The Benefits of Massage for Pets
By Anna Webb
As humans, we know the benefit of massage or physiotherapy for your physical body and well-being, so can animals benefit from massage therapy as well? You bet they can!
Any aged animal can benefit from therapeutic massage. Whether your dog is an active, young adult, a growing puppy, or a senior that struggles from aches and pains of age, massage can work out the discomfort and may even help prevent future injuries from occurring.
In consultation with your Veterinarian, it can be used at home for relaxation and stress relief, to help dogs with anxiety or nervous disorders, to provide relief from arthritis, and to aid in the healing of soft tissue disorders.
It can help to reduce stress in the body, ease tension, increase the flow of blood and oxygen, and reduce pain in the muscles, nervous system and improve the quality of movement and health in your dog.
In animals that are recovering from surgeries, holistic treatments like massage can aid the recovery time.
Many older pets struggle with arthritis, aches and pains from previous injuries or increased stress as they age. They may not show any obvious signs of pain or discomfort as often symptoms of chronic pain in dogs and cats can be non-specific, but may demonstrate a small change in behaviour.
Your veterinarian may recommend massage for your dog who is post surgery or suffering from pain associated with old age.
While home massage is always an option, nothing compares to the touch of a specialist. We are all looking for ways to improve the quality of an animals life, and a qualified therapist should be able to help you learn to administer home treatment by teaching you some Massage and stretching techniques and exercises to help your animal return to normal activity or suggestions to help modify the new ability level.
Kateri Mills became a Registered Massage Therapist (for Humans) in 2014 after spending much of her life dedicated to training High Performance XC ski athletes at a top level. Her understanding of human performance and the connection between physical and emotional well being has led her to specialize in deep tissue massage and techniques that address a myriad of pathologies and injuries focussing on the root and not the symptom.
Her passion for animals and her very lucky dog Sheriff who she adopted from the SPCA, drove her to research a holistic approach to a problem that Sheriff had developed.
As she watched Sheriff grow, she noticed his front limb becoming twisted and after meeting with specialized vets, they decided the best course of action for him would be regular massage. She began to research more about animal anatomy eventually attending the Northwest School for Animal Massage.
Kateri now runs her animal massage business Pawsome Massage & Rehab, in Pemberton and Whistler, BC.