The Benefits of Canine Massages
Have you ever thought about booking your dog a massage appointment? Probably not, but if you can afford it, you may want to start searching for a local canine massage therapist. If money is tight, you can massage your furbaby at home for free. Are you a groomer? If so, consider becoming a certified pet massage therapist or offering the service at your business. It is a wonderful way to increase revenue and move your business into an upscale pet-spa category.
No matter what category you fall into, it is worth learning more about the benefits of canine massage. Sure, your furry friend loves a good belly rub, but there are methods and specifics to a dog massage that offer your pup actual health benefits.
The Benefits of a Dog Massage
While pet massages seem to be a growing trend in the US, other parts of the world have been practicing the techniques for thousands of years. Massage helps to reduce stress in the body (human or animal), help the joints, muscles and bones heal, provides basic pain relief, and may assist in the rehabilitation and regeneration of muscle tissue. For dogs, massage can be used for relaxation and stress relief, to help with anxiety or nervous disorders, to provide relief for arthritis, and to aid in the healing of muscles, joints, and bones. It can also improve your four-legged-friend’s circulation, reduce muscle fatigue, remove toxins and maintain flexibility.
There are a few not-so-apparent benefits of canine massage, too. It also helps condition your pup’s coat, as massage moves the skin’s natural oils through his fur. But, one of the greatest reasons to start massaging your dog is that you will be able to detect any hidden lumps, which could be early signs of a serious condition such as cancer.
Dog Massage Techniques
The first massage technique focuses on the back of the neck, front of the shoulders, and behind the shoulder blade area. Get your dog to lie down on his side or stomach, and position yourself behind him. Line up your hands on the back of his neck (just below the ears) and do a gentle kneading motion.
The second method is called the ‘Tellington Touch.’ With your pup lying down, place your fingertips of one hand together on your pet’s skin, and move them as if you are going around a clock face. Start at 12 o’clock, and travel clockwise to 3, 6, 9, 12, and back to 3. Keep this gentle motion on one area of the body and then move your hands to do exactly the same thing on another area, staying away from the spine.
There are three main ways to apply pressure when giving your furbaby a massage:
Effleurage: Long, flowing strokes that are usually done at the start and end of a massage sessions. This helps to warm up the tissues.
Petrissage: Kneading and twisting the skin and tissue to help remove adhesions, and massage the underlying tissues beneath the skin.
Compression: Applying compression in a “pumping” motion to help with the fibrous tissues underneath. Used to help relieve muscle spasms and increase circulation.
You can try different techniques to figure out exactly what your pup enjoys the most!