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Could your furry friend benefit from dog massage therapy?

brown and white dog laying flat on the carpet

Let’s face it, everyone loves a little massage and TLC and the benefits it has for our mind and body are tremendous, But are dog massages really necessary? In this article I will cover some of the ideas behind dog massages and how you can try this at home. But before we do this let’s find out what a massage for dogs can actually do.

What is a dog massage?

black brown and white dog with its front paws on the back of a grey and black speckled dog

Just like humans dogs have all these systems that are vital to a dogs well being and a massage can get the blood flow going to give whatever is being targeted a boost. There are many different benefits that come with a massage for dogs, some preventative, and some in response. If a dog needs help healing either physically or mentally, additionally if a dog is prone to anxiety or is active in agility competitions or alike, dog massages can be great to keep them going.

Physically healing

Sometimes dogs get hurt or deal with pain, it could be torn muscles, soreness, arthritis, surgery recovery, or even just being sick. These can all be helped through massages for dogs for many reasons.

A dog Massage can increase blood and oxygen flow speeding up recovery time to any part of the body, they also temporarily relieve anypain your dog might be facing through working at the pressure spots. This can increase the quality of your furry friends comfort during hard times where it can be hard for them to get relief. This mixed with a supplement for joint mobility can truly help your dogs movement.

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small white dog asleep on a big grey cushion

Mental healing

Just as it can help the physical it can also help the mental, dogs can suffer from problems like PTSD, depression, and separation anxiety, all of which have ties to physical contact in some way. If a dog has suffered a traumatic experience either through past owners or on their own they may have mental problems with being touched or even around humans. And if a dog is overly attached they can freak out any time the owner steps outside.

Dog massages can benefit all of these cases through DTP or deep touch pressure which releases chemicals in the brain that are related to getting a warm hug. Through starting slowly and easily dog massages for anxiety and other related mental problems can greatly improve the dogs lifestyle making them at ease in their day to day activities. this along with CBD oil can drastically change a dogs anxiety

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Preventative dog massage

Massages are not always about healing, sometimes if done properly before strenuous activities they can actually prevent an injury. In competitions like agility runs dogs have to perform jerking movements over and over. If not properly warmed up and stretched this can lead to injury just like humans. Massages can help prevent this through loosening tissues and joints to prepare for these movements as well as getting blood flow pumping to warm up and stimulate any body part that might face strain.

yellow lab running through a yellow tube at an agility course

A dog massage can be a great thing to keep your dog at their prime, feeling fresh and rejuvenated. Many of the benefits it gives to humans it also shows in dogs, this is why it is beneficial to give your dog a massage, and now that you know why let's go over some techniques you can do at home.

Dog massage techniques

  1. The first thing you'll want to do is get your dog in a calm state, if they are wound up a massage may not help them one bit. Some people recommend taking your dog on a long walk right before this.
  2. Next is to place your hand on your dog with light pressure and slowly petting them with long strokes, this will get blood flowing while getting them used to your touch. This is important if the dog you are massaging is not used to you yet.
  3. Slowly knead using your thumb, first two fingers, and palm over targeted points. This is the bread and butter of the a dog massage for their body. Make sure you aren't massaging too fast or hard as it could increase pain and cause discomfort. Slower may be better in this category.
  4. If your dog allows it move onto the legs by gently wrapping your hand around one leg at a time and squeezing gently and releasing. Make sure to get the whole leg for best results. This section is great for active dogs and agility dogs that need a warm up as it gets their limbs ready to move.
  5. To end the massage simply repeat step 2 as this will release the tension and get the blood flow back leaving your dog soothed and relaxed ready to take on the world, or that pesky squirrel in the backyard.   
dog massage techniques for beginners

As you are doing these techniques make sure your dog is not experiencing pain or discomfort. Additionally it is a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about any problems your dog has been facing as it could be the result of a more serious problem. A dog massage can work wonders if done properly and you may see a spark in Fido you haven't seen in awhile! If this blog helped please share and comment to help out your fellow dog owners

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