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Massage Therapy for Pets

Massage is quite common for humans, but in recent years it has become more popular as a therapy technique for pets as well. Here, a Cedar Park veterinarian discusses the multiple benefits of massage therapy in pets.

Physical Benefits

Massage causes your pet’s body to release endorphins, which not only make your pet feel good, but help relieve pain. Massage also increases circulation by working the muscles, which helps eliminate toxins and wastes from the body’s systems. Muscle tone itself is also improved, and flexibility and joint movement can increase. The secondary benefits of massage can even include improved skin, coat, and dental health!

Older or arthritic pets can also benefit greatly from massage—sore muscles and joints can be relaxed with proper massage technique. Ask your vet about more physical benefits for a pet suffering from arthritis.

Mental Benefits

Physical health isn’t the only thing massage assists. Massage can supplement mental health by improving overall attitude and increasing focus. This will make training easier and can improve the performance of an animal that is competing or being shown.

Even if your pet isn’t competing against other animals or being shown in an event, massage can simply provide a wonderful bonding time between pet and owner if the owner is the one administering the massage.

Behavioral Benefits

A pet that has behavior problems or is aggressive or fearful can also greatly benefit from massage therapy. It can relax an aggressive animal, calm down a nervous pet, and gain the confidence of an animal who doesn’t trust humans due to past issues with handling. Ask your Cedar Park veterinarian about more behavioral benefits of massage.

Before you begin trying out massage with your pet, consult with your veterinary professional to make sure you know what you’re doing. You don’t want to massage an animal with improper technique or in the wrong spots—it could cause more problems than the ones you’re trying to prevent.

If you don’t want to perform massages on your pet yourself, feel free to call your vet’s office to ask for a referral to a professional pet masseuse.

 

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