Why Massage?
Which Dogs Benefit from Massage?
About Elaine
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No matter how careful we owners are, our dogs are bound to sustain injuries in their lifetimes.  There will be slight bruising or muscle strains; and for some, more serious physical traumas.  The causes can be as widely varied as the injuries.  There are day-to-day causes - like energetic play, or jumping too enthusiastically off of your deck.  Other conditions develop over time, from repetitive movements like jumping and twisting associated with canine sports; or from something as common as pulling on lead.  Inactivity can also be detrimental, causing atrophy, loss of tone and poor circulation.

Even after it has been treated and appears to be healed, your dog may continue to suffer from an injury.  Some long-term effects, which generally go untreated, include flexibility, poor posture and movement, even an imbalance in blood circulation.  Over time, these residual effects can cause a decline in overall health and well-being.

Wellness Massage addresses both original and residual injuries.  The technique enhances and improves the physical, mental and emotional well-being of the animal. It can ad the canine athlete, or elevate the spirits of an elderly dog. Even healthy dogs benefit from wellness massage, which enhances abilities and increases longevity.

Soothing Stress and Sore Muscles
Playing ball, wrestling with canine pals, jumping on and off furniture or steps, digging, running - normal daily behavior, are all stressors for your dog.  So are the activities associated with competition obedience, agility, flyball, carting, herding, conformation, and other canine sports.

Whether competitor or couch potato, all dogs experience physical stressors.  The impact they have can be instantaneous, and obvious, or accumulated and less obvious.  Either way, your dog winds up with sore aching muscles, twisted joints, and sometimes more serious injury.

Canine massage helps reduce the impact of physical stressors.  It loosens tight muscles, improves range of motion, restores proper tone and decreases pain.

Healing Hidden "Hurts"
Dogs disquise their pain, and keep poor health hidden - an instinct that carries over from canines in the wild.  Since they do not show their discomfort, we remain unaware of physical problems.  Our dogs accept gradual and increasing pain from negative physical changes without complaint.  Finally, when the discomfort is considerable, they display signs of hurting.  The signs may be subtle, such as refusing a command or slower response times; or they may be more obvious, such as limping, major changes in behavior or outright refusal to jump up onto the couch with you.

Regular massage sessions can help you identify your dog's physical ailments, and, subsequently, help alleviate them.  But more important, regularly working your dog's muscles through massage, can be an important preventive measure.  The physical benefits are considerable, even if your dog appears to be healthy and injury free.

Cats Benefit Too!


"Big Picture" Benefits

Canine massage aids the body in the following ways:

  • Helps open blood vessels, which improves the circulation and remove waste and toxins that may make your dog sick.
  • Improves circulation and nutrition of joints and connective tissue.
  • Stimulates and acceleratesthe lymphatic system.
  • Eases the strain of inactivity and prevents or delays muscular atrophy from forced inactivity.
  • Increases body awareness, releases tensions and provides structural as well as emotional support.
  • Stimulates skin and coat.
  • Restores proper muscle tone, relieves tight constricted muscles, helps alleviate pain, improves range of motion.
  • Stimulates growth hormones in puppies, and serves as a slight stressor, valuable in the socialization process.

Note: while the physical benefits are outstanding, canine massage is never a substitute for licensed veterinary care.


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