Imagine entering a dimly-lit room, welcomed by relaxing music, and a faint aromatic breeze. Before you is a padded table and a friendly massage therapist, but she’s not there for you, it’s time for your dog’s massage!
Now, before you think “a massage for a dog? You must be nuts!” think about this. Canine massage has many of the same benefits as human massage; reduced stress; better circulation; stimulation of healing; detection of injuries; and improved range of motion, just to name a few.
During canine massage, the therapist will first begin with slow, gliding strokes that will encourage relaxation. This also allows the therapist to evaluate the dog and determine if there are any problem areas that need attention. From there they will move on to a technique of kneading. This practice is intended to clean tissue of waste products and is used often in sports medicine/massage.
The therapist may also do some compression that works hand-in-hand with kneading and helps ease sore muscles. Other techniques employed include gentle muscle squeezing, skin rolling, and the laying on of hands, all as a way to relax the dog and sooth any aches and pains.
While the dog owner doesn’t get their own shot on the table, the massage session can be a great way of connecting with your dog and you may come away with a number of tips you may use at home.
At Southeastern Guide Dogs, our canine massage therapist first used her skills in the Puppy Kennel as a way to relax expectant mothers before delivery. It was so successful that these techniques made their way around campus to our dogs-in-training as part of Canine Enrichment, and classes were even held for our Ambassador handlers so they could relax their dogs at home.
With all of the success we saw in happier smiles and wagging tails, we thought your dog might benefit too!
Now you can make an appointment for your dog to have a 45-minute massage on Mondays at our Main Street location, 1618 Main Street, Sarasota with our certified Canine Massage Therapist by calling 941-953-2892.