6 Surprising Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Dogs

6 Surprising Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Dogs

Medically Reviewed by | Heidi Wright, BSN, RN, PCCN

They’re your best friend, you’re main confidant, and the reason your couch is covered in pet hair. Your dog is a member of your family, and as the leader of their pack, it’s your responsibility to take care of them to the best of your abilities. 

You want to give your dog the best opportunities to thrive. In addition to high-quality food, plenty of exercise, and of course, lots of snuggles, introducing them to red light therapy could help support your goals of helping them live their best lives. From helping them heal from injuries to supporting overall health and wellbeing, placing your pup in the red zone is a holistic way to help them thrive.

At Mito Red Light, we’re pet owners too. We’ll explain what red light therapy is, how it works, and what benefits it can give your pooch.

What Is Red Light Therapy?

Considered a branch of photomedicine, red light therapy (RLT) and near-infrared (NIR) light therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to address a myriad of conditions in your dog’s body and skin. FYI, these same benefits are available to humans, too. 

Red light is part of the visible electromagnetic spectrum of light, while NIR light is invisible. NIR light can penetrate the skin, reaching soft tissue and hard tissue to address pain, inflammation, and restoration.

Understanding Cellular Health

The health of your dog begins in their cells. The cells are the building blocks of every tissue and organ in your dog’s body. When their cells are healthy, our pets are healthy. When they aren’t, our pets experience a decline. This can be especially true as our pets age. 

Inside Cells

Inside mammalian cells, mitochondria work to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This is an energy currency that supplies cells with power to fuel cellular processes. As cells age, the mitochondria make less ATP, which leaves cells struggling to produce enough energy to carry out their functions. When the cells lose function, our dogs’ health may begin to decline. 

The Red Light Link

Red light therapy works by stimulating the mitochondria in the cells and encouraging more ATP production. Specifically, red light is absorbed by cytochrome C oxidase, which is integral in the creation of ATP. When red light is absorbed by this molecule, the cell essentially gets a “supercharge” that allows it to create energy more efficiently. 

More efficient energy production inside the cell translates to more efficient energy throughout your pet’s tissues and organs, which means a healthier and more energetic animal. 

While red light has been studied extensively in humans, it’s important to note that the field of veterinary medicine has been using red light sessions for over a decade for some of the same medically trusted reasons that it is used for in humans. Let’s explore how RLT can benefit your dog and why adding it to their weekly wellness routine can keep them healthier and active longer.

6 Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Dogs

One of the hardest parts of pet ownership is watching a beloved pet decline or undergo a difficult surgery or treatment. We do everything possible to keep them comfortable and ensure they get better as soon as possible. RLT is one way we can support these goals and improve their overall wellness.

1. RLT May Help Your Dog During Post-Surgical Recovery

No one wants to think about their dog having surgery, but thankfully, medical interventions (like surgery) can help them live longer, more mobile lives. If your dog has had surgery, getting them back on all four feet as soon as possible is important. RLT may help support your dog’s recovery time after certain surgeries

In one study, two groups of dogs who underwent spinal surgery were compared. One group was given post-surgical RLT, while the second group was not. The group that was given RLT was able to walk pain-free sooner than the control group. 

2. RLT Helps Your Dog With Rehabilitation

If your dog has sustained a soft tissue or bone injury, rehabilitation might be part of their recovery journey. This is especially difficult for dogs, who don’t have an understanding that the process of rehabilitation is aimed at getting them back to normal. 

RLT can help. In rehabilitation settings, dogs who undergo RLT have shown signs of improvement sooner than dogs who are not treated with red light therapy

3. Healing From Soft Tissue Injuries

Just like us, our dogs can suffer sprains, ligament tears, and injuries that affect their soft tissues. It can be virtually impossible to immobilize a dog to allow their injury time to heal, but RLT can help speed recovery time. NIR light is able to penetrate the skin, reaching soft tissue and bone, helping reduce inflammation at the source and supporting blood flow and oxygen to these areas which helps support the healing process. 

4. Reducing Reliance on Pain Medication

If your dog suffers from chronic pain, reducing the amount of medication they take might be on your short to-do list. We don’t want our animals to suffer, but pain medication can have other unwanted side effects, including loss of interest in activities your dog once enjoyed, like walking or playing fetch. 

In one multicenter study, dogs with chronic pain from osteoarthritis who underwent red light therapy for six weeks were able to reduce their pain medication reliance significantly. For dogs that have chronic pain, a combination of medication and red light therapy can improve their overall pain levels and help support a more comfortable and enjoyable quality of life. 

5. Skin Issues

NASA originally used RLT to speed up wound healing in astronauts while in orbit. Today, RLT is used to treat a plethora of human skin conditions and even support anti-aging goals. For canines, similar sessions from red light are available. 

Although your dachshund may not be concerned about sagging skin, they are a breed (among many others) that tend to develop skin issues, like pododermatitis, a condition that affects the skin on the paw. RLT has been an effective method for helping alleviate irritation from this skin condition. In addition to clearing up lesions from pododermatitis, RLT was also effective in preventing the lesions from returning in more than 50% of the treated lesions in one group.

