For Relaxation Purposes
Massage for relaxation purposes can be done at almost anytime. It is used to rebalance the energy in the whole body of the dog, enhancing their health and even speeding up recovery from certain illnesses. Of course, for dogs that are under stress, like having moved to a new home or in a kennel or a change in lifestyle, or even going through a loss, this massage will help them to heal emotionally.
Just as people go for massages to melt away a week’s worth of stress in order to heighten one’s sense of well-being and recharge for the next week, a dog has similar needs. Relaxation massage is able to bring a dog’s body out of its state of stress and back into balance where it will feel calmness and relaxation. And just as the physical body affects the mind, relaxation massage will be able to emotionally support the canine and weed away the stresses.
For Working Dogs
Workings dogs (e.g. Seeing-Eye Dogs/Police K9s) lead a highly stressed life, although they seem to take it in their stride. For many, the signs of stress show more obviously when they are older or sickly. Working dogs have more wear and tear on their body than most house pets and are likely to have reduced life spans.
Massage for such deserving canines help their bodies return back into balance and a relaxed state after a hard day’s work. Most will have problem areas which will be addressed in massage. For those with no symptoms, massage aids in keeping their health in optimum condition as well as helping their physical body relax and their mental body rejuvenate. This may increase their life span and will definitely raise their sense of well-being.
For Elderly/Senior Dogs
Elderly or senior dogs tend to have a weaker immune system, fewer hours of activity and the tendency to get injured, amongst other things. All these affect their health and mobility. Their joints tend to get sore easily and bowel movements may become erratic. Reduction in the elasticity of muscle and connective tissue occurs, as it does in people, and may cause difficulty in normal everyday activities.
Massage can help as a substitute for normal daily exercise. Therapeutic massage for senior dogs maintains and mildly stimulates circulation of blood and lymph as well as increases flexibility. Pain is relieved naturally (no drugs), which is especially good for dogs in constant pain or have a chronic illness. It also aids to speed up the healing process post-surgery.
Massage further relaxes the senior dog and helps it to emotionally adjust to its aging body. The body’s energy is brought back into continuous balance. Therapeutic massage for senior dogs is a wonderful complement to veterinary treatments.
Dogs With Mobility Problems
Dogs with mobility problems usually inherited the genetic disposition or suffered a serious injury. For example many large dogs, particularly the German Shepherd, are prone to back and hind leg problems like hip dysplasia. These type of mobility problems can severely restrict motion and the ease of day-to-day activities like climbing a step or even walking.
Therapeutic massage for these dogs will be centred on the problem regions whilst keeping the whole body in balance. The injured regions may be off-body massaged (depending on its severity) to stimulate and help the dog self heal. If the region is physically maneuverable, then the joint may be positioned and massaged to aid in the dog’s healing.
Many times, after just a couple sessions, dogs may show visible signs of recovery and even climb a step if it could not do so previously! It is necessary to know that each dog has its own ability to self heal and that therapeutic massage is simply a means to stimulate the dog to do just that.
Dogs With Respiratory Problems
Dogs with respiratory problems are more likely to have shorter nasal tracts. Breeds that are more susceptible to this include Shih Tzus, Boxers and Bulldogs. Other dogs may have sensitive nasal passages and trouble breathing during colder, wetter seasons.
Therapeutic massage on the respiratory system is helpful for all dogs in increasing the oxygen level in the tissues surrounding the nasal cavity. Lymph nodes will get drained and circulation to the muscles involved in breathing are stimulated. The dog will breath much easier as specific massage techniques are employed to target the “choked” respiratory system.