Therapeutic, Beneficial and Professional

Benefits of Massage Therapy

K9 Therapeutic Massage

Just like people, dogs can experience bumps, bruises, injuries or trauma. Dogs can also suffer from built-up physical and emotional tension—similar to the knots we get in our muscles. Proper massage techniques can remove pain and muscle spasms, improve flexibility, relax the muscle, reduce strain and help avoid injury. Massage relaxes the body, reduces mental stress and anxiety, and soothes the dog. It is preformed through the use of stretching muscles and applying pressure and touch (ranging from lighter to stronger) using various massage techniques. Massage helps dogs achieve and maintain body health and wellness.

**Canine massage therapy should always be performed by a certified canine massage therapist who works in accordance with the specific needs of the dog in addition to veterinary-recommended treatments.

CANDIDATES FOR K9 MASSAGE

The candidates who benefit most from therapeutic massage are performance/working dogs, competitive/show dogs, senior dogs, dogs who suffer from arthritis and/or hip dysplasia (with a veterinary recommendation), dogs recovering from injury, and dogs that are shy, nervous, anxious, and/or fearful of human touch.

Performance/Working Dogs

Highly active canines stretch and work their muscles and joints on a daily basis and are more prone to stress and injury, so it’s extremely important that they are well conditioned.

Competitive/Show Dogs or Inactive Dogs

Massage helps maintain the health of a dog that is kenneled, confined, or restricted from movement for long periods of time. Inactive dogs are more likely to become overweight, have poor muscle tone, higher stress, anxiety, and may develop serious medical conditions. Tight or painful muscles can produce unwanted behavior. Look for the signs: A lack of willingness or resistance to move in a certain direction can signal that your dog has muscular discomfort.

Senior dogs and/or Dogs Suffering from Arthritis and/or Hip Dysplasia

Older dogs may suffer from arthritis, joint problems, torn or over-extended muscles and ligaments. Massage therapy can balance muscles and help an elderly dog maintain posture and balance.

Dogs Recovering from an Injury or Surgery

Massage can increase healing times and maintain mobility. If the dog is restricted following surgery, massage can maintain muscle tone and joint flexibility.

Dogs in Need of Human-Dog Socialization

Socialization is highly important when raising a dog. It’s especially important that dogs feel comfortable with other people and with human touch in addition to being in new, different environments—all of which come in to play when a dog is brought to his/her vet, for example. Therapeutic massage promotes human-dog socialization for dogs that are fearful of human touch. It teaches dogs to be comfortable, calm, and relaxed when being touched by a human. It can be especially beneficial for dogs that have been abused or improperly socialized.

The benefits of massage therapy are endless! The benefits can be physical, mental, and emotional and consist of the following:
  • An increased overall sense of wellness
  • Prevention of injury and illness
  • Prevention of loss of movement
  • Prevention of atrophy in inactive muscles
  • A speedy recovery time from injury or illness
  • Reduction of pain
  • Reduction of soreness or stiffness
  • Loosening of tight and constricted muscles
  • Easing muscle spasms and tension
  • Improving flexibility and range of motion of the joints
  • Restoration of proper muscle tone
  • An increase of energy and endurance
  • Maintaining posture and balance
  • Improving cardiovascular health
  • A decrease in blood pressure
  • Improving blood circulation
  • Improving distribution of oxygen and nutrients throughout the dog’s body
  • An increase in toxin release and removal of waste from the body and its organs
  • Calming of the nervous system
  • Reduction of mental stress and tension
  • Reduction of anxiety and fear
  • Induction of mental relaxation
  • An increase in comfort
  • Improving trust and bonding between dog and human
Despite the many positive aspects of massage, there are some situations in which it may not be an appropriate treatment. Animals suffering from fever, shock, infection, rashes, open wounds, fractures, cancer, lumps, immune disease, and certain skin conditions typically do not benefit from massage therapy.
**Massage therapy is not a substitute for medical examination, diagnosis, or veterinarian treatment.