Why Hire a Professional Canine Massage Practitioner?
When would it be a good idea to hire a professional to give a therapeutic dog massage to your family pet?
I think it is valuable and important for you, as a pet parent, to give your dog gentle, regular massages.
This enables you not only to get to know your dog's body well, and thereby be attuned to any changes, but it will also deepen your connection to your beloved pet.
But when would it be wise to hire a professional, trained and properly certified practitioner of Canine Massage?
Let's start with talking about humans and massage. Have you ever had a friend or a significant other rub your shoulders? It can feel great! But have you ever had a professional massage therapist give you a massage? Perhaps because of an injury, or because of physiological stresses caused by your work or play activities? The level of skill and experience of the professional made it quite a different experience, didn't it?
It is the same for your dog!
How a Dog Massage Works
Massage works on the soft tissues of the body. Physical manipulation of the soft tissues can aid with healing, help reduce pain, provide comfort and assist with calming, all the while supporting overall optimal health.
As a properly trained and certified Canine Massage Practitioner, I have many of the same, essential, elements of training as human massage therapists do. This means that I have extensive training in canine anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, as well as training in the specialized massage techniques used to address specific issues.
The Behaviour Piece
Properly trained Canine Massage Practitioners also have crucial aspects of behaviour training as it pertains to the practice of massaging an animal. This is an important aspect or our training because dogs can sometimes communicate displeasure by using their teeth, especially when pain may be involved.
Which is not to say that I worry your dog might bite! But it does mean that I will be highly attuned to the level of comfort your dog is experiencing during the massage. This is necessary because, if your dog is uncomfortable, this discomfort means there is a degree of body tension that will potentially render the massage ineffective.
Dogs use behaviour to communicate. And if your dog doesn't feel well, his/her behaviour may change as a result. It is important to know that any significant behaviour changes in your pet should always be thoroughly investigated, first and foremost, by your vet. If massage is warranted, and it often is, then hiring someone properly trained and certified in Canine Massage is advisable, because we will know how to address the issue in the expert, comprehensive way necessary to help your dog.
All this is to say that I will know, based on your dog's case history and specific issues that you and/or your vet will have told to me (as well as information gathered from my observations), where to look for soft tissue issues and how to address these issues in an effective and comprehensive manner.
I can also show you, if you wish, how you can do effective light maintenance massage on your dog between professional sessions.
Dogs Who Especially Benefit from Massage
So if you have a dog who would benefit from my professional services: an older dog for whom massage will help keep aging tissues healthy and viable, a dog recovering from surgery for whom massage will aid with healing, an athletic dog for who massage will keep those muscles working and top form and will help prevent injuries, a rescue dog for whom massage will help with settling and calming, do get in touch!
I look forward to meeting you and your dog!