Written by Dr Rose Dileva VMD,MS,CVCP,CVA. Posted in Ask The Vet.

      Reiki has long been practiced on humans as a form of energy medicine and energy healing. It originated in Japan with a Dr. Mikao  Usui. Many schools have developed since then but Dr. Usui is considered the founder. It was through Dr. Usui’s line that I became a Reiki Master in 2003. The term Reiki translates into “universal life energy.” Reiki is considered part of the range of holistic healing presently gathering acceptance into mainstream medicine, particularly energy medicine.  Since everything in the universe, us, plants, trees, animals, the oceans, all are made up of energy,  we are all connected. It is through this connection that Reiki is able to help a person or animal heal, not just on a physical level, but also, on an emotional, mental and spiritual level, as well.

     Animals are  particularly sensitive to Reiki because they have the ability to accept Reiki energy without reservation. All animals are very sensitive to the energy fields of the earth and can feel immediately and  profoundly the energy coming from the Reiki practitioners hands. This can be felt either by placing of hands directly on the pet, directly above the pet or from a short or long distance.

      There are four different levels of Reiki, I through IV. These levels are learned consecutively and in a specific order. Each level is based upon the one before it and includes and “attunement” in which the Master teacher transfers the ability to use Reiki energy to the student. Attunements occur at each level and are more profound and deep as one continues along the levels. Receiving an attunement allows the Master to teach the student how to become familiar with the nature of Reiki energy and the wonderful healing effects it can have.  The second level of Reiki involves learning to send energy across distances and using three ancient symbols which intensifies one’s intensity of flow of the Reiki energy.  This level is the best one to reach for treating animals because some of them, in the beginning of treatment, do not yet want to be touched. This is something that the practitioner must respect. One must allow the animal to take only what they need and in a position and distance that they are comfortable with. Some animals will come right next to you or move under your hands, others will sit or lie close by. Sometimes they will yawn, take some deep breaths or fall asleep during treatment.  Once the practitioner uses Reiki it will become very obvious when the pet is enjoying the session and starts to relax and accepts the healing energy.

     Reiki treatments in humans and in your pet can be dehydrating, so it is important to stay hydrated by drinking water following a treatment. Always have fresh water available following a session.  You may also see that your pets can experience increased elimination for a brief period of time afterwards. This is perfectly normal in all cases. Additionally, Reiki can affect both physical and emotional aspects of life that require healing. As such a “healing crisis” can sometimes occur. Basically, this can bring up emotional experiences that are deep seated in the patient (for example, a pet that was left on the side of the road to die as a puppy, a pet that was abused or another that was abandoned at the SPCA). Reiki will help the pet let go of these unresolved emotional issues and move into the present with all that pain lifted from their shoulders. This works very well for pets with behavioral problems. When a healing crisis occurs the body exhibits a new set of symptoms temporarily or old ones intensify briefly. For example, a pet with a respiratory illness may get more congested, have more discharge from its nose or eyes or may sneeze or cough more frequently. Although these situations seem to happen less in pets they still may, none the less, happen and therefore, I want you to be made aware of that.

     Reiki will help heal the areas of your pet that need healing. The results are seen during, directly after or within a few days of the treatment. One of my cases, a 130 pound Labrador named “Marshall” who has significant degenerative arthritis in his hips and back end, had walked up to the third floor of his owner’s home within one week of his first Reiki treatment. He hadn’t been able to do that in years !

     Anyone interested in Reiki on their pet ( and this includes all kinds of pets…dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, birds, etc) feel free to call my office at 610-558-1616 for an appointment. Those individuals that cannot get to my hospital can set up for a Reiki session at a distance. All questions are welcome.



Dr. DiLeva is a 1987 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s school of veterinary medicine. She practices alternative and conventional veterinary medicine. Dr. DiLeva is a certified veterinary acupuncturist and a certified veterinary chiropractitioner. She can be reached at her Animal Wellness Center in Chadds Ford, Pa at 610-558-1616 for appointments, speaking engagements and telephone consultations. Her web site is

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