What is canine massage?
Massage is the therapeutic manipulation of the soft tissues in the body. Like us, dogs are emotional creatures too. They have thoughts and feelings. They experience pain, depression, and anxiety. Massage influences the:
- Mind: Relaxes & calms, alleviates depression (by releasing endorphins)
- Body: Stimulates circulation, improves muscle tone, increases range of motion (ROM) & flexibility
- Spirit: Enhances overall well-being, strengthens bond
Massage provides a safe and natural way of maintaining your dog’s optimal health and quality of life
What types of dogs should get a massage?
All dogs of all ages can benefit from massage.
For puppies, massaging from head to toe, feeling the paw pads and in between digits makes it easier for them to be handled by a vet or groomer as they will be acclimatized to being touched.
For senior dogs: massage can help joint mobility and increase their comfort
Competitive dogs will experience improved athletic performance
Post surgery: shorten recovery time after surgical procedures
Anxious/hyperactive dogs: calm emotional and stress related issues
Dogs that do not fall into these categories can also benefit from the relaxation and good feeling that massages produce
What are the benefits for the dog?
Massage enhances the physical, mental and emotional well being of the dog.
- Improves and increases blood and lymphatic circulation to the muscles
- Strengthens the immune system
- Helps eliminate toxins
- Increases joint flexibility
- Eases pain and soreness
- Promotes quicker healing from injury and post surgery
- Exercise weak, tight or wasted muscles
- Calms the nervous and anxious dog
- Also improves skin and coat
Another important benefit is that regular massage is a way to maintain an ongoing assessment of your dog. You will know how your dog’s body feels and responds to your touch. You become more aware of any unfamiliar lumps, shape, texture, heat or reaction to your touch. This may be a reason to pay closer attention and possibly seek your vet’s guidance.
Do you know that one study has shown that the increased circulation that a dog’s body receives during a full body massage session is equivalent to about half an hour of leisurely walk? So it’s very good for dogs who are recovering from surgery or senior dogs, or dogs that can’t go out as much
How often should my dog get a massage?
The frequency of a massage regime should take into account the dog’s age, energy level, specific problem areas, and general health. However, a general recommendation is that most dogs benefit from a massage every 2-4 weeks for health maintenance
How long does a massage last?
A full-body canine massage usually lasts between 30-50 mins depending on the size of the dog. The first visit can take a little longer because the dog needs to get accustomed to the massage process.
Are there times when my dog should not be massaged?
Yes. Massage should not be performed if your dog is in shock, has a fever, suffering from a major skin disease, or immediately after surgery.
Today, many vets recommend massage therapy as a safe and natural way of maintaining your dog’s optimal health and quality of life. Regular massage may reduce the frequency of vet visits or the need for medication or painful treatments.
Paws fur life, canine massage and nutrition. A healthy dog is a happy dog!