First off the principle of chiropractic care is the same for both. A human and a dog both have a spine and nervous system. The function of their spine directly affects the function of their nervous system. The nervous system is in control of muscles, organs and sensory function. In everyday life problems with this can show up in performance, mobility, or daily routine.
The major difference between a human chiropractor and an animal chiropractor is understanding the different anatomy of each species and the related stress caused by this different anatomy.
Let me give you a few examples…
The number of vertebra a dog has in certain sections is different that a human.
Both have 7 in the neck (cervical)
In the midback (thoracic) human’s have 12 while dog’s have 13.
Finally the low back (lumbar) human’s have 5 while dog’s have 7.
This is basic spinal anatomy that if you were a human chiropractor only you would not know this difference.
Another important factor an animal chiropractor must take into account is the different types of stress the spine will take in a four legged animal compared to a two legged human.
The spine of a human is vertical and is affected mostly by compression, while a dog or horse have horizontal spines which are affected greatly by shear force.
Understanding these differences allows an animal chiropractor to use correct techniques and forces to certain areas that may be weak points due to the differences in anatomy between species.