Massage for my dog? Seems weird. Not anymore! Canine massage is widely used to increase circulation, flexibility, and boost the immune system. According to local dog trainer, Adele Delp, from Helena, Montana, you can attend a workshop, or even watch a video to learn how to give your own dog gentle massage. Most dogs really enjoy it!
Benefits of Canine Massage:
- Improves health by increasing blood circulation, lymph circulation, and immune function, while improving tissue metabolism.
- Enhances all systems as a whole. These include the circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, nervous, digestive, and immune systems.
- Improves sleep. Relieves stress and tension by increasing relaxation and reducing anxiety. Also helps with behavioral issues.
- Helps the body eliminate waste and toxins. Improves skin and coat.
- Relieves muscle spasms. Improves muscle tone, and increases flexibility and range of motion. Prevents the formation of fibrous bands in the muscles. Decreases inflammation and pain in joints.
- Balances body structure.
- Improves athletic performance by increasing speed, jump height and stamina.
- Reduces muscle weakness in times of inactivity, speeds rehabilitation from surgery, illness and mental or physical injury. (This benefit is particularly important if you have a pet in a dog wheelchair.)
- Prevents and treats injuries due to repetitive motion and sports injuries.
- Prepares dogs physically and mentally for work; including athletic performance, competition, and training.
- Increases acceptance of grooming.
- Increases the bond a dog and their person; builds trust.
The regular act of canine massage is not only a great way for you and your dog to develop a deeper bond, but it also provides an ongoing assessment of your dog’s body. This is a perfect time to make yourself aware of any changes in his or her condition, or recognition of any early symptoms of bodily changes (like a lumpy, bumpy mass).
Massage, for most dogs, is safe and effective, but experts do give a few warnings about massaging a dog with certain health complications. These include open wounds, unusual rashes, fractures, jaundice, fever, or serious illness. If there is any question as to whether you should perform massage on your dog, it is probably a good idea to consult with your veterinarian.
Puotinen, CJ; Delp, Adele (2013, September) What Massage Can Do for You and Your Dog! Natural Life News and Directory, 34-35.