The Surprising Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Pets, Dogs, Cats, Horses, and Just About Any Other Animal
**Before getting started, we'd like to mention that Joovv does not provide a treatment protocol for pets and/or other animals. Our standard guidelines are intended for human use and may not support the needs of your pet. While there has been an abundance of studies on red light therapy for animals, we recommend talking to your veterinarian to find out if this therapy is right for your furry friend.**
Red light therapy, sometimes referred to as LLLT (or photobiomodulation), has been researched and studied for years and has become more and more popular for a variety of health and beauty benefits. However, it may come as a surprise to you that red light therapy has also been used for years by veterinarians across the world to treat dogs, horses, and just about any other kind of animal for a broad range of conditions.
Similar to the origins of light therapy for humans, low-level laser treatment (LLLT) was the initial method of treatment on animals. Recently, research has proven that LEDs are just as effective as lasers because of their ability to deliver the same wavelength and intensity of light photons. So, why does this matter? Well, laser equipment is incredibly expensive in comparison to LEDs - which are much more affordable for the average person. And because the efficacy of LEDs has been proven to be equivalent to lasers, red light therapy is now accessible via in-home use to a much broader audience.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
So, how does red light actually help animals? Very simply, it delivers an energy boost to the cells, which provides wide-ranging health benefits. Red and infrared light can penetrate your pet’s tissue, muscles, tendons, and even bone to increase blood circulation, further promoting and boosting the healing process.
Red light promotes collagen production, which is vital to the healing process, by stimulating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is often referred to as the molecular unit of currency due to its function in cellular energy transfer. ATP interacts with the mitochondria in cells to stimulate oxidative metabolism, which is essentially the conversion of oxygen and carbohydrates to energy. This entire process is sometimes called mitochondrial photostimulation. (1) This is just a fancy way of saying that red light gives the body's cells increased energy. Because of this, cells can perform their normal functions faster. In fact, some studies have demonstrated cellular functionality improving by up to 200%! (2)
Pretty cool, right! Well, let's move and learn how this increased cellular activity can help improve the health of your pet.
What Conditions Does Red Light Therapy Help With?
Because of the way it energizes the cells, red light can help with a number of health conditions in animals, including the following:
- Joint pain
- Muscle soreness
- Healing injuries
- Healthy skin
And there's clinical data to prove it! In one study, horses treated with red light experienced significantly faster tissue healing times. (3)
As you know, arthritis is a common health challenge as animals age. But some breeds, such as hounds and bulldogs, are particularly susceptible to joint problems - even at younger ages. Because of the growing clinical evidence, red light therapy is becoming a more mainstream treatment for these types of issues. (4) One such study was conducted on dogs that had surgery to repair herniated disks. On average, the treated group recovered 4 times faster than the control group! (5)
It's easy to see why red light therapy continues to grow in popularity as an at-home treatment for animals because of its ability to boost cellular energy leading to a wide range of potential benefits. With an in-home system like Joovv, you pay a one-time cost of buying the device and then have unlimited access to private, convenient red light therapy sessions.
*Caution: consult with your veterinarian first before treating.
(1) Low-Intensity Light Therapy: Exploring the Role of Redox Mechanisms. Joseph Tafur, M.D. and Paul J. Mills, Ph.D.
(2) Effect of NASA light-emitting diode irradiation on wound healing. J Clin Laser Med Surg. 2001
(3) Equine wound healing: influence of low-level laser therapy on an equine metacarpal wound healing model. Jann. 2012.
(4) Effect of light-emitting diode (LED) therapy on the development of osteoarthritis (OA) in a rabbit model. Biomed Pharmacother. 2011
(5) Low-level laser therapy reduces time to ambulation in dogs after hemilaminectomy: a preliminary study. Draper WE. 2012