Dog Massage..what are the benefits???

After receiving a comment yesterday from a therapist that is about to start her training in animal massage. I was intrigued, and did some research on the subject. This was not something I had heard of before and I could not imagine what benifit it would have for an animal other than the obvious. (sore muscles) I could not have been more wrong. Here is what I have found out….

The benefits of dog massage include the following:

  • Helps maintain wellness

  • Increases and balances circulation of blood and lymph

  • Restores range of motion and flexibility (great for dogs with hip dysplasia and arthritis)

  • Relieves emotional pain such as loss of a pet, fear, abuse

  • Reduces recovery time after surgery

  • Increases bone density

  • Helps alleviate pain

  • Reduces edema

  • Comforts tired muscles

  • Strengthens the body by stimulating muscles

  • Helps in time of injury such as pulled muscle, or broken bone

  • Enables caregiver to be the first line of defense

  • Dog Massage: Is It Just For Pampered Pups?

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    By Joanna Pompilio

    City life can get overwhelming. The noise, the crowds and the bustle causes stress for the two and four legged city dweller. Why not massage them away? It can be a healthy and holistic way to rub the anxiety of city life right out of your dog. 

    Sure it sounds divine and too delicious for words, but there are benefits to dogs getting massaged other than just plain pampering. Massage improves flexibility and alleviates arthritic pain. It can aid in surgical recovery and help pets cope with emotional or physical trauma while increasing muscle tone. Massage therapists can also detect lumps or growths that may go unnoticed in-between vet check-ups.

    Canine massage utilizes many of the same techniques used on people, and offers the same results. Not only does it allow for increased levels of relaxation, it increases circulation to areas with restricted blood flow. Proper blood circulation keeps the body in balance and allows bowl regularity and metabolic efficiency, especially if the dog is older or leads a more sedentary lifestyle.

    Performance dogs, show dogs, and race dogs are known to routinely get massages to elevate their level of performance. It can also alleviate the stress brought about by an environmental change such as a move or a boarding experience. Dogs pick up on their owners stress and as a result, develop anxiety of their own.  A massage can reduce nervous tension and promote a sense of calm in more hyperactive dogs.

    Young puppies especially benefit from a good rub down. Massaging a pup gets him accustomed to human touch and aids in socialization. It is likely a pup will think a massage is playtime, but after a few minutes he will unwind and enjoy, much like his human counterpart.

    Techniques can vary according to the system the massage is targeted to affect. Stretching massage benefits muscles and range of motion in joints. Petrissage involves kneading and pulling which aids the skin and muscles. The light touch and stroking of effleurage targets the nervous system and the stroking improves circulation. Tapotement is quick and stimulating strokes. Technique will vary depending on why the dog is visiting a massage therapist and what the ultimate goal of the session is looking to accomplish.

    For medicinal purposes, a professional massage therapist, in conjunction with a vet, will evaluate the number of sessions required. Dogs recovering from an injury may need several visits per week whereas puppies should be massaged after a growth spurt. Because it enhances muscle function, and reduces muscle tension, a massage is especially helpful for dogs suffering from arthritis, thus their owners may consider more frequent visits.

    If you are looking to just spoil your pooch and he does not require any medical attention a massage therapist could be either recommended by a vet, trainer, groomer or other dog owner. Anyone claiming to be a massage therapist should be certified. Do not be shy about asking for proof of certification.  Should a massage therapist hesitate to show their certification, take that as a red flag.

     Massage therapy is often available in conjunction with boarding or grooming services, or can be scheduled as an individual service. Fees can range from $50 to $70 an hour, depending on where it is scheduled and the length of time requested


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