The number one misconception I come across is the notion that only elderly dogs really need massage therapy. Nothing could be further from the truth! It is certainly the case that massage therapy is excellent for older dogs since one important benefit is the reduction of discomfort from arthritis (painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints).
However, canine massage therapy has so many other benefits, with improved blood circulation being the most important. As with humans, a dog’s muscles and fascia undergo microscopic damage that needs to be repaired through increased blood flow (blood delivers oxygen and important nutrients throughout the body). Other key benefits include:
Reduces stress and relaxes the body
Increases the flexibility of soft tissue
Aids in the elimination of bodily waste products and toxins
Helps to maintain good posture and body balance
Helps injured muscle heal faster
Improves athletic performance
Loosens and softens scar tissue
Prevents atrophy in inactive muscles
Improves muscle tone and range of motion
The bottom line is that ALL dogs certainly benefit from improved blood circulation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a growing puppy or a pampered pooch. Whether it’s a Chihuahua or a Great Dane, their musculature is the same. Whether a dog is active or inactive, the benefits still apply.
Canine massage therapy helps to socialize a dog (especially puppies and rescues) to the positive aspects of human touch. Canine massage isn’t just for the old dog with stiffness and arthritis; it can be an important prophylactic therapy that promotes health and wellness while extending a dog’s quality of life. If you’ve ever had a massage, then you know firsthand how good you feel afterwards. Your dog deserves to feel the same way!