Massage Benefits Animal Athletes Too

For the weekend warrior, a massage helps both recovery time and future performance. If you’re taking your favorite four-legged friend with you on those weekend adventures, there’s a good chance they could use some bodywork as well. 

Massage offers the same benefits for the athletic canine as it does for humans: from muscle recovery to better flexibility to improved conditioning, massage helps build peak performance. But, just like with human massage, a therapeutic session with a massage therapist can prove just as beneficial for the dog who is aging or struggling with physical limitations. 

According to famed dog trainer and TV personality Cesar Millan, whether your canine is an “athlete” or not, these are the top reasons you should get your dog a massage: 

• Stress and anxiety reduction  

• Healing and recovery 

• Improved function  

• Overall well-being 

• Strengthens the human/canine bond and relationship 

Millan says massaging your dog can “help to rehabilitate, reduce pain and swelling, heal strains and sprains faster, and keep scar tissue to a minimum … A massage [also] can increase your dog’s circulation, decrease blood pressure, improve lymphatic fluid movement, strengthen his immune system, aid digestion, stimulate the kidneys and liver, and encourage deeper breathing.”1 

So, if Fido went with you on that 10-mile hike this weekend, had an exhausting round of catching the Frisbee, or ran along the sandy coastline by your side, consider booking a massage for him afterward, just as you would for yourself. 

For All Walks of Life 

In addition to being a great therapeutic tool for elite animal athletes, including million-dollar racehorses, animal massage can help critters deal with all sorts of issues, including easing the pain from arthritis, comforting an animal in grief, providing support during hospice care, assisting in post-surgery rehabilitation, and much more. For an animal massage therapist near you, visit our home page and use the search bar at the top, or ask your massage therapist for a referral. 

By Karrie Osborn, editor, Body Sense magazine

Note 

1. CesarsWay.com, “Why You Should Give Your Dog a Massage,” accessed June 2018, www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/muscular-skeletal-care/Why-you-should-give-yo....

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