Massage therapy for dogs has become very popular in the last few years. There are canine massage therapy schools popping up everywhere. You can hire a massage therapist to come to your home or you can massage your dog yourself. If you choose to do it yourself the best way to learn is to ask your vet to show you some techniques that will be tailored to your specific breed. You want to make sure you will be helping your dog and not harming it as massaging is more than just petting your dog. Below are reasons for giving a dog a massage.
1. Calms A Nervous Dog
Nervous dogs tend to have a hard time settling down. They just can’t sit still. They jump all over your company. They run through the house like their tail is on fire. They may just be overly happy which is a good thing. But a dog can be happy and calm, too. Massaging your dog regularily will put him in a balanced state of mind to enjoy life without using all that excess energy.
2. Warms Up The Muscles Before Exercising or Competing
When humans go to the gym the first thing they are told to do is warm up exercises. Doing so warms up the muscles by increasing the blood flow to the muscles.. Dogs have the same need. It’s a good idea to spend a little time massaging your dog before a long walk or a competition such as agility.
3. Helps A Dog Get Used To Being Handled
Dogs that have spent most of their lives in cages have no idea how to socilaize with humans. Through massage they will learn to trust and be touched. The same goes for your new puppy. Sitting with him and giving him a massage will help him get used to being handled as well as being a great way to bond with your new friend.
4. Helpful In Relieving Pain
Massage can be a great tool in helping your dog with pain issues. Of course, the first thing to do is take the dog to the veterinarian to find out why it is in pain. Then only treat your dog with a massage at the recommendation of the vet. He will show you where and how to perform the massage. The massge will help with the physical pain as well as help the dog to relax and sleep which aids in healing.
5. Gives Older Dogs A Boost In Mobility
Older dogs can experience stiffness in the joints due to arthritis or just plain old age. An elderly dog can benefit from the comfort felt through a loving massage. It will help loosen their old bones to give them a boost for the day. Just be careful as their muscles aren’t as agile and firm as they were when they were younger. Older dogs need a lighter touch.
6. Can Help With Digestion
Some say massage helps aid in digestion. This makes sense when you think about how the massage can get the gastric muscles moving helping move the food along in the digestive tract. Humans massage their belly when they are constipated so this probably works as well with dogs. Massage will also help get rid of excessive gas and help make the dog more comfortable if he’s having digestive problems.
7. Aids In Fearful Situations
A good massage may be just what a dog needs before heading out on that long trip, especially if the dog is afraid of riding in a car or plane. The massage will put him in a calm state right at the beginning which may help to set the tone for the rest of the trip. Another fearful situation is thunderstorms. If the dog is fearful of storms a calm massage session may help keep his mind off the loud thunderclaps.
A calm and relaxed dog makes for a happy home!
Have you ever given your dog a massage? Let us know how it went in the comments below.