiki to help your other dogs.

  8. My Silken windhound Goske is afraid of thunderstorms, and when it’s due, I know beforehand for he will come and stand next to me and work his head under my hand to indicate he wants reiki. Just a few minutes – hand on his shoulder – and he’s calm and happy again.
    Before him, I had Finn, also a Silken windhound, who did exactly the same, the others don’t worry. Another experience is with Fonyah my Irish wolfhound. She had a sore foot, but when I tried to reiki it, she pulled it away, so I stopped. I thought I’d try with distant reiki, but she reacted just the same. It was an infection, so probably painful/ So I stuck to general reiki with her and that worked just fine.

  9. A neighbour asked me if I could Reiki their old Labrador, Oscar, who had arthritis. It went really smoothly and he fell asleep. The second time I saw him, he came up to me a barked and barked, wagging his tail, as if telling me, ooh it’s been much better but my hip still hurts, before plonking himself on the floor in front of me. His owners were baffled saying he only ever barked like that if he was hungry. I duly gave him some hands on Reiki. The third time a week later, he took one look at me, laid down, and after a few minutes treatment on one side, got up and laid down on his other side. He was a perfect client and a good introduction to treating dogs. My old border collie would move away looking quite stressed, likely because I became a Reiki therapist when he was about ten years old – he must have thought, oh my days what’s happened to her?!?

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