Is petting the same as massage?

When you pet your dog, you are creating a bond, sharing your love and giving you both a sense of tranquility and enjoyment.

Massage on the other hand, while it does create a bond, is specialized, therapeutic purposeful touch with an intended goal.  While that sounds rather clinical, the intent during massage is what sets it apart from simply petting your dog.  Massage has a positive and therapeutic effect on the dog’s body mind and spirit.

Do massage and Reiki benefit all animals?

Calming massage helps relieve pain, speeds recovery time after surgery or injury, and reduces anxiety.  It increases blood circulation, boosts the immune system, restores and increases range of motion and flexibility.  Aging and non-active companions are also comforted and benefited through passive stretch.

Sports massage for the athlete be it back yard, or competition, increases energy, concentration and alertness and prevents injury.  After athletic exertion, massage comforts and sooths stressed muscles by removing the buildup of lactic acid.

When a beloved companion is nearing the end of this life, massage and Reiki bring a sense of comfort, calm and well being during a very emotional and traumatic time.

 Are there times a dog should not be massaged?

There are several instances when massage is contraindicated, times when it could indeed be harmful.  These include: when your pet has a temperature, is in a state of shock, is suffering from heat stroke, has a broken bone or ruptured vertebral disk.

Does your dog have to have a current medical challenge in order to actually benefit from a massage?

While massage has a myriad of applications for specific issues, it most certainly benefits a healthy, happy dog as well.  Routine massage is perfect to keep him or her in optimal health.

Do veterinarians concur with massage?

More and more veterinarians are recommending massage therapy as an adjunct to round out a health care program.  Massage can in many cases reduce the number of trips to the vet and possibly the need for more costly alternatives.

Does a dog have to be willing or able to lie down for an extended period of time to receive a massage?

It is up to the dog how a massage will actually take shape.  They may lie down, sit, or even stand through parts of the massage.  Although each massage session begins with a specific intent and “game plan”, it is modified as it progresses to ensure the dog receives the most benefit.

How often should my dog receive a massage and how long does a massage actually take?

You decide the reason for the massage.  Is the massage for general calming and wellbeing or is it addressing a specific issue?  Is it in conjunction with pre/post-surgery, or being conducted as an adjunctive therapy to ongoing veterinary care?

What size is your companion?  Is he a Yorkie, a Great Dane, or somewhere in-between?  Massages performed on smaller dogs take approximately 45 minutes.  This allows for an overall massage and time to address specific areas that might be tight or tender.  An overall massage for larger companions can run between 45-60 minutes.  This allows time to work on the whole dog and address any areas that may have issues.  If your companion is of the giant variety, a massage could take between 60-90 minutes.  Some dogs are more restless, easily unfocused or wigglier than others, while some are more comfortable with the whole massage routine.  Some dogs prefer to take a break during their massage, moving about or changing positions.  Regardless, each massage will accomplish the intended goal without an eye on the clock.

If you wish the massage to only address a specific issue, the issue will be addressed and an abbreviated general massage will be accomplished as well.

How do I prepare my dog for a massage?

Please ensure he or she has had sufficient water during the day, it has been at least 30 minutes since their last meal, and encourage a bathroom break just prior to the session.

What happens after the massage?

After the massage session, your pet will need to be offered plenty of water and a trip outside.  A trip to the backyard or gentle short walk is perfect.  Massage releases toxins and waste that builds up in muscle tissue and water is the best way to flush these out of the body.