The Benefits of Canine Massage - Part 2
Massage for Older Dogs
So, you've got an older dog? Good for you! Whether you have had him since he was a puppy, or if you adopted him in his later "golden" years, older dogs have so much to offer in terms of love and their temperament. Of course, just like us humans, some age-related health problems may spring up on the way. I know you won't be surprised when I tell you that Canine Massage can help your dog with some of these issues - but let me tell you the exact reasons why.
As we get older, we often make jokes about not feeling like we used to. You cannot go out for a day hiking in the countryside without feeling the consequences the next day. This is the same for our pet companions. Elderly dogs cannot move around as freely as they used to be able to. Their muscles stiffen and slacken and they may be sore and find it hard to move around. In turn, this may change their outlook on life. You may notice that Fido isn't as happy as he used to be. He may sleep a bit more, which is normal for senior dogs. This, in turn, can lead to sore muscles that perhaps are not being stretched and moved as often as they need to be. Here's where massage comes in!
Regular massage slows down the slackening of elderly dog's muscles and keeps these muscles toned. It also keeps them healthy and prevents them from gaining too much weight. When the muscles have been massaged, especially right after a session, they are looser and it is much easier for your dog to move around. Regular massages also improve circulation for older dogs. This is a wonderful benefit for your dog, especially if you have a dog whose lymph nodes are affected, as this can cause edema (swelling) around the site. Massage can help to restore some of the body's natural lymph processes.
Another aspect of massage for elderly dogs is the ever present threat of arthritis. For many dogs, they can get arthritis in one or both hips. This leads to severe stiffness of the muscles and may even lead to further complications, such as complete change of gait for your dog, therefore leading to a less active lifestyle. Massage can help with the loosening of muscles around the joints, allowing your dog to move in a more natural and free way. This, combined with supplements to increase movement in the joints, can really assist your dog in getting the spring back in his step!
As mentioned before, massage is never meant to be a replacement for veterinary care. See your vet regularly and ask him any questions you may have about your dog's welfare. Remember though, that vet care and massage combined can have a wonderful and immeasurable effect on your beloved best friend. Massage has been around for thousands of years with proven effects, and what works for you can work for your furry (older) friend too!
Licensed Massage Therapist/Certified Canine Massage Therapist
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