Animal Reiki in Review: A Reiki Master’s perspective


Animals benefit from Reiki just like people do. In cases of injury, anxiety or digestive upset, Reiki can be a great tool for helping our pets’ internal processes get back to their natural, balanced state. Even better, we don’t have to know what’s going on with them for healing to happen. So, in the case that an animal is behaving a little strangely, Reiki could give a gentle boost to self-correct.


I’ve had the joy and pleasure to work with many cats and dogs in their homes and elsewhere. I have treated dogs with neurological challenges and physical injuries. I’ve seen cats post-surgery and those with anxiety. Some animals I’ve worked with have been adjusting to the absence of their former guardian or of a pet that recently passed in the home. Some have been foster animals transitioning into a new living situation.

I’ve given Reiki to a cat while he was receiving fluids and having some teeth pulled right on the vet’s office floor! I’ve treated aging dogs and cats whose humans have sought Reiki to help them maintain quality of life in their older years. I once got to work with a dog because his guardian was going through a “dark night of the soul” and she wanted to make sure the dog was okay while she was getting through such a challenging time.

I like to check in a few days after treatments and I have received some great feedback about how the animal is doing. Some animals have been drinking noticeably more water. Some return to eating their food normally when their enthusiasm for food has been a little off. Some seem more energetic as indicative of “jumping up on the couch” when they haven’t done that in weeks.marshall 2

A couple of years ago, I worked with a dog who was vomiting a couple of times per week. After only one session, the dog was able to resolve these internal digestive issues and she did not throw up again.

Most times, people report that their animals are more expressive and/or loving toward them or toward other pets in the home for several days after a Reiki treatment. Animals have sweet ways of showing gratitude in lieu of verbal language.

There seems to be some trust-building with the guardian that takes place when the pet gets Reiki even when the animal’s person is not the one giving the treatment. I encourage pet owners to be nearby while their dog or cat is receiving a treatment. This helps assure the pet of safety since animals can look to their guardians to see they are being lovingly supervised. The bioenergetic field extends beyond the animal in treatment so they are both enveloped in the energy and that space of the home may also be affected by Reiki.

Effects of Reiki are diverse but one thing is usually the same:  an observable sense of calm or ease.

Reiki supports the evidence-based notion that our bodies heal best when relaxed. That’s one reason rest is key to feeling better when we are ill. Just as with humans, Reiki helps animals access and encourage their own sense of calm and healing abilities.

I give my own dog, Prior, lots of Reiki treatments. He has taught me the most about Animal Reiki.

In working with him, not only does he seem to be more at ease in a general sense, but his behavior has changed. Moreover, our relationship and our non-verbal communication has improved and I really think it was already pretty great!

I think we’ve both earned more trust from the other. And to be honest, I can hardly even say the “R” word around him without him perking up his ears and going into a long “sploot” stretch (as pictured below), assuming it’s time for his session.sploot

Here are some examples. Of course, they are from my human-minded perspective and- I admit- cannot totally be backed up by scientific evidence. However, just as I ask of my clients, I try to be curious for several days after Prior has a treatment. He’s a lucky boy because he gets Reiki frequently and therefore, I get to take note of long-term effects.

The first thing I noticed was how he seemed calmer when I am leaving the house. I have a camera in my living room so I can check on him when I’m gone for longer periods of time. He is mostly restful, still looking out the window when there are sounds or passers-by, but he does not appear to be in distress, like he has been in the past.

He used to stonewall me when he could tell I was preparing to leave the house. He would refuse to come indoors, aware that I would not drive away without him safely inside. If I went out to try to physically bring him in, he would run and make a game of chase out of it. These days, when I ask him to “come,” he runs right in.

I believe these effects are from working with his root chakra. This area is still activated and working things out when he has a treatment but it settles much sooner than before. Since the root chakra is associated with safety and feeling secure in one’s environment, I believe his body has integrated a lot of healing there.

Another example of what I’ve seen in him is with his barking. He’s a dog and he is a dog who barks. He hasn’t all out stopped barking, nor would I want him to because it is his natural response to threat.

These days, he seems calmer and more aware with his barking. There are still times he barks, like when someone is walking their dog down our street or the post-person is delivering something to the door. But unlike before, when the neighborhood dogs start barking, he often stands up on his hind legs to look outside but once he ganders around, he makes a different choice. I always call that a mindfulness moment because- in my view- he’s looking at the evidence and realizing he doesn’t need to react. This could also be an effect of working with his root chakra, as Reiki with the root chakra encourages an inner sense of calm.

Before he paid attention to my direction, I interpreted that it might feel to him like he was losing something of himself. If he doesn’t do the thing, he keeps his power. His will might not have allowed him to “obey” me. Now, he seems to have aligned his will with the greater good. And that makes me happy as his person because my responsibility to keep him safe is a difficult task when he doesn’t respond to my command.

He follows my prompts at home, too, which was not always the case. He has become a calmer and better behaved dog and Reiki has been the primary variable of these changes. He now even chooses a long-distance whiff over stealing food off my plate when I’m not looking!

Reiki is a wonderful modality for healing, calming and deepening our bonds with animals. Keep this in mind in the future for your pet or your friends’ pets. Most animals love the soothing effects of Reiki and I’ve found it a gentle, subtle yet powerful tool for assisting our beloved friends to help themselves heal. Reiki works for the guardian, too, and in support of their relationship together. It can help enhance our animal companion’s lives, their quality of life and the quality of our relationship with them.

Have questions? Call or email me at 828-484-2415 or

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Article submitted by Marshall Hammer, Reiki Master, for the Angel Pets Expo 2020 blog. Reiki for Today will be at Angel Pets Expo 2020. Reiki Master, Marshall Hammer, will be offering mini Reiki sessions for pets or people to sample try out!

“Marshall is excited to offer 10 minute mini Reiki treatments for pets (or people) for $15 at the Angel Pets Vendor Expo, for those wanting to give Reiki a try! Sign up sheet at table.

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