Demi Moore pays over $700 a visit for her dog to get acupuncture

This is one of the most egregious examples I’ve heard of celebrity excess when it comes to pets, and is probably a close second to the mini mansions Paris Hilton had built for her dogs. (They were complete with air conditioning, chandeliers and little staircases.) According to US Magazine, Demi Moore pays over $700 a visit for her non-sick chihuahua to get acupuncture at home – twice a week. Holy crap! If she does that every week that’s around $67,000 a year. In a visit to David Letterman years ago, Demi said that she had leeches applied to her body in some kind of bizarre “detox” treatment, so I would believe that she pays this exorbitant amount of money for something of questionable effectiveness for a pet. Her heart is probably in the right place, but it sounds like a massive ripoff to me.

On paws and needles! A source reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly that a veterinarian makes biweekly house calls to Demi Moore’s L.A. mansion to give her Chihuahua, Vida Blue, acupuncture. The going rate? Up to $715 per session.

“There’s nothing wrong with her dog,” says the source. The G.I. Jane actress, 53, “is just really into holistic food and medicine for her animals, the way she is for herself.”

The more than 2,000-year-old Chinese healing art is known to have a therapeutic effect on a wide range of animal ailments.

“It can calm down an anxious dog,” veterinarian Patrick Mahaney, who has treated Lisa Vanderpump’s beloved Pomeranian, Giggy, tells Us. “It also stimulates appetite and treats muscle spasms.”

The mom of Rumer, 27, Scout, 24, and Tallulah, 21, with ex-husband Bruce Willis, has been filming indie movie Blind in New York City with Alec Baldwin.

The actor, 57, plays a novelist blinded in a car crash that killed his wife. He rediscovers his love of writing when he falls for a woman played by Moore. The actress and Baldwin starred together in the 1996 thriller The Juror.

[From US Magazine]

I suspect Demi’s dog is old because I found a photo of her with the dog in 2006, and maybe Demi wants to make sure her girl is comfortable in her old age. I get preparing organic food for your pet and wanting them to have the best of everything, but that’s outrageous. I’ve had acupuncture a few times, when I was desperate and wasn’t as cynical as I am now, and it never cost me more than $100. I don’t know if it worked exactly, but it did make me feel relaxed. Years ago I saw a PBS special on nontraditional medicine which claimed that acupuncture works in animals by increasing immune response, not by targeting any specific problem. I tried to verify that and only found that it’s hard to prove and that there are just as many studies showing that acupuncture doesn’t work in animals. Plus, there’s lots of quackery in the field, unsurprisingly. When there are people willing to pay over $700 a pop to have someone give acupuncture to their pet, you would expect that.

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48 Responses to “Demi Moore pays over $700 a visit for her dog to get acupuncture”

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  1. Bichon says:

    That’s ok. She’s wealthier than God, and it’s her dog, and it may help. I spend as much on my dogs as I can.

    • Tammy says:

      I was going to say the same thing. I spend whatever money I can on my pets.

    • Truthful says:

      I was going to say exactly the same. My family always tried to provide the very best to my beloved dog (he passed away a couple of years ago *sobbing*) at the end we paid huge amounts in homeopathy, bespoke herbal medicine and supplements…We were paying something like 450 euros / month to provide him the very best (besides veterinary care bills) .
      I know it sounds insane but we don’t regret it at all, even if it was expensive it provided a great deal of comfort for him in his 2 last years, making life sweeter in his old age.

      So her money, her choices, and I understand her perfectly our dogs are our babies.

    • ncboudicca says:

      $700 seems over-priced, but other than that, I have 3 dogs and 2 of them are geriatic and have all kinds of problems. I’m paying over $1000/month on meds, food, and vet bills. I’m lucky that I might make a bit more than some people, and I don’t have children. These dogs have given me so much love and companionship for 14 yrs that I would spend twice that if I could.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      We spent a fortune on our dog when she had cancer and our last cat had diabetes and a bunch of joint problems, and we did these laser treatments on him, but $700 seems like a huge rip-off to me. Why on earth does it cost that much? It’s her money, but I hate waste.

    • Anna says:

      As someone who has seen hell in dog rescue, I can only say: that money could save lots and lots of lives. :’(

      Chihuahuas are the 2nd most common breed to be killed in Californian shelters .

    • Louisa says:

      Stars….. They’re just like us……

    • robynsing says:

      She could pay $1 million a year for her dogs acupuncture or more…she has $150 million. The observation/headline here should be, why is an acupuncturist charging $700 a session for a tiny doggie?

    • Illyra says:

      Pretty much. I don’t judge her for this at all.

