Pets like being touched and usually will offer the part of the body to you that they want pet, stroked, or touched.
There are many benefits of pet massage for increased pet health.
One benefit of a massage increases blood flow and removes lactic acid from sore muscles and other soft tissues. It can loosen scar tissue from old injuries or from a surgical scar to allow for increased flow of nutrients and energy throughout the body.
Pet massage reduces stress and strengthens the immune system.By reducing stress and anxiety, excessive barking and chewing may be lessened.
Aggressiveness, which is caused by fear, anxiety or stress, may also decrease with animal massage.
Let’s take a look at how to do pet massage for better pet health:
A. Effleurage is slow and long strokes. Long and slow strokes are performed with your palm moving from the head to the tail and feet.This stroke improves blood flow and is THE BEST WAY TO RELAX YOUR PET. Your dog will let you know with deep sighs or a sleepy gaze that the pressure and pace is perfect.
To energize a “couch potato dog” use effleurage in the reverse direction; going from tail to head.
B. Stimulate muscles with petrissage. Pick up the soft tissues next to the bones around the neck and shoulders, but not over the spine. Squeeze and roll like kneading bread dough. It is also a gentle push and pull of the soft tissue.
This increases blood flow and assists the lymphatic system to remove waste products.
C. When muscles are stressed, they may form hard little spasms called trigger points.
Here is an explanation on how to perform this natural health remedy. Use your thumb or index finger to slowly and gently press down on the point for 5 seconds and then release. This can be repeated but is usually not necessary.
D. Another pet massage technique called “touch away soreness.”Extend your fingertips but hold them together. Rub in circular motions on muscles but not over the bones of the spine or hip joint as this could be uncomfortable.
E. Acupressure is another form of pet massage therapy. “According to traditional Chinese medicine the animal’s body is filled with an energy that flows along invisible pathways. These are called meridians and link every part of the body together, including the skin, organs, and muscles.
When the energy flow is out of balance the animal may become sick according to some holistic vets. By pressing certain places in the skin called acupressure points these imbalances can be corrected.”
By pressing on these points, built-up energy is released and more energy is allowed to flow.
F. Another technique of pet massage is called T touch. This is used to calm and relax your pet.
T touch is stroking your pet in small, circular movements in a clockwise motion. Begin at the ears and do circular motions over the entire body for a total of 10 minutes.
G. Hot and cold therapy can be classified with pet massage.
1. Heat with hot water bottles, not packs, sun lamps, or warm baths.
This can be soothing for hip problems, sore muscles, or stiff joints.
Sometimes in performing animal massage strokes, warming the specific area allows for an increase benefit to sore muscles by increasing blood flow and providing pain relief to that area.
A recommendation of “a little warmth applied for 20 minutes is more effective and safer than hotter applications for short periods.”
2. Cold is used in animal massage to reduce swelling and inflammation.
Cold numbs pain, relieves muscle spasms, and stops or slows bleeding.
A bag of frozen peas works best. It can shape to the affected muscle group. Again, apply for only 15-20 minutes maybe 2-3 times per day.
H. Pet massage can even be more beneficial for improving pet health by adding soft, quiet music or classical music for the auditory component of massage.
I use my quiet massage music for a relaxing animal massage session for my two dogs. It is amazing what a natural health remedy quiet music can be all on it’s own.
One other tidbit and that is when clipping your pet’s toenails, have quiet music playing in the background. This may make this task less stressful for both you and your pet.
You may enjoy my page on alternative Pet Remedies.
Pet Remedies Click Here
Questions about Pet Massage?
Do you have questions about pet massage? Please share it and contribute!