There are real benefits of pet massage for both dogs and humans including stress reduction, an increase in the bond between pet and owner and other factors which can help keep your dog – and maybe you – healthier.
You might be thinking, “Massage for my dog…really?” but the benefits are scientifically based; they include mental and physical positive effects, which are very similar to the benefits we enjoy from a massage. The use of massage is helpful for almost all systems in your pet’s body, including their mood.
Massage Benefits for You
Some of the benefits that YOU receive by massaging your pet include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Lower Triglyceride levels
- Reduction in the feeling of loneliness
- Development in a better connection with your pet
- Reduction in stress
Massage Benefits for Your Pet
Giving your pets a massage has many benefits for them and is so much more than just a good scratch. Massage enhances the overall well being of your pet and proper massage keeps the body in balance. Pets even react in a way similar to humans with feelings of warmth and relaxation.
- Helps your pet to relax – If you have an excitable pet, massage could be very beneficial, helping to reduce stress and calming them.
- Establishes trust with your furry friend – Massaging your pet will facilitate a sense of mutual closeness with your pet.
- Enhances circulation- Applying gentle pressure helps to improve circulation in your pet and is especially valuable to larger and/or senior dogs. Massage also can prevent fluid accumulation which can lead to discomfort.
- Increases your pet’s flexibility- Massaging your pet’s muscles and skeletal structure helps to keep them flexible. For dogs this is especially important because it can help to prevent injury.
- Develops and maintains muscle tone- Puppies need this while growing and older dogs can benefit for regular maintenance.
- Helps pets after surgery with rehabilitation and has a calming effect.
Some “How To” Tips for Pet Massage
There are different types of massage that you can give your pet at home or even when you’re traveling with them. They don’t require a great deal of time and can be done as a daily routine.
- Daily Massage is designed to give your pet a 10 minute maintenance massage and is great for circulation. This will also benefit the owner by building trust and affection. Using the flat palm of your hand touch different areas of the pet’s body at a slow pace, being careful to avoid any sore or painful spots. This massage is great for keeping track of bumps on your pet’s body, which could lead to early detection of tumors. Your pet will begin to feel more connected to you after these daily massages.
- Soreness relief massage is for older pets with joint and muscle soreness or if they have had an injury. Gently pat the area to be massaged to create a warming effect followed by gentle compressions. Always remember to use gentle pressure when doing this.
- The warm-up dog massage is used right before exercise or play. Dogs need to stretch just like we do to get the best benefits from exercise. This can be done by stretching and stroking their legs gently and is good for preventing injury.
- The calming pet massage is used to calm your dog down in times of high stress or anxiety, such as during a lightning storm. This is done by placing your palm over the dog’s head and with gentle pressure, move your hand all the way to the tail bone.
There are ways to enhance the pet massage experience. Rather than watch TV or check your phone, focus on the massage – both of you will benefit from quiet time. If you are on vacation, try a pet friendly resort, like The Salamander Resort, where you can play in the water or run outside with your dog. There is no reason your pet should miss his routine massage even when traveling.
Remember the combination of slow movement and gentle pressure will bring great comfort to both you and your dog.