Other skin issues such as hot spots, wounds, licking granulomas, and pruritus are also targets for red light therapy in terms of both treatment and prevention. 

6. General Wellness

You probably take a multivitamin to support your health. You may even track your water intake, monitor your sleep quality with a smartwatch, or pay close attention to your macros. We do plenty to supplement our own health and wellness, and we can be just as proactive with our pets. 

RLT is a non-invasive, non-medicated way to help support the overall wellness of your dog. Exposing your dog to RLT a few times a week could improve their stamina, cognitive health, coat, bone, and muscle health. It’s much like giving your pet a supplement in the form of pure, holistic light therapy. 

Is RLT Safe?

Short answer, yes. RLT therapy is generally completely safe for your dog. If your dog has a sensitivity to light or is on medication that could make their skin more photosensitive, you should speak to their veterinarian before introducing them to RLT. 

RLT does not produce heat, and NIR light therapy does not produce a large amount of heat, so you don’t need to worry that your pet will become overheated or feel warmth from the session. If you are concerned about heat, make sure you treat your dog in an open area or provide a fan nearby to keep them comfortable.

How To Expose Your Dog to RLT

If you’re ready to treat your pup to the RLT experience, there are several ways to do it. You can contact your veterinary professional to find out if they offer RLT services, but keep in mind that you will pay out of pocket per session. For RLT to be effective, multiple sessions are needed, and often for a longer period of time. 

Instead, you can opt to use a RLT device at home, like a RLT panel or pad. Keeping your dog situated in front of the panel or on the pad can be difficult for some dogs. If your dog is too active to sit in one place for that length of time, you can try using a wearable canine RLT belt, which will allow them to move around while they are being treated. 

Most dogs will benefit from a 15-20 minute session about three times per week. Your dog can’t overdose on RLT, but there’s no research to suggest that more than one session per day will benefit them more. 

Why Mito Red Light?

You can invest your time and money in sessions for yourself and your dog at a day spa and at the vet (respectively, of course), or you can invest in a red light device that can be used for both of you in the convenience and privacy of your own home. 

Mito Red Light products are high-quality, research-backed, and client-reviewed to ensure that you can trust that what we offer will support the health and wellness goals you have for yourself and your animal. 

Our Lights

It’s important to discuss your pet’s treatment with their vet before you begin to expose them to red light. Once you’ve gotten the okay to proceed, Mito Red Light has panels and wearable devices that are safe for both you and your pet. Additionally, our products contain more diodes per square inch than our competitors. This cuts down on dead space and ensures you (and your dog) are getting as much coverage as possible when you use our therapies. 

Our Testing

Our lights are third-party tested and diagnostically tested to ensure our RLT products are within the therapeutic window of treatment as defined by scientific testing and research. 


We offer the widest selection of red light therapy devices in sizes and configurations that can fit any space, need, and budget. For pet-friendly options, we recommend the Mito Red Light Therapy Full Body Mat and the Mito Red Light Advanced Red Light Therapy Belt. The mat gives your pet the option of lying down comfortably during the session, which can be especially beneficial for joint pain. The belt can be used on larger dogs to support spine and hip pain when it is worn around the midsection. 

Advanced Technology

Our devices are specially formatted with Enhanced Spectral Energy Output™, a technology that delivers energy across all spectrums of red and NIR light. Our MitoPRO series offers multi-wavelengths that give you access to even more spectrums of red and NIR light, giving you more red light therapy benefits and results and helping both you and your dog thrive. 

Combined with our risk-free 60-day trial and superior customer service, Mito Red Light is ahead of the competition and offers the best value for your money, whether you’re shopping for yourself, your dog, or both. 

Red Light for Furry Friends

Make a decision to elevate the health of your favorite furry friend. Mito Red Light helps you give your dog a better opportunity to recover from injuries, get relief from pain, and live a longer, happier dog life. 



Transcranial near-infrared light in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases | Frontiersin.org

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) in Veterinary Medicine | PubMed

Low-level laser therapy reduces time to ambulation in dogs after hemilaminectomy: a preliminary study | PubMed

Introduction to therapeutic lasers in a rehabilitation setting | PubMed

A randomized blind placebo-controlled trial investigating the effects of photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) on canine elbow osteoarthritis | NCBI

Low-level laser therapy: Case-control study in dogs with sterile pyogranulomatous pododermatitis | PubMed

Current Applications and Future Perspectives of Fluorescence Light Energy Biomodulation in Veterinary Medicine | PMC

Photobiomodulation Therapy in Veterinary Medicine: A Review | NCBI


DISCLAIMERMito Red Light devices are not clinically proven to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical conditions. Mito Red Light devices are Class II general wellness devices aimed at affecting the body through topical heating and supporting cellular function. The scientific studies referenced in this article are for informational purposes only. To see a list of precautionary warnings and contraindications, click here.