If your dog is like any other man's best friend out there, they probably love getting pets from you. So, why not give them the ultimate pet - a massage! It turns out, massages are just as good for dogs as they are for humans. And there are specific massage techniques you can use on your pup so that they can be happy and relaxed.
Massages are great for stress relief - for your dog, too! In all mammals, massage increases the flow of blood, and lymphatic system. It can also be used to manage pain for pups who have injuries or if pups are post-surgery. But for massages to be beneficial, they'll need to be precise. It's not just petting, but actual massage technique that helps your pup. Here are some tips:
For stress/emotional relief, focus on gentle, slow strokes. Focus on your pup's neck and back and be sure to be gentle. You don't want to hug or squeeze them, as this might panic them. Instead, just focus on relaxing them.
As dogs get older, many of them develop arthritis, just like humans. And just like humans, they will benefit from massage pain relief methods. Of course, you should be gentle around the spots that are sore. After warming up their muscles with gentle massaging, move into compression techniques that will relax the tense arthritic or painful tissues and muscles.
You never want to do this on your own accord, so make sure you are told by a veterinarian before you decide to massage injured or post-surgery areas. Many times, you might be given certain massage techniques to use by your vet after a pup has been diagnosed with an injury. Before starting any specific massages or exercises with injured limbs, be sure to warm up your pup with a relaxation massage.
If you have more questions, you can ask your vet about massages. Believe it or not, many massage therapists are not only trained to massage people, but animals, too. Which means that if your pup is in pain or emotional stress, you can always gift them a massage therapy session!
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