If you’ve ever had a massage, then you know firsthand how great they can be. Your dog feels the same way – here are five reasons why you should be giving your dog a massage, if you aren’t already.
1. Reduce Stress
Massage is proven to reduce stress, and any dog can benefit from that. You might find it particularly helpful if your dog is easily worried or stressed; a nightly massage can help to relax him and establish a comforting routine.
2. Improve Circulation
The act of massaging muscles improves circulation, which in turn benefits the entire body. Increased circulation helps with muscle recovery after exercise, and it can also help with conditions such as arthritis. The act of pressuring and releasing muscles causes blood flow to increase, which heals and benefits your dog’s entire body.
3. Strengthen Your Relationship
Massage is a wonderful way to build and strengthen your relationship with your dog. Be sure to proceed slowly at first, as massage may be somewhat foreign to your dog. Chances are, once your dog realizes how good a massage feels, he’ll come to look forward to the treatment, and will associate you with being the one who provides it. Massage can help to establish a bond between an owner and a new dog, or it can build on an existing relationship with your pet.
4. Find Injuries or Problems
Massage has an added benefit in that it allows you to quickly pinpoint changes in your dog’s body. If your dog has an unusual swelling or lump, or if the consistency of his muscle changes in an area, you will quickly be able to recognize it because you’ve been regularly massaging him and are familiar with his body. This can also help to keep you on the ball in terms of your dog’s weight and body condition. It’s not uncommon for a potentially cancerous lump to be detected early through a massage. You never know, pampering your dog might just save their life!
5. Relieve Pain
Finally, massage can be an excellent pain reliever. After lots of exercise, your dog will find massage to be comforting and relaxing. If your dog is recovering from an injury, your vet may be able to show you specific massage techniques to help your dog along in the recovery process. Dogs with conditions like arthritis will also appreciate massage, since it can help to relax their muscles and release tense areas.
Massage is a wonderful technique to use on your dog. If you’re new to it, ask your vet to show you some techniques, or consider having a canine massage therapist work with you and your dog.