The Health Benefits of Canine Massage

I agree with the good points Katie Finlay makes about the benefits of canine massage therapy.  After our February massage event at Best Friends FurEver, the dogs who received massages were so relaxed and peaceful.  It was well worth it.  We're looking forward to our March Massage Days event!  Please read on.     ~Kelly Cullum, Owner, Best Friends FurEver


Canine massage therapy is a form of alternative therapy, the benefits of which may include relaxation, increased oxygenation, relief from pain, improved joint flexibility, as well as miscellaneous benefits to the immune system. It uses touch to maintain or improve both physical and emotional well-being.
The benefits of massage have long been studied in humans and the results in animals are proving to be the same. Massaging your dog might sound a bit strange to some, but it can greatly improve the quality of life for both of you. Not only can it be used as a natural treatment for certain ailments, it can provide a relaxing way of life if you implement it into your daily routine. There are several benefits of massage that should be addressed, so if you’re still on the fence, consider these points.

#1 – Relaxation
Massage is known for its ability to offer both mental and physical relaxation. Physical touch reduces stress and has been shown to alleviate anxiety and aggression in nervous dogs. They become more used to human interaction and are positively rewarded for it by the physical pleasures of massage, all while healing their emotions. Calming and relaxing your dog will also help heal traumas and illnesses, so the relaxation aspect of massage helps here too.

#2 – Improve Circulation
Stimulating the muscles and tissues of the body increases circulation and this improved blood flow brings healing. Increased circulation allows more oxygen to reach the tissues and if there are any wounds, inside or outside of the body, this oxygen will promote faster, more comfortable healing. Massage has also been shown to improve range of motion and lower the heart rate. This also relieves muscle spasms and reduces toxic compounds like lactic acid, which cause pain and discomfort.

#3 – Quality Time Spent on your Dog
We all love petting our dogs, so why not turn it into a great massage session? Spending quality time with a dog is important to keep  bond with caregivers strong. We want our dogs to trust caregivers, so making them feel comfortable being around them is important. Even the most independent dogs wants to spend time with people, and most dogs love a good scratch or belly rub. Why not turn it into some quality massage time?

#4 – Early Detection
Getting a feel of a dog’s body is beneficial when it comes to early detection. We will  be able to feel problem areas that you can’t see through your dog’s coat, or any lumps and bumps that might be developing inside your dog’s body. These things can be felt before seen, so taking notes when we massage your pooch and noting what’s abnormal will help your veterinarian determine the issue. Early detection is critically important in treating many illnesses and massage will certainly help.

#5 – Improve Your Health
Yes, it’s true. Giving your dog a massage is also good for you. Science has shown that petting animals actually improves the health of humans. It reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and elevates our moods. This is why so many pet owners tend to be happier people! This is also why therapy animals are so important – science has shown that petting animals greatly improves the mental and physical health of people, regardless of whether or not they want to admit it.

Author:  Katie Finlay

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