Often appreciated by dogs, massages have virtues, in addition to relaxing, many benefits for their health. But you still have to know how to do it, when and how long.
Massaging your dog helps to reduce stress, relax muscles and joints, it also strengthens the bond that unites you and it can identify any tumors or pain. Unlike massage in humans, canine massage does not need to be done in depth, better apply a slight pressure to help relax.
Almost all parts of the body are good to massage, even if each has a precise action:
- Ears help fight stress and fatigue.
- The head allows better digestion and relaxation of the nervous system.
- The back can relieve the stomach and calm the dog.
- The belly helps fight against digestive disorders.
- The legs relieve joints and even prevent infections and some allergies.
- The bust strengthens the cardiovascular system.
- The paws massaged legs increase the general well-being.
How to do?
For massage to be effective and have a positive impact on your pet, you must choose your moment. The dog must be calm and you too, your voice must be asked. Avoid doing a massage just after an exercise session; let your body rest for at least half an hour.
Listen to your dog, if you feel he’s stiff, not receptive or hurt, don’t insist. Start with an area he loves and let him settle down as he sees fit. No need to massage too long, 5 to 10 minutes are enough to go around his body and help him relax completely. If this is the first time, let your companion guide you, watch his reactions.
A professional can also take care of massaging your dog, if he presents pathologies, mobility disorders or simply as a preventive measure. The canine osteopath is either a veterinarian who has validated a training course, or a non-veterinary practitioner who graduated from a specialized school and has passed the aptitude test of the Order of Veterinarians.
The session at a canine osteopath lasts 10 to 30 minutes. The professional first poses his hands on the dog, to make a diagnosis and the mass in a second time or makes him make movements to correct a lack of mobility or relieve pain.
The osteopath can fight against joint stiffness, digestive disorders, reproduction, growth or even behavior for example. Each practitioner is free to set his rates as he sees fit, but generally, it takes between 50 and 100 euros. Some pathologies may need several sessions; it’s therefore a budget that must be provided for his dog.
Finally, after a session rich in movement, it is generally advisable to let your pet rest for 24 to 48 hours.