Oh yeah … that’s the spot! It’s no secret that most dogs love to be pet, scratched, rubbed, and massaged. Heck, when I stop petting my pups they immediately reach their paw out and start scratching my hand. It’s their way of saying, “Don’t stop! Keep going!” Along with feeling great, did you know a regular massage provides many health benefits to your pooch? Read on to find out how your pup can benefit. Plus, watch the video tutorial below to see how to properly massage your dog (Hint: it’s not the same as regular petting and it’s very different than a human massage).
The Health Benefits of Canine Massage
- Improves Circulation
- Decreases Blood Pressure
- Improves Lymphatic Fluid Movement
- Stimulates Liver and Kidneys
- Strengthens Immune System
- Aids Digestion
- Helps Relieve Muscle Tension and Stiffness
- Speeds Up Healing Process for Pulled Muscles
- Reduces Scar Tissue Formation
- Improves Flexibility & Range of Motion
- Reduces Anxiety
- Promotes Relaxation
Another Important Benefit
Early Detection Of Health Issues – The only way to know when something is wrong with your pooch is to clearly know his baseline. By getting a good feel of your dog’s body on a regular basis, you will easily be able to detect any changes happening underneath his coat and skin (such as newly formed lumps, bumps, or tender areas). In many cases, early detection can be life-saving.
Human vs Dog Massage
Have you ever personally gone for a massage? If so, you know a good one can actually be quite painful in the heat of the moment (especially if you have a lot of knots that need to be worked out). Often times, it’s not until after the massage is over that you experience that “floating on a cloud” feeling.
Unlike a human massage, a pet massage shouldn’t cause even the slightest bit of pain. You see, dogs live in the moment and can’t rationalize that pain in the present will lead to pleasure in the future. So you always want to use gentle motions and ensure he’s comfortable.
How To Massage Your Dog: A Video Tutorial
While there are certified dog massage therapists who you can schedule an appointment with, many pet parents like to work massage into their regular home-routine. Not only will a DIY dog massage offer your pup the health benefits outlined above, but it’s also a great bonding experience.
In this instructional video below by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), Dr. Narda Robinson demonstrates some traditional massage techniques that you can use for your canine kids. I definitely recommend watching the full video as it’s filled with great tidbits from start to end.