It’s pawsitively heavenly.
If you’ve ever had a really good massage, you know how wonderful it makes you feel for hours or even days afterward. And surely you’ve noticed your dog or cat loves a good tummy rub or scratch behind the ears. It’s no surprise that massage is a pet-pleaser, too, and it offers animals some of the same benefits it offers people.
A good massage can:
- Improve circulation
- Lessen pain
- Promote flexibility
- Reduce stress and tension
- Support healing after surgery/injury
- Enhance immune system health
Medical science is making it possible for our pets to live much longer lives. But with that comes the problems associated with aging. Massage therapy helps the older, less active pet live a more comfortable life. But even young and healthy pets can benefit from a nice, relaxing massage, just as humans can on their best and least stressed days.
Video: Basic Massage Techniques »
If your pet is anxious, massage can help soothe nerves and alleviate stress. If your pet is highly active, massage can alleviate spasms, trigger points, and the tensions that build with high activity levels.
If your pet has neck pain, back pain, or concerns related to bad posture, massage can help aid muscles return to their proper relaxed states, increasing comfort level and improving posture.
Alpha dogs particularly benefit from massage, as they stay busy with various tasks and rarely relax fully throughout the course of a day. Massage can help an alpha pet unwind for a little while.
A less common reason to have your pet massaged is to assist a grieving process. If your pet’s housemate has recently died or has moved out of the home, massage can help a pet relax and deal with grief more openly.
It’s best to massage a pet after his daily exercise routine and when the house is quiet, relatively free of distractions and traffic. With a few exceptions, a dog relaxes best in an area away from other pets and family members.