What is massage therapy for animals?
Massage therapy for animals is a touch technique used to maintain and improve physical and mental health. It has been practiced for thousands of years on people. In more recent years, people have realized how beneficial massage can be for animals. Massage can help prevent injuries and aid the body with healing. Animal massage causes your pet’s body to release endorphins, which are the natural chemical that relieves pain and makes your pet feel good. Massage can strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
What are the many benefits of massage for animals?
Massage can help your pet’s physical and mental health by:
- Increasing their circulation and helping eliminate toxins and wastes from their bodies.
- Improving their joint flexibility and muscle tone, which can be very beneficial to older animals, those with active lives such as performance animals. Massage is very popular with agility dogs and sport horses.
- Improving the condition of their skin, coat, gums, and teeth.
- Improving their attitude and ability to focus, which can affect behavior, training, and performance.
Massage for animals can help with behavior and temperament problems by:
- Gaining their trust through the act of being touched.
- Calming down a nervous or hyper pet.
- Helping a shy or submissive pet feel more secure.
- Relaxing an aggressive or dominant pet.
Massage can help pets that are recovering from injuries or have chronic conditions by:
- Enabling atrophying muscles to work the way they are supposed to.
- Reducing the recovery time from soft tissue injuries.
- Providing relief from muscle soreness and spasms.
- Relieving pain and discomfort associated with conditions such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. I use basic and advanced techniques with my 16 year old dog that has arthritis, pictured here in many of the photos.
What are some precautions with massage therapy for animals?
- If your animal is acting injured or ill, you should consult with a vet for a proper diagnosis to make sure massage is appropriate.
- If your animal has been diagnosed with a serious illness or injury, you should consult with a vet prior to having a massage to make sure it will be beneficial and not detrimental.
- Never massage an animal that has low blood pressure, fever, poisoning, severe trauma, severe debilitation, in shock, heat stroke, a leg where there may be circulatory problem due to thrombosis (blood clots), or an injury or illness not diagnosed by a vet.
How can I learn more about massage therapy for animals?
- Kim teaches canine massage and equine massage workshops an offers massage sessions. If you are interested in taking a massage therapy for animals class, please click here.
If you would like to read testimonials from Kim’s canine massage clients and students, please click here.
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Massage therapy has helped many pets but with any new therapy, you should monitor your pet. If your pet is on any medication, has a specific health condition or injury, or you have any concerns, you can check with your vet prior to offering massage. Please see the disclaimer. If you are concerned after your pet receives massage therapy for animals, consult your vet.