Indulge your pooch with this simple treat you can do at home.
When it comes to making your furry friend feel good, it can be difficult to decide what to do for them.
Sure, we can take them for a walk or give them an extra special meal, but how about something that will make a difference to their wellbeing?
Anneke van den Broek, Founder and CEO of Rufus & Coco and The Fur Salon reveals the advantages of massaging your pup. From the basic feel-good response to concrete health benefits, Anneke shares why masssage is so great.
Creating a bond
There's nothing better than giving your dog a good pat and it's actually great for both of you.
"One study found that a few minutes of stroking our pet dog prompts a release of a number of 'feel good' hormones in humans, such as serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin. Just being aware of and sensitive to our pet's needs and experiences also has a positive impact on us – after all, they are reliant on us for everything," Anneke explains. "So, sitting down to give your pet a massage is a great bonding opportunity and a win-win for you both."
Why are massages good for pets?
Surprisingly, remedial massage for pets in general (cats and rabbits, too) are gaining in popularity.
"Remedial massage for pets requires a detailed understanding of the pet’s musculature to provide muscular manipulation and reduce pain, lower blood pressure, provide stress relief or simply improve wellbeing," Anneke says.
However, you can give your dog a simpler version at home, which can help your pooch with improved blood and lymphatic circulation, increase range of motion and flexibility, relief from tension and soreness, improved regeneration of soft tissue, aid in digestion, reduce scar tissue and improve muscle tone, Anneke tells.
How do I massage my pet?
Anneke says that there are a few key steps to ensuring a great massage for your pet:
- Make sure your pet is in a restful state and is comfortable with being touched.
- Firstly, use your palm to gently stroke your dog all over, then work the skin fat and muscle gently.
- Focus your attention on the most sensitive areas like the back and ears.
- Pay attention to their response and be gentle! If the massage strokes are too strong for older dogs, watch for feedback and adjust.
Anneke adds to be aware of their health before massaging, too. "If your pooch has a fever, infection, bacterial condition or is suffering from shock, it’s best not to massage them," she says.