More recently, society is becoming more accepting that our pets are more than animals – they are members of the family. There are hotels that not only allow you to bring your dog, but they provide a dog bed and food/water bowls. There are pet-friendly apartments, dog parks and even restaurants that allow you to eat with your dog on the patio. I allow my dogs to sleep on the bed and believe their comfort is more important than mine. I love that the world is accepting my dogs as my family. I feel I give them the best because I want them to live a long and healthy life. So why not give them massage?
Animal massage is not a new thing; it’s been around for a centuries. There have been drawings found with animal trigger point charts in Egypt and other documentation of animal massage throughout history.
Animal massage is just as beneficial to their well-being as it is to ours. Massage helps with circulation and lymphatic drainage, which is great for keeping homeostasis. It can help a pet’s attitude and anxiety. Many animal spas, veterinary clinics and other pet facilities are offering canine or equine massage.
Massage can help your pet through all life stages. As a puppy grows, massage can help them with posture maintenance and balance. As an active adult, if they have muscles stiffness or an injury, massage will relieve the pain and speed up the healing. As a senior adult, massage can help manage arthritis, range of motion and muscle stiffness. Massage is also helpful to animals that compete in sports by improving their athletic performance and endurance.
I have used massage on my dogs since I became a therapist. My puppy, Max (50 pounds and all legs), has learned quickly that mom has magic hands. He will come up to me and stand between my legs so I can massage his hind quarters. My 4 year old pug mix, Bugsy, will sit on my lap and let me massage him for as long as his little brother. My senior girl, Missy, was with me for almost 14 years when she passed last year. She had arthritis. Massage helped her with stiffness and pain. I am not certified in canine massage, but it on my wish list. I would love to have the opportunity to meet and help more furry friends.
Dogs have been known as man’s best friend for a long time. A dog’s loves is so pure and unconditional – why not show your love through massage? I love the quote “I want to be the person my dog thinks I am.”
By: Bridget Brock