Your Old Pup Will Love A Dog Massage

Your Old Pup Will Love A Dog Massage

The best life improvements are usually staring us right in the face.  

You know how your dog can sometimes be lethargic or in a mood sometimes, but nothing you do seems to change his behavior?  

Throw a ball, feed them treats, and still no improvement?

Dog getting a massage.

Well, what if you gave them a massage? Humans love massages because they improve their physical and emotional well-being, so why wouldn't a dog massage achieve the same things?

How A Dog Massage Can Help

The medical benefits that humans can experience from a massage extends to a dog massage. 

Just take a look at these common massage benefits:

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    Improve circulation
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    Reduce inflammation
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    Increase dexterity
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    Lower stress
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    Reset mood

For dogs, secondary hypertension makes up over 80 percent of all cases, which is not genetically passed down, but influenced by their environment--as with humans.

A dog massage can reduce their blood pressure and lower their risk of related diseases, if done regularly.

Also, while you may do a lot of petting of your dog, giving a deep dog massage rub can allow you to detect any lumps or bumps early, preventing potential cancerous tumors from spreading.

Massage For Pain Relief

The most popular reason people go to get a massage is to relieve pain from a recent injury or post-workout muscle tightness. In fact, the act of massaging is literally moving blood through muscles and arteries.

For a dog, a massage can greatly improve their quality of life, especially for geriatric members.

Pay special attention to their neck and chest muscles, as this is a tender region due to collar and leash chaffing.

Massage For Joints

When it gets colder and/or when dogs get older, their joints start to hurt and their flexibility gets worse. 

Massaging dog's joints.

This can make the danger of tears and sprains increase greatly.

After a long walk in the cold, you should massage your dog's hips, legs, and back to keep things loose and warm, so no sudden movements will hurt them.

Massage For Stress/Anxiety

A little TLC keeps us cool, calm, and collected.  

A dog massage a day can keep your dog from ever exhibiting anti-social behavior.

Dogs will always wear their heart on their sleeves, so if you ever notice them acting out in any way, that's their way of telling you they need a rub.

Massages reduce anxiety during stressful times, such as:

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    Family arguments
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    Thunderstorms
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    Crying children
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    Fireworks

Giving your dog a massage is also an excellent de-escalating technique to deter them from unwanted behavior. 

Changing their stimuli can effectively change their train of thought.

If you know someone that your dog intimidates or acts aggressively towards, you can retrain their behavior by having them pet and massage them--the underbelly works wonders!

Massage For Skincare

There are a number of great physical and emotional reasons to give a dog massage, but one great opportunity is to really get a feel through their coats and check to see if any growths or problems exist.

As a dog ages, they can develop all sorts of moles, skin tags, and tumors. Most of these are going to be benign and not life-threatening.

The key is prevention and early detection.

Tips For Giving A Massage

If you feel like it's too difficult to just up and grab your dog for a massage, try incorporating it into a rejuvenating shampoo routine using some healthy dog shampoo.

Utilize these simple techniques to get the best results:

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    Massage shoulders: Try to massage your dog's shoulders like you would a human. Take both your hands and palm each shoulder blade, then use your thumbs to rub around them in clockwise motions.
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    Massage head & neck: Next, take one hand and start massaging the neck by pulling the scruff (don't worry, this loose skin feels good when tugged). Work your way up to the top of the head and rub up and down and in a circle.
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    Massage the back: Apply the same technique you used on the shoulders to the back, but don't put too much pressure on the spine. Use your fingertips to do all the work.
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    Massage hips: This is a must for older dogs. Take both hands and place palms on either side of the hind legs, use palms to massage thighs and up towards the back in alternating motions. This will loosen up the hip joints.
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    Massage chest/armpits: Put both your hands under your dog's chest, between their armpits as you would to pick them up. Now, use your fingers to massage in big circles, from the armpit to the rib cage with moderate pressure.

Give Your Dog The Best

If you want to give your dog the best and most comprehensive dog massage, there are a number of places that actually specialize in dog massages now. 

Some vets have them, doggy retreats, and there are even special dog therapists out there running their own businesses. 

Just be sure to do your homework and find someone who is a well-qualified pet professional who is licensed and certified, of course.

Even if you do decide to take your dog to be pampered by a professional, you should not leave out your own massage therapy sessions with your pet.

This is a huge bonding experience with your friend. You cannot replace the emotional healing effect that an owner has when he gives his dog a massage.

Just practice your massage techniques regularly and you'll find the confidence and consistency that allows you to comfort your furry friend whenever they need you.

Doing It Yourself

Being the pack leader means taking care of all your pet's needs, including the ones they can't properly ask for.  

A boy hugging a dog.

Spoil your dog with practical and healthy gifts, rather than the same treats and toys. Don't listen to anyone who says that dogs don't care about variety or what you feed them.

If dogs could talk... well, it would be easier to replace human friends, huh? 

Head over to Your Dog Is Worth It Too for more ideas on how to improve your dog's health, discover new products, and enjoy life together to its fullest!

Resources:

PetMD 

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