    • Jwoolman says:

      I remember a friend wondering if the expense was worth it when my cat needed surgery (really wasn’t even very expensive in those days). I told him that my cat had done a lot less damage to the world than a Pentagon general, so I’d rather pay her medical bills than pay for the general. Anyway – no money is actually wasted. It all eventually ends up paying for somebody’s rent and groceries, if you follow the trail. You can only waste money by burning it. I think Demi is being overcharged, but she can afford it.

      I just would wonder how good the vet is. My one experience with an overcharging vet was not good. His tableside manner was atrocious (my cat had abscesses that turned out to be breast cancer). The cat was fine with his assistant but went into killer mode as soon as he touched her. I almost did, too, he was rough and uncaring and never really was able to examine her properly anyway. He had handled the transition between her previous pet human and me a couple of years before, so she and her companion were in his uncertain care for three days back then. I suspect he did something dodgy and she remembered (he certainly padded my bill for the two cats). He charged three times the going rate for a simple antibiotic after his non-examination. Once he was out of the room, the cat crawled out from under the chair where she had taken refuge. Really, he was awful and should never have been let near a cat. He had taken over the practice from a really good vet, which is the only reason I brought her to him.

      Fortunately, I was able to find an old-fashioned vet with old-fashioned prices who was able to do a biopsy and several surgeries over the next year without bankrupting me. I knew he was the right guy when I first saw him examine her. She let him touch her all over and even insert a thermometer with no hint of the killer I had seen with the overcharger. Our old vet was the same way – even the most high-strung cat relaxed in her hands. Well, as much as any cat relaxes at the vet… Later on, she always popped some Bach’s Rescue Remedy (flower extracts, good for shock and stress) into their mouths first, but even before that she was amazing with them.

  2. Snazzy says:

    Well, she does have a lot of money, and as long as she’s not hurting anyone …
    Seems like a waste, but hey, it’s her money in the end

  3. Belle Epoch says:

    Stupid me!!! I should have become a dog acupuncturist!

  4. MrsBPitt says:

    Celebrities live in such a different world than the rest of us…they have no clue, how normal people struggle to pay for health care, and medications…or maybe they just don’t give a crap…which is more like it…anyway, I love, love, love dogs…but $1.400 a week, sounds insane to me, especially for a dog that has no medical issue…

  5. Patricia says:

    I’m a huge proponent of acupuncture. It keeps me going with my scoliosis, I would surely be on pain meds and less mobile without it. It was a huge benefit to my pregnancy, it keeps my dad’s diabetic feet healthy, it helps my sister every time her sciatica flares up, it had my mother healing from “frozen shoulder syndrome” in half the time she was told by Drs it would take.
    We all go to the same practitioner, she’s not cheap because she’s the best and she is incredibly educated. And still it’s $75/ $100 per session. So I’m sorry, I call bullshit on that price. Either Demi is being had by a charlatan who isn’t a real acupuncturist, or this story has greatly exaggerated the price.

    Just my two cents!

    • islandwalker says:

      I use acupuncture for severe chronic pain, I go to a place called People’s Acupuncture, they are around the country. It is pay as you can afford and they have very well trained, licensed practitioners. It has allowed me to go back to work after two years of suffering after an accident. ( I didn’t want drugs.) It probably does work in some way on other animals but I agree with you, Demi is getting scammed if she is paying such a high price. Some people have a lot of money but are lacking in common sense.

  6. Blackbetty says:

    As a poor student, I wish i didnt click on this article.

  7. Nancy says:

    Dog gone it Demi, if you have that kind of throw away money, run down to the shelter and donate to the homeless. They have sore backs too, and are hungry. Pay it forward. Bring the dog with you, it’d be a great photo op. #thanksgiving

  8. Lucy2 says:

    Note to self: think up service business, get celebrity clients, charge 10x going rate.

  9. Anotherjen says:

    “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

  10. Nona says:

    Don’t knock acupuncture for dogs. My vet has practiced traditional medicine for 25 years now. She recently spent three years training to become a canine acupuncturist. I never needed those services until recently, when my beloved young German shepherd came down with severe gastrointestinal distress that lasted on and off for weeks. She spent a couple days at a med vet hospital and they diagnosed her with borderline inflammatory bowel disease, meaning it was on the border of becoming chronic. They recommended steroids, antibiotics (though she had no infection) and other drugs. I tried it and she just got worse. I took her back to my vet, who started acupuncture, a homemade diet, and some herbal treatment. My pup hasn’t thrown up or had diarrhea since. Having said that, my vet charges $30/session for the acupuncture so it is well worth the cost.

