Who doesn’t love a good massage? I know I really enjoy one, but let’s be honest it doesn’t happen often enough. I truly spend more time massaging dogs on a weekly basis while thinking I wish someone was massaging me.
The benefits of massage, especially in older dogs is noticeable. Pets of all ages can reap the perks of massage time with a trained professional. Similar to the affects in people, massage positively affects a pet mentally and physically.
Dog Massage Benefits
- Calming, relaxing effect
- Sooth sore muscles
- Increase circulation
- Decrease tension areas
- Relieves pain
- Improve joint range of motion
- Supports recovery
- Bonding experience with pet and owner
- Allows pet owner to get to know pet’s body
Why Canine Rehab Professionals Like Massage
Most Canine Rehabilitation professionals use some form of massage with each patient they treat. Whether it’s for short term relief or long term use for an older pet, massage makes its way into most rehab treatment plans. There are several different techniques that may be utilized depending on your pet’s individual needs and/or injury.
Paralyzed Pet Massage
Massage is beneficial for any dog, but especially for paralyzed pets. Canine massage helps to stimulate blood flow to increase blood circulation and improve muscle tone in paralyzed pets dealing with muscle atrophy. Gentle manipulation of the paralyzed limb can help avoid joints from stiffening due to inactivity.
Different Techniques for Canine Massage
Some of the most common types of massage are Stroking, Coupling and Deep Tissue. Your Veterinary Rehabilitation professional will be able to offer guidance on how to perform the technique that best meets your pet’s needs. I honestly used to prescribe daily or twice a week massage time for the older pets. The ability of hands on techniques to relieve pain and improve mobility of a pet is definitely heartwarming.
Most pet owners enjoy spending quality, relaxing time with their pet. Some even set the mood with candles and dim lighting. Whatever way you set the mood, your pet will be thanking you with kisses after.
Renee Mills, VT, CCRP
Renee Mills is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner and Veterinary product specialist.