While it is rare, some dogs have allergic reactions to things like pain medication and anesthetic drugs. While these reactions can be as mild as itchy skin, they can be as serious as anaphylaxis.
Are you a dog owner who is worried about their dogs’ sensitivities to medication? There is a holistic option that can offer a great deal of relief. That option is a professional dog massage.
Dog massage can ease pain, promote calmness, and reduce circulation. For many dogs, this is just what the holistic vet ordered!
Read on to find out more about the benefits of dog massage and what conditions it can treat.
Physiological Benefits of Dog Massage
Dog massage can work wonders for our canine companions who suffer from pain, whether that pain is chronic or related to a healing injury.
The movements and pressure that your dog will experience during a massage help to relax their muscle tissue, which can help to reduce muscle spasms or painful muscle contractions. Dog massage can also combat joint stiffness and improve your dog’s range of motion, giving them back the ability to run and play the way that they did before pain overtook them.
The warmth and pressure generated by physical touch send a message to the body to relax. When your dog experiences pain, she will often build a lot of tension in her muscles and along the spinal cord in reaction. The physical act of relaxing the body can ease some of that extra pain she is carrying with her.
Dog massage can treat the symptoms of arthritis and torn or strained muscles. It is also a great treatment to incorporate into any dog’s physical therapy.
Neurological and Circulatory Benefits of Dog Massage
When we perform a dog massage, we’re actually improving the dog’s circulation and blood flow. When dogs have better circulation of blood through the body, their lungs, heart, and muscles are all receiving more oxygen and functioning better.
Good circulation can also boost your dog’s ability to ward off sickness. This occurs when the white blood cells from their immune system travel to other areas of the body to fight infections and harmful bacteria. Good circulation also helps your dog’s body to remove the waste that is generated by her organs.
Finally, increased circulation is vital in supplying oxygen to the brain. When the brain does not receive enough oxygen, the neurological function can be compromised.
Dog massage can help dogs with respiratory issues such as asthma. It can also be used to help dogs fight off bacterial infections and airborne illnesses.
Because dog massages boost blood flow to the brain, it may even help dogs who have neurological disorders such as seizures or lack of control over their motor functions.
Psychological Benefits of Dog Massage
Just like humans, dogs can release chemicals such as oxytocin that make them feel calmer, happier, and more at ease. Chances are, your pup gets a dose of these each time she sees you smiling at her or feels your hand on her head.
For some dogs, small doses here and there may not be enough. Whether a dog has anxiety and depression or hyperactive or aggressive tendencies, massage can help.
The warmth and pressure of touch can trigger the release of oxytocin and serotonin. Dog massage is targeted, mindful, and prolonged, meaning that your dog can get an extra-large helping of positive chemicals. Not only will this promote a sense of calmness and peace but it will also have lasting effects, allowing your dog to sleep better and feel less agitated throughout the day.
For dogs with severe psychological problems, you may want to schedule regular appointments. In addition, you can ask your holistic veterinarian for tips on how to implement dog massage at home as part of a daily ritual. Home dog massage may not reap all of the benefits as a professional dog massage, but it will help to ease some of your dog’s psychological problems.
Dog Massage as a Preventative Measure
If you do decide to schedule regular dog massages for your pup, your holistic veterinarian will have the opportunity to get to know your dog physically. She will learn the look and feel of your dog’s fur, skin, and bones when they are in good condition. That means that she’ll know if they appear to be in poor condition.
If your veterinarian can catch certain health issues early on, they’ll have a better chance of treating them quickly and effectively. This is a good thing, as many treatable illnesses and disorders can be deteriorative if not treated early enough.
Dog Massage Combined with Aromatherapy
If you really want to reap the rewards of dog massage, ask your holistic veterinarian to combine massage with aromatherapy. Like massage, aromatherapy can target the immune and circulatory system, among other things. It can also be used as a holistic alternative to chemical-ridden flea and tick medication.
Make an Appointment Today
If your dog has special medical needs, consider holistic treatment. We’re often quick to turn to medication without understanding the potential side effects that they may have or the sensitivities our dogs may have to them. The last thing we want is to move forward with a medical treatment that is meant to heal our dogs which, in turn, causes more damage.
Dr. Kendra Pope is a New Jersey-based holistic veterinarian. She offers an extensive line of holistic treatments for pets, ranging from acupuncture to integrative nutrition plans. Dog massage is one of many options you can turn to when approaching your dog’s health in a natural and holistic manner.
For more information or to set up an appointment, contact the office today.