There is nothing as relaxing as a message. We all know it, and it’s time we showed our Furbabies how marvelous they can be too. Dog massage has some incredible benefits to both you and your pooch. Surprisingly, I have come across many people who really believe that dogs are natural balls of zen; always relaxed, and never sore. To them I say, HA! That would be nice, but I don’t think there is a being alive that doesn’t get sore from time to time.
I think my dogs are the most pampered in our house especially when it comes to massages. Everyone LOVES to rub the dogs. I can be begging for days to get my back rubbed, but not these furballs. It’s a chore to rub a person, but for some reason massaging a dog is so calming. You find yourself rubbing while your just watching TV.
Benefits of Dog Massage
There are so many benefits to giving your beloved pup a dog massage. Dogs of all ages, activity level, and stages of life can gain from massage.
- Improved circulation
- Improved flexibility
- Eases join and muscle pain
- Reduces stress
- Relieves anxiety
- Decreases recovery time
- Improves digestion
- Lowers blood pressure
- Develops muscle tone
- Strengthening human dog bond
Types of Dog Massage
Also known as your basic back rub, can be done daily for about 10 minutes at home and are a really great way to strengthen your bond with your dog. With light pressure and a flat hand rub all over your dog’s body. This type of massage is not only incredibly relaxing for both your dog’s body and mind, but it also helps you get to know what he feels like and what’s normal making early detection of lump, bumps, and other scary things easier.
Life is always throwing us curveballs and dogs don’t understand the small changes life throw at us. A new home, a new baby (human or furbaby), or even a change in schedule can all cause a bit of stress in a dog’s life A massage can seriously impact a dog during any stressful situation bit or small. So, if your dog is getting used to something new, prone to anxiety or has been through a traumatic experience, such as rescue dogs, massage can become a simple massage can really help calm them. Relaxation massages should be a light motion running continuously from head to tail.
Flexibility is important to keeping healthy. A light stretching massage can help your pooch maintain the elasticity of the muscles and joints improving mobility.
Many of our furry babies are athletes as well. For those running agility courses, dock diving, running field trials, or even just the casual athlete who likes to swim and play fetch massage can really get those muscles ready to work. Repetitive and high impact motions can rip, tare, pull, and strain muscles, but massage will help get those muscles ready to work and decrease the likelihood of injury. In the unfortunate event that your pooch is injured pre-performance massage can lessen the severity of a soft tissue injury.
Dogs, I swear, are like children and need to be kept in bubble wrap and helmets; they’re always getting themselves hurt! Some injuries are mild, like a sprain, while others can be serious, like a torn ACL (yep, surprise, they’re not just for football players!). Massage is known to increase the blood flow to an area which really does help the soft tissue mend quicker. So, if your pupperoni has just had an injury ask your vet if massage would help. Never massage your injured dog without vet consult; you don’t want to worsen the injury.
Who Can Give a Dog Massage?
The most important person who can perform a dog massage for you baby is you! Your dog trusts you and will be able to relax gaining the most benefit from the massage. Unfortunately, most states don’t make it easy to get your dog a massage and require either a vet to administer or oversee the masseuse, which is why you are your dog’s best hope.
How Do You Learn to Properly Massage Your Dog?
If you have access to a dog masseuse that is wonderful! Ask them to show you how to massage your dog properly. However, if you’re like me and live in one of the many states that require a vet to actually be the masseuse it gets a little trickier. I’m sure your vet would love to show you a few moves if they know them, but many don’t know too far beyond the basics. I definitely don’t recommend learning pet massage from a group of pictures such as on wikiHow or the like, there are better options available for you to utilize. There are plenty of DVD series and even some online courses that are reasonably priced and geared towards teaching dog owners how to massage their dogs at home.
People have known about the benefits of massages for eons, heck many health insurance companies cover massage. The health benefits are undeniable. Dogs are no different! Once they get used to them, they will LOVE their massage! It doesn’t take much to make them happy, most dogs are happy with the slightest touch, but I think the best part of learning how to massage your dog is feeling like you’re actually helping them. Our furbabies do so much for us, it’s nice to know we can give back just a little.