Friends Of Baxter

Canine Bowen Therapy

What is Canine Bowen Therapy? (also known as Canine Bowen Technique)

Canine Bowen Therapy is a very gentle, subtle and relaxing hands-on complementary therapy that works on soft tissue to benefit physical conditions. It aims to invoke the body’s own natural ability to heal and may promote pain relief, relaxation and general rebalancing. As a holistic therapy, it treats the dog as a whole and not just the specific area identified as the core problem. Sometimes the area that appears to be problematic is only so due to over compensation or referred pain and so by addressing all areas the dog may more easily return to a state of balance. The required number of sessions will vary but often 2-3 treatments at weekly intervals are sufficient to achieve a noticeable change.

This therapy involves using light finger and thumb movements on precise points on the dog’s body and applying gentle rolling movement over muscle, ligament, tendon and/or fascia (connective tissue).

These gentle yet powerful moves are combined with short breaks to allow the body to process the moves and start the process of self-healing / rebalancing.

Canine Bowen Therapy is so gentle that it is suitable for dogs of all ages, from young pups to the elderly and infirm.


What happens in a treatment?

The dog’s welfare is the most important consideration; therefore, this therapy is carried out at a pace that is determined by the dog. Procedures are never forced on the dog and he / she is free to walk away or indicate the end of the session at any time. 

After a consultation that enables the therapist to understand as much as possible about the dog’s background, life style, medical history and reasons for seeking Canine Bowen Therapy, the therapy practitioner will take time to engage with the dog and to build trust before starting (typically at the dog’s home/familiar surroundings). A vet’s referral or consent is required for this therapy and the completed consent form should be brought to this first consultation if not provided in advance.  

Dogs are typically more in tune with their bodies than us and so the dog will often know and demonstrate which part of their body they would like treated.

During the therapy session fingers and thumbs are applied to specific soft-tissue points on the dog’s body via slow, gentle rolling movements with very gentle pressure so as to just disturb the underlying tissue and create a focus for the brain to work on. The moves are interspersed with short pauses which allow the dog’s brain and body to process what is happening. This combination of moves and pauses causes fine adjustments to take place in the dog’s body.

The full effects of a Bowen therapy session can take 3-4 days to become apparent. After care advice is also provided and should be followed as this is part of the treatment and can impact on the outcome.  

During a course of treatment, Canine Bowen Therapy should not be mixed with another hands-on or manipulative therapy.

The benefits and conditions it may help

As well as being a remedial form of therapy for dogs with a wide range of issues, Canine Bowen Therapy may also be of benefit for maintenance of good health, prevention of injury and ‘optimum balance’ purposes so it can be helpful for working, show and agility dogs. Being holistic, this therapy seeks to address the root cause and treats the dog as a whole, not just focusing on a specific condition or areas where hand movements are applied.

  –   Acute injury – sprains & strains
  –   Arthritis & muscular problems
  –   Skin conditions & allergies
  –   Stress & anxiety
  –   Lameness & problems moving
  –   Back problems; hip & elbow dysplasia
  –   Respiratory conditions
  –   Aggression & behavioural problems
  –   Chronic illness & degenerative disease – improving quality of life
  –   Relaxation of tension from previous trauma, e.g. rescue / re-homed dogs

If your dog is experiencing problems, our therapist would be happy to talk to your vet to explain Canine Bowen Therapy if you would like her to do so.

More information and to book a treatment


  • £30 per session plus travel within reasonable distance. Any applicable mileage charge will be discussed and agreed when arranging the first appointment.
  • Discounts are available if multiple treatments are paid for in advance
  • Each session typically last 30 minutes to 1 hour, but depends on the dog. The hands-on work usually takes no more than 20 minutes. 
  • The first session generally takes longer as this includes a consultation (typically 1hr – 1hr 20 mins)
  • Fascia Canine Bowen Therapy is also available. This is, an even gentler therapy suitable for dogs with very high stress levels or dogs on prolonged or high doses of medication.

Please request a Veterinary Consent Form if wishing to book a treatment.

Some pet insurance companies may cover Canine Bowen Therapy – please check your policy.

For more information or to book a treatment please contact us via the Contact page or email Sue on