Getting a massage can be a very relaxing experience. It helps us forget our worries and releases the stress of the day. Did you know that pets can benefit from massage as well? Most dogs love the feeling of getting a good pet for 30 minutes. Some cats enjoy it also, but they can be finicky about being touched.
What to expect when taking your dog to get a massage:
– If this is your dog’s first massage, any known problem areas should be addressed. Medical history should be made known to the massage therapist. This will help prevent any pain if there is an especially sensitive area or injury.
– A massage should take about 30 minutes. Smaller dogs may take a little less time and larger dogs may take a little more, but 30 minutes is the average. Anything longer won’t have better effects.
– The massage will start at the head and work down the body to the tail. Depending on how the massage therapist likes to work, he or she may tend to problem areas when they are found or come back to those areas last. Either way, your pet will come out feeling loose and relaxed.
– Heat may be used. A warm muscle will be a little more loose and will help get a deeper massage. Heat is especially good in senior pets that may suffer from arthritis. It can help mobility in arthritic joints.
– Each pet reacts differently. Some pets have separation anxiety and need you with them throughout the massage. If they are stressed about you being away, staying with them may be the best option. Other pets may not mind you not being there and may do better if you are away. This should be a relaxing time. Your pet feeds off of your feelings. If you are relaxed, your pet will be more relaxed. If you have a pet that suffers from separation anxiety and is nervous about being in a strange place, even with you present, you may want to look into having a massage done in your home or learning how to do massage yourself.
Benefits of Massage:
– Calming & Relaxation: Everybody wants to relax. Even pets stress about things from time to time. Massage can help calm your pet and give them a much needed break.
– Pain Management: Muscles get tight and joints get stiff. Massage with stretching is a great way to help loosen muscles and promote better range of motion in joints.
– Improves Lymph and Blood Circulation: Massage helps promote blood flow throughout the body. It helps spread oxygenated blood. Lymph circulation is important to help clear the toxins out of the body. This can help promote a healthy immune system.
– Keeping Healthy: Active pets benefit from massage greatly by keep muscles loose. If they have tight muscles and aren’t warmed up properly, this can result in an injury. With better flexibility, injuries are less likely to happen.
– Promotes Healing: With an injury or surgery, your pet may compensate. Massage can help the muscles that are being over used. By promoting fresh blood flow an area, it can promote healing.
Who can Benefit?
– Athletes: Just like human athletes, canine athletes use their muscles in mysterious ways. These muscles need to be rejuvenated. It helps to keep the muscles loose and healthy. Your pet will have better flexibility which gives better mobility and helps prevent injury.
– Seniors: Older pets get stiff. Their joints aren’t as flexible and they may be arthritic. Massage techniques are used to help flexibility. The joints are muscles are warmed and blood flow is promoted. If your pets joints and muscles feel better, they will want to move more which can help slow down arthritic progression.
– Post-operative Patients: Healing faster is something we all want when recovering from surgery. With certain massage techniques healing can be promoted post-operatively. It will also help if there is any compensation from pain and help prevent further injury.
– Everyone: Even healthy pets can benefit from massage. They can enjoy relaxing and the feeling of loose muscles. It can also be a time of bonding with your pet.
ECAC offers massage for pets. If you are interested please call our clinic for more information or to schedule an appointment!