If you’re like most people, you absolutely love having the chance to get a massage. It’s easy to understand why this is something that you would enjoy. Massages feel wonderful and they have a way of relaxing you that scarcely anything else can truly compare to. They’re also great for overall good physical and mental health, as they relax muscles and reduce pain. If you’ve ever had a massage yourself, you already know all of these things. The thing you might not have realized is that your dog might also love a relaxing massage, for much the same reason as you do. If you’ve never thought about giving your dog massage therapy before, you might be surprised at just how much she could potentially enjoy such a thing.
Dogs Like Massages, Too
There’s no doubt about it, dogs do enjoy massages in most cases. As a matter of fact, many of them tend to enjoy them just as much as people do. The key is knowing how to do it properly and being able to read the signals that your dog is giving you about whether or not she’s actually enjoying it at the given moment. Gaining a more thorough understanding of these things will help you keep your dog comfortable and even give you an opportunity for the two of you to bond through massage. All things considered, it’s a great way to both make your dog feel comfortable at the moment while simultaneously loosening muscles, reducing pain and fatigue, and spending that quality time together that the two of you likely crave.
The Benefits of Giving Your Dog a Massage
As it turns out, the health benefits associated with giving your dog a massage are very similar to those associated with massages for human beings. In fact, you might be surprised to know that you can potentially decrease your dog’s blood pressure and increase circulation and digestive function, even improve overall immune system simply by giving her a massage. It might seem hard to believe that you could help your dog with all of these things at any given time by doing something as basic as giving her a massage, but it is possible to achieve all of these things in relatively short order. What pet owner wouldn’t do virtually anything to help keep their beloved pet healthy? The thought that you can do something that could have very real health benefits by simply spending a few moments a day massaging your dog’s body almost seems too good to be true, but it’s no lie.
In addition to the aforementioned benefits, massaging your dog can also help decrease stress. If you happen to be a pet owner with a dog that suffers from anxiety issues, routine massages can be crucial in helping to mitigate the anxiety issues that she might be experiencing. Performing massages on a regular basis can help decrease her overall anxiety, but there’s something more here. If something should happen to cause her an overwhelming amount of anxiety at any given moment, performing an impromptu massage can go a long way toward helping her to calm back down. This is critical for any dog, but it’s even more important for those animals who have certain health conditions that can be exacerbated by anxiety. For example, a dog that already has high blood pressure or any type of vascular issue could potentially experience a life-threatening crisis if its anxiety level gets too high. By helping to keep those levels down, you’re doing your part to help ensure that she has a long and happy life.
Pet owners don’t always think about it, but massages can help heal injuries, too. If your dog has injured her paw, pulled a muscle, or has muscle spasms in dogs, massages can help speed the healing process by loosening up muscles and ligaments while simultaneously boosting circulation to that particular area. Of course, it’s always best to take your dog to a veterinarian if she has been injured as your first course of action. If you have concerns about whether or not giving her a massage could potentially increase her pain level, talk to your veterinarian about whether or not it’s a good idea to provide a massage to the affected area. Your vet can also give you details about how often you should perform massages and whether they should only be a couple of minutes long or if you can perform a massage that is a little bit longer in duration .
Last but certainly not least, you have the added benefit of using massage to further increase the bond that the two of you already share together. You probably already know that virtually everything you do with your dog works to increase the bond that the two of you have. Massage is another tool that you can add to help keep that bond strong by showing your dog affection and providing her with some bona fide physical and mental care at the same time.
Overall, dog massage therapy can definitely be a good thing for your pooch. The thing that you have to remember is that every dog is different. While not every pet responds well to massage, the overwhelming majority of them seem to enjoy it a great deal. Whether your dog has been sick, injured, or is perfectly healthy, there are specific benefits associated with massaging your dog. If you still have questions, you can refer to the following frequently asked questions section. They might help you get a better idea of whether or not you should provide massage for your own dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it good to massage your dog?
In most cases, the answer is a resounding yes. For some reason, a lot of pet owners don’t tend to think about dog massage, even though they might enjoy a massage themselves. In reality, most dogs enjoy being massaged just as much as any human ever would. By the same token, regular massage can potentially provide some important health benefits, not only for your dog’s physical health but also for her mental and emotional well-being.
How do you know if your dog likes massage?
If you already know your dog well, you will know the answer to this question within just a few minutes of trying your first massage. If she doesn’t like it, she will let you know it by wriggling out of your grasp or giving you that look that pets often give when they’re just not in the mood for something that you’re trying to do. Even if this is a dog that you’ve only had for a little while, most dogs give clear signals that are more or less universally known. Therefore, the overwhelming majority of dog owners know ahead of time what their dogs like and dislike. Of course, if at any point your dog flinches, whimpers, whines, or growls at you, you should stop what you’re doing right away and give her some space. Chances are, you’ve either irritated her by invading her space for far too long or you hit a sore spot and she is trying to tell you is the only way that she knows how that it hurts.
Where is the best place to massage a dog?
Ideally, you want to focus on the muscles along the spine, including the shoulders and the flanks. You can also massage the sides of your dog’s neck very gently. If you’re going to perform any type of abdominal massage, make sure that you’re not applying too much pressure. The last thing you want to do is cause pain for your pet or even worse, do something that causes physical injury. In many cases, you can also massage your dog’s paws, provided that she will allow you to do so. This is especially true if she has suffered some type of injury and you need to increase circulation to the area in order to speed the healing process.
Do dogs like face massages?
In reality, it depends on the dog in question. Some dogs do indeed like face massages with gentle pressure. In fact, they love them. That said, this is definitely not always the case. Remember, dogs are not really that different from people. Some dogs absolutely love to have their faces massaged and others are not so crazy about the idea in any capacity. If your dog enjoys it, then go ahead and give her a facial massage, being careful not to cause any pain. On the other hand, if that’s not something that she seems to be so crazy about, then it’s probably best to refrain from doing it. Once again, your pooch will let you know how she feels about dog massages, most likely by flinching or moving out of the way when you try to give her a facial massage. It should go without saying that if she bares her teeth or growls at you, she’s trying to tell you that she’s not in the mood or she doesn’t like it and she wants you to stop what you’re doing. It’s equally important to remember that even the sweetest dogs can and will react aggressively if you ignore their request to give them their personal space or you become too aggressive with the massage yourself. This is especially true if it causes pain. In short, it’s all about using the same common sense that you always use when it comes to dealing with your dog. Make sure that what you’re doing is actually benefiting her as opposed to hurting her. Remember, you’re doing this for her benefit, not your own.