What are the Benefits of Massage for Dogs and Cats?

What are the Benefits of Massage for Dogs and Cats?

Massage for dogs and cats is becoming very popular today.  This is because of the benefits it provides our pets. 

For one thing, massage is very helpful in relieving the stress in animals.  Yes, even our pets have stress.

This is a very difficult time for our dog.  We are in the middle of moving from Florida to Tennessee.  We are using a moving company but we are doing all of the packing ourselves.  Our house is a mess.  Boxes are everywhere.

Our little dog just doesn’t understand.  Dogs like a routine.  They like for things to be in order.

So we try to keep his schedule as routine as possible.  I take him for a long walk in the morning.  We keep him on the same feeding schedule.  We give him healthy dog treats at the regular time.

I’ve started giving him a massage each day.  He seems to love it.  I use a rubber brush and my hands for the massage.  He just lies there and doesn’t try to get away.  It seems to relax him and makes him feel that he is special.  It shows that we are giving him our complete attention.  Hopefully, it takes away any stress related to our packing for the move.

There are other benefits of massage for dogs and cats that are discussed in an article, “Pets benefit from power of touch” by Lauryn Hayden.

Here is a quote from the article:

Do you ever regret you don’t spend enough quality time with your pet and feel he or she could use some pampering? Some people take their furry friends to pet spas. But you don’t have to drag Patches out into the cold – you can create pet spa sessions at home.

Three things you can try are massage, aromatherapy and grooming. The benefits of pet massage are becoming more widely known, and a B.C. SPCA study shows that human touch can increase the emotional well-being of, and reduce the risk of developing upper respiratory infections in, shelter cats. “Cats, like dogs and people, are highly social animals and when they live in bonded groups, cats spend a lot of time grooming each other,” says Nadine Gourkow, B.C. SPCA animal-welfare manager. Additionally, Gourkow says, touch releases endorphins (the feelgood hormone), and boosts an animal’s immune response.

Denise Butler, of Biscuits Pet Services, recommends massage for relaxation and stress relief for dogs. “Massage calms and restores energy and it creates a stronger bond with your dog, while reinforcing their calm behaviour.” The basics are straightforward: place Rover on a flat, comfortable surface, and progress from petting him the way you usually would to moving along and down the spine, using circular movements with your fingers. Use the heel of your hand and apply a bit more pressure when massaging the shoulder muscles and haunches. You can also grasp the scruff – squeeze and let go (this is comforting for many dogs). Also pay attention to the ears: stroke just behind the ear with the thumb and middle finger and stoke the area below the ear up and down. Use a lighter touch and just your fingertips with smaller dogs.

The entire article can be read here.  It points out other benefits of massage for dogs and cats.  So I encourage you to read all of it.

Have you ever massaged your dog or cat?  Do you think it was beneficial for your pet?  Did you find it difficult to do?  Or did it help the two of you bond?  Are you aware of the benefits of massage for dogs and cats? That might sound a little corny.  But I think it is important to improve our relationship with our pet.

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