Therapeutic massage for animals is a type of manual therapy used to maintain and improve physical and mental health. Massage therapy promotes relaxation of muscles, increased oxygenation to the body, relief from pain, and improved joint flexibility. It can help prevent injuries and aid the body with healing. Massage therapy also can strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Massage therapy offers many benefits and can help your pet’s physical and mental health in several ways:
- Increases circulation and helps eliminate toxins and wastes from the body
- Improves joint flexibility and muscle tone, which can be very beneficial for older animals and animals with active lives, particularly performance animals. Massage is also very popular with agility dogs and sport horses
- Enhances the condition of skin, coat, gums, and teeth
- Boosts their attitude and ability to focus, which can affect behavior, training, and performance
Massage therapy can be beneficial for pets that are recovering from injuries or have chronic conditions, by addressing the following:
- Enabling atrophying muscles to work more efficiently and regain normal function
- 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
Therapeutic massage can be very beneficial but as with any new therapy, monitoring your pet during therapy is essential. If your pet is on any medication, has a specific health condition or injury, or other complications, check with your veterinarian prior to offering massage or starting a massage therapy program.