Get Acquainted With Dog Massage Therapy: How (and Why) It Works

dog massage therapy

Get Acquainted With Dog Massage Therapy: How (and Why) It Works

Did you know that having a loving relationship with your dog boosts the levels of oxytocin (“the love hormone”) in your body? However, our pets also get a boost in their ‘feel-good’ hormones when they’re petted by someone they trust.

It turns that out the dogs love getting massages almost as much as we do. Plus, it has several benefits of promoting dog health.

Dog massage therapy is one of the top holistic services you should be offering to your canine clients. Read ahead to learn more.

A Sacred Touch

Have you ever received a professional massage? Not only is it relaxing and reduces stress, but it can also have a therapeutic effect on the body. 

People from across the world have developed different schools of massage, each with its own philosophy and techniques. Artistic depictions of massage were discovered in the Egyptian Tomb of Ankhmanhor that are over 4,000 years old.

Some types of massage are mostly for relaxation and enjoyment, while others are more medicinal in nature.

Healing Hands and Healthy Dogs

It’s really no secret that dogs love to be petted, gently scratched, and get belly rubs. Those who call themselves ‘dog people’ are usually happy to oblige. 

But it turns out, it doesn’t end there. Many of the massage techniques can also be applied to dogs.

Given that they are mammals like us, our bodies share relatively similar anatomy and physiology.

dog massage therapy

Benefits of Dog Massage

Why bother giving a dog a massage? In short, they like it and it’s good for them.

Here are some of the top reasons to get dogs on that massage table.

Pain Relief

Dogs can be mischievous and their curiosity can often get them in trouble. Soft tissue injuries are common in dogs. 

Also, as dogs get older, they have a higher risk of arthritis, dislocations, and other painful conditions. Just like people, a gentle, therapeutic massage can help dogs find relief from achy joints and muscles.

Stress Relief

A lot of people like to say that dogs just have it so easy. They (usually) don’t have to work or pay bills. What can they have to stress about? 

Dogs are amazingly sensitive and smart creatures. They need affection and something to keep their minds occupied. Do you think you would like to be alone all day with nothing to do?

Dogs can get stressed out for many reasons. It can make them sick or lead to behavioral changes. A nice massage can help dogs take the edge off.

Types of Therapeutic Massage for Dogs

Are you into Thai massage or Swedish? There are, at least, dozens of distinct styles of massage performed throughout the world. 

Even within one school of massage, there can be significant variations in the ways the techniques are performed.

Here are some types of dog massage therapies that can be applied. Oftentimes, there can be overlap among techniques and the therapist can draw from a range of styles.

Relaxation Therapy

When you get a good massage, you can almost feel your worries melting away. It can help people and dogs handle stress and anxiety.

Not to mention it just feels nice. Even if they’re happy and healthy, a massage is a nice reward for being a good dog.

dog massage therapy relaxation

Stretching

This is particularly good for older dogs in colder climates. Maybe they aren’t as active as they once were or suffered an injury. These are all things that promote painful stiffness in dogs. This can cause them to become less playful and mobile.

Therapeutic stretching can help stiff muscles and improve their range of motion.

dog massage therapy stretches

Performance Therapy

Contrary to what we said before, many dogs do have important jobs. They work as first responders, therapy dogs, actors, hunters, and they keep the yard safe from intruding squirrels.

Others compete in athletic competitions. These are all physically demanding jobs. They can experience injuries, soreness, and fatigue on a regular basis.

Consider sports medicine for dogs. Massage and physical therapy are important for all top performers, even of the four-legged variety.

dog performance therapy

Rehabilitation

Physical therapy is a cornerstone of rehabilitation. Therapeutic massage plays an important role in recovery. 

Dogs might need rehabilitation after suffering an injury and/or undergoing surgery. Also, dogs with chronic conditions can benefit from rehab.

dog rehabilitation therapy

Specialized Techniques

We mentioned the Thai massage earlier. Believe it or not, you can take the principles of Thai massage and apply them to dogs. 

Thai massage consists of acupressure, ancient Ayurvedic medicine, and yoga. As cute as it is to imagine a dog doing that, it’s real and one learns to give puppy Thai massage.

Other specialties exist, too. Consider learning deep tissue massage, hydrotherapy, and others. Other holistic techniques, such as sound therapy and aromatherapy, are sometimes performed for dogs, as well. 

dog massage therapy

How to Specialize in Dog Massage Therapy

Are you interested in learning how to perform a therapeutic massage for canines? Or maybe you’re in the dog grooming business and are looking to expand your range of services.

Obtaining a certification in canine massage and/or having your employees receive training. This will allow you to attract a growing number of people looking to get their dogs on the massage table. 

The Perfect Puppy Spa

Who said it’s easy being a dog? Just like us, they’re emotional animals that work and play hard.

We believe every dog deserves a spa day every now and then. Plus, dog massage therapy is helpful in treating aches, pain, and relieving tension. 

Are you dedicate to working with animals? Visit this page to learn more about how we can help your business grow.

Brock Wackerle
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