If your pet has chronic soft tissue pain or suffers from anxiety or other emotional problems, then alternative pet therapy, such as massage, may help them feel better. Massage therapy has been known to have mental and physical health benefits for humans, and it can help your pet, as well. Both dogs and cats can benefit from a massage session. Here are some of the ways massage therapy can help make your dog or cat feel better.
What is Pet Massage Therapy?
While some types of massage look like petting, the process is actually more involved. Pet massage therapy works in the same way that human massage does. It is a specialized type of therapeutic touching that involves pressure and muscle manipulation in specific areas. It's often used to help with specific health reasons, but it has significant emotional benefits, as well. Most of the time, professional pet massage sessions are done in short time blocks with breaks in between.
How Do Pets React to Massage Therapy?
Most pets seem to enjoy massage therapy, and they often readily submit and relax to its touching and movements. However, for some pets, especially anxious ones, it may be unsettling for them at first. Pets that are not used to being touched or who are cautious around strangers may need to be introduced to this therapy more slowly. Most therapists and owners say it's very rare that a pet really doesn't like massage, and those who are often apprehensive at first eventually enjoy the therapy once their anxieties are eliminated.
What are the Benefits of Pet Massage Therapy?
Like human massage, pet massage can help with blood and lymph flow, as well as help sore muscles. If your pet is recovering from an injury, massage may help with reducing the formation of scar tissue, which could hamper your pet's recovery. Massage therapy also benefits your pet's emotional health, as it often causes the release of hormones and neurotransmitters that make your pet feel more at peace and relaxed. It is also helpful if done before and after your pet goes through a stressful situation, such as being confined for a long period or after a long period of travel.
Pet massage therapy is a type of alternative therapy that most pets thoroughly enjoy. Regular massage therapy not only helps soft tissues to heal, but it can also benefit your pet's overall health. Though you can massage your pet at home yourself, it's best to consult a licensed professional. They can pinpoint the most beneficial areas to massage and reduce the risk of injury.
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