  11. vauvert says:

    This is another one of those “her money, her business” stories but it helps you understand why some stars end up broke despite having made tons of money. It is because they are gullible and absolutely terrible at managing money. I understand loving pets and taking care of them, but getting unproven treatments for a dog without health issues is mind boggling. Also, champagne problems when so many people are struggling to feed their kids or cover their medical bills.

  12. Nicolette says:

    Wow. At home, bi-weekly visits for acupuncture at $700 a pop. My neck and back are envious.

  13. Tanya says:

    I’m actually not surprised it’s expensive. Anyone who tried acupuncture on my cat would probably lose an eye!

    • Jwoolman says:

      My vet did it, but only on a cat who already had to be anesthetized for another purpose. :) I suppose it’s case by case, but my feline friend would have become uncharacteristically violent (the needles were inserted at four points around her eye and no, I didn’t watch, I cringe just hearing about it).

  14. Ib says:

    Jesus I thought this was just a joke on Kimmy Schmidt. I don’t blame Tina fey for making fun of it

  15. I worked at a vet specialist for over a decade that had a holistic medicine dept. It’s crazy how much better the older pets with arthritis felt after receiving acupuncture. The vet/acupuncturist told me (or something to the effect) the idea is to put the needle in the affected area forcing the body to use surrounding (healthier?) nerves. Even the cats would sit perfectly still, purring away for the 30 min. the needles had to be left in place.

    • Twink says:

      Good to hear supportive comments (or read). I didn’t know it was possible for animals to get it. But I love acupuncture for me, it really works for me. I go to a community place where its not in private but it’s affordable for the most expensive city in America.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Did it cost $700 a session?

    • Jwoolman says:

      Our old vet was one of the first to use acupuncture (maybe 30 years ago or so?) and other “alternative” treatments. She still used the “mainstream” treatments she had learned in school, but wasn’t satisfied with the results or the high price. So she started experimenting. If the situation wasn’t life-threatening, she would suggest trying the cheaper alternative first and then going to more expensive mainstream treatments only if needed. She also felt a lot of problems were caused by poor nutrition, so she recommended putting money into higher quality food rather than vet bills. She felt “supermarket pet food” was often of poor quality. I think she was right – when I switched to a human-grade cat food, within two or three weeks my beautiful but dumb cat was now as smart, persistent, and strong as her sister. Some cats (like some people) can extract the nutrients they need from junky food, others can’t. My formerly dumb cat really needed the better food. She might have also been sensitive to the artificial colors or flavors.

  16. Sarah B says:

    My dog had knee surgery for $2000 and he just broke a claw, so I spent $250 on getting that taken care of. My dog and cat both have perfect teeth and are up to date on dental cleanings. Meanwhile I haven’t been to the dentist in 2 years… It’s all about priorities I guess.

  17. kri says:

    That price seems high, but the acupuncturist has probably figured out that Demi has the money. When it comes to pets, most people I know do whatever they have to to the best of their ability to keep them healthy. I’m not gonna shade her on this.

  18. LA Juice says:

    My dad takes his dog for acupuncture, he’s an elderly lab, with joint issues and an undiagnose-able seizure problem, the acupuncture absolutely helps the dog and we are all incredibly grateful for it.

  19. Wienerdogsmom says:

    While I think the $700 per session is insane, I am a huge fan of acupuncture in dogs. I had a dashchund who had intervertebral disc disease which is what causes most dachshunds to become paralyzed in the rear. It was suggested to me to go spend $6000.00 on neurosurgery that may or may not work. After doing some research I discovered acupuncture for dogs that also included nerve stimulation when needed. I took my Dewey & 30 days after being so paralyzed that he could not walk or even feel his bladder to know when to pee, he walked out of his crate. Within 3 months with weekly treatments he was back to running all over as if nothing ever happened. It was a miracle for us & I have already taken my Scooby & Scrappy the dachshunds I now have to an acupuncturist just to get them set up if anything ever happens to their backs. I paid something like $75 for the first visit & then I think around $30 per treatment after that. It was worth every cent!

  20. Jwoolman says:

    Wow. My cats’ old vet was a pioneer in using acupuncture on dogs and cats (quite successfully, even for some heavy stuff) and gave talks about it to other vets, but she never got $700 a pop…. She had to anesthetize my cat once to look under the eyeball (eye problem that wasn’t touched by antibiotic) and just tossed in the acupuncture for free (eye problem vanished within a day, recurred a few times in the first few years but only for a few hours). One other cat was very weak from an intestinal problem (needed a bowel resection) and while examining her before scheduling surgery, the vet used a laser pen on her that gave her a remarkable boost of energy for a while. The vet said it was a version of acupressure. No extra charge….

    So the acupuncture might very well be helping the dog quite a bit, but those are pretty expensive house calls.