Massage is not just for humans! A massage can improve our physical and psychological health, and the same is true for dogs. We explore the benefits of canine massage and how it can be safely done at home.
Who doesn’t love a nice relaxing massage? The calm, tension relieving feeling you get from a massage can be equally therapeutic for your furry friend. The main benefit of massage is an increase in circulation within the muscle system. Setting aside time every week to give your pup a massage will help his muscles remain in optimum health and performance level, whether he’s a family pet or a competitive dog.
Massage for movement
Massage can do more for your dog then helping to lower his blood pressure and reduce stress. “Massage also helps improve blood flow, while lengthening muscle and connective tissue”, says Becky Brandenburg, founder of Brandenburg Horse and Dog Therapy School. The energy for muscle movement comes from the combination of nutrients in food (glucose, specifically) and oxygen, which is carried through the blood. Poor circulation then can be quite damaging, since it prevents nutrients access to the muscle tissue. “Some dogs are quite active, but many can become less active, especially with advancing age. Regular massage will help keep the muscle system healthy and active which is of benefit to every aspect of your dog's life.”
How to massage at home
The Gentle Groomer ® allows pet owners to treat their pet with more than just a grooming experience. The Gentle Groomer “provides a relaxing and gentle massage that is similar to a Swedish massage and it can be done safely and effectively by those without training,” explains Becky.
Use the Gentle Groomer ® on soft tissue and be careful when using the tool on bone. Feel around on your dog at how thin the tissue over his bone is. Then incorporate both long and circular strokes over your dogs body to help lengthen tissue and separate muscle fibres. These quiet and gentle strokes will provide a calming experience and deepen your relationship with your dog.
Things to avoid
“When working with dogs, you never want to pass the threshold of what they would perceive as aggression,” reminds Becky. Remember that fearful and reactive dogs benefit by learning to trust your touch. Gentle massage provides an endorphin release which is can naturally calming and pain relieving. Never try to incorporate massage techniques that you are not fully knowledgeable about, as this can be more damaging to your dog. Deep tissue sports massage should only be done by trained professionals who have studied the muscle system and have a deep understanding of these massage techniques.
The StripHair Gentle Groomer ® is a great option if you want to incorporate grooming into your pet’s life. When used in a stroking motion, this tool can be very calming for your dog and you! Remember, that grooming should be fun. This one on one attention helps your dog see you as a source of positivity and helps to foster a relationship full of love.