Massaging your best friend


By Charlene van den HeeverTender loving touch… massaging your best friend

For many of us, our pets are our trusted companions.  Dogs, in particular, love being touched but remember all pets have a great need to be given tender loving care.  Massage has many benefits for the givers and receivers, and takes only minutes a day.

Relax and calm the nervous pet

Physically it may better the blood circulation, lowers blood pressure and increases lymph movement.  The aging pet can benefit from increased flexibility and relief of muscle tension and stiffness.   Best of all, it reduces stress for both the giver and receiver.  The massage itself will promote socialization with your pet and enhance the human-animal bond.  Children are quite capable of learning how to give pets an effective massage and it is emotionally rewarding to them.  Bear in mind that massage cannot take the place of your vet’s practiced diagnostic expertise and treatment.

Feel your pet…help your vet

Regular massages will give you a clear picture of what is normal for your pets’ body.  You will be able to notice any differences in temperature, sensitivity, poor coat quality or swellings.  If you detect any irregularities, you can bring it under your vets’ attention. Massaging your pet will also accustom your pet to touch, which will make its regular visits to the vet much easier.  It is not advisable to apply massage over areas of cancer, open wounds and fractures.  Also do not attempt it when your pet is not well or refuses to participate.

In conclusion

Research has shown that physical contact for an animal that is emotionally attached to a human being, is as rewarding as being given a morsel of its favourite food!  Feel free to indulge in massaging your pet or taking him for a pet massage. If however, you have reason to believe your pet has a medical condition; first approach your vet.  In the case of injury of some other condition, he or she might want to refer you to a qualified physiotherapist.  In the next issue we will deal in dept with the benefits of physiotherapy.



©Pet’s Health

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