I don't know about you, but I sure do love touching my dogs any chance I get! I'm always stroking them, hugging them, kissing them, they must think I'm a bit obsessed!
Stroking them and petting them is really a very light form of massage when you think about it. You're not moving the tissues like in a deep massage, but even petting them can gently move their skin. But is it good to massage your dog regularly?
Any time that you touch your dog with love or with purpose, believe it or not but healing is actually happening.
And when you touch your dog by following a particular system, whether that be traditional massage, T-touch, acupressure or any of the other touch modalities, you can really enhance the benefits.
All forms of body work relieve stress, depression, improve immune function, promote healing of injured areas and even help with pain relief. And it's well known that dogs actually are more healthy when they are touched on a regular basis.
In fact, touching your dog is actually healthy for you as well! It's a win-win situation!
Another good reason to massage your dog regularly, getting your hands on your dog daily if possible, is that it will give you valuable information about your dog, like if he's got pain in certain areas, if certain body parts are tenser than normal, if certain areas need to be looked at more closely for possible injury.
So go ahead and pet your dog, massage him, stroke him on a daily basis. He'll start to look forward to his special time with you, you'll be helping him immensely, and the undivided attention you'll give him will be a welcome, relaxing experience for both of you.
I'll be writing a blog post in the near future with step-by-step instructions on how to perform a basic massage, so stay tuned for that! In the meantime, if you want a cheat sheet with the subtle signs that could mean your dog is in pain, then get a hold of my free pain checklist.