Massage Therapy for The Canine and Feline
Massage Therapy for Cats and Dogs
What is massage and does my pet have to be sick to benefit from massage?
Massage is any systematic form of touch that gives comfort and promotes good health. If you have ever had a therapeutic massage you will agree that massage feels good! All animals enjoy massage, however some need it more than others just like people. Pets with Physical disabilities or behavioral problems and working dogs such as police dogs, seeing eye dogs and performing dogs are exposed to physical and environmental stress daily.
So in these situations massage would be beneficial and healing to the animal.
What are benefits of massage?
The touch of a hand is soothing and relaxing. When massage techniques are properly applied they can help tone muscles of the less active pets, release muscles spasms, decrease soreness and pain associated with arthritis, hip-dysplasia and some spinal problems. As well, massage helps increase the removal of metabolic waste products, decrease swelling and accelerate the healing process by stimulating blood circulation and lymph flow. Massage is also beneficial for calming the hyperactive pet and those with temperament problems, particularly those with a history of past abuse or trauma.
How do I know if my pet is benefiting from massage?
Animals benefit from massage the same way humans do. Behaviors such as closing the eyes yawning and falling asleep are positive indications that your pet is enjoying massage. Massage is a plus in maintaining good health not a cure for diseases. If your pet shows signs of pain or discomfort you should seek the attention of a veterinarian before attempting any type of alternative approach.
How long is a massage session ?
The length of massage depends on the animal’s acceptance and condition. The first session may last only 10-20 minutes as this first session is to create an acceptance of being touched and to get to know the massage practitioner. When this step is established your pet will enjoy a 30 minute full body massage. Massage can be given as often twice a week, however the needs of each animal vary.
Chantale Robinson AHT,BS,MP
Salaberry Veterinary Holistic and Alternative Clinic