Your dog wants a massage!
Massage for dogs works pretty much as it does for you. If you’ve ever had a massage, you know that it’s super at loosening tight muscles and helping you relax. You might also know that it helps improve your circulation and heal more quickly. Dogs get the same benefits as we do.
How can massage help your dog?
What is massage, exactly? Technically, massage, also known as sports massage therapy, is the therapeutic application of hands-on deep tissue techniques to the voluntary muscle system. That sounds like a really complicated definition. In reality, it can resolve quite a few basic issues that affect your dog every day.
Massage can help:
- increase circulation
- reduce muscle spasms
- relieve tension
- enhance muscle tone
- promote healing
- increase range of motion
A dog that’s competing or working hard is likely to have sore muscles, stiffness, little aches and pains, etc. Not only does massage for dogs feel good to them, but it can also help heal ongoing issues like stiffness or injury.
How do you choose a practitioner?
A practitioner should listen to your concerns. You can help them do their job if you’re aware of how your dog works and know possible problems. Also, they need to observe your dog so they can understand the whole picture. Then they need to talk with you and put together a plan. Ideally, they will teach you some techniques to help between massages as well.
How should you use massage for dogs?
Regular massages can help keep your athletic dog working to their highest level, especially in combination with chiropractic work. Please read my post about how chiropractic and acupuncture can also help your dog.
The frequency of massage sessions depends on how hard you and your dog are working and how well they do between sessions. If you watch and feel your dog, you should get a pretty good idea. The goal is to keep them healthy, happy, and moving comfortably.
Keeping your dog healthy
As you get more familiar with your dog and how they feel when things are working, it gets easier to know when there is a problem. They usually won’t show you they’re having a problem until they absolutely can’t hide it anymore. You don’t have to wait until they get to that point.
You can learn how to recognize sore muscles by feeling with your fingers and watching the muscles respond. If you’re observant, you’ll know when your dog needs help, either with simple techniques you can perform at home or the more expert treatment from a professional masseuse.
If you can do it, massage for dogs can make a difference.
My dogs certainly enjoy their massages. I have learned some techniques, so I don’t have a professional work on them often, but I know it works. Read this post for some simple techniques you can try. Or you can read my post about healing touch for other ways to give your dog a healing massage. You might be pleased with the results too. Have you tried massage for dogs? Tell me about it in the comments below.